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Language committee (contact page about requests)


Please add any questions or feedback to the language committee here on this page.

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Proposal to elaborate on requisite for eligibility #4 (classical languages, revisited)[edit]

Some time ago, I made a suggestion to change the fourth requirement for language proposals, which can be seen here: Talk:Language_committee/2017#Proposal_to_alter_requisite_for_eligibility_#4 I'm glad to see that some fine-tuning has been done, and I think the current version of Language_proposal_policy#Requisites is better; particularly the change in wording which permits fluent L2 speakers in addition to L1 (I also think allowing BCP 47 codes is a good idea).

However, there's still a point of ambiguity: what is the policy on classical languages for Wikipedia? the Latin wiki is quite successful, as is the Classical Chinese wiki. However, I've seen proposals for other classical/historical languages end up languishing in incubator, or even being rejected, and that in spite of viability, communal support, distinct orthography, and well-developed literature. Currently, there is a special condition for conlangs, namely a 'reasonable degree of recognition' comprised of various factors. I propose that another special condition be added for classical/historical languages; this condition might include a pool of speakers, communal support, literature, established orthography, distinctiveness, and current usage. I think this would be very productive, finally allowing long-delayed projects to come to fruition, and would help sort out requests. Of course, I wouldn't want just any historical language approved, just as not every conlang is eligible. But creating a classical standard, in addition to the conlang standard, would be a significant improvement.

Thanks for your consideration. Xcalibur (talk) 11:29, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

tl;dr: the above is a proposal to add a condition allowing for Wikipedias in classical/historical languages in addition to conlangs. Xcalibur (talk) 16:47, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Your standards of "quite successful" are very different from mine; I'd classify the Classical Chinese Wikipedia as one of the Wikipedias that for literally no one is the best Wikipedia to turn to on literally any subject. Without the justification of supporting native languages, it seems the vast majority of classical language Wikis are of no value to Wikimedia.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:41, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
the Classical Chinese Wikipedia has an active community, a decent amount of content, and lots of depth for its size. it fills a niche, and it's successful. the same can be said of the Sanskrit Wikipedia, another ancient language with a living community which has proven itself viable. the Latin Wikipedia, although it wouldn't be approved now, is comparable to Norwegian and Tamil in stats. Granted, Gothic and Old English are unnecessary; not every historical language should be approved. but the examples I've given are proof of concept -- classical languages are viable for Wikipedia, and this should be properly accommodated. Xcalibur (talk) 00:33, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
It fills what niche? My standard is, does it provide a encyclopedia that anyone would actually look up something in. This is different from native languages, where there's value in providing an encyclopedia in the language, even if in practice users will use a different Wikipedia. I don't see any evidence that Classical Chinese ever provides a better source than the Mandarin Chinese Wikipedia. (I doubt there's many who could use the Classical Chinese Wikipedia who can't read Mandarin, but the Korean and Japanese Wikipedias aren't slouches either.) And Sanskrit, Latin, Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese are pretty much the complete list of classical languages that might have value.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:58, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
I could see where someone might prefer a classical language, especially when there are communities keeping them alive, and they're highly relevant to scholarly pursuits. I'm glad you agree with me on Ancient Greek, it's stuck in the incubator and has been delayed for years, in spite of a high degree of support. to that list, I would also add Classical Japanese. there may be a few more viable options out there as well. Xcalibur (talk) 06:01, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
They're not highly relevant to scholarly pursuits; nobody publishes in ancient languages any more. I don't agree necessarily that Ancient Greek Wikipedia should become a thing, but I do think it should get a clear yes or no.
Classical Japanese violates one of my major rules about classical languages, in that they must be multicultural. Classical Japanese doesn't bring anyone to the table who can't already contribute to the Japanese wikis. There is no one language that speakers of any of the languages I mentioned above all know, though I'm not sure about how many non-Mandarin readers know Classical Chinese. The biggest argument for the Latin Wikipedia IMO is that it still brings together a broad spectrum of speakers with no common languages.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:37, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
nobody publishes in ancient languages any more hehe. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:35, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
A wiki is not publication; publication involves some sense of permanence. And by the context of "scholarly pursuits", I was clearly talking about academic publication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:54, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
I'd say Wikipedia is a publisher, albeit one that functions differently from typical brick-and-mortar publishers.
they are in fact relevant, with lots of people studying them, a significant literature, and active use to this day; this is especially true of Ancient Greek. international appeal is an issue, but a relatively minor one in my view. Classical Chinese was once a scholarly lingua franca throughout the Far East (similar to Latin in the West) until the early 20th century, and is still influential for that reason. Likewise, Classical Japanese had official sanction until the early 20th century, and is still used in some contexts. all languages mentioned have a very significant literature. while bungo may seem a bit narrow, I wouldn't underestimate the ability of people worldwide to study and contribute in a notable classical language. for the Japanese in particular, bungo may help fill a niche and attract new contributors who prefer it to the modern standard. overall I see plenty of potential here. Xcalibur (talk) 07:11, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
The ability to "attract new contributors who prefer it to the modern standard" is much stronger for Simple Spanish or Conservative English than Classical Japanese. This type of splitting of contributors to projects that don't actually represent distinct native languages of speakers, or even conlangs or ancient languages that can form a interlanguage between two speakers otherwise ignorant of any common language, is something Wikimedia has discouraged.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:26, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
Simple Spanish sounds like a viable idea, especially since it's so common worldwide (in many ways second to English). I don't know what you mean by Conservative English, if you mean Appalachian English, that's too close of a dialect to work (as opposed to Scots, which is a viable WP despite being a close relative). the Old English WP was grandfathered in, and even that has an active community. If other classical languages had been approved years ago, they would be well along by now, and it's not too late. it wouldn't necessarily be a split, since it may pull in contributors who otherwise would not be involved. Also, you shouldn't underestimate the enthusiasm of people worldwide for learning and writing in classical languages. I still see Bungo as viable, and Ancient Greek even more so. Thus, my suggestion stands. Xcalibur (talk) 20:55, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
It has been made quite clear that no new Simple Wikipedias are going to be opened. By Conservative English, I mean Conservapedia. Why does "too close of a dialect" matter? Unless you're talking about language community, and I don't regard Classical Japanese as having a different language community from Japanese. --Prosfilaes (talk) 01:21, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
that's fine, I'm not arguing for more Simple Wikipedias, although Simple English WP is undeniably successful. the problem with Conservapedia is that it's structured around a partisan perspective, which is beyond the scope of a general-purpose encyclopedia. Without getting into the larger debate over language vs dialect (an army & navy being relevant here), there should be enough of a difference so that mutual intelligibility is limited or partial at best (as is the case between ancient languages and their modern descendants). Language communities are one factor for consideration among others. For classical languages in particular, there is often a broader appeal, and the potential to pull in new contributors who would otherwise not be involved. Xcalibur (talk) 19:44, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

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to reiterate, tl;dr: the above is a proposal to add a condition allowing for Wikipedias in classical/historical languages in addition to conlangs. I've made my case, but ultimately it's up to the Committee. hopefully they will take my words into consideration. Xcalibur (talk) 09:44, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

Again, can Montenegrin be eligible?[edit]

Although I don't speak this language, the recent discussions of Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Montenegrin 5, which is on hold for 3 years, given me some brief informations that Montenegrin is enough independent from Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian, maybe also from Slovenian and Macedonian. Many of the participators on that page told us that how Montenegrin can't coexist on the Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia (shwiki) (eligibility rule #3), and by checking [1], I really can't believe that this kind of activities even can't fullfill #4 rule. Eventually, the first and second rules are already checked for years. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:53, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

@Liuxinyu970226: How exactly have many of the participators on that page told us that how Montenegrin can't coexist on the Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia (shwiki)? I looked at that page a little while ago, and it was mostly arguments about "is Montenegrin really a different language." I didn't really see any evidence suggesting that Montenegrin really couldn't coexist on shwiki, and, in fact, when I asked if there was any evidence that the existing communities have prevented Montenegrins from having "free, unbiased access to the sum of all human knowledge" on the current projects the response I got was simply "this expert should tell you whether Montenegrin is different or not," which simply took the discussion back to "is Montenegrin really that different" and not "is the existing Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia actively preventing users from using Montenegrin." On the latter point, I have not seen any specific evidence. DraconicDark (talk) 15:51, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
@Prz rulez, Space2006, Цареник Костович, Kolega2357, and Ego and his own:@НиколаБ, BokicaK, Lujki, Biblbroks, and MirkoS18:@GregorB, RMN120501, ApcehCraft, Freemanmne, and Rovoobob:@Vogone, Kubura, Bellatrix10, Doncsecz~enwiki, and Imjusttherediting: any comments of the above? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 21:35, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
Montenegrin has its own grammar, specific letters, stylish differences. If there is separate English and Simple English, Nynorsk and Bokmal Norwegian, Belarussian and Belarussian (Taraškevica), why not separate Montenegrin? If the Montenegrins want to keep and develop uniqueness of their language, it is in their best interest to write the articles themselves and to avoid any massive botocopying and like sh.project did. Kubura (talk) 00:15, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Given that the Simple English wikipedia and one of the two Belarussian wikipedias would not be opened now and exist only because they were opened before the current rules, it's not wise to cite them for opening your Wikipedia.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:02, 26 June 2020 (UTC)

In the meantime, nothing has changed in favor of establishment of a Montenegrin Wikipedia. I have nothing new to add on this topic, so.... --ΝικόλαςΜπ (talk) 10:30, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Here's my 2c. The four standard languages that together constitute Serbo-Croatian (or BCMS, if you prefer) are all derived from the very same Štokavian dialect (Eastern Hercegovinian). Differences between them are minimal and mutual intelligibility is nearly 100%. Montenegrin is essentially Ijekavian Serbian with a few minor orthographical quirks similar to labour vs. labor in English. It's constantly the same few words (śutra, đevojka, nijesu etc.) that are being quoted to show the difference, but their number is limited and many articles won't contain any of them. For the rest, is of course possible to construct sentences that demonstrate how different Montenegrin is from Serbian, but the same can be done for American/British/Australian English as well ("That bloke parked his lorry on the left shoulder of the motorway").
When I was in Montenegro recently, it was pretty hard to find any traces of this separate Montenegrin orthography; all I found was a poster in a school. Even the websites of major state institutions don't seem to use it. My impression is that at present, this language/orthography as a separate entity is marginal even in Montenegro itself.
Another thing is the Montenegrin test wiki itself, which is almost exclusively about Montenegrin subjects; You'll hardly find articles about planets, mathematics, animals, American politics, psychology, linguistics, films, Pokémons and whathaveyou. In other words, it's a Montenegropedia rather than a typical Wikipedia. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, quite the opposite, because the entire content of this test project could very easily be merged into either the Serbian or the Serbo-Croatian edition. I'm sure it should be possible to establish as a rule that articles about Montenegrin subjects should be preferably follow Montegrin standards, and, if desired, it's always possible to add a template saying "This article is written in Montenegrin" (several languages with multiple standards already do that, f.ex. Rhaetoromance, Norman, Sardinian, Limburgish).
At last, since the difference between various forms of Serbo-Croatian is of a political rather than a linguistic nature, the only remaining argument for a separate Montenegrin project seems to be POV differences. Apart from the fact that Wikipedia ought to be neutral, the number of articles where this POV difference could really matter is extremely limited. It's most unlikely that there will be nationality-based POV differences about other topics than former Yugoslavia. IJzeren Jan (talk) 09:24, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
@Ookuninusi: was said to Steven that "Hi Steven. I returned to Wikimedia after a long break :D What happened to the request for the establishment of Wikipedia in the Montenegrin language? I see that almost nothing has happened on that issue. The number of new pages has dropped drastically in the last year, and there are almost no active editors. Best regards!" Ookuninusi, do you still interested in this topic? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 21:41, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
What is encyclopedia, or what is wikipedia, if not the matter of valid sources (literature) and people who want to use them to create content.
Wikipedia in English language predominantly forces sources in that language, combined with the fact that English became the leading language, ensures a great base of people who want to describe the world based on that sources. We could very easily determine that English Wikipedia is (more or less) culturally biased forcing English sources/literature above all other, forcing POV based on the exclusivity of those sources even if they present world-scale unencyclopedic POV. All other views will always be a minority POV on English Wikipedia, because of the leading language position, be that right or wrong, plus it is not just a value statement.
What is a language, seems like a question: what is normal, and in my view the Language Committee is not authorized to determine what is a language, they should simply determine whether major reference institution deem a language.
Montenegrin is a language by some major world institutions, sources published in that language exist.
While other wikipedias tend to do the same systematically biased predominant use of sources in the same language-specific context, many projects use wide variety of sources written in *foreign* languages, and also disapprove of the same language-specific context (almost exclusivity of the sources written in the language of the home-project). I believe that they could be less prone to language-specific POV, at least in the long run (hopefully; since, what do we know...), because most users do know at least one foreign language beside the leading world language. There are statistics about that fact published in recent years.
Other projects of the Central South Slavic diasystem have communities that tend to be more or less open to *outsiders*, but still the equation is the same: mono-linguistic sources which over saturate the projects. Still, the influx of English language sources continues to grow, because editors willingly translate content from English Wikipedia.
Communities do not magically appear, but are gathered up around a project of a certain appealing name. -- Несмир Кудилович (разговор) 09:22, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
@Nesmir Kudilovic: I'm afraid that the most current problem when judging the eligiblity can be queired by [2]: "Every time I asked the proponents of the Montenegrin Wikipedia for reliable sources for the differences, they couldn't provide them.", "I haven't yet seen a convincing argument that this wouldn't work for the actual readers.", "It's a normative document, so it's also a valid source for confirming the existence of a different spelling standard, but it's not a valid justification for creating a whole new project.", "That's precisely why we should stop creating *more* precedents for political forks.", "I'm still open to other reliable source that would prove this language's uniqueness or the inappropriateness of the current Serbo-Croatian Wikipedias for Montenegrin people." I'm afraid that unless if those problems are all resolved, the request may likely to be on hold for at least a decade. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 09:35, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

Request for Approval of Southern Kurdish Wikipedia[edit]

Native speakers of Southern Kurdish have the competency and willingness to contribute to this project in the long-term. Hence the Southern Kurdish language deserves to be given the opportunity and priviledge to have its own language edition of Wikipedia along with the existing Kurdish language family such as Kurdish, Zazaki, Kirmanjki and so on. There are 3,000,000 speakers

southern kurdish is different from kurdi (ku) and Surani Kurdish (ckb). so it's better to has separate wiki project for Kermashan,Ilam,Khanaghin,Jalola,Zarbatie,Kefri AND Lakistan(in Iran and Iraq)[Sunday - 2020 19 July]

Turkish Wikivoyage[edit]

There has been an open debate for a long time and I think it can now leave the Incubator. Requests_for_new_languages/Wikivoyage_Turkish I would be glad if you review it. --ToprakM 20:07, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

With only you making 4 edits today, 13 in June, and 3 edits by others for the whole period of April-July, there is unfortunately not enough activity for approval. --MF-W 23:45, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

What to do with Bosnian Wikinews?[edit]

Must I (re-)propose hard closure of Bosnian Wikinews or just simply ask for a banner saying that the project is inactive? The recent activity was discussed at Bosnian Wikipedia. George Ho (talk) 09:34, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

If the wiki is inactive, anyone can put such a banner there, I suppose. --MF-W 10:00, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
@MF-Warburg: Can you do that? Can the banner be written in English and/or Bosnian? George Ho (talk) 11:08, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
What about soft closure it? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 23:21, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Banner is also part of "soft closure". Shall the banner be in just English, just in case? George Ho (talk) 23:42, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
@George Ho: Why English? [3] isn't true? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 01:45, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Seriously? Google Translate? :< George Ho (talk) 03:50, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Wtf indeed. --MF-W 12:29, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
I could not find a compatible license that would allow us to use Bosnian language. I found notice saying that content copyright belongs to "Oxford University Press USA". I can't be sure whether Google's terms would allow us to use its translations, even when our original English content is ours to begin with. George Ho (talk) 00:15, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I can probably put the banner there, if someone tells me what exactly it should be, yes. Surely English-only for the start is ok, if absolutely no translator can be found (which is unlikely I guess). --MF-W 12:29, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Probably something similar to either Swedish Wikinews or Norwegian one (temporary English version). George Ho (talk) 00:15, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
Or ask @AnToni, DzWiki, Edinwiki, KWiki, and Mhare: @Palapa, Semso98, and Srđan: for translation helps (per bs:Posebno:ListaKorisnika/sysop, list of bswiki administrators, exclude bots and AbuseFilter-like)? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:48, 4 August 2020 (UTC)
Here is the translation of the Norwegian Wikinews (English version):
Wikivijesti na bosanskom jeziku nisu aktivno uređivane u posljednje vrijeme. Pogledajte [[:bs:Wikipedia:Čaršija/Jezici#(In)activity_of_Bosnian_Wikinews|stranicu za razgovor na Wikipediji na bosanskom jeziku]] za više informacija (na engleskom).

*Ovaj projekt ostaje otvoren za urednike zainteresirane za njegovo oživljavanje.
*Za pristup ostatku sadržaja Wikivijesti krenite '''[[Početna strana|ovdje]]''' s početne stranice.
*Molimo da ovu početnu stranicu ostavite u trenutnom stanju dok ne bude ažurirana dovoljna količina sadržaja za vraćanje aktivne početne stranice.

Odgovor na daljnja pitanja možete dobiti na Meti od korisnika [[:m:Korisnik:| ]], službenika [[:m:Language Committee|Jezičkog odbora]].

Oni koji žele pisati o trenutnim događajima također mogu doprinijeti [[:w:|Wikipediji na bosanskom jeziku]] pod uvjetom da je tema relevantna za enciklopediju.

-- Semso98 (talk) 09:56, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, Semso98. Bosnian Wikinews's main page is full-protected, so I won't be able to convert the page into the banner page indicating inactivity. Must I make a request at SRM then? George Ho (talk) 00:37, 5 August 2020 (UTC)
At the very least, I created this as such: n:bs:Početna strana/soft. George Ho (talk) 00:39, 5 August 2020 (UTC)
I corrected Semso98's translation. You can use this version now. -- KWiki (talk) 19:49, 8 August 2020 (UTC)

User:George Ho: as far as I can see, this was done successfully? Thank you for handling it! -MF-W 23:18, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

You're welcome, and yes, the request to change page was successful. :) George Ho (talk) 04:57, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Request for new language (Talysh Language)[edit]

We want to make the Talysh wikipedia ! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Aryagolparvar (talk)

You mean, request approving this? Well, although I'm not a member of langcom, per [4] there are only two active contributors of it, @Patriot Kur and Meksikanets:, so I don't think it's a good time for now to request so. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:45, 4 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Hi dear all! Dear, Liuxinyu970226. First of all, the reason for few users is the cyrillic alphabet. This is a big problem for our language. The Talysh people use the Latin alphabet, not the Cyrillic alphabet. Some use the Persian alphabet, but they understand Latin. I working on this problems in the "translatewiki.net".--Patriot Kur (talk) 03:57, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

Approval of Manchu Wikipedia[edit]

Hi! The manchu wikipedia has been quite active since May, so I think it is the time to consider the approval of Manchu Wikipedia. --Limfurg 07:49, 10 August 2020 (UTC)

"Valid" months in the sense of having 3 or more contributors are July and the ongoing August, so please keep up the good work. Also, the most-used MediaWiki messages still are not translated completely. --MF-W 21:02, 10 August 2020 (UTC)

Approval of Laz Wikipedia[edit]

Laz Wikipedia is requested over 10 years, the project is marked as verified as eligible and Laz Institute in Istanbul is highly interested on Laz Wikipedia. Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Laz 2 --Cemyildiz (talk) 00:39, 13 August 2020 (UTC)

There's no activity in the test wiki. Recent changes comes up with exactly zero changes in the last 20 days. If the Laz Institute is highly interested in it, they can surely fix that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:44, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Small wiki audit[edit]

Hello. The page small wiki audit may be of interest to LangCom. PiRSquared17 (talk) 08:32, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

Small wiki audit/Malagasy Wiktionary[edit]

Please take a look at this page, where I have detailed the massive problems with the Malagasy Wiktionary. This problem is not exactly under the committes's purview, but it should be of great interest to anyone who actually cares about the quality of some of our biggest, and yet most overlooked, projects. I am looking for community input on this, so we can move forward and clean up the mess. Metaknowledge (talk) 02:15, 16 September 2020 (UTC)