CIS-A2K/Indic Languages/Assamese/Discussions/2011

This page documents the discussions I have had with few Assamese wiki community members. For these discussions, I reached out to everyone I knew and tried to connect with some I didn't through Email-user facility/talk pages. I have created this page based on those interactions. Since then, some community members whom I couldn't contacted earlier have asked to share their views. I request you to share them directly with me personally at shiju@wikimedia.org. I request you NOT to post directly on this page. (In the cases below, I have removed personal details to protect privacy, any personal remarks to try and keep the learning focused and the discussions constructive.) And most important is, all the initial discussions that happened in 2011 were to get the community started sharing the ideas. This will continue in 2012 and in coming years also. Please post your comment/opinion/views regarding the below discussions on the talk page of this page.



2011 Assamese Bengali Gujarati Hindi Kannada Malayalam Marathi Nepali Odia Sanskrit Tamil Telugu Summary of discussions


November 7 - Meeting with Editor1, Editor2, and Editor3 from Assamese wiki communityEdit

Assamese wikipedia (http://as.wikipedia.org/) was an inactive wiki till few months back. But Assamese language is fortunate enough to receive a few dedicated user who has used various options to build a community for Assamese. Due to the efforts from these editors Assamese wikipedia has a fairly active wikipedia now. Following are the points I captured from the discussions with few current Assamese wiki community members.

  • Editor1 said the lack of awareness is one of the main problem with Assamese wiki. Editor2 added that now a days more people are being getting educated in English Medium schools and our medium of education in colleges is also English. So in general these people (especially the people have access to computers and internet) do not have much proficiency in their own mother language, especially te writing skills. Framing proper sentence in their own mother language is difficult for many of us. This may affect Indic language wikis also. But the sad part of the story is, many of these people are not good in English also. It seems like we are ending up not having proficiency in any language. In short lack of confidence in writing in our own mother language is a major reason.
  • Editor2 observed that people keep writing a lot of things on FB but we can't persuade them to write on Wikipedia.
  • Community feels, few workshops in the initial phase will help. The probable locations for that are Silchar and Guwahati. For Silchar, we have few Assamese wikimedians to organize the things. But the support from public may not be there for Assamese as the main language of Silchar city is Bengali since the major portion of the population are Bengalis. Another potential option for Assamese is Guwahati, but we do not have any Assamese wikimedians from Guwahati. And it is very difficult (almost impossible) for Editor2 to organize the things at Guwahati stting at Silchar with out some local support. So conducting Assamese wiki workshops in Assam is going to be a challengeas of now. We need to depend of online outreach atleast for time being.
  • Assam has many national level institututes like NITS, IITG and Central universities in Tezpur and Silchar
  • At least in NIT Silchar the existing wikipedians can groom users (especially people can support Wikimedia movement technically) not for not only AS wiki but also for other Indian languages too.
  • Editor1 said, if we want to focus on Assamese, we should concentrate on people in areas in the Brahmaputra valley.In Barak valley people speak Bengali. In NITS however there is a strong Assamese presence
  • The option of using local Assamese media to reach out to speakers of Assamese is discussed. Editor2 will try for that.
  • The importance of translating FAQ booklet and other basic training materials to Assamese is discussed. I have to support Assamese wikipedians with that.