National syndromes

(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

This essay is about some national-specific deviations, which could be traced in comparision of different wikipedia's language sections. Originally written by Incnis Mrsi 17:47, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Please, discuss and contribute, especially with expamples of these syndromes concerning another language sections of Wikipedia. Also all are welcome to improve a poor English :)

English syndrome


English syndrome is lacking articles on some basic notions just because of absence of a good, unambiguous English term for it. This syndrome is not so apparent in small wikipedias, but in ~1.5M Wikipedia it's looks strange to miss such topics as time of day or water solution, for example.

This is not a strong English-specific syndrome, though. But I see some relation to English language, that English language is not a cognitive system unlike some others (Russian, German, Greek).

French syndrome


The French Wikipedia has a sufficiently good internal arrangement, but does not pay attention on interwikis. The French somtimes use bizarre, superfluous titles like fr:Problème de la mesure quantique (instead of just mesure quantique, for example), which makes difficult to link French articles from outside. Also, the french style of editing is making a lot of little changes, leading to long history journals and probably to database overload.

Probably, long titles are used because a French language speaker should use a lot of [short] words when expressing even a simple thought.

German syndrome


German wiki can have a high number of articles on virtually the same topic, e.g. de:Kategorie:Zeitbegriff. It seems to me that one topic is considered many times in many different contexts; I'm not sure though as my German skill is weak. Other languages use quite fewer number of articles. This syndrome effectively cancels English and French ones, so German articles are easily linkable from outside, but many of them lack interwiki themselves, not because of writers' laziness as in, but because of frequent absence of corresponding articles.

Probably, this syndrome is related to language structure (many compound words).

Spanish disease


The Spanish disease is just a relatively small size of wikipedia despite a great number of speakers in the world. is only about 3/2 of Russian one, and grows not faster.

I have some conjectures about the causes, but am not willing to present it.

Russian syndrome


Is is very common in Russian wiki to have many articles titled like some_noun blah-blah, but no even a disabig on some_noun. There are some motions to fix it there (ru:Википедия:Проект:Статьи на простые темы), although there is more speech than a work yet.

Possibly, there is no Russian specifics here, only a relatively small number of articles in advanced wiki.

Romanian syndrome


I was not read Romanian wiki, because I don't know the language. But I see many political biased users from there at Meta, like User:Fratele lui Bonaparte, il cunosti?, alleged to be banned in as an edit warrior, vandal and puppeteer. In near past their activity was focused on Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Moldovan Wikipedia. I have no meaning about was useful and/or NPOV or no, but they fight apparently because that project was seen as Transnistrian-backed and pro-Moscow, or because it used Cyrillic script. Probably Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian wikis are also amenable, but with less numbers of extremely politicized users.

This is a POV page, yes, as here is no NPOV enforcement. But especially for User:Yaroslav Zolotaryov I move ru-sib-related part to a discussion page. Incnis Mrsi 22:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Portuguese syndrome


The Portuguese syndrome has various symptoms:

  • Tendency to have lengthy articles mostly composed of copy-vio.
  • Tendency to have a larger-than-average amount of spelling mistakes.
  • Tendency to use as fewer references as possible.

On the good side, the syndrom ellicits these good habits:

  • Interwiking.
  • Lots of talk.
  • Meaningful edits are the most common.

See also


Multilingualism philosophies (same author)