Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

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Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Pradeep Makineni
Hi All,

This was one question raised, at one of the groups I am member of...  I felt it would be good if I share it with you people.

Here are some of the snippets from the mail sent to the group.
Snippet 1:
I better go for the English websites to get that info, as it might even help me in having discussions and exchange of ideas with a group who knows the same language. (English is known by many and hence the group size will be large and will have the cream too).

Snippet 2:
I am not criticizing the work you are doing. Infact you are doing a great job. But, the real use of your efforts will be, when a farmer or a daily worker wants to get information on web and browse this website for that.


I have answered this question, and I think I am successful in converting that person into believing local language wikipedias are good and they are really useful :).  But I personally felt that my answer was a bit vague, so I am not going to tell what I answered to him.  What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe, most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent in English.


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Pradeep Makineni


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Re: Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
There are many arguments on many levels why Wikipedias in all languages is something that you want to reply to on many levels. Wikipedia contains educational content; it is used by students in schools. Students will do better in their academic career when they first learn to read and write in their mother tongue. Working on a quality wikipedia in your language you are part of the people that care and help preserve both the language and the culture of the language. Many things are hard to express in another language, by having information expressed in many languages, the same topic can be read approached in different ways, this helps in the understanding of the topic. Having people work on a Wikipedia in a language does not detract from the effort put into a Wikipedia in another language; it is complementary. The farmers or a daily workers of India may finds their information in their native language, but the farmers and daily workers of Great Britain and the US do the same. When you write in your language the fruit of your labour is shared by all the people that share your language. Having a Wikipedia in a language allows people who learn a language to find topical information in the language; this information is rich in the terminology of that subject.

Hmmm, they are a bunch of one liners. All arguments why there is wealth in the diversity of Wikipedias in many languages. They are united in bringing information to the people that are looking for information. In the end it is not only the reader that has the big benefits; the writer learns a lot when he practices his writing and puts knowledge into words.

Thanks,
     GerardM

On Feb 10, 2008 7:35 AM, Pradeep Makineni <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All,

This was one question raised, at one of the groups I am member of...  I felt it would be good if I share it with you people.

Here are some of the snippets from the mail sent to the group.
Snippet 1:
I better go for the English websites to get that info, as it might even help me in having discussions and exchange of ideas with a group who knows the same language. (English is known by many and hence the group size will be large and will have the cream too).

Snippet 2:
I am not criticizing the work you are doing. Infact you are doing a great job. But, the real use of your efforts will be, when a farmer or a daily worker wants to get information on web and browse this website for that.


I have answered this question, and I think I am successful in converting that person into believing local language wikipedias are good and they are really useful :).  But I personally felt that my answer was a bit vague, so I am not going to tell what I answered to him.  What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe, most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent in English.


--
Pradeep Makineni


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Re: Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Bernard Massot-2
In reply to this post by Pradeep Makineni
On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:05:18PM +0530, Pradeep Makineni wrote:
> What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or
> concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to
> Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe,
> most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent
> in English.
People always feel more comfortable with their native language.

Also, as you wrote, "most of" them also speak English, not all of them.
There are Indians who good access Internet but don't speak English. For
instance a part of NRIs living in non-English speaking countries.

AFAIK it's currently impossible to use computers with knowing only
Indian languages so that would make knowing English a prerequisite to
accessing Wikipedia. However we could imagine people having access to a
printed version of Wikipedia.

But that's right, educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better"
language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian
Wikipedias...
--
Bernard Massot

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Re: Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Pradeep Makineni
Thank you Gerard and Bernard. 

I completely agree with your thoughts.  These would be some of the points I will consider when someone asks me "Why Wikipedia in Indian languages".  I even have some examples where parents who send their kids to English medium schools, clarify their child's questions in their native language but not in English.  This would show how it is easier to express in native language than in other languages, especially when we are talking with children.

On Feb 10, 2008 10:27 PM, Bernard Massot <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:05:18PM +0530, Pradeep Makineni wrote:
> What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or
> concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to
> Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe,
> most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent
> in English.
People always feel more comfortable with their native language.

Also, as you wrote, "most of" them also speak English, not all of them.
There are Indians who good access Internet but don't speak English. For
instance a part of NRIs living in non-English speaking countries.

AFAIK it's currently impossible to use computers with knowing only
Indian languages so that would make knowing English a prerequisite to
accessing Wikipedia. However we could imagine people having access to a
printed version of Wikipedia.

But that's right, educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better"
language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian
Wikipedias...
--
Bernard Massot

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--
Pradeep Makineni
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Re: Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Shiju Alex
educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better" language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian Wikipedias...
 
 
 
This is really true. This is one of the biggest obstacle that all the Indian language wikies are facing. I have also got the same type of answers as Pradeep got.
 
Moreover, it is very sad to note that most of these educated rich young generation (read convent educated, city dwellers, and so on) are Mother Tongue Illiterates. And they are feeling proud about it.
 
Mother Tongue Illiteracy is growing among educated Indians. This is one of the biggest obstacle.
 
Regards
Shiju Alex 

 
On 2/11/08, Pradeep Makineni <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thank you Gerard and Bernard. 

I completely agree with your thoughts.  These would be some of the points I will consider when someone asks me "Why Wikipedia in Indian languages".  I even have some examples where parents who send their kids to English medium schools, clarify their child's questions in their native language but not in English.  This would show how it is easier to express in native language than in other languages, especially when we are talking with children.


On Feb 10, 2008 10:27 PM, Bernard Massot <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:05:18PM +0530, Pradeep Makineni wrote:
> What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or
> concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to
> Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe,
> most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent
> in English.
 
People always feel more comfortable with their native language.

Also, as you wrote, "most of" them also speak English, not all of them.
There are Indians who good access Internet but don't speak English. For
instance a part of NRIs living in non-English speaking countries.

AFAIK it's currently impossible to use computers with knowing only
Indian languages so that would make knowing English a prerequisite to
accessing Wikipedia. However we could imagine people having access to a
printed version of Wikipedia.

But that's right, educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better"
language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian
Wikipedias...
--
Bernard Massot

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Re: Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Nicholas-38
I have an observation to make. It is an excellent goal to make available content to the masses in regional languages, but does the content uphold the same principles as the english wiki does? viz- neutrality, brilliant prose and so on?

I remember accessing the Marathi wikipedia a year back, and content there was parochial and limited. Are there any suggestions to counteract this scenario from happening?

Regards,
--Nicholas

On Feb 11, 2008 10:25 PM, Shiju Alex <[hidden email]> wrote:
educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better" language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian Wikipedias...
 
 
 
This is really true. This is one of the biggest obstacle that all the Indian language wikies are facing. I have also got the same type of answers as Pradeep got.
 
Moreover, it is very sad to note that most of these educated rich young generation (read convent educated, city dwellers, and so on) are Mother Tongue Illiterates. And they are feeling proud about it.
 
Mother Tongue Illiteracy is growing among educated Indians. This is one of the biggest obstacle.
 
Regards
Shiju Alex 

 
On 2/11/08, Pradeep Makineni <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thank you Gerard and Bernard. 

I completely agree with your thoughts.  These would be some of the points I will consider when someone asks me "Why Wikipedia in Indian languages".  I even have some examples where parents who send their kids to English medium schools, clarify their child's questions in their native language but not in English.  This would show how it is easier to express in native language than in other languages, especially when we are talking with children.


On Feb 10, 2008 10:27 PM, Bernard Massot <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:05:18PM +0530, Pradeep Makineni wrote:
> What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or
> concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to
> Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe,
> most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent
> in English.
 
People always feel more comfortable with their native language.

Also, as you wrote, "most of" them also speak English, not all of them.
There are Indians who good access Internet but don't speak English. For
instance a part of NRIs living in non-English speaking countries.

AFAIK it's currently impossible to use computers with knowing only
Indian languages so that would make knowing English a prerequisite to
accessing Wikipedia. However we could imagine people having access to a
printed version of Wikipedia.

But that's right, educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better"
language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian
Wikipedias...
--
Bernard Massot

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--
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Re: Whats the real advantage of Wikis in our mother tongues?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
There is indeed a lot of prose on the English Wikipedia. Not all of it is brilliant.

Given that Wikipedia projects evolve, what you have seen last year is not what you will see today. When you follow the English Wikipedia, a day is not good if there is no "drama of the day" and many people are unhappy about this. The neutrality of a Wikipedia is a function of the interaction between people and the effort invested in its content. The notion that the English Wikipedia will have it right is one that I do not subscribe to. What i do subscribe to is that there is a lot of effort needed to make a Wikipedia as good as it can be.

A lot of localisation effort is going on at Betawiki; this makes it even more plain. The work done today can be found on all Wikimedia Foundation projects tomorrow. This effort is not needed on the en.wikipedia The localisation in the many languages is so valuable because it shows the lovet that people have for their language.

The point of all this; nothing is automatic and things improve over time. They improve over time as more effort goes into a project.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On Feb 12, 2008 4:16 PM, Nicholas <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have an observation to make. It is an excellent goal to make available content to the masses in regional languages, but does the content uphold the same principles as the english wiki does? viz- neutrality, brilliant prose and so on?

I remember accessing the Marathi wikipedia a year back, and content there was parochial and limited. Are there any suggestions to counteract this scenario from happening?

Regards,
--Nicholas


On Feb 11, 2008 10:25 PM, Shiju Alex <[hidden email]> wrote:
educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better" language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian Wikipedias...
 
 
 
This is really true. This is one of the biggest obstacle that all the Indian language wikies are facing. I have also got the same type of answers as Pradeep got.
 
Moreover, it is very sad to note that most of these educated rich young generation (read convent educated, city dwellers, and so on) are Mother Tongue Illiterates. And they are feeling proud about it.
 
Mother Tongue Illiteracy is growing among educated Indians. This is one of the biggest obstacle.
 
Regards
Shiju Alex 

 
On 2/11/08, Pradeep Makineni <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thank you Gerard and Bernard. 

I completely agree with your thoughts.  These would be some of the points I will consider when someone asks me "Why Wikipedia in Indian languages".  I even have some examples where parents who send their kids to English medium schools, clarify their child's questions in their native language but not in English.  This would show how it is easier to express in native language than in other languages, especially when we are talking with children.


On Feb 10, 2008 10:27 PM, Bernard Massot <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:05:18PM +0530, Pradeep Makineni wrote:
> What would you tell, if are going to answer these questions or
> concerns?  Note that most (or all) of wikipedians who contribute to
> Indian language wikipedias are fluent in English also.  And I believe,
> most of the folks who read (if any) these wikipedias are also fluent
> in English.
 
People always feel more comfortable with their native language.

Also, as you wrote, "most of" them also speak English, not all of them.
There are Indians who good access Internet but don't speak English. For
instance a part of NRIs living in non-English speaking countries.

AFAIK it's currently impossible to use computers with knowing only
Indian languages so that would make knowing English a prerequisite to
accessing Wikipedia. However we could imagine people having access to a
printed version of Wikipedia.

But that's right, educated rich Indians thinking English is a "better"
language than their own native language is a big obstacle to Indian
Wikipedias...
--
Bernard Massot

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--
Pradeep Makineni
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