Tell us about Serbian Wikipedia

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Serbian Wikipedia[edit]



  • Wikimedia Statistics can be difficult to interpret. What is your impression, how many steady contributors do you have?
    • I think we have some 50 to 70 regular contributors. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I think it's an overestimation. Actually, though it's not based on any serious investigation, I think that in any given month we don't have more than 30-40 authors. Some leave, some join and some come back, but steady authors have always been scarce at --Дарко Максимовић 01:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Are your contributors mostly native speakers?
    • Yes, they are. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I don't think that we have a single contributor who speaks Serbian as a secondary language. There are, however, a few contributors from Serbian diaspora who don't speak Serbian very well, so they could be said to practice on Wikipedia. Nikola 19:14, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Actually, we have User:ВКокијелов :) Also, we have sporadic contributors from former Yugoslavia. For some of them it can't be treated that Serbian is their second language (Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian have the same linguistic structure), but, from time to time, contributors from Macedonia, Slovenia and Bulgaria are making contribution to sr.wp. --Millosh 09:17, 31 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • There is at least me as sproradic contributor who's native language is not Serbian or any other language of the region. --Mazbln 13:18, 7 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Mostly interwiki editors and petitioners for a translation of some marginal political party or rock band. If we count Croatian authors, there have been some, but they are rare. Mainly, it's all Serbian authors. --Дарко Максимовић 01:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Where do your contributors live (regions/country)?
    • Most of our contributors live in Serbia, but there are also contributors from other countries and regions. For example, Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Hercegovina), Montenegro, different countries of EU, US, Canada and Australia. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC) Nikola 19:14, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Mainly Balkan areas populated by Serbs (which includes Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro), but some Serbian authors from abroad, too. --Дарко Максимовић 01:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • How common is it that your contributors meet in real life?

Other Wikipedias[edit]

  • Do you have special contacts with another Wikipedias (maybe in related languages)?
    • At the community level, we have regular contacts with the community around Wikimedian projects in Croatian. Communication is regular, as well as some of us are sharing our two IRC channels (#wikipedia-sr and #wikipedia-hr). We have contacts with Wikimedian communities around projects in Slovenian and Macedonian. --Millosh 09:21, 31 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Do you translate a lot from other Wikipedias? Which ones?
    • Yes we translate articles from other Wikipedias. English, Spanish, Deutsch, I think. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • When articles are translated, they are mostly translated from English, my impression is that this is especially true for articles about scientific or engineering topics. But people who know Spanish translate from Spanish, people who know Polish translate from Polish and so on, especially about regional topics. I even recall a Serbian student of Chinese who was translating from Chinese, and of course there is some translating of articles from Serbian to English and other languages. Nikola 19:17, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Also, there is some amount of articles sharing between projects in standards based on Shtokavian dialect (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian). Usually, this assumes adaptation of standards, not "real" translations. --Millosh 09:23, 31 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I for my self translate from Russian from time to time, but mainly from English. Wikipedia in English seems to be the main source for many who translate, but not the only one. --Дарко Максимовић 01:46, 8 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Organization and support[edit]

  • Is there a Wikimedia chapter in your country? How does your language relate to it?
  • Are there work groups in other organizations about Wikipedia?
    • There are cooperations with the Faculty of Mathematics, Faculty of Physical Chemistry and the Philological Faculty of Belgrade University. Work groups are not regular, but, from time to time they exist. --Millosh 09:31, 31 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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?
  • Who (else) supports you?
  • What does the public outreach for your edition look like? Do you have flyers, give lectures, trainings etc.?
    • We have lectures and media appearances, there is the leaflet which we are handing on the lectures or leaving in bookstores and similar. We would like to hold Wikipedia academies, but we don't have appropriate space - probably will do when BYH gets a computer classroom. Serbian translation of Das kleine Wikipedia-Einmaleins exists that we would like to print, but we can't find funding. Nikola 20:14, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Do you get feedback from readers?
    • No. But we occasionally receive critiques of some occasional contributors, positive or negative. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Only from friends and so. But one of our perennial plans it to make a questionnaire for readers that would be prominently placed on Wikipedia and analysed afterwards. Nikola 19:34, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What other encyclopedias exist in your language?
    • That depends on what do you mean by 'your language' :) There are several pre-WWII encyclopedias that are today hard to find and partially unusable; there are a number of encyclopedias by the Yugoslav Lexicographical Institute that are in Serbo-Croatian, thus understandable and usable, if rather expensive; there is the Military Encyclopedia (expensive), Small Prosveta's Encyclopedia (small, full of stubs; a personal project of mine is to make sure Serbian Wikipedia contains all the info in it), a translation of an abbreviated Britannica (usable), and of course a host of specialized encyclopedias and encyclopedia-like books, illustrated encyclopedias, children encyclopedias and so on... Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and Matica srpska are currently working on a national Serbian Encyclopedia. Nikola 20:04, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Does your edition concentrates on certain topics, like your region and language, or Latin Wikipedia on Roman history and Christianity?
    • There is no intent to concentrate on certain topics, sometimes even to the point of excluding Serbian-specific material from articles on general topics (for example, should article on potato have info about how potatoes were introduced in Serbia?), but naturally more people will write about region they live in, so Serbia and Serbian topics are better covered than on other Wikipedias. Nikola 19:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Did your edition enjoy text donations, for example from older encyclopedias?
    • Yes! One text donation was from the Dictionary of Social Work whose author approached us with an offer to release the articles under GFDL; eventually, some 1500 (human-written) articles were bot-uploaded to Serbian Wikipedia, including articles on a number of topics related to social work that even English Wikipedia doesn't have. We intend to ask a few more authors for similar releases. We also have quite good experience with websites allowing us to use their contents under GFDL, but this is somewhat of an underused opportunity (and a bit dangerous, since some of the websites gave us permissions for content they probably don't have copyright for). There are a few pre-WWII encyclopedias that I would very much want to see digitized (and bot-uploaded), tough luck so far, partly due to copyright and partly due to other issues too complex to discuss here (or, indeed, anywhere else).
      There are also bot-generated articles, but that is a separate question that, luckily, isn't asked :) Nikola 19:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Is there a generally accepted norm about your language (spelling, dictionary, pronunciation)?
    • Yes, we have orthography rules for writing in Serbian language. But we have frequent discussions about transcriptions of names that are not Serbian. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Also about correct writing of capital and small letter. Frequent discussions are an euphemism given that several users have left the project or were banned because of this. Nikola 19:38, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • How do you deal with different spellings, dialects etc. (like B.E. lift and A.E. elevator)?
    • In Serbian language we have two regulated dialects and write in two scripts, Cyrillic and Latin. In our Wikipedia we have implemented mediawiki solution for transliteration between two scripts, but not for dialects. There was intention to design implementation for mediawiki which could deal with automatic translation from one dialect to another, but seems that this will require a lot of work and expert assistance. --Slaven Kosanovic 14:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • So, two regulated dialects (ekavian and ijekavian), and two alphabets. Similar to English Wikipedia, an article started in one dialect and alphabet stays in that dialect and alphabet. Automatic transliteration between alphabets exists, but not between dialects. Nikola 19:38, 30 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See also[edit]