Requests for new languages/Wikisource Coptic

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Coptic Wikisource[edit]

main page Requests for new languages (Wikisource Coptic)
submitted verification final decision
Applications-system.svg This language has been verified as eligible.
The language is eligible for a project, which means that the subdomain can be created once there is an active community and a localized interface, as described in the language proposal policy. You can discuss the creation of this language project on this page. (See an unofficial analysis of this request.)

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

Eligible with the condition that the default interface has to be in English. As this project doesn't require interface translation, please make Incubator project alive and project creation will be approved. --Millosh 17:16, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.

There is a wealth of resources in this language, needing an effort to digitize.

Arguments in favour[edit]

  • Support Wikisource seems a good ground to test whether a coptic wiki community can be set up or not. Digitalizing the rich resources of written coptic documents seems more useful in my eyes than describing chemical elements or french smalltowns in this language. So, if we start a coptic community (an idea i support) we should do this on wikisource, not wikipedia.
BTW, coptic is not fully extinct, it is used by christian egyptians as second language. It is also the liturgy language in egyptian churches. --Magadan talk 15:28, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support The Coptic language is not extinct and i know people who are fluent speaking and writing it, as a result to increaed freedom and awareness, The Coptic language will become more popular specially after it will be learned on schools.
  • Support wholeheartedly. However, it seems that there are still Unicode issues to be sorted out. Is my understanding correct? --Johannes Rohr 18:42, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support wholeheartedly. Coptic native community is growing per the second, and there are very important original documents in Coptic that are yet to be translated and understood, such as the scrolls of Nag Hammadi. Having them here would be an asset to the worlds of Coptology and Egyptology. --132.198.88.10 04:14, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support. What's the use, you ask? I might be new here, but I have numerous projects on my userpage at Wikipedia. These include the Coptic bible and a good unicode-based test page.
Now, you may wonder — why bother with the Coptic language.
I say, Wikisource doesn't need to have plenty of modern-day stuff—mostly a library of books—and Coptic is perfect for that. I am 99.999 % sure that there are many liturgical AS WELL as literary books in Coptic. We can eventually have a Coptic Wikipedia, and I understand why that failed.
We need to start with what we have (books, publications, etc) and then build on it with more modern meanings using that same language. For example, there are several resources on the web (ie: church websites like [1] or Coptic websites like RemEnKimi). For those of us who have less knowledge of Coptic, we can use those resources to eventually have what we need.
Here's another example: this article that I started on Wikipedia is about St. Abraam's Coptic Orthodox Church. It's simple logic: type "Church of the Egyptian Orthodox of St. Abraam" in Coptic. I already was well aware of the first part, and knew that all I had to add was "of ('nte) Saint Abraam".
"Saint" in the classical languages is actually to mean "Holy". In Greek, Saint XXX is "Pi Agia XXX". In Coptic, Pi is changed to "Fi" in this case. Holy means "Ethowab".
Abraam is simply "Abra'am". See how that works??? It all works out to being:
"St Abraam Coptic Orthodox Church (Coptic: Ϯⲉⲕ⳿ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⳿ⲛⲣⲉⲙ⳿ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⳿ⲛⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ ⳿ⲛⲧⲉ ⲫⲏⲉⲑⲟⲩⲁⲃ Ⲁⲃⲣⲁⲁⲙ // transliteration: ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos ente fi.ethowab Abra'am)"
See what I mean? I have worked on those experiments on the userpages and it only took a few weeks to do just that :D
So, I say, give it a chance. ~Troy 18:18, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support it's a great idea to digitalise original texts written in Coptic and making it available on wikisource, as Coptic has been used for many centuries to write important documents and without the knowledge of Coptic language decoding the ancient Egyptian language would have been near impossible. Ghaly 19:16, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support --Johney 19:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support --junafani (Hccmqqr) 14:42, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support --Coptic is the third stage of the laguages spoken in Egypt and the availability of Coptic texts in the form of a wikisource would be of paramount importance for those intersted in Egyptology and the linguistic development in Egyptian languages.--Ramsis II 01:46, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support. A lot of valuabe additions can be added in Coptic. I promise to help once I have enough time. --Lanternix 03:10, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I support mostly for language & Egyptology studies. --Mahmudmasri 04:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support. The rich Coptic literature deserves to be preserved and made easily accessible. This would be a great instrument, not in the last place for Egyptology. Wikibelgiaan 00:57, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support. Coptic is not a completely extinct language; nevertheless, due to immigration, Coptic-speaking people are now dispersed all over the world. Therefore, it could be a very good idea for them to have a place to share and centralize their knowledge. --89.217.171.213 12:43, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Arguments against[edit]

  • Oppose. I generally think it's a good idea to digitalize original texts of old languages. But it's a bad idea to do that in that old language since there are no first language speakers. I see a better solution in the "oldwikisource". I mean they should open that project for texts in old languages, but with a surface in variable recent languages. --Thogo (talk) 15:36, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
    • By all means: If I am able to read full classical texts in a particular language, reading system messages in the same language should not come too hard. Compare the Latin Wikipedia, which is fully translated. I fail to understand the rationale behind suggesting to have the system messages in a language other than the actual text. And which language should that be?
      • That is in favor or against?  :) --Ghabbour 20:38, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
        • Very clearly in favour. However, that's a response to the above comment by Thogo, therefore inserted into the "against" section.--Johannes Rohr 18:40, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Generally, I understand that oldwikisource: is obsolete and should be used primarily for test projects (and for languages, which do not have their own project. --Johannes Rohr 17:27, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose oldwikisource: is NOT obsolete at all. I agree with Aleator below. Start with a few dozen pages there, and a subdomain can be created later if there are enough contributors. Yann 20:39, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. At oldwikisource there are 0 texts written in coptic. I cannot understand a whole own project (wikisource coptic) for a project without examples (free texts written in coptic). (Curiosity): How many of these free texts exist? How many users could mantain this project (at oldwikisource there are a dozen of active users continuously taking care of recent changes)? Will it be an abandoned wikisource? -Aleator (talk) 05:37, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
    • As it was explained in the above section, I do not oppose to the idea and respond to the above post, of which I don't quite agree with. I myself will never abandon this project, and to prove that, I have prepared experiments in advance to make sure that I have a good start. I can also gather up a few Coptic Wikipedians along with me, including Ghaly and Lanternix. Both of them, especially the latter, have great potential in helping out, and have already added some Coptic text in Wikipedia. I, for one, am not one to give up on a language with such a great history—Sahidic and Bohairic, especially the latter, both had famous speakers in the past centuries—all the way from Shenouda the Archmandrite to Pope St. Kyrollos IV to Pope Kyrollos V. Best wishes, ~Troy 18:30, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose now per Yann and Aleator. Activities on oldwikisource should come first. --Aphaia 03:45, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Update: see note (under the General Discussion). The project is now active on the Multilingual Wikisource (aka, oldwikisource). ~Troy 19:43, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

I admit that all of those who oppose the project have at least one genuine concern, of which I do agree with. It is hardly ever feasible to copy-and-paste Coptic unicode characters.

There is one single solution that I think that you all would appreciate—the only one that I know of that:
-doesn't require any payments
-is readable within the program
-is an online tool that is web-based and requires no installation
-is able to insert Coptic unicode characters without issue
Here are the steps to using that tool:
  1. Go add this website to your favourites.
  2. Type in "New Athena Unicode" in the "Font Name" box, and click the refresh button.
  3. For the letters borrowed from Greek in the Coptic-style, go to the "2CFF" subrange.
  4. Open a new window/tab and follow steps 1-2.
  5. Go to the "03FF" subrange for the Demotic Coptic letters.
All you have to do is type the Demotic- and Greek-based letters and copy them all to the same place. I hope this makes it easier for any of you to look into the matter. Regards, ~Troy 21:28, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
You could do that as well as put all of the characters within use of Wiki markup. Just a thought... ~Troy 21:47, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I like the idea of digitising and preserving Coptic texts.

My concerns are somewhat different, though: if preserving classical texts, liturgical and otherwise, is the purpose, then maybe digitising and publishing them in an alternative like the Internet Archive or other classical text repository would more viable. Preferably along with archival-quality scans of the original manuscripts.

I'm not even sure a wiki, is the best for the preservation of such kinds of texts at all; texts which once written are never changed. It could be good for collaborating in manually digitising the text from the sources by a group of people, i.e. during the process, but on the long run it may not be the best place to keep them, and continue worring about their integrity. In this case, the main concern shouldn't be the creation of a language edition of wikisource, as much as progressing with the digitisation, probably in the language neutral wikisource section.

This, however, isn't an either/or. Texts from the wikisource can (and will) be propagated to other texts repositories.

--A. Gharbeia 00:44, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I see what you mean... there does need to be something that is constantly revisable—and that's why the latest form of the language is prefered.
We could include the bible as it is important in terms of literary texts—English Wikisource has the original KJV Bible. Also, I myself would suggest contemporary writings like these as well as any modern doxologies in addition to a digital library of several texts and so forth. ~Troy 06:34, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, might I add that older scripts have a huge advantage in that they are most certainly free content and are in public domain. ~Troy 06:40, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Concern[edit]

Will this proposed Coptic Wikisource include pre-Christian Coptic texts as well? Liturgical language tends to be the language of the elite and in one way or another tends to be different from the spoken language of everyday use .Egyptians started to write their language in Greek alphabet by late Pharaonic period long before the advent of Christianity and continued to do speak the same language long after the Arab conquest and embracing the New religion of Islam .Is there any non-religious sources available, are you planning to include texts like Gnostic Nag Hammadi scrolls, any marriage contracts, proverbs, folkloric poetry or any other texts of secular nature? I deem it my obligation to extend my full support for this project if it aims at preserving the Coptic texts and language in its general sense ,quoting the Wikipeida (It is safe to assume that the everyday speech of the native population retained to a greater extent its indigenous Egyptian character, which is sometimes reflected in Coptic non-religious documents such as letters and contracts Thanks--Ramsis II 07:52, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I support general use of the language as well. Religious and secular documents are both needed, possibly the Nag Hammadi scrolls if available.
There is an Old Bohairic book series on every-day regular speech -- it's called "Caji Neman" ("speak with us"), and would be very useful for a possible Coptic Wikipedia—I will worry about that later.
I have read some of it and it has proved to be useful for not only religious particulars, but even-more-so for Coptic in a general sense. As a Coptic Wikisource is far more readily available, though, I can't see why not.
The Coptic Bible is a famous piece of literature among the religious and also are the liturgics, so it should work out in a Wikisource. A wiki library of Coptic literature would prove hard to include "Old" (pre-Christian) Coptic as the texts are not easily available for the following reasons:
  • Coptic started out as a late phase of the Egyptian language in the first century AD—this was the only time when such documents were identified as "Old Coptic"
  • Coptic became widespread as a language in the second century—the most important piece of literature at that time was the Coptic Bible, back when Sahidic (similar to Old Bohairic) was in use.
To answer your concerns, I will include as much as I can, but if others are willing (I see that Ghaly has an interest), then this will help to insure that a Coptic Wikisource would be most complete. ~Troy 18:11, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
This explains, quite simply, what the project is meant for and how everything should be kept universal. Again, I actually would like to digitalize as many pieces as possible, so the more progress, the better. In effect, a well standardized project is what I believe we should be aiming for. ~Troy 18:03, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Will you include Ancient Egyptian texts, too? A Coptic Wikisource seems to be the best possible project to include earlier stages of the Egyptian language. I just came across this tool. Maybe it could be useful, if you'd find anyone interested (and with some expertise) in Ancient Egyptian. Wikibelgiaan 16:02, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I know a couple of folks on-wiki who might be able to help out with that. With a little luck, I can get one of them to take off some time in order to attempt Ancient Egyptian, but it's no easy task. Unicode standards 5.2, which should come out after no more than a year or two, may have more support for Hieroglyphics and pictographs, which would be quite useful. Alternatively, you may wish to begin an Ancient Egyptian-only project, but I highly doubt that it would succeed by itself--the only reason why the Rosetta Stone let us learn the ancient language was by a direct knowledge of Coptic. So, perhaps a pilot project within this project will work best, in the scheme of things.
As for Coptic texts, they appear to be getting more universal electronically. This page explains how CS Coptic ASCII fonts and various Coptic-supported Unicode fonts work, the latter of which appears to be the future of reading/writing Coptic electronically.
From that page, this handy ASCII-Unicode converter is available. It should solve any compatibility issues. So, if anyone has ASCII text that is available; this tool will automatically convert any CS fonts to Unicode without a problem--thus allowing for the rendering of such text in this project.
There is one minor problem: this tool does not work with non-CS Coptic ASCII fonts. As a workaround, simply use a converter such as this CS fonts tool to update to standard ASCII fonts and convert to Unicode from there. It should work, barring any uninstalled fonts for any given texts. Given the progress so far, there have clearly been some good signs for more ease of use, but there's still much work to be done if this project is going to work. ~Troy 20:44, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I have just noticed something: there's already a seperate project for an Ancient Egyptian Wikisource on Oldwikisource (apparently where all of the wikisource test projects should be). So, if you're interested in Ancient Egyptian, that's where the progress is to be undertaken (see the category and it will all of the pages). There are only two Wikisources on incubator: Coptic Wikisource and Ancient Greek Wikisource. I will attempt to contact people on both projects over the possibility of transferring the projects to that venue in the near future. ~Troy 16:48, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Multilingual Wikisource[edit]

  • Note: the project has been transferred to the Multilingual Wikisource (Aka: "Oldwikisource"). The requirements attached with needing a test project in the Multilingual Wikisource have now been met. Please do not edit or create pages for Coptic WIkisource at Incubator; the incubator pages for Wikisource test projects are now defunct. Participants may edit as they wish on Coptic Wikisource pages at the Multilingual Wikisource, found in this Category, or edit the Main Page here. Thank you. ~Troy 19:42, 28 June 2009 (UTC)