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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Traditional Russian

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submitted verification final decision

This proposal has been rejected.
This decision was taken by the language committee in accordance with the Language proposal policy based on the discussion on this page.

A committee member provided the following comment:

Inactive proposal without an ISO code. --MF-W 21:40, 19 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • The community needs to develop an active test project; it must remain active until approval (automated statistics, recent changes). It is generally considered active if the analysis lists at least three active, not-grayed-out editors listed in the sections for the previous few months.
  • The community needs to complete required MediaWiki interface translations in that language (about localization, translatewiki, check completion).
  • The community needs to discuss and complete the settings table below:
What Value Example / Explanation
Language code rus (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Traditional Russian Language name in English
Language name Русскій Language name in your language. This will appear in the language list on Special:Preferences, in the interwiki sidebar on other wikis, ...
Language Wikidata item Q1938758 - item has currently the following values: Item about the language at Wikidata. It would normally include the Wikimedia language code, name of the language, etc. Please complete at Wikidata if needed.
Directionality no indication Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Pre-reform Russian (was rejected years ago) Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name Википедію "Wikipedia" in your language
Project namespace usually the same as the project name
Project talk namespace "Wikipedia talk" (the discussion namespace of the project namespace)
Enable uploads no Default is "no". Preferably, files should be uploaded to Commons.
If you want, you can enable local file uploading, either by any user ("yes") or by administrators only ("admin").
Notes: (1) This setting can be changed afterwards. The setting can only be "yes" or "admin" at approval if the test creates an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) first. (2) Files on Commons can be used on all Wikis. (3) Uploading fair-use images is not allowed on Commons (more info). (4) Localisation to your language may be insufficient on Commons.
Optional settings
Project logo This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone UTC "Continent/City", e.g. "Europe/Brussels" or "America/Mexico City" (see list of valid timezones)
Additional namespaces For example, a Wikisource would need "Page", "Page talk", "Index", "Index talk", "Author", "Author talk".
Additional settings Anything else that should be set
submit Phabricator task. It will include everything automatically, except additional namespaces/settings. After creating the task, add a link to the comment.


Nowdays a great amount of languages have two different Wikipedia projects. One is of modern language and another is a either a classical or alternative or pre-reform or imperial variant of the same language. For example two Belarusian, three English, Korean in Hangul and in Hanja, several Chinese variants and so on. I suggest a special project for another somewhat Traditional Russian language. The reform in 1917 was a great challenge for whole well-educated part of Russian society. It affected in different ways. On the one hand it made language easier for poor classes to learn to write and to read, on the other hand a lot of hidden meaning of the words were lost. Nowdays a very big number or Russian speaking peolpe are interesting in old orthography and pre-reform rules, many of them have books, written in this classical orthography, some even sometimes using old variants in usual writing. The main reason for me to offer this project is the fact that the majority of great russian authors such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lev Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev ans so on have written in that very language using that very meanings, spelling and orthograpy, not mordern one.

This project aims to make encyclopedic information more accessible to Russian people reading and writing in traditional spelling. The expansion of the information space is included in the objectives of the Wikimedia project. Also, this section may be useful to Russians reading in modern spelling, expanding their horizons and promoting general education. Creating articles in pre-reform spelling on Russian Wikipedia (ru.wikipedia.org) is difficult for two reasons: firstly, automatic translation of articles from new to old spelling is not possible due to the dynamism of the pre-reform Russian language (this means that each article will need to be rewritten manually); secondly, will the coexistence of articles in the new and old spelling in Russian Wikipedia be acceptable? However, if you consider it possible for us to continue working within the framework of the Russian Wikipedia, we could transfer our activities.

Descendants of white emigrants live and now, I am one of them. Some, like me, continue to write in pre-reform spelling. For me, this spelling is native and I am not comfortable reading Soviet spelling. Yes, I can optionally read Soviet spelling, but it’s harder for me. It's as hard as reading «lenguaj» instead of «language», «kuin» instead of «queen».

LangCom note: Just so that no one gets the wrong idea, I am nearly positive that when this writer wrote "white" (highlighted above), the writer was referring to the "White" (anti-Communist) side of the Russian Civil War. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:10, 4 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I and other emigrants (as well as all Russians) can write and read if desired in Soviet spelling. But this spelling is harder for us. It is not perceived by us, it is not dear to us. It’s also hard and unpleasant, as you read and write “mather” instead of “mother”, “pis” instead of “peace”, “lav” instead of “love”, etc. Other arguments have already been named. But for me the most important thing is to write as my ancestors wrote. The modern Russian language, especially the literary one, is in decline (that is how I perceive it). And at the time of this crash, I hope to create a resource that reflects a holistic, clean, convenient and native language for me.

The creation of a converter would resolve this issue without the need to create a separate Wikipedia section. However, this is not possible for several reasons. Many words, which are written differently in traditional spelling, began to be written equally in the reformed one. For a competent translation, it is often necessary to refer to the context and meaning of the phrase. So, for example, Tolstoy’s novel “War and Peace” in Soviet spelling is written as “Война и мир”, and there are two versions of the translation into the traditional spelling: “Война и миръ” and “Война и міръ”. You should also distinguish between the words "всѣ" and "все", which are often spelled the same in a reformed spelling: "все." There are different rules for writing the letters “e” and “o” in traditional and reformed spelling (writing depends on the openness/closedness of the syllable). In traditional spelling, feminine plural endings are distinguished. In reformed endings, masculine and feminine are spelled the same. In general, one can long list groups of words and constructions that cannot be translated into traditional spelling.

The fact is that the Old Russian language and the language in which the Traditional Russian Wikipedia is compiled are two different languages. Traditional Russian Wikipedia is written in modern Russian (which, of course, has some differences from the language in which Russian Wikipedia is written). Old Russian is the ancestor of Russian. In addition, I should note that the project of “Old Russian Wikipedia” is compiled by amateurs who do not know the Old Russian language at all. This can already be judged even by their name: “Вікіпѣдіѩ” (the letter “ѣ” cannot be written in this word, since it is not Slavic; the letter “ѩ” also cannot be used here, it should be written or “ѧ” or “ꙗ”).

Sincerely. -- 16:44, 30 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Уважаемый Языковой Комитетъ,
желаю обратить Ваше вниманіе на то, что данное предложеніе о выдѣленіи собственнаго доменнаго имени для раздѣла Википедіи въ традиціонной русской орѳографіи было подано преждевременно. Авторъ сего предложенія — безстыдный и неумѣлый компиляторъ, скопировавшій частично мои комментаріи на страницѣ обсужденія тестовыхъ проектовъ Инкубатора Викимедіи. Мнѣ печально было прочесть сей нелѣпый текстъ-химеру. Прошу Васъ проигнорировать данное предложеніе. Въ настоящій моментъ работа надъ совершенствованіемъ Википедіи въ традиціонномъ правописаніи ещё идётъ, и я, будучи однимъ изъ иниціаторовъ сего проекта, не хотѣлъ бы до нѣкоторыхъ поръ затруднять Васъ его разсмотрѣніемъ, а также подвергать закрытію ещё молодой проектъ.
Благодарю Васъ, Левъ Царёвъ (talk).

Dear Language Committee,
I want to draw your attention to the fact that this proposal to allocate own domain name for the Wikipedia section in traditional Russian spelling was submitted prematurely. The author of this proposal is a shameless and inept compiler who partially copied my comments on the Wikimedia Incubator Test Projects discussion page. It was sad to read this stupid chimera text. I ask you to ignore this offer. At the moment, work on improving Wikipedia in traditional spelling is still ongoing, and as one of the initiators of this project, I would not like to spend your time reviewing it for some time and to close a still young project.
Thank you, Левъ Царёвъ (talk) 16:41, 5 October 2019 (UTC).[reply]

Oppose Per LPP: If there is no valid ISO 639 code, you must try to obtain one. The Wikimedia Foundation does not seek to develop new linguistic entities; there must be an extensive body of works in that language. The information that distinguishes this language from another must ordinarily be sufficient to convince standards organizations to create an ISO 639 code. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 03:18, 6 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@Liuxinyu970226: Without prejudice to your opinion, this isn't exactly a "new linguistic entity". I need to take this to LangCom, which I intend to do shortly. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:50, 8 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Левъ Царёвъ: I need to do that anyway, regardless of whether this request was "premature". We really don't normally allow tests in what are basically spelling variants of a modern language. (The Belarus case was grandfathered, and so can't be applied here.) I want to know if (a) they'd ever consider it, and/or (b) how they feel about my letting it stay at Incubator. You could always move it to Incubator Plus 2.0 on Miraheze otherwise. But let me see about this first. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:55, 8 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@StevenJ81: Should I provide the arguments in support of keeping the project in the incubator? — Левъ Царёвъ (talk) 16:00, 8 October 2019 (UTC).[reply]
@Левъ Царёвъ: You've already done so elsewhere. I will point them to the arguments. Note: this is not going to happen today or tomorrow. At earliest, it will happen Thursday, and maybe not until mid-next week. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:46, 8 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Support. Въ поддержку раздѣла Википедіи въ традиціонной орѳографіи русскаго языка я привожу нѣсколько противныхъ аргументовъ и ихъ опроверженія.

1. Википедія не стремится развивать новыя языковыя образованія.

— Традиціонная орѳографія русскаго языка не является «новымъ языковымъ образованіемъ», будучи общепризнаваемою нормою русскаго литературнаго языка до 1917 года, используемою понынѣ среди нѣкоторыхъ потомковъ русскихъ эмигрантовъ въ разныхъ странахъ міра. При этомъ Википедія допускаетъ наличіе нѣсколькихъ литературныхъ варіантовъ языковъ.

2. Если традиціонное правописаніе — лишь орѳографическій варіантъ современнаго русскаго языка, то слѣдуетъ создавать раздѣлъ внутри существующей Русской Википедіи, а не отдѣльный языковой раздѣлъ Википедіи.

— Это вѣрно, однако невозможно по двумъ причинамъ: а) Русская Википедія настроена противъ идеи созданія раздѣла въ традиціонной орѳографіи, о чёмъ свидѣтельствуетъ недавно проведённый опросъ ея участниковъ; б) созданіе программныхъ кодовъ для автоматическаго перевода изъ реформированнаго написанія въ дореформенное нереализуемо по причинѣ существованія въ реформированномъ написаніи множества омографовъ, различно записываемыхъ въ традиціонной орѳографіи.

3. Любой русскій человѣкъ можетъ читать тексты въ реформированномъ написаніи.

— Это правда. Однако данный фактъ не является причиною для отказа въ созданіи раздѣла, такъ какъ существуетъ множество раздѣловъ «малыхъ» языковъ, носители которыхъ также могутъ читать тексты на другихъ, болѣе распространённыхъ языкахъ.

Левъ Царёвъ (talk) 14:05, 9 October 2019 (UTC).[reply]

@Левъ Царёвъ: Но тогда почему вы хотите, чтобы в этой орфографии была запущена Википедия, а не Miraheze, Wikia или ваша собственная установка MediaWiki? Вы должны знать, что Википедия не единственная онлайн-энциклопедия мира. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 15:30, 9 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Liuxinyu970226: Ресурсъ «Викія» не можетъ быть используемъ для цѣлей сѣтевой энциклопедіи, что указано въ правилахъ созданія раздѣла Викіи. Википедія же — наиболѣе удобный и совершенный ресурсъ въ Интернетѣ, позволяющій реализацію подобнаго рода проектовъ. Къ тому же, какъ я уже описалъ выше, созданіе сего раздѣла не противорѣчитъ правиламъ и цѣлямъ Википедіи.
Левъ Царёвъ (talk) 15:38, 9 October 2019 (UTC).[reply]
@Левъ Царёвъ: Assuming that Google Translate got all of the above correct, let me just reply to a couple of items:
  • I agree that it's not a "new" language entity. But consider that the rule actually states:
The Wikimedia Foundation does not seek to develop new linguistic entities; there must be an extensive body of works in that language.
Usually, requests falling under this rule are new language entities. But here, there is an extensive body of works in the language, so that's not really where this rule gets in the way of your test project. The rule continues:
The information that distinguishes this language from another must ordinarily be sufficient to convince standards organizations to create an ISO 639 code.
In this case, because ISO 639–3 has not defined "Traditional Russian" as a different language with a different language code, we would [ordinarily] not allow it here. In ISO 639–3, what you have written in your test is considered the same language as Modern Russian, with variant orthography. So [ordinarily] we would not allow it here.
  • Projects in literary languages (and/or variant spelling languages) are divided into a couple of different groups:
(1) Projects that existed before the current rules were put in place, and therefore are allowed to remain. (Examples: Latin Wikipedia, Belarus [Taraškievica] Wikipedia. Note that the Taraškievica project would be against current rules, just like yours is. And the existence of the separate Belarus-language communities has been a source of problems over the years for WMF—something that people will not be wildly excited to duplicate in a case like this one.)
(2) Projects that are allowed to remain in Incubator, basically because they do have separate language codes. (Examples: Ancient Greek Test Wikipedia, Old French Test Wikipedia).
Projects in group (2) that are not Wikipedias, or maybe Wiktionaries—even with separate language codes—will effectively "never" be approved as independent projects. There is some sympathy from some members of LangCom—but not all—concerning a handful of Wikipedia projects in "literary" languages. But I don't have consensus on LangCom for full approval even of a language like Ancient Greek, which in many ways is about as allowable as you can get for truly ancient languages. There is a bit more sympathy for projects in languages that are more recently extinct, at least if there are independent local language revival efforts underway. But your case is not really either of those, and you don't have a language code.
  • It is true that there are many small-language projects where contributors generally speak another, more common language. Many times, though, what these projects focus on is items of local interest to the small-language community, where often the interest (or even the perceived notability) of such items in the larger language community is missing. An example that I like to share here is of the Guiane Creole Test Wikipedia, probably soon to be approved, in comparison to French Wikipedia. Pretty nearly anyone in Guiane who can use a computer speaks standard French, and I can't say there aren't some overlapping articles. But the Guiane project does focus more on personalities, geography, government, and the like of interest to the Guiane community than French Wikipedia does.
I would add that LangCom would be worried in your case that the "focus" in your "small-language project" could end up political. After all, a main definitional difference between your proposed project's core population and Russian Wikipedia's might well be a White Civil War-emigré vs. mainstream Russia population difference, and that feels like a political difference. And LangCom tries to avoid creating politically variant projects like it tries to avoid the Plague.
  • It is not so clear that "the creation of this section did not contradict the rules [and goals] of Wikipedia". Goals, probably not. But rules? At first glance, if "Traditional Russian" is a spelling variant of Modern Russian, language code rus, then it does contradict the rules. If you are allowed to stay here, it will be because [you obtained an ISO 639 code or because] LangCom is willing to allow that, notwithstanding the regular rules here.
  • We moved Incubator Plus from Wikia to Miraheze exactly for the reasons you indicated. But a project on the Miraheze Incubator Plus 2.0 looks pretty much exactly like a project on Wikimedia Incubator. You would have no problem working there, and we would help you move there, if it comes to that.
At the end of the day, this request is really on the borderline, and probably over the borderline, if I am honest. To me, there is really one main path forward for this request if you really want to stay in Wikimedia. And at that, you will have less time pressure to keep moving down that path if you move to Miraheze in the meantime. But here is the path:
  1. Apply to the ISO 639 standards organization, SIL, for a distinct language code as an "historical" language. See https://iso639-3.sil.org for instructions how to do that.
    • If you do that, I can let you stay on Incubator while the request is pending.
    • If SIL approves the request, then you can at least always stay on Incubator. Whether LangCom would ever consider this language distinctive enough from standard modern Russian to then approve a completely separate subdomain project is a different question, and one I am not prepared to answer now. (Let's please leave that discussion for a different time and place.)
    • If SIL does not approve the request, then ...
  2. Ask on this page to be allowed to keep the project based on the BCP 47 subtag rus-petr1708.
    • LangCom almost surely will want you to try to get an SIL code first before asking this.
    • It's still not certain that LangCom would say yes at that point—and it would require 2/3 approval of LangCom for a "yes".
I hope this (unfortunately long) response was helpful. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:13, 10 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@StevenJ81: Благодарю Васъ за столь подробный отвѣтъ.
Во многомъ Вы правы. Въ частности — относительно кода тестоваго проекта. Когда я создавалъ проектъ тестовой Википедіи въ традиціонномъ русскомъ правописаніи, я ознакомился съ правилами Википедіи и предпринялъ обращеніе въ SIL для возможнаго присвоенія традиціонной орѳографіи русскаго языка отдѣльнаго кода въ стандартѣ ISO 639-3. Мною былъ полученъ отвѣтъ, согласно которому орѳографическія различія не являются основаніемъ для выдѣленія самостоятельнаго языка. Являясь филологомъ, я также согласенъ съ этимъ положеніемъ. Болѣе того, фонетическія и синтаксическія отличія между тѣмъ языкомъ, на которомъ говорю и пишу я, и тѣмъ языкомъ, на которомъ говоритъ и пишетъ большинство современнаго русскоязычнаго населенія, невелики. Это одинъ и тотъ же языкъ. Потому традиціонная орѳографія русскаго языка не будетъ имѣть собственнаго кода въ стандартѣ ISO 639-3.
Кодъ «rus» для проекта былъ выбранъ какъ временный. Я также осознаю необходимость присвоенія проекту иного кода, подобнаго тому, что былъ приведёнъ Вами. Однако я достаточно плохо оріентируюсь въ сихъ вопросахъ, потому вынужденъ просить Васъ, если это не будетъ затруднительнымъ, объяснить мнѣ, что я долженъ сдѣлать для подачи запроса относительно кода «ru-petr1708».
Также замѣчу, что нашъ проектъ дѣйствительно имѣетъ болѣе узкую направленность въ сравненіи съ Русскою Википедіею. Мы болѣе обращены къ тематикѣ дореволюціонной Россіи и русской эмиграціи, а также православной Церкви; къ вопросамъ, болѣе значимымъ для потомковъ русскихъ эмигрантовъ. Однако могу завѣрить Васъ и уважаемый Языковой Комитетъ, что нашъ проектъ никогда не будетъ имѣть политическую направленность. Мы будемъ удѣлять больше вниманія вопросамъ словесности и языковѣденія. Политическіе же вопросы мы затрагивать не желаемъ вовсе. Я осознаю сущность предмета энциклопедіи и не допущу, чтобы нашъ проектъ былъ разсадникомъ тѣхъ или иныхъ политическихъ (и любыхъ другихъ) воззрѣній.
Благодарю Васъ, Левъ Царёвъ (talk) 20:04, 11 October 2019 (UTC).[reply]
Lev, I will be away for a few days. I will try to answer your request when I return. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:36, 11 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Suggest to ask @Amire80: on this topic. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:04, 12 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you! Yes, I use it for old and new Russian texts, now we need to support Russian pre-reform spelling - now I see, we need to translate it to English  :-). --Ivtorov (talk) 11:51, 25 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support На русской дореформенной орфографии написана практически вся русская классическая литература: до 1918 года, плюс белоэмигрантскся. В Викитеке есть много текстов на дореформенной орфографии. И было бы замечательно, если бы в Википедии был бы соответствующий раздел на русской дореформенной (русской классической) орфографии. Бабкинъ Михаилъ (talk) 04:25, 25 March 2020 (UTC).[reply]
  • Support Pre-reform Russian is definitely a language quite distinct from the Soviet one: there are major differences in the alphabet, spelling, and capitalization. People use this "old Russian" nowadays to assert their detachment from the Soviet past, why deny them this freedom? We support here both the pre-reform Belarusian Classical Orthography (https://be-tarask.wikipedia.org/) and the modern Belarusian language (https://be.wikipedia.org/) with no issues. --Викидим (talk) 01:54, 12 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Belarusian's split has long been considered a mistake. Differences in alphabet, spelling and capitalization do not a new language make.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:25, 12 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Tell that to Serbs and Croats. If an alphabet does "not a new language make", then the differences between Serbian and Croatian are much smaller than between traditional and new Russian. We (correctly) have two separate encyclopedias for Serbian and Croatian. This situation is exactly the same. --Викидим (talk) 00:01, 14 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
There's a reason why Montenegrin has been rejected for a Wikipedia, and the English Wiktionary still treat all of them as Serbo-Croatian. Chinese, both in Traditional and Simplified characters, have but one Wikipedia. There are any number of languages written in Arabic, Latin and Cyrillic scripts; they are still each one language, written in several different scripts.
For better and worse, w:en:A language is a dialect with an army and navy. The various Serbo-Croatian dialects are split on national lines. There is no nation trying to define Traditional Russian separately from Russian, and no reason to take relatively minor differences as language splitting here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:09, 14 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Under your comment, the Croatian and Slovenian edition of europa.eu should also be merged. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:38, 15 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I neither said anything about Slovenian nor Europa.eu, nor, really, did I say anything about whether Serbian and Croatian should be merged.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:01, 15 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]