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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 7:29 AM

Post #1 of 14 (1314 views)
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Projects in simple languages

After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:

* Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
*: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
[[w:fr:Français fondamental|Français fondamental]]. (In reality it does
not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
English and French.)

In practice, it means that:
* It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.
* It is likely that border cases would be discussed in Language
committee on case-by-case basis. For example, German is not a world
language, but at least discussion would be opened if strong arguments
would be given, including widely accepted definition of simple language.
* It is not a matter of LangCom would any Wikipedia (or any other
Wikimedia project) host project in corresponding simple language inside
of a separate namespace -- with or without specification.

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foundation-l at wikimedia

Jun 20, 2011, 7:24 AM

Post #2 of 14 (1275 views)
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Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 6/20/2011 10:29 AM, Milos Rancic wrote:
> After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
> quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
> part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:
>
> * Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
> [[w:fr:Français fondamental|Français fondamental]]. (In reality it does
> not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
> English and French.)
>
> In practice, it means that:
> * It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
> If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
> languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
> project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.
> * It is likely that border cases would be discussed in Language
> committee on case-by-case basis. For example, German is not a world
> language, but at least discussion would be opened if strong arguments
> would be given, including widely accepted definition of simple language.
> * It is not a matter of LangCom would any Wikipedia (or any other
> Wikimedia project) host project in corresponding simple language inside
> of a separate namespace -- with or without specification.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
This is great news! I was just involved on IRC talking about Simple
projects and how they would be regulated. Thank you for informing us!

--
Joe Gazz84 - Wikimedia Wikis
Home Wiki: ENWP (Retired)
Meta
Commons
For information on the "wikimedia.technology-hub.com" email domain, email info [at] wikimedia
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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 7:40 AM

Post #3 of 14 (1274 views)
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Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/20/2011 04:29 PM, Milos Rancic wrote:
> After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
> quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
> part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:
>
> * Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
> [[w:fr:Français fondamental|Français fondamental]]. (In reality it does
> not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
> English and French.)
>
> In practice, it means that:
> * It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
> If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
> languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
> project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.
> * It is likely that border cases would be discussed in Language
> committee on case-by-case basis. For example, German is not a world
> language, but at least discussion would be opened if strong arguments
> would be given, including widely accepted definition of simple language.
> * It is not a matter of LangCom would any Wikipedia (or any other
> Wikimedia project) host project in corresponding simple language inside
> of a separate namespace -- with or without specification.

I forgot to give the only link:
[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_proposal_policy/New_policy


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z at mzmcbride

Jun 20, 2011, 10:25 AM

Post #4 of 14 (1274 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

Milos Rancic wrote:
> After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
> quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
> part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:
>
> * Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
> [[w:fr:Franais fondamental|Franais fondamental]]. (In reality it does
> not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
> English and French.)

I thought nearly everyone, except a few people who edit the Simple projects,
agreed that their creation was a horrible mistake and that they only
continue to exist as a byproduct of history. Half of the Simple English
projects (Wikibooks and Wikiquote) have been closed (Simple English
Wikiquote was a legendary horror); only Simple English Wikipedia and Simple
English Wiktionary remain. Given this, it seems rather "out of left field"
for the Language Committee to try to suddenly declare that it's acceptable
to have new simple forms. Has anything changed outside of the Committee that
triggered this?

> In practice, it means that:
> * It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
> If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
> languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
> project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.

This has come up a few times before and as I recall, the French in
particular considered a simple version of their language to be an
abomination. What's the process for a "new language" project? Would current
French Wikipedia contributors have an opportunity to object to a new simple
French Wikipedia or a new simple French Wiktionary?

MZMcBride



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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 11:23 AM

Post #5 of 14 (1269 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/20/2011 07:25 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
> Milos Rancic wrote:
>> After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
>> quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
>> part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:
>>
>> * Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
>> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
>> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
>> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
>> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
>> [[w:fr:Français fondamental|Français fondamental]]. (In reality it does
>> not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
>> English and French.)
>
> I thought nearly everyone, except a few people who edit the Simple projects,
> agreed that their creation was a horrible mistake and that they only
> continue to exist as a byproduct of history. Half of the Simple English
> projects (Wikibooks and Wikiquote) have been closed (Simple English
> Wikiquote was a legendary horror); only Simple English Wikipedia and Simple
> English Wiktionary remain. Given this, it seems rather "out of left field"
> for the Language Committee to try to suddenly declare that it's acceptable
> to have new simple forms. Has anything changed outside of the Committee that
> triggered this?

The change has happened, actually, inside of the committee. As you could
see as a LangCom observer, the dominant emotion toward projects in
simple languages is antagonistic among LangCom members. My personal
position is not the exception.

However, during the meeting in Berlin two members of LangCom, Michael
and Anthony, both of them linguists, have convinced other of us that
there *is* scientific basis of Simple English.

Speaking for myself, if there is a scientific basis, I have no problem
to allow such project. (Of course, if other requirements would be
fulfilled.)

The logical line of my thoughts was to allow *any* project in simple (or
equivalent) language if there is a scientific basis. Mostly because
there could be created valid communities around non-world-languages with
large number of speakers (German and Japanese are examples).

However, dominant position of the rest of the committee is that it
should be allowed just for world languages. So, it's the agreed
LangCom's position toward the new policy.

>> In practice, it means that:
>> * It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
>> If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
>> languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
>> project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.
>
> This has come up a few times before and as I recall, the French in
> particular considered a simple version of their language to be an
> abomination. What's the process for a "new language" project? Would current
> French Wikipedia contributors have an opportunity to object to a new simple
> French Wikipedia or a new simple French Wiktionary?

First of all, as it is not about usual request, proposers for Simple
French Wikipedia, which is the only one with good chances to pass, would
have to convince us that their intention is genuine and that they are
not trolls who want to create a fork of French Wikipedia.

As usual, discussion would be held on Meta. If there are serious
arguments against creation of Simple French Wikipedia, we would consider
them, of course. However, "arguments" like "I don't like simple
projects" won't be counted.

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de10011 at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 11:30 AM

Post #6 of 14 (1268 views)
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Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

The last request was a 2 line proposal added by an anon ip[1] in passing,
their only edit. I wouldn't call that a community.

Theo

[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Requests_for_new_languages%2FWikipedia_Simple_German_4&action=historysubmit&diff=2519024&oldid=2087184


On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 12:00 AM, Milos Rancic <millosh [at] gmail> wrote:

> On 06/20/2011 08:23 PM, Milos Rancic wrote:
> > The logical line of my thoughts was to allow *any* project in simple (or
> > equivalent) language if there is a scientific basis. Mostly because
> > there could be created valid communities around non-world-languages with
> > large number of speakers (German and Japanese are examples).
>
> Just to add one personal note: Four requests [1][2][3][4] for Simple
> German Wikipedia have influence on my position.
>
> As I said on LangCom list, I am personally opposed to the projects in
> simple languages, as, out of English one, their purpose tend to be
> censored "family friendly" projects. Including the request for the
> request in Simple German.
>
> However, if there is a valid community which aims to create educational
> project -- encyclopedia, to be precise --, I don't think that we have
> right to forbid them that.
>
> [1]
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German
> [2]
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_2
> [3]
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_3
> [4]
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_4
>
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>
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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 11:30 AM

Post #7 of 14 (1279 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/20/2011 08:23 PM, Milos Rancic wrote:
> The logical line of my thoughts was to allow *any* project in simple (or
> equivalent) language if there is a scientific basis. Mostly because
> there could be created valid communities around non-world-languages with
> large number of speakers (German and Japanese are examples).

Just to add one personal note: Four requests [1][2][3][4] for Simple
German Wikipedia have influence on my position.

As I said on LangCom list, I am personally opposed to the projects in
simple languages, as, out of English one, their purpose tend to be
censored "family friendly" projects. Including the request for the
request in Simple German.

However, if there is a valid community which aims to create educational
project -- encyclopedia, to be precise --, I don't think that we have
right to forbid them that.

[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German
[2]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_2
[3]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_3
[4]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_4

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dgerard at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 11:55 AM

Post #8 of 14 (1270 views)
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Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

WIk

On 20 June 2011 15:29, Milos Rancic <millosh [at] gmail> wrote:

> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and


I have been around the Wikimedia projects since 2004. This is the very
first time I have ever heard any official subset of English mentioned
in any connection with the Simple English Wikipedia. Did I just miss
past documentation to this effect? Was this part of its founding? When
was Basic English first linked with Simple?


- d.

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zvandijk at googlemail

Jun 20, 2011, 11:55 AM

Post #9 of 14 (1270 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

Hello Milos,

Thank you for the elaboration. Indeed I am afraid that the concept is
a little too narrow. A language like Dutch is not really a "world
language", but it as a lot of speakers with Dutch as a foreign or
second language. Also, as far as I know Simple English Wikipedia
mentions Basic English but does not base itself explicitly and
willingly on it.

The step of the committee looks to me as if only the concept of
(elligible) artificial languages has been extended to the group of
basic languages. You could add "Weltdeutsch" to your list of examples.

Maybe the case needs more consideration. I ackknowledge that it is a
difficult thing and that we don't want every language version to exist
in a second version.

Kind regards
Ziko


2011/6/20 Milos Rancic <millosh [at] gmail>:
> After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
> quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
> part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:
>
> * Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
> [[w:fr:Franais fondamental|Franais fondamental]]. (In reality it does
> not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
> English and French.)
>
> In practice, it means that:
> * It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
> If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
> languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
> project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.
> * It is likely that border cases would be discussed in Language
> committee on case-by-case basis. For example, German is not a world
> language, but at least discussion would be opened if strong arguments
> would be given, including widely accepted definition of simple language.
> * It is not a matter of LangCom would any Wikipedia (or any other
> Wikimedia project) host project in corresponding simple language inside
> of a separate namespace -- with or without specification.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
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The Netherlands
http://zikoblog.wordpress.com/

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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 11:57 AM

Post #10 of 14 (1269 views)
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Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/20/2011 08:30 PM, Theo10011 wrote:
> The last request was a 2 line proposal added by an anon ip[1] in passing,
> their only edit. I wouldn't call that a community.

However, the first three were valid ones.

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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 12:12 PM

Post #11 of 14 (1271 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/20/2011 08:55 PM, David Gerard wrote:
> On 20 June 2011 15:29, Milos Rancic <millosh [at] gmail> wrote:
>> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
>> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
>> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
>> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
>
> I have been around the Wikimedia projects since 2004. This is the very
> first time I have ever heard any official subset of English mentioned
> in any connection with the Simple English Wikipedia. Did I just miss
> past documentation to this effect? Was this part of its founding? When
> was Basic English first linked with Simple?

I have to admit the same. I would ask Michael to elaborate this.

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millosh at gmail

Jun 20, 2011, 12:14 PM

Post #12 of 14 (1275 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/20/2011 08:55 PM, Ziko van Dijk wrote:
> Maybe the case needs more consideration. I ackknowledge that it is a
> difficult thing and that we don't want every language version to exist
> in a second version.

So, please, give your arguments :)

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z at mzmcbride

Jun 20, 2011, 3:25 PM

Post #13 of 14 (1275 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

Thanks for the detailed response. :-)

Milos Rancic wrote:
> As usual, discussion would be held on Meta. If there are serious
> arguments against creation of Simple French Wikipedia, we would consider
> them, of course. However, "arguments" like "I don't like simple
> projects" won't be counted.

Well, I'm sure some of them would say that in French; would that help? ;-)

I do wonder if arguments such as "Wikimedia should not be in the business of
making simplified language-versions of projects" would be counted.

MZMcBride



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millosh at gmail

Jun 21, 2011, 6:31 AM

Post #14 of 14 (1255 views)
Permalink
Re: Projects in simple languages [In reply to]

On 06/21/2011 12:25 AM, MZMcBride wrote:
> Thanks for the detailed response. :-)
>
> Milos Rancic wrote:
>> As usual, discussion would be held on Meta. If there are serious
>> arguments against creation of Simple French Wikipedia, we would consider
>> them, of course. However, "arguments" like "I don't like simple
>> projects" won't be counted.
>
> Well, I'm sure some of them would say that in French; would that help? ;-)
>
> I do wonder if arguments such as "Wikimedia should not be in the business of
> making simplified language-versions of projects" would be counted.

There is one more thing in which I agree with Michael...

As he is in the group which creates BCP 47 language subtags, I told to
him that we should get generic subtags for simple languages. His
response was that we should think about it when the time comes, not before.

I think that we will wait for some time, maybe even long, before we get
a valid request for Simple French Wikipedia. When that time comes, we'll
think about details.

I mean, there are other things to be done and we've already spent a lot
of time in it. The only reason why we've done so is to normalize the
situation. I started with the position "we should recommend to the Board
to close all simple projects" during the Berlin meeting. However,
normalization went into other direction and I am fine with it, too.

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