Wikimedia Indigenous Languages

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Wikimedia Indigenous Languages

A project to support smaller, less empowered,
language communities to have access
to their at-risk knowledge

Key resources

Wikimedia Indigenous Languages (WIL) is the coordinating body for the promotion and development of indigenous languages on Wikimedia projects.


Wikimedia Indigenous Languages' vision is to see the sum of the knowledge available to everybody in their own languages and to share the knowledge of those languages themselves. It will achieve that by:

  • reaching out to indigenous language speakers with the goal of developing Wikimedia projects in their languages
  • establishing working coop ởeration with like-minded projects and organizations involved in the promotion, revitalization and/or recording of indigenous languarges
  • sharing experiences and providing feedback to one another with a view to inspiring and enriching each others' events and programs
  • creating and expanding Wikimedia projects in all indigenous languages
  • supporting Wikilang as a project to document all languages
  • acting together to voice common concerns and interests inside the Wikimedia movement


For the purpose of this project, an "indigenous language" is a language that is native, or aboriginal to a region and spoken by indigenous people, but has been reduced to the status of a minority language. In some instances, this may include an island of speakers removed from their language communities by trauma and diaspora. Synonyms are "small languages", "endangered languages", "lesser-used languages" and "autochthonous languages"; some regions also use "aboriginal languages". Wikimedia Indigenous Languages focuses on languages and language communities facing the challenges and hurdles inherent to minority languages, related to corpus development, technical resources, sociolinguistic status, and/or lack of official recognition.

The status of these languages and language communities in Wikimedia may vary greatly from one case to the other, ranging from the most under-represented to those more developed and ranking on the middle-upper end of Wikimedia projects overall. All share a feeling of treading common ground from their lesser-used status, aspiring to both make universal knowledge available to everyone and local knowledge become universal, in close connection with each language's community.

Why is it important?[edit]

Languages are the pillars of cultures and the vehicles of oral traditions. They are an essential part of people's identities and an important heritage to preserve. Each language is a unique way of thinking and structuring a view of the world. Each loss of a language represents the loss of centuries-old knowledge, heritage, and history for ever. Cultures are greatly weakened by the loss of their languages and often vanish with it or soon after.

According to UNESCO, 43% of the languages spoken in the world today are vulnerable or in danger of extinction. A language becomes vulnerable when its youth no longer learns it.


The role of Wikimedia Indigenous Languages is to support and encourage efforts to develop specific Wikimedia projects in small and endangered languages. It will serve as an international body to collect and share best practices, lessons learned, and methodology for developing small-languages Wikimedia projects and preserving endangered languages. It will offer support to people interested in developing initiatives and new projects. It will become the point of contact to set up cooperation with other organizations working towards the same goals, and it will actively seek such cooperation opportunities.


Many lesser-used languages operate at a regional level, often relying on a lingua franca for communication and a referential larger culture; it is the aim of this resource to establish common bonds beyond these areas and cooperation. Becoming a meeting point opens the opportunity to provide and receive assistance and feedback to learn from each other's experiences with events, programmes and/or helpful technical inventions, and to use information as a way to showcase one's own initiatives. The main language of communication is English, but any other languages are welcome; the goal is to make news and messages as communicative and far-reaching as possible.



December 2017[edit]




  • Next meeting: To be scheduled.
  • Last meeting: September 16th (read minutes).

People interested[edit]

Please add your name to the list (by clicking here) if you are interested in participating in Wikimedia Indigenous Languages or one of its projects. You are also welcome to join the Wikimedia languages mailing list which is also be used by WIL.

  1. Gozaimasu Stone (Australia)
  2. Bpangerang (Australia)
  3. Amqui (Canada)
  4. Ebe123 (Incubator, Canada)
  5. SPQRobin (Incubator/LangCom)
  6. MF-Warburg (Incubator/LangCom)
  7. Hydriz (Incubator, can help with Southeast Asia's languages)
  8. moyogo
  9. Osiris
  10. ProtoplasmaKid
  11. CasteloBrancomsg
  12. Marrovi
  13. Djembayz
  14. B1mbo (Chile and Argentina)
  15. Maor X (LangCom; WMVE, WMIL)
  16. Fhaidel (WMVE)
  17. Bennylin (I started the Southeast Asia project and currently active in Javanese projects, working with ꦲ​ꦏ꧀ꦱꦫ​ꦗ​ꦮ​)
  18. jduranboger/mallku (Bolivia)
  19. Kaiyr (Former USSR)
  20. A12n (with particular interest in: African languages; dominant themes across world regions; learning & best practices)
  21. Jon Harald Søby (LangCom)
  22. Pras (Javanese Wikipedia)
  23. Wilfredor (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
  24. Soul Train (Moscow, Russia)
  25. Baba Tabita (LangCom; WMKE)
  26. Jagwar grrr... (from Madagascar).
  27. Millosh (LangCom, Wikimedia Serbia)
  28. Maunus
  29. HalanTul (Nikolai Pavlov) (Sakha, Russia)
  30. SereinWMfr (Adrienne Alix), (Wikimédia France)
  31. KSRolph (talk) 15:32, 5 September 2012 (UTC) Americas' languages - Peru
  32. Tadiranscopus (Turkey), (Azerbaycan)
  33. Holder (with particular interest in small languages in Europe)
  34. Alolitas (WMF Internationalization engineering team; Language Committee Observer; Interest in building tools for reading and writing in indigenous languages)
  35. Hendra Prastiawan (Committee Trainer at Wikimedia Indonesia, Indonesian Wikipedia)
  36. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) (Wikimedia UK)
  37. Anna Paparizou (Athens, Greece)
  38. Tanvir Rahman
  39. Paola Granado Bolivia
  40. A R King (Basque (Spain, France); Pipil/Nawat (El Salvador); interest in other minority languages; see especially the Nawat Wikipedia)
  41. Kanon6996 (Lima, Peru)
  42. John Vandenberg (Australia; Indonesia)
  43. Ansuman (India)
  44. Awkiku (France ; Ecuador), French native speaker, contributing to the Wikipedia in kichwa language on the incubator.
  45. Eukesh (Nepal) Nepalbhasa native speaker.
  46. Rajesh Deoli(India) Garhwali language
  47. With Wikimedia Cascadia I support efforts to preserve indigenous languages in the Pacific Northwest. I also work with linguistic research organizations in Uttar Pradesh in India. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:32, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
  48. SpartacksCompatriot (working on Minangkabau Wikipedia)
  49. Carliitaeliza currently working on Meta Babylon:Translate
  50. Cekli829 (Sumqayıt, Azərbaycan)
  51. Yupik (bureaucrat on the Northern Saami Wikipedia)
  52. Xuacu (Spain) Translation in Asturian language of Mediawiki and Meta messages
  53. Francis Tyers (talk) (Europe, the former Soviet Union and Latin America)
  54. --Netha Hussain (talk) 16:41, 16 August 2013 (UTC) (India)
  55. Enock4seth (Member of Planning Wikimedia Ghana from Ghana improving Eυe Wikipedia)
  56. Neljack (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
  57. Subhashish Panigrahi (Odisha, India)
  58. Guaka (talk), started and helped developing Wikipedia in Bambara, Peul and Limburgish, also worked a little bit on Quechua. Interested in indigenous languages across the world.
  59. Kaganer (Russia)
  60. — revimsg (Korean, Jeju - though I don't know jeju.)
  61. Pgallert (Namibia)
  62. Gloria sah (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
  63. Diana rz (México)
  64. frhdkazan (Kazan, Tatarstan, Russian Federation)
  65. Satdeep Gill (Patiala, Punjab, India)
  66. Pusle8 (developing an application to assist article translation with a focus on smaller languages Minority Translate, gathering practical knowledge on language revitalization)
  67. Jaqi-Aru (Aymara nation)
  68. Benoit Rochon (Canada)
  69. Kiackw (Germany, can help with projects in Francophone, Lusophone [Portuguese], Anglophone and Germanophone countries)
  70. Sahaquiel9102, interested in the develop of Wikimedian projects in Colombia.
  71. Michael junior obregon pozo ,intereses in the develop of Wikimedia project in Peru.
  72. Deborahjay, helping on the Zulu WP, somewhat on the Ladino WP
  73. R12ntech (talk), assisting with Lakota Wikipedia (in Incubator) and Cherokee Wikipedia, curating writing on tech and LR at r12n
  74. Gutemonik, I'm linguist I am interested in leading projects for the inclusion of languages spoken in Central and South America.

Wikimedia Indigenous Languages - Map.svg
Map of the countries with at least one participant