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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Pontic

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Pontic Wikipedia

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:

This request has been approved and will be created at pnt.wikipedia.org. Shanel 19:37, 7 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.
  • Official Speakers: 324,535
  • Spoken in: Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazachstan, Turkey, Germany, Azerbaijan, Canada, USA

Arguments in favour


Arguments against

  • Oppose. The mainstream Greek wikipedia isn't doing too well, it has less than 30,000 articles many of which are of substandard quality, I don't see how an amorphous dialect of Greek (or rather a pidgin) may be more successful to serve the declared goal of the Wiki foundation, i.e. to accumulate and preserve human knowledge. Also:
    • Let's take a look at Wikipedia language requirements:
      • Quote: The language must be sufficiently unique that it could not coexist on a more general wiki.. The Greeks themselves define Pontic as a dialect or a set of dialects spoken by Greek colonists around the Black Sea and beyond. Greeks were leaving Greece for better life, settling around the Black Sea and beyond, losing ties to motherland with the language evolving in strange ways influenced by the environment, especially by Turkish and languages of Caucases such as Georgian. There is no clearly defined system like with Ecclesiastical Greek, no clear distinction between all the variations of the Pontic Greek talks. Among other forms of Greek: Standard Modern Greek and its variations, Ancient Greek, Classical Greek, Ecclesiastical Greek, Pontic is the fuzziest form that has no clear identity.
      • Quote: The proposal has a sufficient number of interested editors to form a viable community and audience. That's where Pontic falls on the face and can't get up. It's spoken mostly by old people, most of which are fishermen, farmers, goat herders and such, kind of people who would not know which side of a computer is up and front. Younger people still may know a couple of words but prefer the language of the environment whether it's a US English or the Standard Modern Greek -- to be able to succeed in school, in a workplace, to function normally in the society. The more educated a person of a Greek descent, the less Pontic he/she cares about and the better command of the language of the environment sports. That is, a Greek living in Georgian speaks Georgian, a Greek living in Germany speaks German etc, and "Yassas" and "Kalimera" are the only Greek words he/she still knows if any. If he/she is indeed fluent in Greek, the Standard Modern Greek in which the Greek Wikipedia is mostly written should not be a problem to understand and contribute in. Here's an illustration to that: allegedly Pontic forum has 50% posts in English, those made in Greek are perfectly understandable to a Modern Greek speaker. It's peculiar that the Ethnologue does not give any quotes for the 200,000 number which probably includes people who know no more than a handful of words half of which aren't even Pontic... The 4,535 number in Turkey looks about right but don't expect any of them to be familiar with computers. It's also peculiar that the article in English Wikipedia shows the difference between ancient Greek and Pontic but not between Modern Greek and Pontic.
Here is an article by a researcher who in the 1990's did a rough survey of regions in Greece to find estimates of the nmbers of people who use the Pontic dialect. (It's appendix one of this document: http://users.auth.gr/~sofronis/34ar.htm When I added up the numbers, it came out to around 244000, of which the majority, according to this linguist, use the Pontic dialect in parallel with Standard Modern Greek. 23:56, 5 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
If I am wrong here, let the applicants prove me wrong: present active existing Pontic online communities (with more than 50% of purely Pontic posts), reference well established radio stations (I knew one in Germany but it has been shut down in years), TV stations, books and magazines in Pontic, scientific articles in Pontic, schools and colleges teaching in Pontic, anything that shows that indeed Pontic is a feasible source of human knowledge to preserve. Elephas 18:45, 22 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Here is an active existing Pontic online community (from Turkey). The whole site is available in pontic, which is also used as forum language. There are some users even in standard greek wikipedia who obviously are able to speak pontic, some of them describe themselves as native speakers. So I don’t agree with your characterization of pontic speaking people ("... most of which are fishermen, farmers, goat herders and such, kind of people who would not know which side of a computer is up and front.")
So there is a small online fangroup where people try to practice Greek with Turkish flavor. Check that. Some people claim to be able to speak so called "Pontic". Plenty of those can't read or write Greek characters, check. In other words, no system, no educational or grammar standards, no published manuals, no schools teaching it. It's some Greekish pidgin that Greeks abroad who don't want to learn proper Greek (Standard Modern Greek) use day to day. That community isn't happy with Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, Wikispace and thousands of other free places to host a small online fanclub, this community needs a Wikipedia to seed the knowledge in Greekish pidgin named "pontic" which nobody knows for real. Got it.Elephas 00:47, 26 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Of course Pontic is not a pidgin, it is a proper dialect; see for example http://www.greek-language.gr/greekLang/modern_greek/studies/dialects/thema_b_11/index.html (authored by a linguist) or any of the works cited in the bibliography there. This section (http://www.greek-language.gr/greekLang/modern_greek/studies/dialects/thema_b_11/content.html) has more useful background material on the dialect. And let's not start labelling one dialect (i.e. Standard Modern Greek) as "proper"; that's a (problematic) social value judgment that has no place in linguistic analysis or discussions. Or will we say next that speakers of the Cypriot dialect speak "improperly" ? 23:56, 5 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Pontic is a non-standardized dialect which varies from village to village (like e.g. ripuarian, a german dialect) and country to country. Nevertheless, people understand each other. I own the book "Gramatiki ti romeiki ti ponteiki ti glossas", a grammar of pontic (Topcharas 1931, written in pontic), which originally was part of an effort to establish the pontic dialect as the official language of the pontic minority in USSR. I don’t know any well established radio stations, TV stations, scientific articles in Pontic and of course no schools and colleges teaching in pontic but I don’t know any in ripuarian languages (or plattdüütsch) either. --Juckelbert
That's one valid point: why can't a couple of Pontic fans get their own private micro-Wikipedia after other equally small groups of questionable relevance got one? And after playing with it for awhile, got tired of it, realized that a private micro-pedia does not help realization of some kind of an ambition and let it go. That's a valid concern and there are 2 solutions to that: 1. Let every little group with real, semi-real or completely imagined identity have their knowledge vault at the expense of the Wikimedia foundation, no applications turned down. 2. Trim the crop to the level of minimum 100,000 real non-stub articles up and channel the efforts to a few double-digit languages that do fulfil the dream of carrying the universe of human knowledge along. Meaning: no grammar manual published in hundreds of thousands, no school teaching the language, no TV stations and radios - no space on the servers. Which it will be in this case, that's a toss. Lately, I've seen the winds were blowing towards the second solution... Think, what you guys really want. You want to promote the Greek identity, Greek culture and Greek language? Want to feel really, really Greek? If that's the case, why not learn proper Greek and join the big and powerful club of people who speak it, contribute there?.. Elephas 00:47, 26 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
My primary goal with pontic wikipedia is not to promote "greek identity". I became a member of standard greek wikipedia some years ago (in those days it contained about 4000 articles, now I am admin there and still contributing) and even then my goal was not to promote "greek identity". My intention was to help some people who tried to establish something new in a language, whose presence on the www was rather poor. Besides, please do not tell me what I should do "to feel really, really Greek". I don't feel the urge to feel like this, whatever that means. From a linguistic point of view, standard greek (dimotiki) isn't "proper greek" (to use your vocabulary). It is just the standardized language of a country, just like standard german in Germany. To speak my dialect (and of course standard greek) does not mean that I have no education. To me it means keeping alive the rich culture of modern greek civilization. In our days, hellenocentric egomania and denying Greek citizens the right to any ethnic identity ("why not learn proper Greek") is not acceptable.
However, let us see if there are users, interested in contributing to a pontic wikipedia. if not, it will be rejected and we will continue living our lives as happy as ever. χαιρετίας --Richard von Juckelbert 11:24, 26 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Just so that there are no misunderstandings, Richard von Juckelbert who I presume is the same with User:Juckelbert ([1]) is not an admin in the greek wikipedia, and he has been with us at el from about April. - Badseed 19:43, 1 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
A radio station serving Pontians is here: http://www.akritestoupontou.gr/Default_1.asp?CatID=343 and they certainly play songs in Pontic, but I can't say anything about announcements, etc. since it's midnight there right now and they must have an automated playlist at this hour. 00:33, 6 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
If Catalan which is so close to Spanish can get into Wikipedia (and erroneously considered a language per-se instead of a dialect); then Pontic Greek, which is a lot more different than modern Greek (and erroneously tagged as dialect instead of a fully different language) should definitely be in Wikipedia. On the other hand, the Spanish dialect known as Catalan should definitely be removed. 14:32, 29 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, i.e., a tool for colecting and disseminating information, not a means of cultural preservation of some dialects or "Pontic civilization". Unless there is a viable social movement which has shown a real progress in their efforts for making a certain language as a means of primary communication and cultural identification, wikipedia will be just a self-serving pet toy for a handful of real afficionados. Mikkalai 00:10, 6 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Lalalalala, there we go again. Same-as-ever arguments against Wikipedias in minor languages. Mikkalai, remember we don't approve or reject Wikipedias by votes. Pontic has an ISO code and thus is eligible for a Wikipedia, whether you like it or not. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 10:28, 23 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

General discussion


I believe that there are two basic problems. Quote: There should be enough speakers to form a viable community. Τhere surely are enough speakers (I do not refer only to those who live in Greece) but the question is how to draw their attention to this project, which leads to my second question: which alphabet should be used? Pontic speaking people in Turkey, for example, aren’t able to read or write using the greek alphabet. --Juckelbert

  • I agree that it should exist also other speakers in order to functions , about the alphabet without discussion, should be Greek because in Greece exist most Pontic people, at the same time we can create a page & with Latin characters.--Consta 14:58, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Why not create a platform in the already existing Greek Wikipedia for articles in Pontic? There are several wikipedias, that peacefully allow different versions of the written language (the one that comes to mind now is the Kazakh Wikipedia, where 3 different writing systems are used). In this a way the Greek speaking community won't be divided (look at what happened with Belorussian), and those who don't know Pontic, will have a chance to see and familiarize themselves with a different Greek language from the one they are used to, which will further the cause of Pontic, since more people would be exposed to it. Has this been brought up in the Greek Wikipedia? Is the community there against such a policy (allow anyone to add articles in Pontic in a systematized way, say with templates that link the two versions of the same article, one written in Standard Greek, the other in Pontic, allow two separate category trees, etc.)? ― Teak 14:11, 26 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

  • Pontic, are written with Greek letters because more Pontic people remain in Greece (official 200.000), However we can write him also & with Latin characters (informally), because this language does not have official regulator. Hear, your proposal is good Teak , but I don't believe that the Greek community will accept him relatively easily, and a such proposal for coexists with Greek Wikipedia doesn't ensure also the survival of Pontic Wikipedia. --Consta 15:43, 27 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Any language can be written with any writing system (plus possibly extra symbols, say diacritics), and if even the writing system hasn't been finalized yet, this request seems to be very premature. At this point nobody's beliefs should count. The question whether Pontic can coexist within the Greek Wikipedia is real, and unless it is suggested on the Greek Wikipedia, and turned down, I don't think anything would come out of this request. The survival of Wikipedia materials on Pontic depend only on the determination of those willing to write them. And my hunch would be to try the routes that are already accessible, which is bring the question up on the already existing Greek Wikipedia, and solicit support. If the community thinks that the two can't coexist, then you'd have gained the support of Greek wiki community for your request (which seems to me is absolutely vital). Good luck! ― Teak 22:32, 27 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Localisation update


Everybody in this bedate agrees that there are thousands of speakers who use pontic as a mother tongue, no matter where they live. If wikipedia has a really humanistic profile, if wikipedia respects the world's cultures and if wikipedia really cares about the spread of knowledge, then these people should be offered a base of data in pontic language.

Final localization


Hello. Please translate the following wiki variables. Only the words under "English" need translation.

English Pontic explanation
Wikipedia Βικιπαίδεια $wgSiteName is the name of the project, which appears in sentences like "Read about Wikipedia".
Wikipedia Βικιπαίδεια $wgMetaNamespace is the namespace name for project pages (like w:Wikipedia:About); this usually matches the site name.
Wikipedia_talk Βικιπαίδεια_καλάτσεμαν $wgMetaNamespaceTalk is the namespace name for project_talk pages (like w:Wikipedia_talk:About).

Pathoschild 19:48:20, 07 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you; see request 16955. This page will be updated when it is created. —Pathoschild 18:28:54, 11 January 2009 (UTC)