Tell us about German Wikipedia

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German Wikipedia[edit]



  • Wikimedia Statistics can be difficult to interpret. What is your impression, how many steady contributors do you have?
    • They are so many that an overview is difficult. I heard a number of 400 steady contributors, at a convention in 2008.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I would say about 3000 to 5000. But only maybe 20% of them on a (nearly) daily basis. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I think we have about 3000 to 6000 contributors, and of that maybe there are 30 % which are active every day.--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • See here. In February 2008, we had around 3000 contributors which had over 1000 Edits, which are only 1.5% of all editors. --PaterMcFly 21:26, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • 1000+ Marcus Cyron 16:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • probably 2000 as basis, who contribute to Wikipedia nearly every day over a long time (long time users, more than 1 or 2 years active), and in addition probably 2000 more users who contribute often, sometimes more, sometimes not so much (kind of middle term users, who leave wikipedia after 1 or 2 years). And then there is a uncountable amount of users who contribute in wikipedia only sometimes or only for a short time like a few months (or even shorter). But the "core" of the wikipedia, the long term very active users, are probably a few hundred. These are the users you always find somewhere when looking into the history of an article. -- Otto Normalverbraucher 17:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Are your contributors mostly native speakers?
    • Yes.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes.--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I would even add that it is probably almost a requirement, since learning german is considered rather difficult to do, and the german wikipedia has quite high expectations on article style (which includes proper grammar and language). --PaterMcFly 21:26, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes. Marcus Cyron 16:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • At least for articles about certain countries (I know it for articles about former Yugoslavia) there are some regular contributors who's native language is not German. --Mazbln 13:23, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • yes. -- Otto Normalverbraucher 17:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Where do your contributors live (regions/country)?
    • The very most in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and other countries or territories were German is spoken. Some contributors live abroad. I suppose that the percentages of Wikipedians are the same as in general. This means that for about 80% come from Germany.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I agree with the above contributor. Mostly of our authors are from Germany, some come from Austria, some from Switzerland. And then there are, I think, about 1 or 2 percent from abroad, like people in the USA, Great Britan, France, and so on that can speak German or moved there from Germany.--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Ofcourse mostly Germans (most Inhabitants), Austrians, Swiss and South Tirol people. Others are not much. Marcus Cyron 16:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I have the impression that Switzerland is underrepresentaded in Wikipedia, Austria a little bit too. Under the 500 top-users (total) you find about 25 Austrians (most users, especially users who are not from germany, have a template which tells their country and city they are from - others I just know) - thats about 5 % (in comparison: in germany live over 80 million people, in austria over 8 million; so there should be at least 50 austrians under the top 500) I did not count the swiss top contributors, but I have the impression that they are even more underrepresentaded (Switzerland: 7,5 million inhabitants); So my impression is, the 80 % Germans make about 90 % of the german Wikipedia users. -- Otto Normalverbraucher 17:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
    • There are some contributors form the German speaking part of Belgium as well. --SCPS 09:26, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  • How common is it that your contributors meet in real life?
    • Very common, although this does not mean that every Wikipedian (or even a majority) really does so. There are local meetups organized by Wikipedia pages (see Stammtisch, with a map), and conventions organized usually by Wikimedia Deutschland.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I personally met around 150 to 200 Wikimedians. Most of the very active people attend such meetings regularly. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I think it is very common, because Germany is a country where many people live on a small ground. --HouseGhostDiscussion 18:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I meet some every month in Cologne and a half doozen time every year we have Meet ups in other cities - so I must say, very often. Marcus Cyron 16:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Germany has a high developped "Stammtisch"-community, especially in Berlin. Thats, in my impression, on the hand because the percentage of active wikipedians (as just mentioned before) is higher in germany than in Austria or Switzerland, and on the other hand, because germany has more and bigger cities, which makes it easier to make meetings in real life. In Switzerland and Austria you can only talk of Vienna (not so regular until now, but regular meetings are planned from now on) and Zurich (regular meetings since months) of regular meetings. -- Otto Normalverbraucher 17:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
    • The most recent statistics can be found at de:Spezial:Statistik. Currently, there are 23759 active users with contributions in the past 30 days. That is about 3% of the total population of German wikipedians. However, since there are also many users who only contribute once or who are vandalists, I estimate the users who should be actually called active wikipedians at about 1% of the 756493 registered ones.--Flekstro 15:42, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Other Wikipedias[edit]

  • Do you have special contacts with another Wikipedias (maybe in related languages)? Gemeint sind anscheinend Kontakte im Sinne einer Partnerschaft zu anderen Wikis, nicht ob einzelne Wikipedianer in anderen Projekten aktiv sind
    • Not really. But German Wikipedia seems to have its influence on the Wikipedias in German dialects.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Me (and a few others) have attended some meetups with serbian Wikipedia in Belgrade in the past years. --Mazbln 13:30, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Throu Commons, for instance with french an polish Users. I had a meetup in Athens and meet already Dutch, French, Polish, Italians. Marcus Cyron 16:58, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes, concerning Austrian Film and its History and Persons (in english Wikipedia; discussions with other users about articles and lists, a little "from-time-to-time"-co-operation). -- Otto Normalverbraucher 13:28, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Do you translate a lot from other Wikipedias? Which ones?
    • Maybe less than other Wikipedias do; if Germans speak a foreign language, it's usually English. But individuals often have learned other languages, sometimes rather exotic ones (from a Central European POV).--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • no. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Sometimes from enwikipedia --Church of emacs 18:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Well, sometimes. At the moment I am translating an article about a University from Wales from the english wiki. But I must try to force myself going on with the translation ;-).--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Well, less translating but "seeking for information" in other languages (en, fr, jp). But when I don't understand an article (or parts of it) I -er- have to confess that I'm using automated translation sites such as Google and - but only to get the context. enwikipedia and jawikipedia are just simply the better Wikipedias when it comes to articles on fictional topics. Defchris 20:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm not good enough. Marcus Cyron 16:58, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I and many others I know translate a lot if the topic is about something from a country speaking that language; magazines, people a.s.f. Unfortunetaly, often weblinks don't work or some information included ist wrong. Mostly en: and some fr: --Sargoth 12:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I sometimes translate from the english Wikipedia. About every year theres one or two articles I completely or mainly translate. One time, I asked a turkish-german user over "embassy" to translate a turkish article about a turkish artist, which was very useful. -- Otto Normalverbraucher 17:18, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Organization and support[edit]

  • Is there a Wikimedia chapter in your country? How does your language relate to it?
    • In Germany Wikimedia Deutschland, in Switzerland (where 64% of the people speak or write German) Wikimedia CH. In Germany there are other languages with Wikipedia, but Wikimedia Deutschland pays attention nearly only to German Wikipedia.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Germany, Austria and Switzerland have a local chapter. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Are there work groups in other organizations about Wikipedia?
    • Not as far as I know, but I would not be surprized.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Some university courses involve writing/expanding Wikipedia articles. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • In one of the courses of my (ex)-school we did expanding wikipedia articles in one or two lessons. But that was of course nothing official ;-).--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:09, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • there is a project at the technical college (Fachhochschule) in Jena; wiwiwiki - students create articles about economic topics for a lecture. aim is an article in WP. they get better marks if the manage to write an featured article. the professor is in close contact with the economic-portal of de-wp. wikipedians will do an 1-hour-lecture about "how does WP work" at this college in october 2009 - the project had already some really good results 19 lesenswert (kind of featured :o) ) and several more. See the list ...Sicherlich Post 21:44, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Actually I collaborate with the University Cologne to manage a seminar depending Wikipedia and History. Marcus Cyron 16:59, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Your Wikipedia and the linguistic community[edit]

  • Is there a language institution for your language, like an Academy, or a club of people interested in your language? Do you have contact with them?
    • Since a couple of years Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung, with participants from all German speaking countries. There is no contact with the Wikipedians.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Who (else) supports you?
    • A number of institutions has supported Wikipedia/Wikimedia in different ways.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • How looks your public outreach for your edition? Do you have flyers, give lectures, trainings etc.?
    • All this, but there could be more.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • The (German) Wikipedia is well known in Germany. It is often used in schools and even teacher sometimes print some articles from the Wikipedia for lessons.--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • we do have DVDs every year of the whole content of de-WP. We had even books. Bertelsmann plans to publish an "abstrakt" of de-WP in september 2008 ...Sicherlich 21:19, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Do you get feedback from readers?
    • Not systematically. But people who donate sometimes indicate how useful Wikipedia has been for them.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Talking to people who don't contribute but read gives mostly positive feedback. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Sometimes. Marcus Cyron 17:02, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
  • What other encyclopedias exist in your language?
    • Most important is Brockhaus. It announced in February 2008 that it will go completey online, but this has been withdrawn in the meantime.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Several, but none of them is really online. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
      oh there are a lot online Thogo! e.g. meyers, [1] from the handelsblatt, perrypedia, [2] aso. - but online they are no real competitor for de. .. Still there are several "special interest"-encyclopedias (e.g. the perry rhodan-wiki). probably they are important in theire field as e.g. is very restricted when it comes to fictional stuff ...Sicherlich Post 21:27, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • There's no other country in the world, I think, where "the" encyclopedia is so important in the real live. Marcus Cyron 17:02, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • The German Wikipedia is one of the most used research sources within Germany. Teachers widely accept it as long as it doesn't remain the only source. People searching for a topic usually use google or wikipedia, while google usually refers within the top5 to the corresponding wikipedia article. Printed encyclopedias exist in many forms and almost every family ones on, however, both Wikipedia and those encyclopedias are used - I'd say - about the same. --Louisana 13:01, 7 September 2008 (UTC)


  • Does your edition concentrates on certain topics, like your region and language, or Latin Wikipedia on Roman history and Christianity?
    • No more than usually.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I think, compared to the English Wikipedia, it concentrates less on current affairs that are only notable at the present moment, but not in the future --Church of emacs 18:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • de is very limited for "fictional content". e.g. charakters of movies are hard to find on single articles.
    • not a direct answer but de does hardly create articles by bot so the number of articles is lower then it would be if we would use bots. the idea behind that is that the quality is higher and so readers have better meaning about the content of wikipedia and writers feel a need for better articles as the average-quality is higher ...Sicherlich Post 21:48, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • We have an high quality standard and also an high standard in what's "relevant". The main Toppics have to do with what the writers interests the most. Marcus Cyron 17:06, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I wouldn't call it concentration, but a lot of authors work on large articles about small german villages, railroad, soccerclubs, regional politicians. So there's enough to do for the others :) --Sargoth 13:30, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Did your edition enjoy text donations, for example from older encyclopedias?
    • Yes, 100 years old Mayersches Konversationslexikon.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • We took Meyers articles in the beginning but meanwhile they are in many cases just too bad and old to meet the quality criteria. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • This might be interesting: de-WP frowns upon and has no bot-generated stubs, neither places nor other statistical data (with a tiny exception of villages in one Italian province). We abolished the template for stubs and require at least two full sentences. Entries who do not meet that threshold, usually get speedied (or expanded, if possible immediatly). --h-stt !? 22:04, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Sadly yes. But the good thing is - it's getting lesser. Marcus Cyron 17:06, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


  • Is there a generally accepted norm about your language (spelling, dictionary, pronunciation)?
    • Yes.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Not really. Corrections of editors correcting people preferring the older spelling rules are annoying. --Matthiasb 19:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • acutally there is: de:Wikipedia:Rechtschreibung. it says that you should use the "new norm" (2006) - as usual not everybody nows the rules and not everybody likes it :oD - For special problems there is de:Wikipedia:Namenskonventionen which handles special cases, e.g. how to transcript different languages, how to handle names of persons and companies, geographicale names aso. ...Sicherlich Post 21:52, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes and no. Old an new spelling is accespted, also regional spellings (german, austrian, swiss). Marcus Cyron 17:09, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
  • How do you deal with different spellings, dialects etc. (like B.E. lift and A.E. elevator)?
    • Expressions used only in some regions (like Austria, Westphalia, Berlin) should be avoided. But there are exceptions for Austria and Switzerland related articles. In the latter case, it is also allowed to use "ss" instead of "ß", as the Swiss do.--Ziko-W 12:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • The only exceptions are for articles related to Austria and Switzerland. --Thogo (talk) 10:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Some dialects (like "Plattdeutsch" or "Bayrisch") have there own Wikipedias, and there are some extra rules for Switzerland and Austria (like the ß-thing). In mostly Articles that handle with topics that are known in local regions under any other names, there are the names also written, and sometimes there are even redirects for them ;-).--HouseGhostDiscussion 18:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Some weeks ago we had a poll depending swiss "languafe" an decide, that minor dialicts like swiss and austrian have a right to be used in articles depending their countries. Marcus Cyron 17:09, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Many German Users regard the Swiss and Austrian Versions of Standard German as dialects, since they don't know the difference between dialect and (written) Standard German. They only regard the northern, federal republican Version of the "Standard" German as the only correct form of German. So many are not willing to accept that there ist more than one correct Version of Standard German. Griensteidl 12:15, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Like the english "lift" and the american "elevator" there are (very few) cases with Austrian and Swiss standard germans, which differ in some cases from the German standard-german. The swiss also write numbers different. A swiss writes "1'000'000" (one million), while Germans and Austrians write "1.000.000". Also, swiss keyboards have no "ß", which stands in the Austrian and German grammar in some cases for a "ss". Concerning Austria, there is another word for the month of January. In Austria, everyone says and spells "Jänner" (not as dialect - in newspapers, documents... everywhere, as a standard german word). But the Germans don't like this word, because they think "Januar" is the only correct version and they say "Jänner" is dialect, because its only used in Austria (and once upon a time in the german language areas in Austria-Hungary, like Prag, Budapest etc. - just to show the historical and geographical context). So it happens often, that Germans edit articles written by Austrians and about Austrian subjects, just to change "Jänner" to "Januar". But this in fact the only real difference which accurs in the german Wikipedia between the speakers from different countries. In "over-regional" articles, Austrians learned to write "Januar" (but insist on their right to say "Jänner" in Austria-concerning articles (and biographies - or not?)) and the swiss writers have to be "corrected" when writing "ß" instead of "ss" in an "over-regional" article. -- Otto Normalverbraucher 18:41, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Curiosity: the spelling of the actual German chancellor´s first name is different in East Germany and the "old" Federal States. Angela (Merkel) will mostly get a half closed long (IPA) ɵ in the East and come out with a sometimes almost mute open (IPA) ɘ in the West. -- 20:14, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
    • one invention of us is template:«german-heavy» (an the analogons austrian/swiss), to mark both linguistic and content onesidedness (it tells «this article or chapter represents situation in germany/austria/switzerland - help discribing other countries») - besides, we do from time to time some more or less houmorous to serious quarrelling about that ;) --W!B: 19:24, 13 September 2008 (UTC) --W!B: 19:24, 13 September 2008 (UTC)