A simple question on languages.

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Thomas Dalton
> > But the threshold was arbitrary... I'd picked a number to represent
> > the notion of "an overwhelmingly vast majority".
>
> Sorry, but lol-whut?
>
> An overwhelming vast majority of *what* ?

Of the literate human population, that was quite clear. What are you
talking about?

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On 24/01/2008, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There are more kinds of resources that need to be allocated than
> simply turning on Wikis, which is why understanding the payoff is
> important.
>
> For example, on a multi-lingual project like Commons it might be a
> reasonable requirement that all policies, featured image descriptions,
> etc be translated into the top N languages at a minimum.  Requiring
> translations into hundreds of languages would be a impressive waste of
> resources. By knowing the tradeoffs we can make better decisions.

What resources are you speaking of? Volunteer resources?
If so, I find the question fairly moot, as we can't really "require" anything.

cheers,
Brianna

--
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
http://modernthings.org/

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Re: A simple question on languages.

KIZU Naoko
On Jan 24, 2008 11:42 AM, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 24/01/2008, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > There are more kinds of resources that need to be allocated than
> > simply turning on Wikis, which is why understanding the payoff is
> > important.
> >
> > For example, on a multi-lingual project like Commons it might be a
> > reasonable requirement that all policies, featured image descriptions,
> > etc be translated into the top N languages at a minimum.  Requiring
> > translations into hundreds of languages would be a impressive waste of
> > resources. By knowing the tradeoffs we can make better decisions.
>
> What resources are you speaking of? Volunteer resources?
> If so, I find the question fairly moot, as we can't really "require" anything.
Seconded.

While I personally think German language is important for public
relation, except fund raising and board election no volunteer showed
any interest so no latest information in German on WMF website.

On the other hand we have no good reason to reject a translation
offered by volunteer(s) regardless the size of its speaker population.
Unless we are talking to budget translation and hire, question about
"requiring language xx" goes nowhere I suppose.

--
KIZU Naoko
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Britty (in Japanese)
Quote of the Day (English): http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/WQ:QOTD

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
I don't think its useful to look at limiting languages in terms of
'resources' available for providing Wikimedia projects. As Aphaia and
Gerard point out, what we're dealing with is volunteer resources -
which cost the Foundation nothing and can't be required or redirected
in any case.

What is more key, I think, is a question like this: What is the
minimum size of an active community that can reasonably be expected to
produce articles of a basic degree of quality?

In this case, the active community would be drawn first from among
literate speakers. Then from the literate, you take those who have
regular computer access. From those, you find the few who are willing
to devote time to a wiki collaborative effort. If you start with a
small literate community, or a large literate community with low
levels of Internet access then you will necessary have a small Wiki
community.

A small Wiki community is a reliable indicator of two things: Limited
quality, and limited readership.

Neither of those two things satisfy the goals of Wikimedia.

~Nathan

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Judson Dunn-2
On Jan 24, 2008 2:46 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't think its useful to look at limiting languages in terms of
> 'resources' available for providing Wikimedia projects. As Aphaia and
> Gerard point out, what we're dealing with is volunteer resources -
> which cost the Foundation nothing and can't be required or redirected
> in any case.


I don't know if that's entirely true. I mean, it's nice if volunteers
can translate everything. But it's certainly conceivable that the
Foundation might want to issue press releases or statements or
something in these N languages regardless of volunteer support, even
if that means paying for an occasional translation.

The answer to this question would conceivably be very useful, I don't
see any reason to discourage people from finding it.

Judson
[[:en:User:Cohesion]]

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Nathan Awrich
It could be useful in any number of ways, but not I think as a tool
for determining which languages Wikimedia supports. Objective criteria
regarding the language is the first step - ISO identification. Active
community is the second step, and the crucial issue is the size and
activity of the 'active community.' A small volunteer base and a small
readership means that it is more likely that content will harm our
goal than help it. Content of low quality and accuracy helps no one
and potentially hurts many people and the reputation of the
Foundation.

Nathan

On Jan 24, 2008 4:27 PM, cohesion <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't know if that's entirely true. I mean, it's nice if volunteers
> can translate everything. But it's certainly conceivable that the
> Foundation might want to issue press releases or statements or
> something in these N languages regardless of volunteer support, even
> if that means paying for an occasional translation.
>
> The answer to this question would conceivably be very useful, I don't
> see any reason to discourage people from finding it.
>
> Judson
> [[:en:User:Cohesion]]
>
>
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Re: A simple question on languages.

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Judson Dunn-2
On 24/01/2008, cohesion <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Jan 24, 2008 2:46 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I don't think its useful to look at limiting languages in terms of
> > 'resources' available for providing Wikimedia projects. As Aphaia and
> > Gerard point out, what we're dealing with is volunteer resources -
> > which cost the Foundation nothing and can't be required or redirected
> > in any case.
>
>
> I don't know if that's entirely true. I mean, it's nice if volunteers
> can translate everything. But it's certainly conceivable that the
> Foundation might want to issue press releases or statements or
> something in these N languages regardless of volunteer support, even
> if that means paying for an occasional translation.
>
> The answer to this question would conceivably be very useful, I don't
> see any reason to discourage people from finding it.

If the WMF wants to translate things, the number of languages would be
much smaller than the numbers we're talking about. I can see the WMF
paying for translations into major languages, or languages used by
people directly affected by what the press release is about, but
translating into even just dozens of languages would be prohibitively
expensive.

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Re: A simple question on languages.

KIZU Naoko
On Jan 25, 2008 7:16 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 24/01/2008, cohesion <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Jan 24, 2008 2:46 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > I don't think its useful to look at limiting languages in terms of
> > > 'resources' available for providing Wikimedia projects. As Aphaia and
> > > Gerard point out, what we're dealing with is volunteer resources -
> > > which cost the Foundation nothing and can't be required or redirected
> > > in any case.

> > I don't know if that's entirely true. I mean, it's nice if volunteers
> > can translate everything. But it's certainly conceivable that the
> > Foundation might want to issue press releases or statements or
> > something in these N languages regardless of volunteer support, even
> > if that means paying for an occasional translation.
> >
> > The answer to this question would conceivably be very useful, I don't
> > see any reason to discourage people from finding it.

I basically agree with Nathan if we talk on volunteer resources only
it would be pointless, so now I think it reasonable for us to proceed;
is there any need to spend money and hire even occasional translators
for a specific need? I think this question should be considered
seriosly in the light Cohesion cast, like press releases or any other
official communications from the WMF to particular language speaking
commnity.

> If the WMF wants to translate things, the number of languages would be
> much smaller than the numbers we're talking about. I can see the WMF
> paying for translations into major languages, or languages used by
> people directly affected by what the press release is about, but
> translating into even just dozens of languages would be prohibitively
> expensive.

Yes.
And as Danny mentioned properly, we need to consider how monolingual
communities can be reached. Then we would find a big Wikimedia
language community but monolingual and in a weak tie with the rest of
the project or the information from WMF is not fully effectively
addressed to their society in general, and in my opinion specially in
case WMF expect a potential revenue from business in that language
society (selling live feed, deal on logos etc). Then the first
question of Greg makes a sense and cast another light I think: how
many languages we need to access the vast majority - either the whole
of this globe, thus the potential readership or our current
readership.

Here the mere stats about native language speakers or the size of
project doesn't make a sense. We need a stats of literal communication
ability including L2. An interesting example is the Arabic language
case I guess ... there we may find a large community but good at
another more influential language(s).  Arabic people have a large
population, but for Wikimania 2008 Mido said to me English would be
the first and only working language for the whole team  --- including
the local team: typing Arabic he said (and if I don't misunderstand)
was annoying even for native speakers and "slower" than English and
because of diverse Arabic dialects English sometimes was used as
lingua franca among the Arab(!), at least in the Middle East, so
although I convince Arabic language is an invaluable addition to the
press release set and whatsoever, I am inclining not to think it a
part of necessary language kit unless we are under a pressing need to
involve many Arabic speakers.

If you know a reliable and latest stats about language competency
including the 2nd language, please let us share it! While I disagree
on that they are "required", it is definitely what Transcom wants to
refer for determining their priority. It has been my long time
headache to think  who should I contact at first when we lack German,
Polish and Japanese for a certain document.

--
KIZU Naoko
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Britty (in Japanese)
Quote of the Day (English): http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/WQ:QOTD

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Hoi,
Translating is only prohibitively expensive if you do not understand the
cost and the benefit. When a professional translator specialised in
marketing does a translation, you get more then a translation. You get a
messages that is selly and targeted. When the text is for instance to get a
grant, or to entice people to donate to the Foundation. A great text makes a
lot of difference. A text that is not getting the message out is more
expensive then the cost of a professional translation.

A really well phrased professional text targeted for the fund raising
targetting the top 12 economic countries of the world, I would not be
surprised if the cost of a translation is pennies to the pound. I would not
be surprised if targeted text the next 50 economic countries of the world
would be a great investment. Translations are a tool that is available to
the organisation and the marketing of the WMF. As with all tools it works
best for people who know how to handle them.
Thanks,
     GerardM


On Jan 24, 2008 11:16 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 24/01/2008, cohesion <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Jan 24, 2008 2:46 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > I don't think its useful to look at limiting languages in terms of
> > > 'resources' available for providing Wikimedia projects. As Aphaia and
> > > Gerard point out, what we're dealing with is volunteer resources -
> > > which cost the Foundation nothing and can't be required or redirected
> > > in any case.
> >
> >
> > I don't know if that's entirely true. I mean, it's nice if volunteers
> > can translate everything. But it's certainly conceivable that the
> > Foundation might want to issue press releases or statements or
> > something in these N languages regardless of volunteer support, even
> > if that means paying for an occasional translation.
> >
> > The answer to this question would conceivably be very useful, I don't
> > see any reason to discourage people from finding it.
>
> If the WMF wants to translate things, the number of languages would be
> much smaller than the numbers we're talking about. I can see the WMF
> paying for translations into major languages, or languages used by
> people directly affected by what the press release is about, but
> translating into even just dozens of languages would be prohibitively
> expensive.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: A simple question on languages.

Thomas Dalton
On 24/01/2008, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
> Translating is only prohibitively expensive if you do not understand the
> cost and the benefit. When a professional translator specialised in
> marketing does a translation, you get more then a translation. You get a
> messages that is selly and targeted. When the text is for instance to get a
> grant, or to entice people to donate to the Foundation. A great text makes a
> lot of difference. A text that is not getting the message out is more
> expensive then the cost of a professional translation.
>
> A really well phrased professional text targeted for the fund raising
> targetting the top 12 economic countries of the world, I would not be
> surprised if the cost of a translation is pennies to the pound. I would not
> be surprised if targeted text the next 50 economic countries of the world
> would be a great investment. Translations are a tool that is available to
> the organisation and the marketing of the WMF. As with all tools it works
> best for people who know how to handle them.
> Thanks,
>      GerardM

We can get translations for free for languages we have large
Wikipedias for - are people speaking languages we don't have projects
for likely to be particularly interested in donating?

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
On Jan 23, 2008 9:42 PM, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 24/01/2008, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > There are more kinds of resources that need to be allocated than
> > simply turning on Wikis, which is why understanding the payoff is
> > important.
> >
> > For example, on a multi-lingual project like Commons it might be a
> > reasonable requirement that all policies, featured image descriptions,
> > etc be translated into the top N languages at a minimum.  Requiring
> > translations into hundreds of languages would be a impressive waste of
> > resources. By knowing the tradeoffs we can make better decisions.
>
> What resources are you speaking of?

Any kind of resources.  The fundraising video would have us expecting
WMF to be somehow spending money on the native languages of the
developing world in the future.  How should that money best be spent?
Part of the answer depends on knowing the impact of languages.

> Volunteer resources?
> If so, I find the question fairly moot, as we can't really "require" anything.

Common misconception. You know better, think about it for a bit. We
can exert pressure in all sorts of ways even in our existing volunteer
systems. Consider commons, "To be featured an image's description must
be translated into at least three languages, including at least two
from this list".  That would have a clear impact on common's
accessibility to people of many languages.

Even without stuffing it in as a requirement having clear information
about the impact of supporting other languages will allow us to make a
better argument to the volunteers, and providing that will hopefully
shift their priorities a little.

Going beyond that, other heavily volunteer organizations are quite
able to set clear goals and achieve them.  That we are somewhat broken
in that regard doesn't mean we will never get better, or shouldn't get
better.

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Brianna Laugher
On 25/01/2008, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Jan 23, 2008 9:42 PM, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > What resources are you speaking of?
>
> Any kind of resources.  The fundraising video would have us expecting
> WMF to be somehow spending money on the native languages of the
> developing world in the future.  How should that money best be spent?
> Part of the answer depends on knowing the impact of languages.

Part (and *only* part), but since we don't have six squabillion
dollars, we will never get to the end of the list that enables 99.999%
of the literate world to contribute. Since we have the equivalent of
spare change found down the back of the couch we can pick a much less
contentious number like 70% and still not go close to reaching it.

> > Volunteer resources?
> > If so, I find the question fairly moot, as we can't really "require" anything.
>
> Common misconception. You know better, think about it for a bit. We
> can exert pressure in all sorts of ways even in our existing volunteer
> systems. Consider commons, "To be featured an image's description must
> be translated into at least three languages, including at least two
> from this list".  That would have a clear impact on common's
> accessibility to people of many languages.

Limited accessibility, yes. I don't see how we can dangle a carrot to
get people to translate policy or help pages though.

> Even without stuffing it in as a requirement having clear information
> about the impact of supporting other languages will allow us to make a
> better argument to the volunteers, and providing that will hopefully
> shift their priorities a little.
>
> Going beyond that, other heavily volunteer organizations are quite
> able to set clear goals and achieve them.  That we are somewhat broken
> in that regard doesn't mean we will never get better, or shouldn't get
> better.

I set a goal for POTY to have complete translations and committee
language contacts for all the natural languages of the top 15
Wikipedias (which at the time were also all the Wikipedias with >
100,000 articles, since then Romanian and Catalan have snuck into this
list).
We did pretty well, although there was a lot of cajoling from me as
the end of the year drew closer. ‪Norsk (bokmål) (no:) was the only
one that didn't really get there in terms of translation completion.
That was 13 languages other than English, and that was quite
difficult. I would like to see us have consistent, solid results for
that set (or a similar one) before tackling any other dozens of
languages.

It's also useful to note the difference between material intended for
within the Wikimedia community (WMF info, election info, policies) and
that of external (fundraising, maybe some basic website info).
For material intended for the Wikimedia community it makes sense to
prioritise the language list according to projects listed by number of
users. [If someone has a better metric like active users in the last X
months then maybe use that instead.]

<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Table_of_Wikimedia_Projects_by_Size>
sorted by users:

1      en.wikipedia
2 es.wikipedia
3 de.wikipedia
4 zh.wikipedia
5 fr.wikipedia
6 pt.wikipedia
        commons.wikimedia
7 it.wikipedia
8 ja.wikipedia
9 pl.wikipedia
10 nl.wikipedia
11 tr.wikipedia
12 ar.wikipedia
13 ru.wikipedia
        en.wikibooks
14 fa.wikipedia
15 fi.wikipedia
16 no.wikipedia
17 vi.wikipedia
18 id.wikipedia
19 sv.wikipedia
        en.wiktionary
20 he.wikipedia

Now that's a list that is pretty different to the languages of the top
20 Wikipedias.

Anyway, my point is that it will be decades before we need the answer
to your original question, since we are still struggling on this basic
kind of measure, which makes me wonder what the point of the
discussion is besides a flamefest.

cheers
Brianna

--
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
http://modernthings.org/
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Re: A simple question on languages.

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On Jan 23, 2008 8:08 AM, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What is the minimum number of languages must you write in to
> effectively communicate with 99.9999% of all the world's literate
> people?

<snip>

> Note that I'm asking 'effectively communicate' not 'communicate in a
> This seems like a simple and important question which others should
> have asked and answered definitively long ago, yet I can't seem to
> find a good reference. It also seems to me to be the sort of question
> which should play an important role in the foundation's long term
> resource allocations.

With some quick searches:

I suspect that the four-volume tome "The written languages of the
world : a survey of the degree and modes of use"
http://worldcat.org/oclc/4931003
would answer your question, but you'll probably have to go to a
university library to use it.

This book:
http://www.amazon.com/Languages-Globalising-World-Jacques-Maurais/dp/0521533546
does seem to address the question of which languages will predominate,
and also heavily references a 1997 report by David Graddol called "The
Future of English?" which seems to sort out how widely the big
languages are spoken vs the little ones. This doesn't directly answer
your question but will probably will point you in the right direction.
I would imagine there are many other books relating to globalization
and languages that might also address the question.

There are several language reference works that catalog the number of
native speakers of any given language; I'm fond of "The Dictionary of
Languages", not least because it's fun to browse. However, again may
not answer your question on a global scale with regard to literacy.
http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Languages-Definitive-Reference-More/dp/0231115695

Finally, I'd be surprised if the Ethnologue doesn't address this --
but I don't have one handy to check.
http://www.ethnologue.com/print.asp
(though, given its relative importance in what we do, the Foundation
should definitely have one on hand -- and I'd be happy to buy one to
start off a new SF office library :) )

As someone else pointed out, it's the issue of multi-lingual speakers
and not counting people twice that is the tricky part. Determining
global literacy rates also seems pretty tough, since I would assume
there are probably countries that don't have accurate data for that.

-- phoebe

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On Jan 25, 2008 2:12 AM, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Any kind of resources.  The fundraising video would have us expecting
> WMF to be somehow spending money on the native languages of the
> developing world in the future.  How should that money best be spent?
> Part of the answer depends on knowing the impact of languages.
>
> > Volunteer resources?
> > If so, I find the question fairly moot, as we can't really "require" anything.
>
> Common misconception. You know better, think about it for a bit. We
> can exert pressure in all sorts of ways even in our existing volunteer
> systems. Consider commons, "To be featured an image's description must
> be translated into at least three languages, including at least two
> from this list".  That would have a clear impact on common's
> accessibility to people of many languages.
>
> Even without stuffing it in as a requirement having clear information
> about the impact of supporting other languages will allow us to make a
> better argument to the volunteers, and providing that will hopefully
> shift their priorities a little.
>
> Going beyond that, other heavily volunteer organizations are quite
> able to set clear goals and achieve them.  That we are somewhat broken
> in that regard doesn't mean we will never get better, or shouldn't get
> better.

So please be explicit. You want to definitively challenge the mission
set by Jimbo. Worded as:

"an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest
possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language".

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia#Language_editions )

Honestly, I don't get why anyone is wasting time even responding
to this thread. We aren't gonna change here.

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

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Re: A simple question on languages.

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
65,000 is indeed only slightly more doable. It's still totally
ridiculous, though, considering I can go to the old stats from
Ethnologue and figure out how many languages have over 65,000
speakers. If I recall correctly the number for over 1 million speakers
alone is 200, so I'm guessing it would be in the thousands.

Mark

On 23/01/2008, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >  99.9999% is harder since groups of say 10K are going to have more of an impact.
>
> If my maths is right, 99.9999% of the world's populations leaves about
> 6,500 people that we can not cater to - a group of 10K that only speak
> one language would require us to cater for their language.
>
> If Greg actually meant 99.999%, which his later email would
> suggestion, then it's 65,000, which is slightly more doable.
>
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--
Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Mohamed Ibrahim
In reply to this post by KIZU Naoko
Regarding Apahia comment about Arabic inclusion in the press release
languages

On Jan 25, 2008 1:02 AM, Aphaia <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Jan 25, 2008 7:16 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 24/01/2008, cohesion <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On Jan 24, 2008 2:46 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > I don't think its useful to look at limiting languages in terms of
> > > > 'resources' available for providing Wikimedia projects. As Aphaia
> and
> > > > Gerard point out, what we're dealing with is volunteer resources -
> > > > which cost the Foundation nothing and can't be required or
> redirected
> > > > in any case.
>
> > > I don't know if that's entirely true. I mean, it's nice if volunteers
> > > can translate everything. But it's certainly conceivable that the
> > > Foundation might want to issue press releases or statements or
> > > something in these N languages regardless of volunteer support, even
> > > if that means paying for an occasional translation.
> > >
> > > The answer to this question would conceivably be very useful, I don't
> > > see any reason to discourage people from finding it.
>
> I basically agree with Nathan if we talk on volunteer resources only
> it would be pointless, so now I think it reasonable for us to proceed;
> is there any need to spend money and hire even occasional translators
> for a specific need? I think this question should be considered
> seriosly in the light Cohesion cast, like press releases or any other
> official communications from the WMF to particular language speaking
> commnity.
>
> > If the WMF wants to translate things, the number of languages would be
> > much smaller than the numbers we're talking about. I can see the WMF
> > paying for translations into major languages, or languages used by
> > people directly affected by what the press release is about, but
> > translating into even just dozens of languages would be prohibitively
> > expensive.
>
> Yes.
> And as Danny mentioned properly, we need to consider how monolingual
> communities can be reached. Then we would find a big Wikimedia
> language community but monolingual and in a weak tie with the rest of
> the project or the information from WMF is not fully effectively
> addressed to their society in general, and in my opinion specially in
> case WMF expect a potential revenue from business in that language
> society (selling live feed, deal on logos etc). Then the first
> question of Greg makes a sense and cast another light I think: how
> many languages we need to access the vast majority - either the whole
> of this globe, thus the potential readership or our current
> readership.
>
> Here the mere stats about native language speakers or the size of
> project doesn't make a sense. We need a stats of literal communication
> ability including L2. An interesting example is the Arabic language
> case I guess ... there we may find a large community but good at
> another more influential language(s).  Arabic people have a large
> population, but for Wikimania 2008 Mido said to me English would be
> the first and only working language for the whole team  --- including
> the local team: typing Arabic he said (and if I don't misunderstand)
> was annoying even for native speakers and "slower" than English and
> because of diverse Arabic dialects English sometimes was used as
> lingua franca among the Arab(!), at least in the Middle East, so
> although I convince Arabic language is an invaluable addition to the
> press release set and whatsoever, I am inclining not to think it a
> part of necessary language kit unless we are under a pressing need to
> involve many Arabic speakers.
>

I may have to object here, being used widely among some people who got used
(because of many reasons) to have most communications in English, does NOT
make the language itself invaluable to include "especially" in press
releases. when we don't issue press releases in Arabic, then what we're
going to sell in this conference or the message which is delivered also
through the releases the foundation make, people in the Arab world are
begining to get attention to Wikimedia and the free culture movement and one
of the things that would draw more attention to that direction is talking
more in Arabic, giving lectures in Arabic and making more material avaliable
in Arabic. Communicating in English in Wikimania I see is essential matter,
exactly like giving "most" sessions in English in the conference itself, and
this's for easy communication between the local team and everyone else, not
for the sake for slow typing for example. I was just assuring you during
that conversation on IRC that we won't have problems like the ones
complained from during last wikimania where many of the communications were
in Chinese as I have been told.
I can't see how you've come to such conclusion, we've got mentioned
[Wikimania] in many local national newspapers here and other Arab ones. and
that's due to the press release we issued in Arabic, translated by the BA.

There is media represented in newspapers, television, website, etc.. and
that media needs material to write about or from, and translation is very
essential, and we're under a pressing need to involve many Arabic speakers
as we can, wikimania being in Alexandria should be an incentive to make more
materials avaliable in Arabic, not the opposite


--
- Arabic Wikipedia: http://ar.wikipedia.org/  "Share your knowledge"
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Re: A simple question on languages.

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
On 25/01/2008, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 65,000 is indeed only slightly more doable. It's still totally
> ridiculous, though, considering I can go to the old stats from
> Ethnologue and figure out how many languages have over 65,000
> speakers. If I recall correctly the number for over 1 million speakers
> alone is 200, so I'm guessing it would be in the thousands.

You're looking at the wrong numbers - you want monolingual speakers,
not all speakers.

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Re: A simple question on languages.

M. Williamson
Okay, still, that stands. A lot less people are bilingual than you
seem to think.

On 25/01/2008, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 25/01/2008, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 65,000 is indeed only slightly more doable. It's still totally
> > ridiculous, though, considering I can go to the old stats from
> > Ethnologue and figure out how many languages have over 65,000
> > speakers. If I recall correctly the number for over 1 million speakers
> > alone is 200, so I'm guessing it would be in the thousands.
>
> You're looking at the wrong numbers - you want monolingual speakers,
> not all speakers.
>
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Re: A simple question on languages.

KIZU Naoko
In reply to this post by Mohamed Ibrahim
On Jan 25, 2008 10:26 PM, Mido <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Regarding Apahia comment about Arabic inclusion in the press release
> languages
>
>
> On Jan 25, 2008 1:02 AM, Aphaia <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Here the mere stats about native language speakers or the size of
> > project doesn't make a sense. We need a stats of literal communication
> > ability including L2. An interesting example is the Arabic language
> > case I guess ... there we may find a large community but good at
> > another more influential language(s).  Arabic people have a large
> > population, but for Wikimania 2008 Mido said to me English would be
> > the first and only working language for the whole team  --- including
> > the local team: typing Arabic he said (and if I don't misunderstand)
> > was annoying even for native speakers and "slower" than English and
> > because of diverse Arabic dialects English sometimes was used as
> > lingua franca among the Arab(!), at least in the Middle East, so
> > although I convince Arabic language is an invaluable addition to the
> > press release set and whatsoever, I am inclining not to think it a
> > part of necessary language kit unless we are under a pressing need to
> > involve many Arabic speakers.
> >
>
> I may have to object here, being used widely among some people who got used
> (because of many reasons) to have most communications in English, does NOT
> make the language itself invaluable to include "especially" in press
> releases.

I agree we need to issue press releases about Wikimania in Arabic as
well as in English. You may have missed my exception  "unless we are
under a pressing need to
involve many Arabic speakers" and a conference we'll hold in an Arabic
speaking location is definitely the case. Or if a survey is going to
do on Arabic language speaking areas, a press release about it should
be in Arabic (so I think the recently released press release is better
to translate into languages as much as possible: we sure will have a
multilingual survey, though we don't know which languages will be
exactly targeted though). But in a general context, there are even a
few, languages more widely used for communications as the second
languages, so I am skeptical Arabic is always a must.



--
KIZU Naoko
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Britty (in Japanese)
Quote of the Day (English): http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/WQ:QOTD

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Re: A simple question on languages.

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
On 25/01/2008, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Okay, still, that stands. A lot less people are bilingual than you
> seem to think.

What are you basing that on? Speaking more than one language isn't
particularly common in English-speaking countries, but elsewhere, it's
pretty much standard in my experience. I've done a fair bit of
travelling and speak only English and a little German, and I've have
rarely had much difficulty - an enormous number of people in the world
speak at least a little English. People whose native language is only
spoken by a small group will very often (probably almost always, but I
don't have the evidence to back that up) also know the language that
is more widely spoken in their country.

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