English language dominationism is striking again

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English language dominationism is striking again

Teofilo
News from the front.

A very bad and unfair unbalance of power was established in favor of
English on Wikimedia Commons in 2005-2006, requiring people from the
world to work for the benefit of the English language community.

In that ocean of unfairness, there was a small island where you could
find comfort and grace : biological taxa: the names of animals and
plants. For centuries the scientific community had been used to using
latin, creating a space where scientists from the world are nearer to
being equals, everybody needing to leave her/his native tongue and use
a foreign language. Wikimedia Commons had decided to name categories
accordingly.

I have discovered a few days ago that someone, probably in good faith
and unaware of this language policy, created [[:Category:Animals by
common named groups]] which is a container for English-named
biological taxa, at the end of 2008.

Now I find people pushing for this container and English named wild
animal species. So the front line is broken.

More reading at :

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/Category:Wolves

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projet:Biologie/Le_caf%C3%A9_des_biologistes#Cat.C3.A9gories_en_latin_en_danger_sur_Commons

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

???
[hidden email] wrote:
>
> I have discovered a few days ago that someone, probably in good faith
> and unaware of this language policy, created [[:Category:Animals by
> common named groups]] which is a container for English-named
> biological taxa, at the end of 2008.


There is a major problem with latin names in a number of taxa. It seems that if tehre are 5 consecutive wet days in Summer a couple of researchers put their heads together and concoct new names, move things about, split, or combine species. As such whilst the latin names are useful as a link between languages they are not stable enough for the lay person to keep up with. That is why a number of the most useful sites on the web provide xrefs for common names which is where I'll go if I wanted to know the common name of a moth in German, French or Italian:

http://www.lepidoptera.pl/show.php?ID=539&country=PL

I can't be arsed to argue it because there are alternate resources (at least at the species level), but frankly both the common and latin names should be given in all the languages that have a common name for a particular species. Also for the genus, tribe, and family where appropriate.



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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Teofilo
Hoi,
When you think that Commons is bad in supporting other languages, try to
find pictures of a horse on the internet in other languages like Estonian,
Nepalese ... It is not the same at all as when you are looking for images in
English. Commons has the advantage that many Wikipedias refer to a category
where pictures of for instance a horse can be found.

There has been a demonstration project that demonstrated that it is possible
to associate a concept in a translation dictionary with the names of
categories in Commons. It was demonstrated that not only is it possible, it
is also possible to change the text of the category and show a word in the
language selected by the user.

At OmegaWiki.org we have the ability to bring translations and Commons
categories together.. We do that for quite some time now.

Given that such support is thought to be difficult and expensive. What can
be done to improve the support for both information and articles, is to have
"referral" pages on Wikipedias. They are pages that do not have much more
then a definition of the concept and refer to Wikipedias that do have an
article on a subject. When a link is available to a Commons category, it is
possible to refer to Commons as well.

This does not require much investment and it will make the Wikipedias with
few articles more useful. It will grow our traffic and when we learn what
"referral" articles are in demand, we know what articles will make a
difference when they have a genuine article.
Thanks,
        GerardM

On 22 June 2010 13:10, Teofilo <[hidden email]> wrote:

> News from the front.
>
> A very bad and unfair unbalance of power was established in favor of
> English on Wikimedia Commons in 2005-2006, requiring people from the
> world to work for the benefit of the English language community.
>
> In that ocean of unfairness, there was a small island where you could
> find comfort and grace : biological taxa: the names of animals and
> plants. For centuries the scientific community had been used to using
> latin, creating a space where scientists from the world are nearer to
> being equals, everybody needing to leave her/his native tongue and use
> a foreign language. Wikimedia Commons had decided to name categories
> accordingly.
>
> I have discovered a few days ago that someone, probably in good faith
> and unaware of this language policy, created [[:Category:Animals by
> common named groups]] which is a container for English-named
> biological taxa, at the end of 2008.
>
> Now I find people pushing for this container and English named wild
> animal species. So the front line is broken.
>
> More reading at :
>
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/Category:Wolves
>
>
> http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projet:Biologie/Le_caf%C3%A9_des_biologistes#Cat.C3.A9gories_en_latin_en_danger_sur_Commons
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by ???
On 22 June 2010 14:06,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There is a major problem with latin names in a number of taxa. It seems that if tehre are 5 consecutive wet days in Summer a couple of researchers put their heads together and concoct new names, move things about, split, or combine species.


And the actual problem here is that "species" as biology now
understands it is more than a little fluid, which is why researchers
look forward to those five consecutive wet days in summer, to sort out
the mess ... the problem you describe is how to make rigid
descriptions of something at the fluid level.


- d.

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

???
[hidden email] wrote:

> On 22 June 2010 14:06,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > There is a major problem with latin names in a number of taxa. It seems that if tehre are 5 consecutive wet days in Summer a couple of researchers put their heads together and concoct new names, move things about, split, or combine species.
>
>
> And the actual problem here is that "species" as biology now
> understands it is more than a little fluid, which is why researchers
> look forward to those five consecutive wet days in summer, to sort out
> the mess ... the problem you describe is how to make rigid
> descriptions of something at the fluid level.
>
>

Of course, but then some national organisations adopt the new classifications, and other do not, or are tardy in their adoption. Meanwhile someone is using an identification key or guidebook from say 1973, or knows the species from its previous latin name.

The common name in any language has more stability as far as the lay person is concerned. the lay person shouldn't have to first find the latin name of an organism when looking it up:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sp%C3%A9cial%3ARecherche&search=Phal%C3%A8ne+de+l%27ans%C3%A9rine



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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

David Gerard-2
On 22 June 2010 15:20,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The common name in any language has more stability as far as the lay person is concerned. the lay person shouldn't have to first find the latin name of an organism when looking it up:
> http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sp%C3%A9cial%3ARecherche&search=Phal%C3%A8ne+de+l%27ans%C3%A9rine


Definitely. Category redirects would help here.


- d.

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Thomas Dalton
On 22 June 2010 15:45, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 22 June 2010 15:20,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> The common name in any language has more stability as far as the lay person is concerned. the lay person shouldn't have to first find the latin name of an organism when looking it up:
>> http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sp%C3%A9cial%3ARecherche&search=Phal%C3%A8ne+de+l%27ans%C3%A9rine
>
>
> Definitely. Category redirects would help here.

I think redirects is the obvious solution. If you can't agree on what
a category should be called, choose one of the options at random and
set up redirects for the rest. It really doesn't matter which name the
category is actually at, as long as users can find the images they
want by whatever reasonable name they search by.

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

David Goodman
I'd think he category can be renamed as common names (English)
and similar ones be made for the other languages.  It'd not jut s
matter of redirection--there are many instances where some languages
do, and some do not, have a common name. I think there are also cases
where in one language a common names refers to a group of species, and
in another to an overlapping but not identical group of species.

In English at least, even academic journals aimed at non-taxonomists
(e.g.  PNAS, for an Open Access example)  almost always use common
names in the title and give the  formal latin equivalent somewhere
later in the paper.



On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 22 June 2010 15:45, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 22 June 2010 15:20,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> The common name in any language has more stability as far as the lay person is concerned. the lay person shouldn't have to first find the latin name of an organism when looking it up:
>>> http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sp%C3%A9cial%3ARecherche&search=Phal%C3%A8ne+de+l%27ans%C3%A9rine
>>
>>
>> Definitely. Category redirects would help here.
>
> I think redirects is the obvious solution. If you can't agree on what
> a category should be called, choose one of the options at random and
> set up redirects for the rest. It really doesn't matter which name the
> category is actually at, as long as users can find the images they
> want by whatever reasonable name they search by.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> When you think that Commons is bad in supporting other languages, try to
> find pictures of a horse on the internet in other languages like Estonian,
> Nepalese ... It is not the same at all as when you are looking for images
> in
> English.


Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
"pictures of a horse" in English?

(According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
secondary language.")
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

geni
On 22 June 2010 17:32, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> When you think that Commons is bad in supporting other languages, try to
>> find pictures of a horse on the internet in other languages like Estonian,
>> Nepalese ... It is not the same at all as when you are looking for images
>> in
>> English.
>
>
> Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
> "pictures of a horse" in English?
>
> (According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
> yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
> secondary language.")

In practice pulling up the wikipedia article on "horse" in your
language will cover most cases. There is a fairly good argument to be
made that wikipedia is common's best search engine.



--
geni

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Bence Damokos
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
> > When you think that Commons is bad in supporting other languages, try to
> > find pictures of a horse on the internet in other languages like
> Estonian,
> > Nepalese ... It is not the same at all as when you are looking for images
> > in
> > English.
>
>
> Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
> "pictures of a horse" in English?
>
> (According to Wikipedia (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
> yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
> secondary language.")
>

If I read the data in the article correctly, most means 35%. If we consider
that current English native speakers mostly already have internet and those
without internet are likelier than not to be non-English speakers I would be
careful to advocate the unilateral use of English.

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Bence Damokos
In reply to this post by geni
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> In practice pulling up the wikipedia article on "horse" in your
> language will cover most cases. There is a fairly good argument to be
> made that wikipedia is common's best search engine.
>
>
> I would consider this state as a poor reflection on Commons' accessibility.
Especially as Google image search (imho, the likeliest avenue of searching
for images) gives 130 000 pictures of horses on Commons if searched in
English, zero if searched in Estonian ("hobu"), and while it gives 160 000
results for a Hungarian search ("ló") on the first page only one of it is an
image that resembles a horse.

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

KIZU Naoko
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
I know a horse, but yesterday it took for me five minutes to remember
sparrows were the bird's name I would have liked to mention. .

It helps to make this discussion helpful to some extent that native
English speakers remind it is sometimes not so easy as you the native
expect foreign learners. It's no sarcasm at all. Really.

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> When you think that Commons is bad in supporting other languages, try to
>> find pictures of a horse on the internet in other languages like Estonian,
>> Nepalese ... It is not the same at all as when you are looking for images
>> in
>> English.
>
>
> Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
> "pictures of a horse" in English?
>
> (According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
> yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
> secondary language.")
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
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: English language dominationism is striking again

Magnus Manske-2
In reply to this post by Bence Damokos
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 6:52 PM, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> In practice pulling up the wikipedia article on "horse" in your
>> language will cover most cases. There is a fairly good argument to be
>> made that wikipedia is common's best search engine.
>>
>>
>> I would consider this state as a poor reflection on Commons' accessibility.
> Especially as Google image search (imho, the likeliest avenue of searching
> for images) gives 130 000 pictures of horses on Commons if searched in
> English, zero if searched in Estonian ("hobu"), and while it gives 160 000
> results for a Hungarian search ("ló") on the first page only one of it is an
> image that resembles a horse.

Here's a thought: Enter "hobu" into translate.google.com, leave
"source language" on automatic and target on "English", and it will
happily translate it into "horse". Could we offer a "translation" link
in search? As in, "translate my query into English and try again"? I'm
sure we can come to an arrangement with Google (or someone else).

Magnus

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Bence Damokos
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 8:07 PM, Magnus Manske
<[hidden email]>wrote:

>
> >> I would consider this state as a poor reflection on Commons'
> accessibility.
> > Especially as Google image search (imho, the likeliest avenue of
> searching
> > for images) gives 130 000 pictures of horses on Commons if searched in
> > English, zero if searched in Estonian ("hobu"), and while it gives 160
> 000
> > results for a Hungarian search ("ló") on the first page only one of it is
> an
> > image that resembles a horse.
>
> Here's a thought: Enter "hobu" into translate.google.com, leave
> "source language" on automatic and target on "English", and it will
> happily translate it into "horse". Could we offer a "translation" link
> in search? As in, "translate my query into English and try again"? I'm
> sure we can come to an arrangement with Google (or someone else).

Sorry if I misunderstand your suggestion.

I'm sure power users can find  any number of ways to do this  (I think
Google already offers a similar service somewhere hidden away) though they
probably speak English as well, to reach those who do not speak English or
aren't power users it has to be super obvious, I'm afraid.
Google will probably reach that point sometime, but while they usually
support a couple of dozen languages, we do so with a couple of hundred.

I would be happy to see though some translation magic applied to Commons'
category system the way templates now autotranslate - given the fact that we
have a huge translation community and that interwiki links and links from
Wikipedia's to Commons can be used to guess the meanings (which than could
be confirmed by a human in some addictive "game").
I am not sure if Google would take the hint of the localized category names
in their image search but it would be a start.

(Having an easy, special interface -- that cuts away all the wikicode
confusion leaving just the image and the existing translations and a next
button, adds some AJAXy background magic,maybe suggestions through the
Google Translate API  - to translate image descriptions  might also help
drive the localisation of the image descriptions. Probably there are some
userscripts that do this but they could be turned on by default or at least
made more prominent.)


Best regards,
Bence
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Bence Damokos
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 1:47 PM, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
> > "pictures of a horse" in English?
> >
> > (According to Wikipedia (
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
> > yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
> > secondary language.")
> >
>
> If I read the data in the article correctly, most means 35%.


Since "most" means more than 50%, I don't think you read it correctly.  The
35% figure seems to be only native English speakers.


> If we consider
> that current English native speakers mostly already have internet and those
> without internet are likelier than not to be non-English speakers I would
> be
> careful to advocate the unilateral use of English.


As would I, though I don't think you mean what you said.
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by KIZU Naoko
In addition, I have a feeling that article overstates the English
abilities of the average non-native internet user. Yes, lots of people
have a very (very!) basic command of English, but that is not the same
as functional bilingualism. A user may happen to know the name for a
horse, but what are the chances a casual user from Peru knows the name
for an anteater, a giraffe or a jellyfish?


On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM, Aphaia <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I know a horse, but yesterday it took for me five minutes to remember
> sparrows were the bird's name I would have liked to mention. .
>
> It helps to make this discussion helpful to some extent that native
> English speakers remind it is sometimes not so easy as you the native
> expect foreign learners. It's no sarcasm at all. Really.
>
> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen
>> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>>
>>> When you think that Commons is bad in supporting other languages, try to
>>> find pictures of a horse on the internet in other languages like Estonian,
>>> Nepalese ... It is not the same at all as when you are looking for images
>>> in
>>> English.
>>
>>
>> Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
>> "pictures of a horse" in English?
>>
>> (According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
>> yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
>> secondary language.")
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
>
>
> --
> KIZU Naoko
> http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Britty (in Japanese)
> Quote of the Day (English): http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/WQ:QOTD
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
>> If we consider
>> that current English native speakers mostly already have internet and those
>> without internet are likelier than not to be non-English speakers I would
>> be
>> careful to advocate the unilateral use of English.
>
>
> As would I, though I don't think you mean what you said.

Why not? To me, it means that we're widening the digital divide by
making it so that people who don't have the internet would have little
use for it anyways if it's all written in a language they don't
understand.

m.

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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

Bence Damokos
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 9:33 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 1:47 PM, Bence Damokos <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Don't most Internet users know enough English to be able to search for
> > > "pictures of a horse" in English?
> > >
> > > (According to Wikipedia (
> > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage),
> > > yes...  "Most Internet users speak the English language as a native or
> > > secondary language.")
> > >
> >
> > If I read the data in the article correctly, most means 35%.
>
>
> Since "most" means more than 50%, I don't think you read it correctly.  The
> 35% figure seems to be only native English speakers.
>
> According to the Mettiam-Webster dictionary,  'majority' is only one of the
meanings of 'most' (the primary being 'greatest in quantity, extent or
degree'); if you look at the second table which seems to account for
non-native speaker internet users as well, English is still gets about 30%
share of total users.

Although,the linked Wikipedia article could use some improvement...

Best regards,
Bence
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Re: English language dominationism is striking again

???
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
Mark Williamson wrote:
> In addition, I have a feeling that article overstates the English
> abilities of the average non-native internet user. Yes, lots of people
> have a very (very!) basic command of English, but that is not the same
> as functional bilingualism. A user may happen to know the name for a
> horse, but what are the chances a casual user from Peru knows the name
> for an anteater, a giraffe or a jellyfish?
>

There is a greater chance that the average Peruvian will know the
English than the Latin. They'll probably know the local common name so
one should ensure that they can at least find a picture of the critter
by that name.

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