Non-English Wikipedias

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Lombard Beige, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    For Vladislav:

    All the Wikis are smaller than the English Wiki, but it's not true to say that the articles are all "shorter and worse".
    In one of my earlier messages, I quoted some examples on historical subjects in which the articles in French and Spanish are not shorter and worse, but simply different and in many cases more detailed than the articles in English.
    For example, I assume an article on Stalingrad reads differently in Russian and German, as would an article on Dunkirk, or Mers El Kebir (where the British sunk the French fleet) in English and French. For the British a painful necessity, for the French ...
    Similarly, for articles on Irish history. I assume that the Irish Wiki reads very differently from the English Wiki on things like the Great Famine (Ireland exported grain while people died of hunger, etc.), the Battle of the Boyne, etc.
    Also, as I think Xarruc pointed out, in the smaller Wikis, like those in the regional languages, you can find information about things of local interest that is not included in the national or international Wikis, e.g. the Galician Wiki with about 80 articles on Petroglyphs.

  2. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Hvala Natasha
  3. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Or just read two different versions on recent Balkan civil war on Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian Wiki...;)

    Maybe, this is not such a bad thing. In this way, a foreigner has the opportunity to read all sides' versions, and if he has brains, he can draw his own conclusions on the subject...

    You're welcome, Lombard Baige...:)
  4. Vladislav Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Natasha2000 and Lombard Baige, I'm not saying that every single article in other languages is worse than in English. What I say is that in many cases it is, unless it's about something quite specific: Stalingrad, Mers el Kebir (or T -34, Franco, Stalin, etc I've mentioned all thsese before).

    And the different versions just repeat one another in so many cases ...
  5. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Hello again:

    It would be interesting to hear from the Dutch, Scandinavians, Poles, etc.
    They must find something in their local Wikis that is better than the English Wiki.

    A question for Natasha, how many ex Jugoslav Wikis are there?

    There is a Wiki in Aromanian (in Latin characters) and they are accused of being too filo-Romanian. The Greeks would like them to write in Greek characters.

    Lastly, going back to the English Wiki, has anybody noticed that written English has two de-facto standards - US and UK - and the UK (see the article on International English) now has two standards with -ize (Oxford, ect.) and with -ise.

    Personally, I use written Canadian English, as I worked for a long time in Canada/USA, but by birth and education (England) and mother's family (Cork, Ireland), I should use British English.

    Written Canadian English is the most flexible of all ... The spelling checker accepts both British and US forms ... and for the French there is the Wiki "Portail de la Nouvelle France" ...

  6. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    I wasn't answering to anything you wrote, sorry if it seemed like this. I just wanted to point out the most drastic current example of different point of views to same events. I certainly agree with you that not all articles in English Wiki are at the same time the best ones. For sure, Serbs will know better about the emperor Dushan or about battle in Kosovo than English speaking people, for example.

    Lombard Beige:
    There are lot of unknown facts about people called Aromanians. It seems they come from various Balkanic countries, and each of those countries would like them to be of their own origin. The truth is they are people who never had their own country and were always easily adapted themselves to the country they lived in. As far as their name's explanation on English Wiki is concerned, I would just like to add that maybe in English there's only one name for those people, but in Serbian, there are many, which you can see only by clicking to Srpski/Српски on the very same link I gave you here. In Serbian, besides Arumuni, Armuni, Kucovlasi, Vlasi, Cincari, are only some of the names for those people. I have just seen this link, too. So, as far as Aromunian Wiki is concerned, it has nothing to do with ex-YU Wikis. Ex-YU Wikis would be: Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Slovenian, and that's about all. I suppose that Slovenian and Macedonian Wiki tend to be more objective, since those two ex-YU republic haven't been in direct armed conflict with anyone.
  7. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I noticed that some articles are indeed translations of English.
    But it's not so bad, I think.:) As time goes, people would expand the articles. You can't build anything big at once!
  8. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    I don't see what's wrong with that.
    Providing that the English article is a good one, of course.;)

    Etcetera, you wanted to say:
    Rome wasn't built in one day!:)
  9. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I've read a lot of book on the Risorgimento, and I had the impression that Italian played its role in the unification. I can't see anything wrong with local dialects, but a common language is indeed very important for a re-united nation.

    Some languages simply adopted Cyrillic...
    I don't know much about linguistic issues here, but I believe the picture has never been rosy here. Russian had been the official language of the whole USSR for more than 70 years, and over the past 15 years we've seen a lot of negative consequences of that...
  10. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy

    Ex-YU Wikis would be: Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Slovenian ...

    I assume the first two use the local standard. What standard do the Bosnians use? Or perhaps the Catholics use the Croatian standard, the Orthodox the Serbian standard ... and the Muslims?
    And the Montenegrans?

    And what about the scripts. On the TV I see that many signs in Serbia are in Latin characters.

  11. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    For Etcera:

    Russia is called "The Russian Federation", but I read that local autonomy is in fact very limited and what the Russians call a Republic is what others would call a Province. Right?

    These terms are in fact misleading, as Canadian Provinces have more autonomy than US States ...

    Cerea [Piedmontese]
  12. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    It's Etcetera.;)

    Yes. The so-called republics used to have more autonomy under Yeltsin, but now the government's control is more strict.

    If you want to know more on this subject, feel free to PM me.:) All that doesn't have anything to do with Wikipedia, and I don't feel like distressing our Mods.:)
  13. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Quite right Etcetera:

    I'm still waiting for answers from our Dutch, Scandinavian and Polish friends on the secret of their succesful Wikis ... Do they offer prizes?
    Perhaps, please find the mistake in this article ...

    On prizes, in Montréal, Canada, there was a joke:
    1st prize one week in Toronto, 2nd prize two weeks in Toronto.
    I assume that could be translated into all languages:
    1st prize one week in Moscow, 2nd two weeks in Moscow, etc. :)

    Also, to stay on track, take a look at the articles on Matemàdiga in the Lumbaart Wiki. Impressive, no? As I said yesterday, I think this person writes his articles in Lombard to clarify his ideas, and if they are useful to someone else so much the better. It also provides examples of how to use the language for uses other than poetry, theatrical productions, etc., which are the usual use of local languages here. The Neapolitan Wiki, for example, is very big, but I found very little on history. There's more in the Sicilian Wiki. There are a quite a few articles on history in the Piedmontese Wiki.

  14. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Bosnians would have their own version, since the most violent clashes ocurred there. As far as Montenegrins, I asasume, since they have recently voted independence, they will soon start doing their own Wiki. Who knows? You should put this question to them, perhaps;) ...

    Serbian can be written in both cyrillic and latinic letters, so therefore there are two Wikis with the same text, it's just that one is written in Cyrillic and other is Latin letters. The content is completely the same. When you write an article, let's say, in Cyrillic letters, the Latin version is automatically generated.
  15. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Thank you Natasha:

    I clicked on the Serbian Wiki, but where do I click to see the version in Latin characters?

    The Lombard Wiki has a mechanism for switching from Eastern to Western Lombard, which possibly in the future could be used for a Serbo-Croatian Wiki, but perhaps it's not possible to put the clock back.

    The Emilian Wiki is a bit like a Jugoslav Wiki with 8 local versions ...

  16. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    On the top of each page, where it is written edit etc... the last in the raw, where it is written LATINICA.
    Even though I am ex-YU-nostalgic, I think that anything named Serbo-Croatian is doomed to failure. At least for many many years more....:(
  17. Qcumber Senior Member

    UK English
    Tagalog Wiki is a welcome addition, but a bit of a puzzle for me as so many Tagalogs assert their prefer English (probably because the Philippines is a former US colony). They doubt Tagalog could express what English says. Yet these articles prove them wrong.
  18. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    For Natasha, moltes gracies.

    I followed your instructions in the Serbian Wiki and the mechanism you described works perfectly:

    Tokom prve polovine 19. veka, uz pomoć tadašnjih vrhunskih filologa, ...

    Zdravo i fins aviat
  19. xarruc Senior Member

    I just want to say, for what it's worth, how nice it is to hear (read?) people so passioned about language, particularly minority languages.
  20. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Moltes gracies to you to Xarruc:

    To keep the message on theme, the Celtic language Wikis are also curious, as the dead are more active than the living :)

    Breton 11'215
    Irish 4'361
    Scots Gaelic 4'228

    Cornish 1’229
    Manx 153

    Well that's not quite right as the numbers (at the beginning of the year when I copied them) show, but Cornish is a revived language and Manx was supposed to be on its last legs ...

    Also Irish does not fare much better than Scots Gaelic, and this is despite the fact that it is the national language of Ireland, is an official language of the EU and is a compulsory subject in Irish schools ... But perhaps that is part of the problem, as a friend of mine once said: "It's not exactly a fun subject ..."

    I think the Scots probably copy a lot of Irish material, as the two languages were once one like Galician and Portuguese, or Catalan and Valencian :)

  21. Lemminkäinen

    Lemminkäinen Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    As for Scandinavia, I think it mostly has to do with the high percentage of the population who has internet access (as far as I'm aware, it's well over 90%, though I could be wrong).
    We don't have the numbers of the English speakers, but some of that is perhaps made up for by the amount of people who have the spare time and interest to do this.

    As for the English vs. non-English articles, I prefer browsing Wikipedia in English. If I can't remember a word or concept, I might do a search in the Norwegian edition and go from there to the English, but otherwise I usually don't read it.
    The articles seem to be generally shorter, but it seems that the same standard is held for the most part. Of course, there are probably more articles of special interest (like small islands on the west coast) than in the English version.

    Most people I've talked about it with say they use the English version, but that's hardly a representative sample. However, I would wager that the contributors to the Norwegian version are interested in the concept, and want to do what they can to provide the service in the first language of Norwegians.

    Oh, and of course we want to beat the Swedes too, there's no denying that ;)

    Edit: There was also quite a discussion about whether the different versions (bokmål and nynorsk) should have the prefixes .bm and .nn or whether one of them should have the .no - in the end, it was decided that nynorsk got .nn, while bokmål could keep .no.
    Needless to say, it got pretty heated :D
  22. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    For completeness:

    Celtic language Wikipedias (05 January 2007):

    Breton 11'215
    Welsh 6'193
    Irish 4'361
    Scots Gaelic 4'228
    Cornish 1’229
    Manx 153

    Scots 1'769 (see below)

    I omitted Welsh. This is due to my unfamiliarity with the answering system, rather than to any preferences, as I think Welsh is a very interesting language, with a good spelling system, and, I believe, it is in fairly good health.

    I have also added the figures for Scots - not Scottish English, which ends up in the general English Wikipedia, but the Germanic Scots Language, or Lallans, which - albeit in a corrupt (i.e. Anglicized) form - is the native language of - I believe - a majority of the Lowland Scots.

    Of course, for many Scots, Scottish English is the native language, as Hiberno-English is the native - but not the historical - language of the majority of Irish people.

    Having said this, it's interesting to note that the Scots Gaelic Wiki is 2.5 times larger than the Scots (Lallans) Wiki. I think there are a number of explanations for this.

    1) Gaelic is a recognized minority language (it's also spoken in Nova Scotia, Canada).
    2) Scots Gaelic and Irish to some extent support each other, by emulation, rivalry, etc., a bit like Spanish and Portuguese. Given my Irish background, I regret that Ireland is not more active in Irish, but the reasons are complex. It is interesting to note that the part of Ireland where Irish is today studied with most enthusiasm is Northern Ireland. Guess by whom.
    3) Scots (Lallans) suffers from being considered an English dialect, whereas it is in fact a parallel language, with its origin in Germanic Northumbrian, while Standard English has its base in more southern forms of Anglo-Saxon (for which there is an Old English Wiki).
    4) The lack of consideration of Lallans means that many of its more genuine speakers would prefer not to speak it at all. They would prefer to speak like Sean Connery :) This is the phenomenon called in Spain "auto-odio" (self-hate).
    5) I'm not sure about the latest developments with the Scottish Parliament, etc., but as far as I know, while everyone supports Gaelic, support for Lallans is much weaker.


  23. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy

    So, the reasons for the phenomenal success of your Wikis (see the figures below), in relation to the number of speakers, would seem to be:

    1) high percentage of the population with internet access ( 90%, wow!).
    2) the amount of people with spare time and interest.
    3) quality - the same standard as the English Wiki (although perhaps with lesser depth)
    4) special interest - (“small islands on the west coast”)

    5) the contributors are interested in the concept, and want to do what they can to provide the service in the local language
    6) local rivalry and emulation (“and of course we want to beat the Swedes ...”)
    7) including, in Norway, different versions (bokmål and nynorsk) ...

    All this in a context where there is a high level of knowledge of English, right?

    Svenska 201'401
    Norsk 92’246 (+ Nynorsk = 111'913)
    Dansk 54’725

    Nynorsk 19’167
    Iceland 12'656

    Faroe Islands 2'117

    Finnish 93'160 (different language, but same cultural area)

    Talking about local rivalry, what about this definition of Norwegian: “Danish spoken by Swedes!”.

  24. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    As the discussion seems to be running out of steam, and I still have doubts about certain aspects of the question, i.e.

    Slavic language Wikis:

    The current situation (today) in terms of articles is:

    Polish 337'541 Western Sl. Latin script
    Russian 128'937 Eastern Cyrillic
    Slovak 59'942 Western Latin
    Czech 56'968 Western Latin
    Ukrainian 50'347 Eastern Cyrillic

    As you can see, Polish is disproportionately high. In addition to the higher level of Internet penetration, I read in an article in Wiki (“Polish Wikipedia”) that the Poles seem to have adopted a policy of deliberately enlarging their Wiki, for example using the “bot” system. Apparently, this is an easy way to include MASSIVE quantities of data:

    In July 2005, a task for (one of the “bots” in Polish Wikipedia) was written. The bot was programmed to upload statistics from official government pages about French, Polish and Italian municipalities. In a few months, the bot uploaded more than 40,000 articles.

    I searched for and found, for example, Bergamo (I) and Nimes (F), I also found Orense (E), so they must have added Spain. So, I think this technical solution explains a lot about why the Polish Wikipedia is number 1 among the Slavs and the 4th largest of all Wikipedias, while the number of speakers is indicated (in Wiki) as 44 million against 277 million for Russian.

    For the South Slavs in the broadest sense:

    Serbian 41'149 Southern Cyrillic/Latin
    Slovenian 37'987 Southern Latin
    Bulgarian 34'290 Southern Cyrillic
    Croatian 26'805 Southern Latin
    Bosnian 12'814 Southern Latin
    Macedonian 9'635 Southern Cyrillic
    Serbo-Croatian 8'181 Southern Latin

    The last is particularly noteworthy. So a place still exists for supporters of a united serbo-croatian.

    For comparison purposes the figures for the languages that separate the Western and Eastern Slavs (located in the same geographical region) from the Southern Slavs are:

    Romanian 53'075 Romance Latin
    Hungarian 48'269 Ugrian Latin

    Lastly, we have:

    Siberian/North Russian 6'926 Eastern Cyrillic
    Belarusian 5'979 Eastern Cyrillic
    Upper Sorbian 374 Western (very, it's spoken in Germany!) Latin
    Old Church Slavonic 76 --- Cyrillic

    These languages are cultivated by what somebody described as the “enthusiasts”, like most of the western “regional languages”, but also Belarusian, which comes after Serbo-Croatian and Siberian !!!

  25. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    As a further contribution to this thread, the following is a comparison of the total number of web pages in various languages compared with the Wiki ranking by number of articles. The non Wiki data come from a link contained in a short thread opened by Anatoli. Web Pages by Language / Wikipedias by Articles English has 214,250,996 Web Pages - means that the Wiki ranking is worse than the web page ranking and + that it is better, e.g. Japanese is in 2nd position in terms of Web Pages and in 5th position in terms of Wiki articles, which is worse (-); German is in 3rd position in terms of Web Pages and in 2nd position in terms of Wiki articles, which is better. Language Percent Wiki position 1) English 68.39 1 2) Japanese 5.85 5 - 3) German 5.77 2 + 4) Chinese 3.87 12 - 5) French 2.96 3 + 6) Spanish 2.42 10 - 7) Russian 1.88 11 - 8) Italian 1.56 7 + 9) Portuguese 1.37 8 + 10) Korean 1.29 30 - 11) Dutch 1.01 6 + 12) Sweden 0.93 9 + 13) Danish 0.44 18 - 14) Norwegian 0.40 14 = 15) Finnish 0.38 13 + 16) Czech 0.32 17 - 17) Polish 0.27 4 + 18) Hungarian 0.16 24 - 19) Catalan 0.14 20 - 20) Turkish 0.14 25 - 21) Greek 0.09 38 - 22) Hebrew 0.06 21 + 23) Estonian 0.06 31 - 24) Romanian 0.05 19 + 25) Icelandic 0.04 47 - 26) Slovenian 0.04 27 - 27) Arabic 0.04 34 - 28) Lithuanian 0.03 28 = 29) Latvian 0.02 63 - 30) Bulgarian 0.02 29 + 31) Basque 0.01 42 - The only aspect of this question that remains open for me is the particular situation of the Dutch Wiki. To focus on that point, should I open a new thread (Dutch Wikipedia), or should I continue this thread? regards
  26. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    I lost the formatting in my last message. My apologies. Each language begins 1), 2), etc. Sorry again
  27. tvdxer Senior Member

    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Minnesota, U.S.A. - English
    Perhaps because the Dutch and Nordic peoples have very high internet access rates, tend to be very literate (in multiple languages, which helps, especially for using English Wikipedia pages as a resource), and are interested in such things?

    By the way, the most useful non-English Wikipedia seems to be the German Wiki. I sometimes consult it, usually using Babelfish to translate the pages since my command of German is very limited.
  28. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    What about Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian Wiki?
  29. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Hi Natasha and everyone: Well the data I used is based on the data contained in the thread opened by Anatoli and Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian are not included in the list. So, on those languages, I only have the data on Wiki. A couple of messages back, I surveyed the Slavic languages in Wiki, and you'll be pleased to know that there is still a Wiki in Serbo-Croatian. You can reach it from the English-language Wiki. Go to "Complete list" and click on the name of the language. At the end of the page there is a link to the Wiki. Possibly there is a shorter to way to get there, but that's what I did. I'd be interested in your comments, as my ideas are mine, but they're not necessarily right. Zdravo drugatice (right?) Natasha
  30. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    I have to tell you that there's no high opinion on Serbo-Croatian Wiki, since the 95% of articles are just copied articles from Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian Wiki, without even a minimum of adaptation. This means that they just copy, they don't write anything by themselves, which is NOT the original idea of Wiki. I can reach Serbo-Croatian Wiki from almost any Wiki on more important language including Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian ones.
  31. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Re German (hoping that my formatting is maintained)

    The quality of the German Wiki has been mentioned before, but, in terms of population, the Dutch Wiki does better. Maintaining the same ratio, the German Wiki would contain 1'329'130 articles, which is close to the English -language Wiki. Also, I found the following information in the Wiki article “Dutch Wikipedia”:

    “ ... Multiscope published a report stating that one out of three Dutch people uses Wikipedia. The Dutch language Wikipedia is therefore the sixth most popular website in the Netherlands.” Pretty impressive.

    The wiki classifications in terms of articles are:

    High German:
    German 530'543
    Alemannic 2'803
    Bavarian 457

    Dutch and Low German:
    Dutch 265'826
    Luxembourgish 12'552
    Ripuarian 5'911
    West Frisian 4'159
    Low Saxon 3'863 (Germany)

    Limburgian 2'746
    Dutch Low Saxon 2'030
    West Flemish 1'181
    Zealandic 51

    As I am interested in minority languages, the success of the Dutch-language seems to have inspired the local languages close to Dutch. See above.

    For comparison in the same area:
    Walloon 8'356 (French-speaking Belgium)

    Afrikaans 6'275
    Pennsylvania German 1'187

  32. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Excuse my stupidity, but what after all the statistics and numbers ? What are we really discussing here ?
    The last few messages are almost solely lists of numbers ! Could you please re-state the topic of this discussion ?
  33. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Sorry for creating confusion. Everything started with my question:

    " ... we were discussing why some Wikipedias are more successful than others. It was suggested, for example, that Maltese speakers, given their fluency in English, would tend to consult the English-language version more than that in their own language. But if this is true, why are the Dutch-language and the Nordic language Wikipedias so successful?
    I think most people would agree that the Dutch and the Nordics are among the best (non-native) English speakers. So what is the explanation?"

    The reason I sent the statistical data is so that we would talk in terms of facts and not impressions. The message I sent earlier on the ranking of languages by Web Pages and in terms of Wikipedias by articles was indeed a long list, but when it is set out "nicely" it does show some interesting differences.

    For example, Wiki does not seem to be popular in the Far East (Japan, China, Korea), as their Wiki ranking is much lower than their total ranking.

    Also, as we discussed in this thread, some Wikis - the Dutch and the Polish for example - are way out of proportion to the number of speakers. Similarly, the Spanish-language Wiki is smaller than the Portuguese-language Wiki and one of the explanations is that a few years ago there was a schism, which meant that 50'000 articles ended up in an alternative project. Also, the Polish Wiki is the largest Slavic Wiki, but I discovered that no less than 40'000 articles refer to municipalities of Poland, France and Italy.

    I realize, of course, that the subject doesn't interest everyone, but the discussion and the various links, etc., have enabled me to clear up my own ideas on the subject.

  34. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Review to date:

    So far we (a sizable number of contributors) have discussed the following main and sub-threads concerning Wikipedias:
    • The success of Dutch (and German) and Nordic Wikipedias
    • Wiki in European regional languages, including
    • Regional languages of Italy (where I have personal contacts), and
    • Celtic languages (why some languages are stronger than others)
    • Dead” languages (why people start Wikis in these languages)
    • Slavic languages (including the reason why the Polish Wiki is number 1)
    • Spanish language (why there are fewer articles than the number of speakers, etc.)
    • Asian languages (this topic was raised, but not exhausted, and it seems to me that the issues involved are very different from those concerning the European Wikis).
    I think that many points have now been covered, but for others I still have questions? What is the best way to proceed, in this thread? or open new dedicated threads, such as Slavic-language Wikis?

  35. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    You said in post #74 that you had doubts about Slavic Wikipedias but you only presented some statistics without asking any questions. :confused:

    You penned 32 out of 85 contributions in this thread. A clear indication that people simply do not know what to discuss about.
  36. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Two questions on Slavic Wikipedias (for the moment): 1) If you look at the figures for Belarusian that I sent, it comes with the last group (Siberian, Old Church Slavonic, etc.). This seems to confirm that official support for language is weak, cf. Ukrainian. 2) Natasha mentioned that the ex-YU Wikis all give different points of view on the war in Yugoslavia (which is one of the reasons why I think Wikis in different languages are useful). Seeing that most people will read about this war in the English-language Wiki, how well does the Eng-lang Wiki transmit these different points of view? Lastly, I apologise if I sent a lot of the messages in this thread, but I am genuinely interested in the subject and I want to understand the phenomenon better so as to be able to offer suggestions to the people I know who are working on Wikis in various languages, and not just in Italy where I live ... regards
  37. optimistique Senior Member

    Hi Lombard Beige,

    At last, a Dutchman!;)
    You talked about the article from Multiscope, and I read the full article. It gives a possible explanation to the succes of the Dutch Wikipedia, namely the huge amount of articles, and the many links referring to them. Of course that's no explanation to why so many articles have got there in the first place. As said before, I think it's partly due to the large number of people having access to internet plus the number of people having the will and time to work on it. I think it's only normal that you prefer reading in your own language than English, provided you'd know the quality of the information was as good and trustable.

    The phenomen Wikipedia has got extensive attention in the Dutch media. I think especially that has triggered many people to use it and make articles themselves. The enthousiasm has spread to the regional languages/dialects (where pride and chauvinism certainly play a big role).

    I hope to have been able to help you a least a little bit further.:)
  38. Lombard Beige Senior Member

    English, Italy
    Dank U Optimistique:

    I prefer to answer in detail after examining all the available data - for example, I tried out a suggestion made by tvdxer - USA, i.e. to use Bebelfish to translate the Dutch text of the article you mentioned, and I must say I am rather impressed with the quality.

    As a translator, I realize that the quality of this translation leaves much to be desired, but, with my knowledge of other languages and a Dutch dictionary, using this translation I can get a good idea of what the article is talking about. Of course, I wouldn't like to base any conclusions on this "draft translation".

    I assume that quality-wise much depends on the (relative) closeness of Dutch to English, possibly Friesian is even closer ("good butter and good cheese is good English and good Fries"), but I don't think that Babelfish does Friesian.

    Lastly, I waited for some time before answering because I don't want to give the impression of monopolizing the thread. I think I have already explained that I sent in the "masses of data" so that we could discuss facts rather than impressions. One might object that the data is available elsewhere, but that is not in fact true, because I grouped the Wiki data by language and geographic groups, and the comparison between the number of Web pages and the Wiki ranking is not available elsewhere. Unfortunately, because of my lack of experience in editing, the numbers came out as a long string, and I apologize for the inconvenience caused.

  39. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    As far as I know, most of the articles about the ex-YU war are just translations from Croatian and Bosnian Wiki, done by Croatian and Bosnian Wikipedians. So, I guess that there is no neutral point of view, either. I know that memebers of Serbian Wiki had to put complaints many times about the objectivity of some articles in Engish Wiki.

    On the other hand, I would also like to add that although those three Wikis tend to have their own point of view, their members try to stay on the path of objectiveness. They discuss, sometimes they confront, but in the light of so recent and violent clash that took place in those countries, I dare to say they still do pretty good as far as objectivity is concerned.
  40. ilocas2 Banned

    Articles on English Wikipedia are already too long and detailed. It's an obstacle if you just want to browse Wikipedia for fun.
  41. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    You really think so? Go to Wikipedia.
  42. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    I cannot remember that I looked up anything in the Danish Wikipedia and actually found it.
    If I will ever write anything in Wikipedia it will be English as my first choice, then German.
  43. ilocas2 Banned

    Today morning I wrote something on Czech Wikipedia. I added Ester Ledecká on the list of people who were born in 1995 in the article 1995.
  44. anahiseri

    anahiseri Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish (Spain) and German (Germany)
    there was a time when there was a Klingon version!
  45. anahiseri

    anahiseri Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish (Spain) and German (Germany)
    as has been pointed out, it is striking that there are so few articles in Spanish when related to the number of Spanish speakers.
    In my opinion, here in Spain there aren't so many people who think it is fun to do hard intellectual work (which editing Wikis is). There was a time not so long ago where there was a very nice cultural environment in Spain, literature, philosophy, science was held in high esteem. Now the word "culture" is applied, among others, to things that ..... well, I prefer to leave it here.
  46. Penyafort

    Penyafort Senior Member

    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Hmm, I don't agree at all.

    First of all, size is relative. Yes, it ranks eighth or ninth in number of articles, but it has the second largest number of users, after the English Wikipedia, as well as the fourth largest number of active users and edits.

    Secondly, Spain is little more than 10% of all Spanish speakers in the world. In spite of this, it is the country with more people contributing by far to the Spanish wikipedia:

    By country of origin, by September 2017, Spain was the main contributor to the Spanish Wikipedia (39.2% of edits). It is followed by Argentina (10.7%), Chile (8.8%), the Netherlands (8.4%), Mexico (7.0%), Venezuela (5.1%), Peru (3.5%), the United States (3.1%), Colombia (2.7%), Uruguay (1.3%) and Germany (1.1%)

    Thirdly, there was also a significant split little after the birth of Wikipedia, so many contributors at that time decided to do so in another free encyclopedia. See here (

    And regarding the rest of languages in Spain:

    All languages natively spoken in Spain other than Spanish (i.e., Catalan, Galician, Basque, Asturian, Aragonese and Occitan) have more articles than expected regarding their number of speakers, as this list shows (

    Aragonese, in particular, is the 1st natural language in the list.

    Catalan was the third wikipedia, created minutes after the German one, so it's one of the oldest. And ranks 2nd, right after Russian, in the number of high-quality articles (scored according to the extent of must-have articles), as seen here:

    Spanish is second only to French in terms of active users among the Romance-language wikipedias. Catalan is fifth, Galician seventh, Asturian ninth, Aragonese eleventh. Not bad considering there are more than 30 Romance-language wikipedias. All this can be seen here: List of Wikipedias by language group - Meta

    So, all in all, the number of contributors from Spain is not low at all, I'd say,and in many cases we're talking about high-quality contributors.

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