Wikipedia, raki-pahalalàna malalaka
- Wikimedia Statistics can be difficult to interpret. What is your impression, how many steady contributors do you have?
- 2 contributors. 1 very steady, 1 admin who's been there since 2008 and who is now working there on-and-off to maintain the main page articles and other stuff. We get some anonymous contributions, although it's mostly on specific subjects (religion, movies, etc)
- Are your contributors mostly native speakers?
- Two registered regular contributors are native speakers, including one admin. Most people contributing in Malagasy are native speakers since Malagasy isn't much taught as a foreign language.
- Where do your contributors live (regions/country)?
- One lives overseas, the hasn't told where they lives but it is assumed to be Madagascar
- How common is it that your contributors meet in real life?
- I never met contributors in real life yet (Jagwar)
- 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
- Is there a Wikimedia chapter in your country? How does your language relate to it?
- There is no local chapter in the county.
- (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
- 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 currently regulates the official use of Malagasy language. We follow their guidelines as much as possible, but are also permissive on the use of regionalism much more than they'd allow.
- Who (else) supports you?
- No official organism supports the Malagasy Wikipedia either in Madagascar or overseas.
- What does the public outreach for your edition look like? Do you have flyers, give lectures, training etc.?
- For people in Madagascar, the francophone (frwiki) community does provide some training in some Malagasy cities like Antananarivo or Mahajanga, but as they are francophone organisations, they work in French.
- Do you get feedback from readers?
- No feeback from readers have been received.
- What other encyclopedias exist in your language?
- The Rakibolana Raki-pahalalana exists and contain more than 35,000 entries about things and lemmata. As of 2023, the Rakibolana Raki-pahalalana is still in limited supply and finding it in book markets or libraries requires an incredible amount of luck. The Rakibolana Malagasy can, to some extent, work as an encyclopedia, but there again, it requires some luck to find one in book markets.
- 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.
There are difficulties in building a long-term active community : first, the lack and the expensiveness of Internet connexion :
- Internet connection especially in regions with poor 4G network coverage. That is especially true in the remote countryside where most monolingual Malagasy speakers reside. Plus, mobile connection is pretty expensive even by European standards, and most people cannot afford data, especially when modern web pages often suffer from code bloat.
- As a consequence, a low proportion of the Malagasy population has a permanent Internet connection and thus very few malagasy will be able or willing to edit Wikipedia. There are also hard requirements ('barriers') which can be more or less overcome:
- Primary barriers are access to education, and computer/internet access
- 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. 48% of Malagasy examinees passed the Baccalaureat (high-school diploma) test in 2022. Please note that this exam can be taken in the Malagasy language.
- No monolingual Malagasy language speaker is likely to enter university, where courses are totally in French, save for a few courses pertaining to Malagasy language and culture. These courses and diplomas mostly bring minimal change to the alumni's quality of life and do not lead to high-paying jobs (and thus will not logically be able to afford the price for a decent internet connection + laptop + electricity and easily access international culture).
- Domestic electricity: Electricity in Madagascar outside Antananarivo is mostly generated with fossil fuel (old diesel engines), resulting in one of the most expensive electricity in the world;
- Computer: one decent brand-new laptop ($300) costs the average yearly salary. One can buy a used laptop though, for a fraction of that price.
- Internet quality is listed as above regional average if you have a fiber connection. As of 2023, the subscription to home fiber service is $55/month + installation costs, for 900 GB bandwidth. Mobile service is $4.50 for 1 GB, or $34 for 10 GB.. The 1 GB plan is enough to read perhaps 700 pages on Wikipedia, if all you do is that.
- Secondary barriers are language dynamics
- Requirements regarding 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 or Chinese is a decisive factor for being able to use a computer without any assistance.
- Although it's getting better, editing big pages through mobile might be cumbersome for users.
- Tertiary barriers are social and cultural biases against the language
Despite a honorable 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 preference 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 developers 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.
- 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 rather prefer to purchase a French one. This latter in comparison is cheaper, widespread and cost-effective as knowledge of French will land you better-paying jobs while Malagasy does not.
- Newspapers prefer to write in French language for technical articles: Malagasy technical vocabulary is mostly known to a few people resulting into an abusive use of French words in Malagasy technical speeches.
- Lack of Malagasy-language online primary sources, such as books.
grrr... 21:29, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
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