Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

daniwo59
I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic. The same problems exist for  
languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
 "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
million speakers and only 6 articles)?
 
So, for starters, I would like to suggest that we replace  the term "African
languages" with "languages in developing regions."  Speakers of Pashto, Tajik,
and Malayalam stand to benefit from a strong  Wikipedia just as much as the
speakers of Swahili.
 
Danny
 
 
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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

James Hare
Yes... we need to help out these Wikipedias. I suggested on the Wikipedia
mailing list one time something that would allow people who don't use the
Internet to mail in articles for Wikipedia. The proposal generally specified
for improvements of the English Wikipedia, but I think we should focus more
on having "wiki ambassadors" in these regions to help collect articles and
upload them to their respective Wikipedia.

On 8/27/06, [hidden email] <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I
> think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic. The same problems exist
> for
> languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as
> uniquely
> "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not
> make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66
> articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million
> speakers,  and
> just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20
> million speakers and only 6 articles)?
>
> So, for starters, I would like to suggest that we replace  the term
> "African
> languages" with "languages in developing regions."  Speakers of Pashto,
> Tajik,
> and Malayalam stand to benefit from a strong  Wikipedia just as much as
> the
> speakers of Swahili.
>
> Danny
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by daniwo59
[hidden email] wrote:

> I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
> think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic. The same problems exist for  
> languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
>  "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
> make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
> articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
> just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
> million speakers and only 6 articles)?
>  
> So, for starters, I would like to suggest that we replace  the term "African
> languages" with "languages in developing regions."  Speakers of Pashto, Tajik,
> and Malayalam stand to benefit from a strong  Wikipedia just as much as the
> speakers of Swahili.
>  
> Danny
Hoi,
For your information, I am on record that I need MediaWiki developers
who speak a mothertongue that is part of different language families. I
need this because http://wiktionaryz.org , intends to have all words of
all languages and support all languages with a localised User Interface.
As you may remember, the original goal of WZ is to be able to include
all the information that is contained in the existing Wiktionary
projects but have all the data in one database.

As you may know, and Danny certainly does, I am actively looking for
partners to make this happen. Africa is different in many ways from
Asia. It has problems of its own and one of the problems from an
Internet pov is the isolation of the individual countries. Traffic from
many African countries to other African countries go via Europe or
America. The ISP's have to pay for receiving content from abroad the
result is an abysmal price structure and poor service.

I have contacts both in Asia and in Africa and I am looking for the
localisation of MediaWiki. It helps WiktionaryZ as it helps all the
MediaWiki projects. There is nothing paternalistic in it; I do it for my
own reasons. I hope to create a win-win situation by making sure that
the benefits are evenly divided. When at this moment more attention is
given to the unique problems of the African wiki, it has more to do that
at this moment the focus is on African languages rather than on Asian
languages. The Asian languages as a whole do much better than the
African languages anyway.

My ambition is to localise MediaWiki for ALL languages from Ghana,
Nigeria, India, Australia.. I know it is likely I will only achieve this
for the major languages as a start, but it is good to be clear about
ambitions. My ambition is to have all the languages of Australia and all
the other languages as well. We already have portals for the Australian
languages, it is unlikely that they will do well, then again most of the
people who spoke many of these languages are gone. Australia is not a
developing region without Internet infrastructure. Australians just seem
not to have an interest for their indigenous languages.

It is imho wrong to call it languages in developing regions, it is not
that simple and the article cited is about Wikipedia in its African
settings.

PS At WiktionaryZ we now support Serbian, Thai and Ido, all in all some
40 languages and we have almost 500 people who signed on to the project.
I do not know how many Expressions or DefinedMeanings we have. :)

Thanks,
    GerardM

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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by daniwo59
[hidden email] wrote:

> I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
> think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic. The same problems exist for  
> languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
>  "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
> make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
> articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
> just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
> million speakers and only 6 articles)?
>  
> So, for starters, I would like to suggest that we replace  the term "African
> languages" with "languages in developing regions."  Speakers of Pashto, Tajik,
> and Malayalam stand to benefit from a strong  Wikipedia just as much as the
> speakers of Swahili.
>  
This is also another area where the Simple English projects will be
incredibly useful.

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP


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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

daniwo59
In reply to this post by daniwo59
 
In a message dated 8/27/2006 6:17:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
[hidden email] writes:

It is  imho wrong to call it languages in developing regions, it is not
that  simple and the article cited is about Wikipedia in its African  
settings.



Actually, the article cited doesnt mention WiktionaryZ, which was the bulk  
of your email. I am talking in principle, when we refer to projects that need a
 nudge, let's not just focus on African languages because it happens to be in
 vogue. There are plenty of other important languages out there that also
need a  gentle push so that they can reach their full potential.
 
Danny
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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
[hidden email] wrote:

>  
> In a message dated 8/27/2006 6:17:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
> [hidden email] writes:
>
> It is  imho wrong to call it languages in developing regions, it is not
> that  simple and the article cited is about Wikipedia in its African  
> settings.
>
>
>
> Actually, the article cited doesnt mention WiktionaryZ, which was the bulk  
> of your email. I am talking in principle, when we refer to projects that need a
>  nudge, let's not just focus on African languages because it happens to be in
>  vogue. There are plenty of other important languages out there that also
> need a  gentle push so that they can reach their full potential.
>  
Unfortunately the people who are likely to know these languages are
unlikely to want to contribute to Wikipedia, because they'd probably see
it as a waste of time/doomed to fail/whatever. Still, I can ask people...

--
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Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP


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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Ray Saintonge
Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:

>[hidden email] wrote:
>  
>
>>In a message dated 8/27/2006 6:17:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
>>[hidden email] writes:
>>
>>It is  imho wrong to call it languages in developing regions, it is not
>>that  simple and the article cited is about Wikipedia in its African  
>>settings.
>>
>>Actually, the article cited doesnt mention WiktionaryZ, which was the bulk  
>>of your email. I am talking in principle, when we refer to projects that need a
>> nudge, let's not just focus on African languages because it happens to be in
>> vogue. There are plenty of other important languages out there that also
>>need a  gentle push so that they can reach their full potential.
>>    
>>
>Unfortunately the people who are likely to know these languages are
>unlikely to want to contribute to Wikipedia, because they'd probably see
>it as a waste of time/doomed to fail/whatever. Still, I can ask people...
>
It would be wrong to impute motives to any of the speakers whose
language is not represented by a strong Wikipedia community.

In many respects I agree with both Danny and Gerard on this.  
"Developing regions" may have been an unfortunate choice of words, but
the differences that they have expressed seem like the sort of thing
that can easily be resolved through dialogue.  We should indeed be
encouraging development in all languages, and development goes well
beyond word lists and languages.  Having complete dictionary listings
for Tocharian or Beothuk is not going to bring those languages back to
life.  Extensive dictionary listings for all the aboriginal languages of
Australia will do very little to bring those people onto the internet
and contributing to Wikipedia in their own languages.

Many of these languages were pre-literate until waves of Christian
missionaries went in and translated the Bible for them.  Talk about
paternalistic!  That was not limited to Africa; it also prevailed over
the first nations languages of the Americas.  When the US government
moved the four tribes from Florida to Oklahoma we all know it was for
their own good. ;-)   What's more, it is not unusual for natives of a
minority language group to see that learning the dominant colonial
language puts one on the path to success, thereby deprecating their
native language.  The white man cannot force native speakers to embrace
and take pride in their own language; that must come from the native
speakers themselves.  Some of this is already beginning with North
American native languages.

Africa has another difficulty: rudimentary infrastructure.  A North
American first nations person can easily go to town and buy a computer
and subscribe to an internet service.  Even if he can't afford the
hardware, there are other ways of accessing the net.  For some Africans
this can be a tremendous hurdle.  Developed nations may be able to help
the African at the level of infrastructure, but he still must overcome
the socio-cultural hurdles himself.before he can become an effective
contributor to Wikipedia.

Asian dynamics are somewhat different.  Many languages of Asia were not
pre-literate at the beginning of the nineteenth century.  Some countries
like North Korea and Myanmar have strong xenophobic trends that keep
people away from the internet, but for most it may just be a matter of
time before strong communities develop.  For India there may be internal
and regional politics at work, and there are times when I believe that
Indian politics defy description.  In a way I would not be very
surprised if the request for a Konkani Wikipedia received more interest
than Assamese despite the much larger population base for Assamese.

Ec


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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by daniwo59
[hidden email] wrote:
> I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
> think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic.

Who is?  I have not seen this.

> The same problems exist for  
> languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
>  "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
> make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
> articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
> just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
> million speakers and only 6 articles)?

I think we absolutely ARE taking efforts in ALL parts of the world,
simultaneously.  I had a meeting in Delhi with someone who is interested
in pursuing a joint project to develop African languages.

I have no idea who you have in mind who thinks anything racist or
paternalistic about African languages, but if they do, then they do not
represent the attitudes of the broad community or me.

--Jimbo

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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

jmerkey-3
Jimmy Wales wrote:

>[hidden email] wrote:
>  
>
>>I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
>>think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic.
>>    
>>
>
>Who is?  I have not seen this.
>
>  
>
>>The same problems exist for  
>>languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
>> "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
>>make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
>>articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
>>just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
>>million speakers and only 6 articles)?
>>    
>>
>
>I think we absolutely ARE taking efforts in ALL parts of the world,
>simultaneously.  I had a meeting in Delhi with someone who is interested
>in pursuing a joint project to develop African languages.
>
>I have no idea who you have in mind who thinks anything racist or
>paternalistic about African languages, but if they do, then they do not
>represent the attitudes of the broad community or me.
>
>--Jimbo
>
>_______________________________________________
>foundation-l mailing list
>[hidden email]
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>
>  
>
Jimbo,

If I can help here, let me know. I could generate a machine assisted
translation for them to start with to get them bootstrapped. I posted
what I would
need to get started with it. I know you would prefer people speak with
their own voices, but that me be very hard in the case of some of these
obscure languages where literacy is a big problem or language drift or
small pockets of native speakers who are isolated like small islands in
an ocean of english speakers. I suspect what has been happening to us
with Native Languages is also occurring over their, and many of these
groups may be in danger of loosing their languages already or
experiencing language drift between communities.

I am available to assist here.

Jeff
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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
Ray Saintonge wrote:

> Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>
>> [hidden email] wrote:
>>  
>>
>>> In a message dated 8/27/2006 6:17:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
>>> [hidden email] writes:
>>>
>>> It is  imho wrong to call it languages in developing regions, it is not
>>> that  simple and the article cited is about Wikipedia in its African  
>>> settings.
>>>
>>> Actually, the article cited doesnt mention WiktionaryZ, which was the bulk  
>>> of your email. I am talking in principle, when we refer to projects that need a
>>> nudge, let's not just focus on African languages because it happens to be in
>>> vogue. There are plenty of other important languages out there that also
>>> need a  gentle push so that they can reach their full potential.
>>>    
>>>
>> Unfortunately the people who are likely to know these languages are
>> unlikely to want to contribute to Wikipedia, because they'd probably see
>> it as a waste of time/doomed to fail/whatever. Still, I can ask people...
>>
> It would be wrong to impute motives to any of the speakers whose
> language is not represented by a strong Wikipedia community.
>
Ok, perhaps I should clarify something here. I'm not talking about
native speakers, I'm talking about people who have some knowledge and
have access to native speakers when they go back to wherever they're
taking a break from...

> In many respects I agree with both Danny and Gerard on this.  
> "Developing regions" may have been an unfortunate choice of words, but
> the differences that they have expressed seem like the sort of thing
> that can easily be resolved through dialogue.  We should indeed be
> encouraging development in all languages, and development goes well
> beyond word lists and languages.  Having complete dictionary listings
> for Tocharian or Beothuk is not going to bring those languages back to
> life.  Extensive dictionary listings for all the aboriginal languages of
> Australia will do very little to bring those people onto the internet
> and contributing to Wikipedia in their own languages.
>
> Many of these languages were pre-literate until waves of Christian
> missionaries went in and translated the Bible for them.  Talk about
> paternalistic!
... and they're Christian missionaries from various aid organisations.

NOW do you see why people have no desire to contribute? Attitudes like
yours, buddy.

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP


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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Robert S. Horning
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
Ray Saintonge wrote:

>Many of these languages were pre-literate until waves of Christian
>missionaries went in and translated the Bible for them.  Talk about
>paternalistic!  That was not limited to Africa; it also prevailed over
>the first nations languages of the Americas.  
>
<*snip*>

>
>Ec
>  
>
This is a little over the top in this observation.  Ever since the Bible
was translated into Latin, there has been a consistant attitude of
trying to teach the concepts of Christian thought in the native language
of the people who were recieving the message.  In fact, none other than
the words of Jesus himself, to "preach the gospel to every nation,
kindred, tounge, and people" gives quite the justification to translate
these words into as many languages as possible.

While I will openly admit that this was not as widespread of a practice
during most of the 1st Christian millenium, it certainly was a part of
the Reformation and Protistant movement in terms of translating tracts
and literature into as many languages as possible.  When 19th Century
(and even substantial 20th Century) missionary work came across cultures
who had no written language of any kind, it became quite difficult to
have these new cultures to have the opportunity to read the Holy Word.
 An interesting development occured when in some areas Christian worship
services occured in an European language but everyday life occured in
another.  From a missionary point of view, these people who were
professing to be converts to Chritianity were in fact living one life
during the week and something completely different on Sunday.  In an
attempt to "democratize" the access to the teachings of Jesus, the Bible
simply had to be translated into these languages that otherwise had no
written form.

This is hardly paternalistic, but rather the very purpose and being of
the missionary work, and a desire to fulfill the direct command of
Christ himself.  If the language didn't have a written form, it became
necessary to perform this missionary effort to create the written form
in the first place.  Jointly with this effort was also an attempt to
preserve the history and cultures of these people with this newly
created written language.

In fact, I would dare say that this same missionary zeal that pushed
these Christian missionaries into translating the Bible into as many
languages as possible is largely continued through the efforts of
Wikimedia projects and in particular Wikipedia.  I know that it isn't
necessarily a Christian POV that is being translated for Wikipedia, but
you absolutely must acknowledge the roots of similar efforts coming from
these Christians rather than demeaning and belittling honest positive
conributions of well meaning people.  That you may or may not agree with
Christian thought is irrelevant in this situation, and if it wasn't for
the substantial efforts to create a written form of many of these
languages, there simply wouldn't be a written form at all.

Since you bring up native American peoples, I would like to point out
that the Cherokee nation in particular has had their language now for
close to 200 years, was originally written to translate the Bible and
admittedly to "Christianize" the Cherokee people.  Still, this written
form as acted as a cultural shield and has helped preserve the language
in spite of enormous pressures to abandon the language.  Indeed as with
many other written language efforts, this has acted as a unifying force
to draw the Cherokee people together.  Unlike many of the other
languages that I guess you are refering to here, Cherokee as a language
has also developed independent of religious literature with rich
traditions of secular literature.

I would agree that a paternalistic attitude of condescension toward
calling these effort (perhaps even viewed by some of the 19th Century
missionary efforts you are refering to) of "helping primitive native
peoples", but there were reasons to translate the Bible into these
languages.

BTW, for current efforts to translate the Bible into additional
languages (and some efforts are being done even now), it costs in the
neighborhood of roughly $2 million USD for each edition of the Bible.
 The groups that do these efforts (see
http://www.ubs-translations.org/cms/index.php?about ) try to be very
senstive to native cultures when these translations are done.  Frankly,
these individuals who go into a society and even attempt to create a
syllabary for a language that otherwise has none are doing incredible
and often thankless work.  Rather than being critical of these efforts,
they are indeed preserving these languages even if it is in POV
religious context.  These individuals are on the bleeding edge of
linguistics studies, to be honest.


--
Robert Scott Horning



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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Alphax (Wikipedia email)
Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:

>Ray Saintonge wrote:
>  
>
>>Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>>    
>>
>>>Unfortunately the people who are likely to know these languages are
>>>unlikely to want to contribute to Wikipedia, because they'd probably see
>>>it as a waste of time/doomed to fail/whatever. Still, I can ask people...
>>>      
>>>
>>It would be wrong to impute motives to any of the speakers whose
>>language is not represented by a strong Wikipedia community.
>>    
>>
>Ok, perhaps I should clarify something here. I'm not talking about
>native speakers, I'm talking about people who have some knowledge and
>have access to native speakers when they go back to wherever they're
>taking a break from...
>
Nevertheless, it is the native speakers who will make or break the
Wikipedia in any given language.  The outsiders should be primarily
there in a supporting role.

>>Many of these languages were pre-literate until waves of Christian
>>missionaries went in and translated the Bible for them.  Talk about
>>paternalistic!
>>    
>>
>... and they're Christian missionaries from various aid organisations.
>
>NOW do you see why people have no desire to contribute? Attitudes like
>yours, buddy.
>
Christian aid organizations come with strings attached, like using help
as a vehicle for spreading Christian propaganda.  So if my attitude
results in preventing Christian POV pushing it's well placed.

A native language is more than just a language.  There is also an entire
culture wrapped up in the language.

Ec

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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Mark
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales wrote:

> [hidden email] wrote:
>  
>> I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
>> think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic.
>>    
>
> Who is?  I have not seen this.
>
>  
>> The same problems exist for  
>> languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
>>  "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
>> make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
>> articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
>> just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
>> million speakers and only 6 articles)?
>>    
>
> I think we absolutely ARE taking efforts in ALL parts of the world,
> simultaneously.  I had a meeting in Delhi with someone who is interested
> in pursuing a joint project to develop African languages.
>
> I have no idea who you have in mind who thinks anything racist or
> paternalistic about African languages, but if they do, then they do not
> represent the attitudes of the broad community or me.
>  

I think the fear being expressed, or in any case the one I'll express,
is that there are a bunch of Americans and Europeans saying that we
ought to do such-and-such about African languages, or such-and-such to
change African societies for the better---basically, paternalistic
attitudes that the enlightened Westerners have arrived on their glorious
steeds of Information to fix the problems of Africa.  See also,
[[en:white man's burden]].

A non-paternalistic attitude would be to treat African languages like we
treat all other languages.  Even though quite a few Westerners are
interested in the subject of spreading information in China, for
example, the Chinese-language projects have been run by Chinese speakers.

-Mark

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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Florence Devouard-3
Delirium wrote:

> Jimmy Wales wrote:
>
>>[hidden email] wrote:
>>  
>>
>>>I have a lot of sympathy and fondness for African languages. However, I  
>>>think the attitude we are taking is paternalistic.
>>>    
>>
>>Who is?  I have not seen this.
>>
>>  
>>
>>>The same problems exist for  
>>>languages in many other corners of the world. Identifying this issue as uniquely
>>> "African" is paternalistic and, quite frankly, a tad racist. Why do we not  
>>>make the same efforts for Khmer (the official language of Cambodia, 66  
>>>articles), Burmese (the official language of Myanmar, with 32 million speakers,  and
>>>just 66 articles), or Assamese (an official language of India with 20  
>>>million speakers and only 6 articles)?
>>>    
>>
>>I think we absolutely ARE taking efforts in ALL parts of the world,
>>simultaneously.  I had a meeting in Delhi with someone who is interested
>>in pursuing a joint project to develop African languages.
>>
>>I have no idea who you have in mind who thinks anything racist or
>>paternalistic about African languages, but if they do, then they do not
>>represent the attitudes of the broad community or me.
>>  
>
>
> I think the fear being expressed, or in any case the one I'll express,
> is that there are a bunch of Americans and Europeans saying that we
> ought to do such-and-such about African languages, or such-and-such to
> change African societies for the better---basically, paternalistic
> attitudes that the enlightened Westerners have arrived on their glorious
> steeds of Information to fix the problems of Africa.  See also,
> [[en:white man's burden]].
>
> A non-paternalistic attitude would be to treat African languages like we
> treat all other languages.  Even though quite a few Westerners are
> interested in the subject of spreading information in China, for
> example, the Chinese-language projects have been run by Chinese speakers.
>
> -Mark


Nod.
There are a couple of things we can do, I think, without being
paternalistic. It is simply to "tell them". To tell them about our
projects. To tell them about "free content". To tell them how they can
participate and develop their own language project.

And to make suggestions about how they could push more (maybe by paying
an editor in chief, maybe by organising a conference, maybe by having
advertisment on Wikipedia in a local journal, maybe by visiting a
school). But then, I think that's their business to do what is needed
once they have the cards in hand (the platform).

ant

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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

KIZU Naoko
On 8/29/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Nod.
> There are a couple of things we can do, I think, without being
> paternalistic. It is simply to "tell them". To tell them about our
> projects. To tell them about "free content". To tell them how they can
> participate and develop their own language project.

True, if you have a chance to talk with them either online or offline.

> And to make suggestions about how they could push more (maybe by paying
> an editor in chief, maybe by organising a conference, maybe by having
> advertisment on Wikipedia in a local journal, maybe by visiting a
> school). But then, I think that's their business to do what is needed
> once they have the cards in hand (the platform).

There is another kind of helping you can offer. Visit those wikis
regurally. Patrol their RC, removing spams, invite anon editors to
register (sadly perhaps not in their own language, but something is
better than nothing in most cases),  encourage registered editors to
get more involved into projects: localize their interface, be familiar
with some MediaWiki gimicks (e.g. Template etc), share the Wikimedia
Project know-how (Meta:Request for permissions etc. Most of newbies
have no clue on that at first time), suggest them some useful
communication channels, just as like you talk to a newcomer on your
home wiki. Or formerl test wiki on meta or now on Incubator. You can
do those without being patarnalistic, you just have them shorten the
time they need to be more involved just from the Wikilove for your
co-editors.

--
Kizu Naoko
  Wikiquote: http://wikiquote.org
  * vivemus, mea Lesbia, amemus *
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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Mark
Delirium wrote:
> A non-paternalistic attitude would be to treat African languages like we
> treat all other languages.  Even though quite a few Westerners are
> interested in the subject of spreading information in China, for
> example, the Chinese-language projects have been run by Chinese speakers.

Ok.  But that's because there *is* a Chinese community, quite healthy
and active.

It is a bit harder when, 5 years on, we seen little signs of life, and
some good ideas about why we don't see signs of life.  In such cases, I
think it is not paternalistic to think about how we can proactively help
to create a community there.  A community, I hasten to add, of native
speakers.

--Jimbo
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Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

jmerkey-3
Jimmy Wales wrote:

>Delirium wrote:
>  
>
>>A non-paternalistic attitude would be to treat African languages like we
>>treat all other languages.  Even though quite a few Westerners are
>>interested in the subject of spreading information in China, for
>>example, the Chinese-language projects have been run by Chinese speakers.
>>    
>>
>
>Ok.  But that's because there *is* a Chinese community, quite healthy
>and active.
>
>It is a bit harder when, 5 years on, we seen little signs of life, and
>some good ideas about why we don't see signs of life.  In such cases, I
>think it is not paternalistic to think about how we can proactively help
>to create a community there.  A community, I hasten to add, of native
>speakers.
>  
>

Yep.

>--Jimbo
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>
>  
>

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