Tell us about Malagasy Wikipedia

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Wikipedia, raki-pahalalàna malalaka



  • Wikimedia Statistics can be difficult to interpret. What is your impression, how many steady contributors do you have?
  • (malagasy) Mety sarotra vakiana ny statistikan'i Wikimedia. Inona ny tsapanao, firy ny mpikambana mavitrika ao aminareo ?
  • Are your contributors mostly native speakers?
  • '(malagasy) Mampiasa ny teny nibeazany ve ny mpandray anjaranareo ?'
No, most of our contributors aren't native speakers. But contributors contributors still help us in our project :) (Jagwar)
  • Where do your contributors live (regions/country)?
  • '(malagasy) Avy aiza ny mpandray anjara no manoratra ?'
I'm from diaspora, I live in France, but most of contributors lives in Madagascar. (Jagwar)
  • How common is it that your contributors meet in real life?
  • '(malagasy) Matetika ve ianao no mifandray amin'ny mpandray anjara hafa amin'ny tena fiainana ?'
I never met contributors in real life yet (Jagwar)

Other Wikipedias[edit]

  • Do you have special contacts with other Wikipedias (maybe in related languages)?
  • Do you translate a lot from other Wikipedias? Which ones?
  • '(malagasy)Manana fifandraisana manokana ve ianao amin'ny wikipedia hafa (miaraka amin'ny teny mifanakaiky amin'ny anao ohatra) ?'
  • '(malagasy)Mandika teny avy amin'ny wikipedia hafa ve ianao ? Inona ?'
I translate articles very often, especially from french wikipedia, I also translate from english into malagasy but, It's not as frequent as in french. (Jagwar)

Organization and support[edit]

  • Is there a Wikimedia chapter in your country? How does your language relate to it?
  • '(malagasy)Misy fikambanana wikimedia ve any amin'ny firenenao? Manahoana ny fifandraisana amin'ny teninao ?'
  • Are there work groups in other organizations about Wikipedia?

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?
    • The Akademia Malagasy regulates the official use of Malagasy language.
  • Who (else) supports you?
  • What does the public outreach for your edition look like? Do you have flyers, give lectures, training etc.?
  • Do you get feedback from readers?
  • What other encyclopedias exist in your language?
    • The Rakibolana Raki-pahalalana exists and contain more than 35,000 entries about things and lemmata. The problem is that the number of printer books are very limited, and its price is very expensive for most of people living in Madagascar.


  • Does your edition concentrate on certain topics, like your region and language, or Latin Wikipedia on Roman history and Christianity?
  • Did your edition enjoy text donations, for example from older encyclopedias?


  • Is there a generally accepted norm about your language (spelling, dictionary, pronunciation)?
    • Reference dictionaries are Rakibolana Malagasy (last ed. in 2003). We also follow recommendations emitted from the Akademia Malagasy, especially on foreign denonyms.
  • How do you deal with different spellings, dialects etc. (like B.E. lift and A.E. elevator)?
    • The most commonly used spelling is used. Regionalisms, if they are used elsewhere out of their native region, are also tolerated.

See also[edit]

Main pages[edit]


There are difficulties in building a long-term active community : first, the lack and the expensiveness of Internet connexion :

  • Internet connexion in an Internet café is very slow. To load a stub on mg.wikipedia, ~35 seconds were needed.
  • Cost of an Internet connection (a large broadband connexion (512k) costs ~$60, while more than 90% of the local population live with less than $1 a day.
  • A weak proportion of the Malagasy population has Internet and very few malagasy writes to Wikipedia due to requirements ('barriers'):
Primary barriers are 
  • Ability to read and write : literacy rate is ~65-70%.
  • More than 80% of children entering primary school are unlikely to achieve secondary school and enter university.
    • No monolingual Malagasy language speaker is likely to enter university, where courses are totally in French.
  • Domestic electricity : Electricity in Madagascar is one of the most expensive on the World;
  • Computer : one desktop computer costs twice the average yearly salary;
  • Home telephone : GSM or 3G coverage is still currently very slow, geografically very limited, and very expensive;
Secondary barriers
  • Fluency in French language, the most spoken foreign language in Madagascar, English being far behind. More than 80% of Malagasy people only speak Malagasy but no operating system is currently available in Malagasy (not even Linux). Thus using another language like French or English is a decisive factor for being able to use a computer without any assistance.
Tertiary barriers

Despite a honourable number of connected Malagasy speakers, the Malagasy language Wikipedia does not take off because of these reasons.

  • Lack of Malagasy content on the Web : almost all of the content language of Malagasy sites are in French language, informal content like discussions are in Malagasy, though. The spelling quality is often bad if not catastrophic.
  • The small size (and then, visibility), and small quantity of Malagasy language contents (Wikipedia), but also the preference of users to read French-language rather than theirs. This preferrence is amplified by the huge size of French Wikipedia and prestige of French language.
  • Furthermore, Google page ranking seem to disadvantage Malagasy language content sites, thus all web developpers change the content language in HTML markups to French, or English instead of Malagasy, while a huge part if not all the site is in Malagasy.
Other problems (regarding the language and the background in which it evolves)
  • Lack of motivation (no wage given). If there is motivation, the person doesn't feel skilled enough in his own mother tongue to dare writing anything in it.
  • Lack of Malagasy scientific vocabulary. Scientific resources are widespread in French and on the Internet. This also induces Malagasy researchers and technicians to use French (but rarely English) as publishing language instead of their mother tongue.
    • Dictionaries are very expensive to the population, who prefer purchase a French one. This latter in comparison is cheaper, widespread and cost-effective.
    • Newspapers prefer to write in French language for technical articles : lack of spreadness of Malagasy technical vocabulary resulting into an abusive use of French words in Malagasy technical speeches.
  • Lack of Malagasy-language online primary sources, such as books or howtos.

Jagwar grrr... 21:29, 23 August 2013 (UTC)