Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Novial

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Novial Wikipedia[edit]

submitted verification final decision
This proposal has been approved.
The Board of Trustees and language committee have deemed that there is sufficient grounds and community to create the new language project.

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

The requested project was created at nov: at an indeterminate date. Note that this request was approved before the implementation of the standardised Language proposal policy, and should not be used as a model for future requests. Shanel 22:12, 25 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Proposal summary
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Number of speakers= about 12 to 20 Locations spoken= China, U.K, U.S.A., Kuwait, Finland, Korea, Netherlands Related languages= Occidental (Interlingue), Ido

At least four five six people have committed to contribute to a Wikipedia in the constructed language Novial. This language was published in 1928 by Professor Otto Jespersen followed by a multilingual dictionary in 1930.

On the basis of internet information the number of people who write this language on the internet is in the order of one dozen to twenty. The language is well known among enthusiasts of international auxiliary languages and is often said to be one of the best.

You can read our conversation which confirmed at least four contributors at the novial-discussion group at Yahoo!

If you wish to learn more about Novial see the Wikipedia entry:

or the Novial Wikibook:

  • From Wiktionary under "Criteria for inclusion" I quote:

"These languages have an apparent consensus (All have ISO 639-3 codes): Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua, Interlingue, Lojban, Novial, Volapük."

Notice that all of those constructed languages except Novial already have Wikipedias.Nov ialiste 12:03, 8 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Speaking as the person who wrote what you quote from Wiktionary: Since Wiktionary is about words the standards for including its vocabulary in the English Wiktionary do not need to be as high as the standards for setting up a whole new project in the language. Eclecticology 20:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A test-wikipedia for Novial has been set up here: Nov ialiste 17:50, 13 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

(Please sign votes with a username (need to register if you have not done so - top of page) or a real name.)


  • Support. The language is sufficiently well-documented to be approved for an ISO code. It does not have the speaker base of some other languages, but is the creation of a notable linguist, Otto Jespersen, and has a significant presence on the Internet. -- BRG 14:23, 7 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. A complete description of Novial (Jespersen's book 'An International Language' 1928) and complete dictionary ('Novial Lexike' 1930) are both available in full online. Provided these are the standard references for articles, I support the creation of a Novial Wikipedia. I will help by contributing articles to it. -- idojc 7 January 2006
  • Support. At the the novial-discussion group at Yahoo! where the proposal of a Novial Wikipedia was first discussed, the prospective contributors have agreed that the language as described by Otto Jespersen in his 1928 and 1930 books is the standard to be followed. -- Nov ialiste 18:12, 7 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. As an interlinguist scholar, I support every IAL-based wikipedia, if there is (or it was) a even small community of practice. It seems to me that Novial is one of the most important IAL in history. Best, Federico Gobbo
  • Support if there is commitment to Novial 28/30 and a policy against incorporating reforms (other than new vocab of course). Also from the beginning there should be a plan for completing a basic primary set of articles. Perhaps a page could be set up where users could commit to writing x articles from a basic list within y weeks. Thus during periods of lessened enthusiasm there would still be a basic small decent-quality encyclopedia (compare ie and vo which look sadly incomplete during their current dry spells). --Jmb 16:25, 9 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This is probably the list you're looking for. The same list exists on the regular English Wikipedia as well but articles on the simple English one are much easier to translate and make for good stubs of five sentences or so. Mithridates 23:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - Vicifal "Novial, invented by Professor Jespersen, is really good: there is a good deal of English in it, so that it is delightfully easy to read. Besides, Professor Jespersen has common sense, which is a great advantage in a professor. Everybody can learn Novial, there is very little grammar in it; but one must be English to understand how one can get along splendidly without grammar. These new languages are very interesting." - George Bernard Shaw (interview at Geneva)
  • Support - Novialist - I use a modified version of Novial with changes that were adopted, for the most part, by a committee of about a dozen people in the late 1990s. I have been composing songs using this modified form of Novial, and I am also involved in translating a short story and some excerpts from the Bible. For the purposes of this website, however, I will limit my contributions to standard Novial as codified in _AIL_ (_An International Language_) and _Novial Lexike_. A word to our sole opposer: The notion that not all natural languages have their own page should not preclude Novial getting a page. If some natural languages aren't represented, let those who support them undergo the same process we are undergoing. David Harris - 08:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - I support a Novial wikipedia. I read the book, "The Loom of Language" which had me convinced of the necessity for including more Greek words and less Germanic words until I tried to read it that style of writing. Novial is far easier for people of Asian descent who have studied English as a second language to read and understand. Therefore it is less Eurocentric/ elitist than other conlang attempts. Novial is the best there is. Yeah, having Greek words would give people majoring in science less vocabulary to learn but the predominant amount of people aren't scientists. Who is the language for? Everyone. Scientists are just a small part. The criticism that Novial is just code for English is a compliment. Greg Turner 20:19, January 21 2006.

Support. Novial is every bit as well attested as the other international auxiliary languages which already have Wikipedias. Keeno 14:06, 16 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Moved back to weak support once again as activity has been restored for the past few weeks. Mithridates 14:51, 30 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • Oppose — Couldn't this project be a separate wiki? Why - because there are so many natural languages that lack their own wikipedia. "A dozen" of you can do without a separate domain at wikipedia. Still I am somewhat interested in Novial; if your project is a success, I'd like to know its address, whether inside or outside wp. - Slavik IVANOV 03:09, 13 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The existence of a Novial Wikipedia would in no way impede any other Wikipedia. Novial has an ISO code, so in reference to language the domain name is effectively taken by Novial itself.Nov ialiste 12:02, 13 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The facilities of Wikimedia are limited. And you'll see how difficult it is now to start a new wikipedia here — they require a test wikipedia, several fluent speakers, consider other paramters even for "natural" languages. The artificial ones raise even more questions. - Slavik IVANOV 03:50, 16 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Weak Oppose; with a maximum speakership of 20, I'm very doubtful that this interlang will get off the ground as a Wikipedia. If a thriving test-wiki is created, I'll reconsider. The Jade Knight 21:27, 2 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong oppose. Are we kidding? 20 speakers at most? Get a thriving test wiki and maybe, but even then I fail to see the value. There is certainly no need for a Wikipedia in a language with so few speakers. If the goal is to develop and promote the language there are much better ways. Write a Wikibook for example. - Taxman 13:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
There already is a Wikibook:
Nov ialiste 18:27, 10 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong oppose. Klingon has its handful of religious devotees too. There is no natural audience for this language. There is no native literature in this language. The Wikibook is about the language, rather than about any other subject in the language. The study texts provided are all translations rather than original works in the language. Eclecticology 20:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You're a bit late. This was accepted months ago. This page is an archive. The Novial Wikibook at English Wikibooks is a course book for learning Novial, like there are books for learning French, German etc. The texts are not in fact translations: they are very condensed extracts from a famous novel. What do you mean by "native" literature? Novial is a planned language like Ido, Esperanto etc. There is, though, some literature albeit rather small. Esperanto also has its religious devotees (for some of them it is a cult): are you opposing that?
Nov ialiste 20:50, 10 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • I generally don't believe constructed languages are an important part of Wikipedia's future. IMHO, the theoretically good idea of introducing an IAL has simply failed in practice. Only one conlang has ever managed to produce a noteworthy number of speakers. Even to people that might have some degree of proficiency in an IAL an encyclopedia in their respective native languages will always be a more beneficial source of information. With the number of Wikipedias in natural languages we have now, there is virtually no justification left for having editions in IALs.
On the other hand, the argument that Novial, being one of the "classical" IALs, ought to be treated in the same manner as Esperanto, Ido etc. is a valid one, of course. Arbeo 11:16, 28 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. Weak support. I'm a sysop on the Ido Wikipedia and I've been active in the IAL community for a while now; I've met a Novialist in person as well over here in Korea. It would definitely be larger than the Volapuk and Lojban Wikipedias (though Lojban does most of their work on their own wiki) and perhaps Interlingue as well. Relations between Idists and Novialists are quite good too so I can only see positives coming out of a Novial Wikipedia. -- Mithridates 00:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Changed to weak support as there has been no activity I can see over the past two weeks+. Mithridates 05:27, 19 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
There was activity in that time period. Nov ialiste 18:27, 10 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Changed to neutral as there has still been no activity. Mithridates 02:10, 1 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You seem to be jumping the gun a bit. Already in January the Biology section was better than in e.g. the Wikipedias in Ido and many ethnic languages.Nov ialiste 18:27, 10 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Not jumping the gun; I'm still watching and that's why I'm neutral, not opposed. Personally a Novial Wikipedia with 100,000 articles would be one of the coolest things I can imagine so if there's enough activity for the next while I may go back to weak support. Mithridates 14:36, 16 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well, realistically a small but respectable encyclopedia might have 1000 to 2000 decent articles. Small languages need some time to get to even 1000 (like over a year). The lists of recommended articles for all wikipedias have maybe 1000 titles. I just mention this to provide some perspective. We know Novial is a small language: it won't get to 100 000 articles, but that in itself need not be a problem. Nov ialiste 19:09, 16 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]