Wikiproject:South African Languages

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Wikiproject South African languages seeks to promote and support the growth of Wikipedias written in South African languages. This project is suppported by Wikimedia South Africa.


This project arises from the dire inequalities between the Wikipedias in South Africa's 11 official languages. English, being a world language and also the original Wikipedia, has around 5 million articles, while Afrikaans is approaching 100 000, Northern Sotho 8126 and the other 8, less than 2000 each.

An online meeting was convened between members of the board of Wikimedia-ZA and North-West University's South African Centre for Digital Language Resources where it was agreed that a Wikimedia member would conduct a "train-the-trainers" workshop at NWU, and that this Wikiproject would be created.


Despite reports that an isiNdebele Wikipedia existed in incubator status (needing six editors to be active for six months to become public) this does not appear at

Northern Sotho[edit]

It would be worthwhile to research the reason for this Wikipedia's strength relative to SA's other ethnic African ones, since it has 8126 articles, and has grown strongly in recent years.









A healthy Wikipedia which has reached "medium" size but has now started to experience some of the pathologies that come with success, such as large numbers of articles produced by machine-translation without human polishing up (the English Wikipedia eventually restricted the ability to create articles by machine translation to highly trusted editors).


English is the language in least need of support given the size of the editing community both in South Africa and abroad. However there is a need to further expand and quantity and quality of articles on South African related topics as well as ensure that the correct use of South African English on relevant Wikipedia pages. This might involved awareness campaigns amongst existing editors as well as encouraging first time Wikipedia editors on English language Wikipedia. It can also extend to support of WikiProject South Africa on English Wikipedia to help grow the South African editing community. When this project was setup (9 September 2019) there were 28,476 South Africa related articles involving WikiProject South Africa.

Unofficial Languages/Dialects[edit]

Since the Wikipedia platform is neutral regarding legal/political status of languages and dialects, in principle it is easy to start a new edition of Wikipedia. There was said to be a Nama Wikipedia in incubator status which needed six editors to be active for six months to make it become publicly visible; however this is not visible at List_of_Wikipedias.