Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

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Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Ziko van Dijk
Hello,

Recently there has been a controversy on Wikipedia in German about
extra articles in simple language. Authors of its medical group wanted
to create sub pages suitable for children, believing in an urgent
need. [1]

In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
German came up.

As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia. The
existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
had been created before that policy of 2006.

There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
such encyclopedias than we are?

Kind regards
Ziko van Dijk


[1] https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/wiki/Wikipedia:Redaktion_Medizin/Projekt_Kinderleicht

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Niederlande

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Samuel Klein-4
Hi Ziko,

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
> German came up.

This would be useful.

> As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
> new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia.

To be more precise: the language committee was tasked with determining
when to start new language projects.  It was never asked to consider
other sorts of new projects.  So either "simple German" is a new
language, or it's out of the current scope of the committee.

Overall, we've never decided whether a "simple" or "children's
encyclopedia" should be a separate project with its own root domain,
or another set of 'languages' that show up as an interlanguage link or
as FOO.wikipedia.org .


> The existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
> had been created before that policy of 2006.

Simple English is quite useful, and used for groups developing their
literacy skills at all ages, including many communities learning
English as a Second Language.  Presumably the same could be true of
any other language.


> There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
> encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
> world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
> initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
> such encyclopedias than we are?

+1

My thoughts:
* I would love to see similar projects in at least German, French,
Spanish, and Dutch -- languages in which there are already communities
working on encyclopedic knowledge in simplified language.
* We should have a new process for requesting a simple-language
version of a project.
* We should resolve standard practice for naming them, and decide if
this should be a new top-level Project (like wikikids) or a variation
on the normal language code.

Considering the historical role of the children's encyclopedia, we
might consider rescoping "simple" as "for children" -- this could help
to increase participation and use, and clarify the role of these
projects.

SJ

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The language committee is tasked with other projects; for subsequent
projects for a language there is a requirement for a complete localisation
for that language and for a "substantial" sized content for that project.
The rationale for this is that many projects were created because we could
only to find that there was no community interested in making it work.

The notion of one Wikipedia per language has two grounds; people have to
cooperate within the one project. This prevents the division of an English,
Spanish, Portuguese Wikipedia in the many accepted orthographies that exist
for such languages.

When you look at "simple" Wikipedias, it is all too easy to consider them
for children. This is not necessarily their scope. It has often been argued
that encyclopaedic articles using "simple" terminology  provide information
that is easier on people for whom the language is a second or third
language.

One of the traditional arguments against simple Wikipedias is that the
language used for encyclopaedic articles should be easily understood anyway.
The problem is that many Wikipedians do not consider this to be important.
Particularly people who write English as a second or third language take
pride in their large vocabulary..

When other "simple" Wikipedias are to be considered, it become necessary to
reconsider the Wikipedia domain names. Simply assuming that "simple" is
simply English will no longer be true. Given that requests for renaming
Wikipedias are not honoured as it is, it makes this whole issue just another
one that will pop up every so often.

An issue like the one I often raise; why can we not make sure that language
like Arabic and Hindi can compete on a technical level playing field. In the
end it is about making choices, what is considered strategic. Given the
hundreds of millions of people who write in the Arabic or the Devanagari
script I would argue that this is a must have while "simple" wikipedias are
nice to have.
Thanks,
      GerardM


On 24 June 2010 15:36, Samuel J Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Ziko,
>
> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
> > German came up.
>
> This would be useful.
>
> > As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
> > new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia.
>
> To be more precise: the language committee was tasked with determining
> when to start new language projects.  It was never asked to consider
> other sorts of new projects.  So either "simple German" is a new
> language, or it's out of the current scope of the committee.
>
> Overall, we've never decided whether a "simple" or "children's
> encyclopedia" should be a separate project with its own root domain,
> or another set of 'languages' that show up as an interlanguage link or
> as FOO.wikipedia.org .
>
>
> > The existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
> > had been created before that policy of 2006.
>
> Simple English is quite useful, and used for groups developing their
> literacy skills at all ages, including many communities learning
> English as a Second Language.  Presumably the same could be true of
> any other language.
>
>
> > There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
> > encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
> > world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
> > initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
> > such encyclopedias than we are?
>
> +1
>
> My thoughts:
> * I would love to see similar projects in at least German, French,
> Spanish, and Dutch -- languages in which there are already communities
> working on encyclopedic knowledge in simplified language.
> * We should have a new process for requesting a simple-language
> version of a project.
> * We should resolve standard practice for naming them, and decide if
> this should be a new top-level Project (like wikikids) or a variation
> on the normal language code.
>
> Considering the historical role of the children's encyclopedia, we
> might consider rescoping "simple" as "for children" -- this could help
> to increase participation and use, and clarify the role of these
> projects.
>
> SJ
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Ziko van Dijk
In reply to this post by Samuel Klein-4
Thanks for your very useful thoughts, Samuel. They lead us to these
two key questions:

- Create new Wikipedias, or a new project: What would make sense? If
they were new Wikipedias, we would potentially double the list with
interwiki links ("in other languages"). I prefer a new project.

- Scope and name: Maybe it would practically make no big difference
whether the project is called "simple" or "for kids". Poor readers and
adult beginning readers (natives or not) tend to read texts that are
meant for children anyway. It could make a difference in promoting,
though. A scope question can also be whether certain kinds of explicit
images are allowed.

Before beginning such a project, it may be good to have a more
elaborate concept than there has been when the Wikipedias started. But
even before that, the Foundation should tell whether such a project
has any chance to be accepted, or will be banned for being essentially
Wikipedia in already existing languages.

Hey, I just googled and found that there is already a proposal at Meta. :-)

Kind regards
Ziko

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/wiki/Wikikids


2010/6/24 Samuel J Klein <[hidden email]>:

> Hi Ziko,
>
> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
>> German came up.
>
> This would be useful.
>
>> As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
>> new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia.
>
> To be more precise: the language committee was tasked with determining
> when to start new language projects.  It was never asked to consider
> other sorts of new projects.  So either "simple German" is a new
> language, or it's out of the current scope of the committee.
>
> Overall, we've never decided whether a "simple" or "children's
> encyclopedia" should be a separate project with its own root domain,
> or another set of 'languages' that show up as an interlanguage link or
> as FOO.wikipedia.org .
>
>
>> The existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
>> had been created before that policy of 2006.
>
> Simple English is quite useful, and used for groups developing their
> literacy skills at all ages, including many communities learning
> English as a Second Language.  Presumably the same could be true of
> any other language.
>
>
>> There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
>> encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
>> world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
>> initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
>> such encyclopedias than we are?
>
> +1
>
> My thoughts:
> * I would love to see similar projects in at least German, French,
> Spanish, and Dutch -- languages in which there are already communities
> working on encyclopedic knowledge in simplified language.
> * We should have a new process for requesting a simple-language
> version of a project.
> * We should resolve standard practice for naming them, and decide if
> this should be a new top-level Project (like wikikids) or a variation
> on the normal language code.
>
> Considering the historical role of the children's encyclopedia, we
> might consider rescoping "simple" as "for children" -- this could help
> to increase participation and use, and clarify the role of these
> projects.
>
> SJ
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
Ziko van Dijk
Niederlande

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Pharos-3
What about wikipediajr.org ?

And so we would have en.wikipediajr.org, fr.wikipediajr.org etc.

Thanks,
Pharos

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks for your very useful thoughts, Samuel. They lead us to these
> two key questions:
>
> - Create new Wikipedias, or a new project: What would make sense? If
> they were new Wikipedias, we would potentially double the list with
> interwiki links ("in other languages"). I prefer a new project.
>
> - Scope and name: Maybe it would practically make no big difference
> whether the project is called "simple" or "for kids". Poor readers and
> adult beginning readers (natives or not) tend to read texts that are
> meant for children anyway. It could make a difference in promoting,
> though. A scope question can also be whether certain kinds of explicit
> images are allowed.
>
> Before beginning such a project, it may be good to have a more
> elaborate concept than there has been when the Wikipedias started. But
> even before that, the Foundation should tell whether such a project
> has any chance to be accepted, or will be banned for being essentially
> Wikipedia in already existing languages.
>
> Hey, I just googled and found that there is already a proposal at Meta. :-)
>
> Kind regards
> Ziko
>
> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/wiki/Wikikids
>
>
> 2010/6/24 Samuel J Klein <[hidden email]>:
>> Hi Ziko,
>>
>> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
>>> German came up.
>>
>> This would be useful.
>>
>>> As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
>>> new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia.
>>
>> To be more precise: the language committee was tasked with determining
>> when to start new language projects.  It was never asked to consider
>> other sorts of new projects.  So either "simple German" is a new
>> language, or it's out of the current scope of the committee.
>>
>> Overall, we've never decided whether a "simple" or "children's
>> encyclopedia" should be a separate project with its own root domain,
>> or another set of 'languages' that show up as an interlanguage link or
>> as FOO.wikipedia.org .
>>
>>
>>> The existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
>>> had been created before that policy of 2006.
>>
>> Simple English is quite useful, and used for groups developing their
>> literacy skills at all ages, including many communities learning
>> English as a Second Language.  Presumably the same could be true of
>> any other language.
>>
>>
>>> There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
>>> encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
>>> world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
>>> initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
>>> such encyclopedias than we are?
>>
>> +1
>>
>> My thoughts:
>> * I would love to see similar projects in at least German, French,
>> Spanish, and Dutch -- languages in which there are already communities
>> working on encyclopedic knowledge in simplified language.
>> * We should have a new process for requesting a simple-language
>> version of a project.
>> * We should resolve standard practice for naming them, and decide if
>> this should be a new top-level Project (like wikikids) or a variation
>> on the normal language code.
>>
>> Considering the historical role of the children's encyclopedia, we
>> might consider rescoping "simple" as "for children" -- this could help
>> to increase participation and use, and clarify the role of these
>> projects.
>>
>> SJ
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Ziko van Dijk
> Niederlande
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Samuel Klein-4
Samuel J Klein wrote:
> Overall, we've never decided whether a "simple" or "children's
> encyclopedia" should be a separate project with its own root domain,
> or another set of 'languages' that show up as an interlanguage link or
> as FOO.wikipedia.org .
>  
I don't think we've even decided those are the only options. It could
also use a namespace within the same domain, or take advantage of other
technical features like subpages, or be set up like a portal or
wikiproject, or other possibilities I haven't thought of.

--Michael Snow

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Victor Vasiliev
In reply to this post by Samuel Klein-4
I may suggest two easy ways how it may be solved technically:
* Introduction of a special namespace on a "larger" Wikipedia.
* Introduction of s subdomain (e.g. simple.de.wikipedia.org) with shared
admins (that should be simple with SUL).
I believe there is no need for seperate set of admins for such project.
Also note that such projects have tendency to become POV forks and
community of both main and simple version have to control NPOV issues on
the smaller project.

--vvv

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Andrew Gray-3
In reply to this post by Pharos-3
On 24 June 2010 15:52, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What about wikipediajr.org ?
>
> And so we would have en.wikipediajr.org, fr.wikipediajr.org etc.

Or even just a modifier -

jr.en.wikipedia.org
jr.de.wikipedia.org

...to which we could also alias "simple", "kinder", etc etc.

This helps emphasise the distinction between languages and
subsets-of-languages, and also means we can be more fluid about the
"simple"/"for children" presentation on a project-by-project basis.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
A great idea, but let us not forget: بسيط  պարզ  უბრალო  פשוט  簡単な 간 단한
прост  简单 łatwy  எளிய  సరళమైన  ง่าย  or mộc mạc. We could even be bold and
have a complete URL in the scripts of these languages.. I have been in
favour for us to research this for a long time..

When you are going to consider simple Wikipedias for all languages, please
also consider how we will deal with different orthographies.. A child of 10
speaking Portuguese will have considerably more problems reading either the
South American or the European variant. Once we can have a simple project in
both orthographies, what is the rationale for denying a full Wikipedia?
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 24 June 2010 17:37, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 24 June 2010 15:52, Pharos <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > What about wikipediajr.org ?
> >
> > And so we would have en.wikipediajr.org, fr.wikipediajr.org etc.
>
> Or even just a modifier -
>
> jr.en.wikipedia.org
> jr.de.wikipedia.org
>
> ...to which we could also alias "simple", "kinder", etc etc.
>
> This helps emphasise the distinction between languages and
> subsets-of-languages, and also means we can be more fluid about the
> "simple"/"for children" presentation on a project-by-project basis.
>
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>  [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

arablue99
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Ziko van Dijk
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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

phoebe ayers-3
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 9:33 AM, Aaron Adrignola
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> It may be relevant to note that http://wikijunior.org currently redirects
> to http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior .
>
> From what I've heard, Wikijunior was supposed to become its own separate
> project at some point.  Now, that is Wikibooks-related and not
> Wikipedia-related, but if one were looking for a combined edition of all the
> projects in each language, for children, you've got the domain name there,
> owned by Wikimedia.
>
> -- Aaron Adrignola

:) excellent. I'd forgotten that we owned the wikijunior domain to go
along with the books.... I'd support a children's encyclopedia, and
argue that it's not quite the same thing as a simplified version:
presentation and content could be different for a project geared
towards kids, who are trying to learn about the world from the ground
up (versus someone who simply doesn't know the written language very
well). There is overlap of course in that any simple version would be
much better for kids than the current technical articles on a lot of
projects.

One argument in favor of a new children's encyclopedia -- maybe in
fact integrated set of projects for children, books and all -- is that
it would set some scope on the new project and give it a purpose that
Simple English has always struggled a bit with finding. No, you don't
need new admins, but a new project might attract new contributors
(teachers, etc) who have never edited Wikipedia before.

If starting a whole new project is too hard, starting a prominent
portal on each language site with links to these simplified articles
-- maybe with the articles as subpages -- could be a nice solution.

-- phoebe

--
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
<at> gmail.com *

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Amir E. Aharoni
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
2010/6/24 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
> When you are going to consider simple Wikipedias for all languages, please
> also consider how we will deal with different orthographies.. A child of 10
> speaking Portuguese will have considerably more problems reading either the
> South American or the European variant.

Is it a tested fact? I don't think that children are so picky about
orthographies. It is quite likely that they will notice the
differences, but will it actually interfere with their understanding
of the text?

You're welcome to prove me wrong, of course.

--
אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
Amir Elisha Aharoni

http://aharoni.wordpress.com

"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Pharos-3
In reply to this post by arablue99
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 12:33 PM, Aaron Adrignola
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> It may be relevant to note that http://wikijunior.org currently redirects
> to http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior .
>
> From what I've heard, Wikijunior was supposed to become its own separate
> project at some point.  Now, that is Wikibooks-related and not
> Wikipedia-related, but if one were looking for a combined edition of all the
> projects in each language, for children, you've got the domain name there,
> owned by Wikimedia.
>
> -- Aaron Adrignola

"a combined edition of all the projects in each language, for children"

That's an interesting conception, right there.

Thanks,
Pharos

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Ziko van Dijk
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Recently there has been a controversy on Wikipedia in German about
> extra articles in simple language. Authors of its medical group wanted
> to create sub pages suitable for children, believing in an urgent
> need. [1]
>
> In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
> German came up.
>
> As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
> new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia. The
> existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
> had been created before that policy of 2006.
>
> There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
> encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
> world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
> initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
> such encyclopedias than we are?

Wait!

Writing dumb articles because of thinking that children are dumb is
dumb. And not just dumb, but deeply ageist and discriminatory.

Considering, for example, Piaget's [1] theory, timeline of cognitive
development is:
* The earliest usual learning of writing is around 5.
* At around 8 children are able to read without problems.
* At around 10 children cognitive system is almost the same as adult.
* Between 13 and 15, depending on climate, life conditions and
culture, and not counting extremes, cognitively there are no children
anymore, there are young adults. Cognitively, the only difference
between them and 10-20 years older humans is in experience and
knowledge.

That means that the target for writing "simple" Wikipedia is for
children between 8 and 10.

So, I would like to see scientific background *before* mentioning
"simple" or "junior" or whatever project: For which age should be,
let's say, Junior Wikipedia? For all minors? For primary school
minors? One article for those old 7 and 15 years? Considering Simple
English Wikipedia, this is purely pseudoscientific attempt. Wishful
thinking of creating family friendly project with dumb language.

But, I am not trying to say that WikiMedia Junior won't be useful.
Yes, it will be very useful if it would be driven well. However, I am
deeply skeptical about crowd sourcing of such thing. It will finish as
Simple Wikipedia, which main purpose is having fun by reading random
articles on parties -- at the best. At the worst, it will finish like
Conservapedia with dumb language. Actually, with many dumb languages.

If we really want to go this way, the only relevant approach is by
finding relevant pedagogues who would lead child contributors. Such
project has to be very well structured, with year or two of relevant
work before going online. However, I see this as very unrealistic at
this moment.

[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Piaget

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Ting Chen-2
Hello Ziko, hello Milos,

some time ago, when the board was discussing about the sexual content
problems I made the following proposal. I didn't published it because I
feel it still very premature and also because I wanted to wait for the
research work that Sue should do and see what the experts propose. But
it fit in this discussion:

So in my imagination the audience of the project are mainly primary
school children, at most the lower grades of secondary schools, so of
the age between 6 and 12, at most 14. I think to define the audience is
very important, because thus it also frames the scope. Let's take an
example:

*Earth* (or *the Earth*) is the third planet
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet> from the Sun
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun>, the fifth-largest and the densest of
the eight planets in the Solar System
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System>. It is also the largest of
the Solar System's four terrestrial planets
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrestrial_planet>. It is sometimes
referred to as the World, the Blue Planet,^[note 7]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#cite_note-blue_planet-21> or by its
Latin name, /Terra <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Terra>/.^[note 8]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#cite_note-Terra-22>

This is the start of the article Earth on en-wp. I don't think that a
primary school child can really comprehend what is said here. Another
good example is the first sentence on en-wp of the article "United
States". By defining the audience, we necessarily also defines what
language to use, what content to tell. It doesn't necessarily exclose
every content. Children of 7 or 8 years (or even eariler) ask where do
babies come from, but the answer to a child that age would be a totally
different one as to an adult, both in language as well as in the form of
the explaination.

I would also suggest that the project start with Flagged Revision in the
version that only approved content would be shown to the reader. The
flagged revision does not prevent dedicated attacks but is very good to
prevent casual vandalism. I would suggest using this feature at the
beginning because the audience of the project is quite different to the
audience of Wikipedia or other our projects. Often they cannot decide
even in a very basic way what is correct and what not. And they probably
would not be the ones who edit the content.

There are certainly quite some problems like how to handle NPOV (how to
explain to a child what is God in an NPOV way?), how to handle disputes.
But I am quite confident that the community would seek ways for these
"technical" problems. What we should do is to define a clear frame for them.

Greetings
Ting

How do you think about this?



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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Samuel Klein-4
In reply to this post by Ziko van Dijk
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:


> - Create new Wikipedias, or a new project: What would make sense? If
> they were new Wikipedias, we would potentially double the list with
> interwiki links ("in other languages"). I prefer a new project.

One way to handle interlanguage links could be to link to the simple
version, where available, next to the copmlex version in the
interlanguage links:
 ...
 English (simple)
...
or

 English (junior)
 Español (júnior)
 Français (junior)
 ...


Michael Snow writes:
> I don't think we've even decided those are the only options. It could
> also use a namespace within the same domain, or take advantage of other
> technical features like subpages, or be set up like a portal or
> wikiproject, or other possibilities I haven't thought of.

Yes.  WikiJunior set up a portal on Wikibooks that worked out.  I can
imagine the same for simple versions of Wikiquote and Wikiversity.

But there is a basic namespace dilemma for terms and topics that books
don't have.  One wants wikilinks from simple articles to naturally
link to other simple articles, using the "add brackets around natural
language" model we use elsewhere.

I like the idea of using wikijunior.org and figuring out for each
language where it should redirect -- at first these could be incubated
within the 'senior' project.

And I like the idea of combining the various projects into a single
project for kids.  This is more like some of the children's
encyclopedias out there, which combine definitions, trivia, quotes,
articles, stories, how-tos, and ideas for projects.


Ziko writes:
> - Scope and name: Maybe it would practically make no big difference
> whether the project is called "simple" or "for kids". Poor readers and
> adult beginning readers (natives or not) tend to read texts that are
> meant for children anyway. It could make a difference in promoting,
> though. A scope question can also be whether certain kinds of explicit
> images are allowed.

Right.  Either way, we could promote these projects as being suitable
for language-learners.  If the material is too colorful, silly, and
childlike it might discourage adults from using them to practice
language.  If it is too edgy, controversial, and explicit it might
discourage kids and teachers from using them to learn

I think something that serves both audiences is possible -- appealing
and easy to approach, visual and playful, without "dumbing things
down".  I find the World Book style rather appealing, and also
appreciate the color and good cheer that characterizes current
wikikids projects.


> Before beginning such a project, it may be good to have a more
> elaborate concept than there has been when the Wikipedias started. But
> even before that, the Foundation should tell whether such a project
> has any chance to be accepted, or will be banned

Of course such proposals would be welcome.   (Are proposals ever
banned?  Last I checked we retain lots of dubious proposals, on the
off chance that someone later comes along and manages to convert them
into something useful.)


> Hey, I just googled and found that there is already a proposal at Meta. :-)
< https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/wiki/Wikikids

Yes, there is a store of people interested in working on such a
project, we just need to define it properly and set up a place to
experiment.   :-)

SJ


'Wikipedia : ... derived from the Hawaiian wiki, "edited at high
speed", and the Greek παῖdh, "by children".'
      - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiSpeak


--

> 2010/6/24 Samuel J Klein <[hidden email]>:
>> Hi Ziko,
>>
>> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
>>> German came up.
>>
>> This would be useful.
>>

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Ting Chen-2
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:59 PM, Ting Chen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> *Earth* (or *the Earth*) is the third planet
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet> from the Sun
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun>, the fifth-largest and the densest of
> the eight planets in the Solar System
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System>. It is also the largest of
> the Solar System's four terrestrial planets
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrestrial_planet>. It is sometimes
> referred to as the World, the Blue Planet,^[note 7]
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#cite_note-blue_planet-21> or by its
> Latin name, /Terra <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Terra>/.^[note 8]
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#cite_note-Terra-22>
>
> This is the start of the article Earth on en-wp. I don't think that a
> primary school child can really comprehend what is said here.

As Piaget says something different for 10+ years old children, I would
like to get some relevant scientific research to start to trust to
your claim.

The fact that 10 years old child probably doesn't know what density
means, doesn't mean that she or he can't read about that on
encyclopedia.

Encyclopedia is not symbolist poetry or satire. It has (or should
have) clear style without metaphors.

And if you want to create something useful for 6 years old child, you
should know that that child probably don't know to read. Or if he or
she knows to read, it is about very simple terms and without
possibility to connect terms without images or movies. In other words,
for children below ~8, different form is needed. Spoken encyclopedia
-- yes. Pictures of particular concepts -- yes. Written encyclopedia
-- which is the main goal behind simple Wikipedia projects -- no.

And this thread is not about sexually explicit content, but about
encyclopedia and other educational material for children.

<POV>
I am really sick of tries for making Family Friendly Wikipedia with
various excuses. This reminds me on switching from "Creationism" to
"Intelligent Design" by religious fundamentalists in US.
</POV>

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

metasj
In reply to this post by Milos Rancic-2
Hi Milos,

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM, Milos Rancic <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Writing dumb articles because of thinking that children are dumb is
> dumb. And not just dumb, but deeply ageist and discriminatory.

I don't think that either simplified or children's projects should be
"dumbed down".  Ottava's essays on Kubla Khan and Intimations of
Immortaility recently noted on this list are examples of quite
detailed and intelligent essays written in (somewhat) simplified
language.


> Considering, for example, Piaget's [1] theory, timeline of cognitive
> development is:
> * The earliest usual learning of writing is around 5.
> * At around 8 children are able to read without problems.
> * At around 10 children cognitive system is almost the same as adult.
> * Between 13 and 15... there are young adults.

And we can all look to our own personal development for anecdotes.

I think it would be appropriate to serve a few audiences, say 5 to 15,
but welcoming readers of all ages:
 - younger children learning to read (compare Britannica's Young
Children's Encyclopedia, 16 volumes with images and short
descriptions, intended to introduce reading)
 - older children and adults looking for a clear, concise illustration
of topics[1] (compare Encarta and World Book, which targeted high
school students, but had features for children of 7 and 8).
 - children and others looking for interesting new topics, trivia, and
projects to try.  this might work best for a project that combines
material from wikiversity, wikibooks, wikipedia, wikiquote, and other
projects.  (Compare Arthur Mee's 20-volume Book of Knowledge, which is
probably described well as a "mix of all Wikimedia projects, with
songs and games, written for children" and despite its quaint language
is still recommended by various homeschooling groups as easy to use in
everyday learning.[2])

Milosh writes:
> finding relevant pedagogues who would lead child contributors.

That's a fine idea.  Also finding active middle- and high-school
students interested in leading such a project.  There are some
examples already, from the Grundschul wiki to the Children's
Encyclopedia of Women, of specific groups of students starting a
project intended to be a global space to collaborate.

SJ

[1] This addresses Ting's point that some articles aren't so clear in
their introductions.  That's not a question of age, but of what you
expect the first few sentences to tell you.

[2] http://www.hstreasures.com/bookofknowledge.html

--

'Wikipedia : ... derived from the Hawaiian wiki, "edited at high
speed", and the Greek παῖdh, "by children".'
     - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiSpeak

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Milos Rancic-2
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 9:21 PM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM, Milos Rancic <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> finding relevant pedagogues who would lead child contributors.
>
> That's a fine idea.  Also finding active middle- and high-school
> students interested in leading such a project.  There are some
> examples already, from the Grundschul wiki to the Children's
> Encyclopedia of Women, of specific groups of students starting a
> project intended to be a global space to collaborate.

Yes.

My main point is that creating such project is not creating "just
another Wikimedia project", as it needs much more efforts than just
opening a project.

I am not happy to approve new Wikinews project at LangCom because I
know how hard is to keep it alive. I would really like to include
recommendations from Wikinews community as mandatory for creating a
new project. But, at last, I can say that I don't care. If someone
wants Wikinews, it is about her or him.

But, there is no chance that I would be willing to approve any
Wikijunior project without relevant experts who would lead such
project. My personal responsibility for creating a Wikijunior project
would be much higher than for creating a Wikinews project.

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Re: Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Ziko van Dijk
On 24 June 2010 15:04, Ziko van Dijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
> - Scope and name: Maybe it would practically make no big difference
> whether the project is called "simple" or "for kids". Poor readers and
> adult beginning readers (natives or not) tend to read texts that are
> meant for children anyway. It could make a difference in promoting,
> though. A scope question can also be whether certain kinds of explicit
> images are allowed.

I strongly disagree. There is a big difference between simple language
and simple concepts. Children need simple concepts (basically, you
can't assume as much prior knowledge because they haven't had time to
learn things that adults consider to be common knowledge). Adults that
are just learning a language need simple language because they haven't
learnt complicated vocabulary yet.

However, in either case I'm not sure a new project is a good idea.

The great thing about an online encyclopaedia is that you don't need
to assume prior knowledge, you can just link to the article that
provides that knowledge and let people decide for themselves whether
they need to click it.

As for people learning a language, the main way of learning vocabulary
is to see it used in context. There are lots of online bilingual
dictionaries (we have one ourselves) that people can look unfamiliar
words up in, so it's better just to use the words and help people
learn them.

Disclaimer: I used to be an admin on the Simple English Wikipedia,
however my opinions of its worth have changed since then.

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