CEE/Newsletter/February 2018/Contents/Armenia report

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Armenia report: Winter wikicamp, School wikiclub, and ISO code obtained for the Western Armenian Language


Winter Wikicamp 2018

By Davit Saroyan, Lilit Tarkhanyan (Wikimedia Armenia)
I create a vital article campaign (Winter Wikicamp 2018)

“I create a vital article” campaign was launched in December, where editors and interested people were invited to edit one of the most important articles every Wikipedia should have. This campaign was planned to include various events aimed at the editing process and promotion of the 1000 vital articles. As a part of the efforts to improve the 1000 vital articles on the Armenian Wikipedia, the originally planned youth winter camp of 2018, was decided to dedicate to the “I create a vital article” campaign. Wikimedia Armenia with the collaboration of “ARMACAD” organization announced the launch of the WikiCamp via different social media. The announcement attracted over 207 specialists of different backgrounds out of which the selection committee chose 53 participants. All the confirmed participants were sent the list of the “1000 vital articles” and were asked to choose the article on which they were going to work during the camp.

The Winter WikiCamp took place in Aghveran from the 2nd to 8th February, 2018. The camp was enriched with discussions, role play games, cultural events, and group work. The camp was highly interactive and participatory to enhance learning, strengthen the language and editing skills of the Wikicampers.

The wiki-workshop was opened with a presentation on the Wikimedia Movement, Wikipedia and “I create a vital article” campaign. Wikimedia Armenia staff and volunteers then opened the editing sessions by groups, introducing the ground rules and editing tools to the participants.

The groups then went on to the translation and editing of their previously chosen articles, beginning with the article summaries. The process of the workshop was assisted by Wikiteam which comprised of experienced wikieditors who made the workshops interesting, interactive, educative, and participatory. The Wikicamp agenda was developed through a month long process, involving Wikimedia staff, campers, and volunteers. Sessions were designed to be as inclusive and interactive as possible, reflecting a two-way learning process between a specialist and experienced Wikipedia editor.

As a result, 27 vital articles were completed, the other 18 articles were partially improved. Those who were not able to complete the article at the camp were recommended on the next steps of the editing process after the Wikicamp. An evaluation was done at the end of the camp on the participants' opinion of the camp agenda, editing process, and logistics.

Among the applicants who were not selected for this camp, there were many who were in the waiting list because the selecting committee had given high points to their applications. These 34 applicants were invited to a four day edit-a-thon where they began working on 27 articles, out of which 5 were completed at the end of the camp.

ISO 639-3 code obtained for the Western Armenian Language

By Davit Saroyan (Wikimedia Armenia)
Western Armenian Language has its own ISO code

The efforts of Wikimedia Armenia to get separate ISO 639-3 language code for Western Armenian were finally succeeded. SIL International, the ISO 639-3 Registration Authority, decided to create the code element [hyw] for Western Armenian[1].

WMAM initiated this process three years ago when the collaboration with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was established in order to foster and improve free content in Western Armenian. This resulted in "Western Armenian project" where Wikimedia Armenia through different events and activities started to disseminate and support the creation of Western Armenian content with the help of local and diaspora Western Armenian community members.

From the launch of the "Western Armenian project" we were challenged with the problem that Western Armenian has no ISO 639-3 language code which did not allow the community to split Western Armenian content into a separate language Wikipedia. This problem made lots of trouble for us, as hy.wiki often had two versions of the same page.

Wikimedia Armenia with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation eventually decided to apply for code split[2].

This was done mainly with the help of Michael Everson. Besides WMAM and Armenian Communities Department of Calouste Gulbenkian foundation, there were also other parties involved, such as the department of Armenian Studies of the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris and other academic institutions. The ISO code confers, moreover, international recognition to Western Armenian as a distinct language branch which is important to advocate for online services and programmes provided by corporations in the field of information technologies.

“We are so pleased to see our collaboration with Wikimedia Armenia bear such an important result,” said Razmik Panossian, the Director of the Armenian Communities department at the Foundation. “We worked on the submission process together, and received invaluable support from international experts and prominent intellectuals, resulting in a very strong application.” The effective date for the use of the new code is 23 January 2018.

  1. Comments received for ISO 639-3 Change Request 2017-023
  2. "An Important Milestone for Western Armenian - Armenian Communities". Armeniam Communities (in en-US). 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 

WikiClub in Yeghvard N1 school

By Lilit Tarkhanyan (Wikimedia Armenia)

Twice a year Wikimedia Armenia organizes wiki seminars for the teachers of different regions of Armenia. The aim of such seminars is the promotion of wikiprojects among teachers who would later use them as education tools in their curriculum. In January one of the active Wikipedian teachers - Anahit Vardanyan, offered the school principal to open a WikiClub for the students. After a productive discussion and support of Wikimedia Armenia the WikiClub began to function at Yeghvard N1 high school since February 2. The students are working on Armenian Wikipedia creating various articles about Armenian culture.