Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Nauruan Wikipedia

This is a proposal for closing and/or deleting a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is subject to the current closing projects policy.

The proposal is currently open for discussion by the community.

  • Type: 2 (non-routine proposal)
  • Proposed outcome: closure
  • Proposed action regarding the content: should be transferred to Wikimedia Incubator
  • Notice on the project: Wikipedia Nauruan (Naoero) (diff)
  • Informed Group(s): (Which chapters, wiki projects, and other community groups have been informed, if any.)


I think that the Nauruan Wikipedia should be closed. Nauruan is a Micronesian language spoken by about 7000 people, mainly in Nauru.

Apparently this wiki was created by the request of Gertjan R., who isn't a native Nauruan speaker and wasn't active for a lot. Also no native Nauruan speaker has ever contributed to this wiki. Even through there are people who read Wikipedia from Nauru, seems like they don't want to contribute to Wikipedia and they don't need Nauruan Wikipedia, because all of them use the English edition.

Yes, it has over 1000 pages, but all of pages were created by non-native speakers. You can doubt their quality. All of pages are very short. Also most of the pages were created by the people who don't know even a few words in Nauruan, they just copy another pages and change a few words to fit with the topic.

I know many people will tell me "give it a chance" or "all languages deserve a Wikipedia" as they do always, but this wiki doesn't have much purpose. It doesn't seem that it's going to come back to life soon.

In my opinion, it is better if this wiki is sent to the Incubator. Россиянин123 (talk) 13:11, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

A notification on the wiki is missing. --MF-W 22:13, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Done that. George Ho (talk) 23:52, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for that, but I would love if the proposer could explain why he hasn't done it himself. --MF-W 01:16, 4 November 2020 (UTC)
I forgot to do it Россиянин123 (talk) 06:26, 4 November 2020 (UTC)
I completely agree. PointBlankAlpha (talk) 16:51, 9 March 2021 (UTC)

25 January 2021 editEdit

I did some research and it seems like Gertjan R. wasn't behind the creation of Wikipedia in Nauruan, he was just very active and was an administrator. This user has registered in 2004, meanwhile this Wikipedia exists since August 2003, according to this page.

Unfortunately, it's unknown why was Nauruan Wikipedia created, who has requested the creation and when was it created. It has been over 16 years since the creation of nawiki after all. But it's known that it was in something that is clearly not a Micronesian language, more like a Germanic or Romance language with intentionally very mispronounced words. Here is the link to the 30 October 2004 version from the Wayback Machine. As you can see, there were very few articles and it was very irrelevant (not so different from 2021), so nobody has noticed a Wikipedia like this. Also it could be that the people were fooled by somebody claiming to be a fluent or native Nauruan speaker, like George Psalmanazar claimed to be from Formosa. Nobody has noticed the forgery because of this language being practically completely unknown to the rest of the world. The only page with Nauruan language was Nauru Bwiema, the anthem of Nauru. The name of the Nauruan language in Wikipedia was "Nauruose", a word that doesn't exist anywhere else instead of "Ekakairu Naoero" or "Dorerin Naoero".

The only editors from these times that I found were Shushua and Nauru. Both of them were writing in this weird pseudo-Nauruan, both didn't appear anywhere after 2004.

It was a wonder for nawiki to get somebody who was ready to check Nauruan grammar books and dictionaries for many hours to save this Wiki. Apparently, this somebody was Gertjan R., known as "Belgian man" back then. If it wasn't for him, this Wiki could be closed like the Marshallese Wikipedia.

Also I found something weird.

  • Edit #2 - 04:55, 6 December 2003 (UTC)
  • Edit #7 - 05:07, 10 December 2003 (UTC)
  • Edit #19 - 22:37, 9 August 2003 (UTC)

These are the arguments for this Wiki being basically stillborn. This edition of Wikipedia needs a native Nauruan speaker who will be ready to make a lot of new pages, and they shouldn't be about populated places or people.

Россиянин123 (talk) 13:39, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

holy crap dude, if people are doing gibberish germanic stuff this needs closed down immediately. it might be funny for a quick 5 minutes, but after 16 years it's not quite funny anymore. KikuJones (talk) 06:11, 31 January 2021 (UTC)

This stuff was removed after somebody found it in late 2004, but nawiki still doesn't have any native speakers. Россиянин123 (talk) 12:22, 31 January 2021 (UTC)


I would also add that 90% of native Nauruan speakers do not even have access to electricity, let alone the Internet, and even more so about Wikipedia. Nevertheless, I will try to find some native Nauruan speakers who will edit Wikipedia. I also will try to revive Nauruan Wikipedia. Just give me some time ) -- 7elteven (talk) 12:12, 25 December 2020 (UTC)

If you want to help nawiki so much, then you can do it in Incubator after the closure. Россиянин123 (talk) 13:39, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Hi, you say that over 90% of Nauruan speakers don't have access to the internet, but then go to say you will find someone to add content to the wikipedia, I just wanted to ask what would be the point of finding someone native to add content to a Wikipedia which language only has 7000 native speakers? In fact, if what you're saying is correct (that 90% of Nauruan speakers don't have internet), that that would leave just a couple hundred of people who have internet, which just makes wanting to revive it more pointless. 2601:206:8200:1C60:F54A:7294:C637:A004 20:45, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Please log in TravelAroundOz (talk) 07:48, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose closure, allow the previous editor to revive the project, Atlantic306 (talk) 00:34, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Support The pages are very short, and it seems fairly inactive. Plus, most Nauruans probably don't know Wikipedia exists so there's no reason to have one. KikuJones (talk) 15:49, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Most of the articles are one sentence stubs or years, and only a few hundred people in Nauru have internet, as said by user 7elteven. There is no point in wasting our time for a few hundred people when we can be improving more important Wikipedias. Max20characters (talk) 19:24, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are 3,000+ articles which is enough (and it will be grow up If you allow them to edit on it and revive the wiki), Nauruans in foreign countries exists and If you delete the wiki, there will be no encyclopedia for them (since there aren't alot of Nauruans websites).

MrLune (talk) 18:32, 7 February 2021 (UTC)

  • I oppose this, on the basis of Wikimedia's stated commitment to «grow community around the world» and «make our projects more inclusive». Closing small projects just because they are small and have few speakers, without more pressing problems in the wiki being present, sends a chilling effect to minority language communities across Wikimedia. If the articles on the Nauruan Wikipedia are of an unacceptably low quality, it would be helpful to have a proficient speaker corroborate that - and even then, the correct solution is targeted deletion rather than outright closure. Aŭdrea (talk) 19:28, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Support There are only 700 600 (10% of 6000 - see wikipedia:Nauruan language) people who could be editing, and frankly, almost no people will read the Wikipedia, let alone edit it. AnotherEditor144 t - c 21:44, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
    Edit made at 07:39, 4 March 2021 (UTC): I noticed that the Main Page* hasn't been updated in 3 weeks (see na:Special:Diff/82372/82371. Moreover, the revision numbers were consecutive. Also, between those edits to the Main Page* (this and na:Special:Diff/82371/82277 - I will skip 82371 as it is minor) there were only 96 revisions (of the whole wiki - don't forget) in the space of 2 months. The place where they actually put the content * is not protected, and any vandal could just go and vandalise it, or, in the worse case, blank it. There really is no case for na: staying here.
    (Asterisk) Little technical note: These are diffs for na:Template:Content, because na:'s editors put their Main Page content there.
  • Oppose - Not prone to vandalism plus I have started to work on it a little bit more. TravelAroundOz (talk) 09:51, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
    @TravelAroundOz: I don't know what you were working on, so I can't believe you just yet... AnotherEditor144 t - c 10:33, 5 March 2021 (UTC)
    I noticed that you have just been creating more stubs, TravelAroundOz. See na:Special:RecentChanges.
    Something is better than nothing. Plus, I also don't want the people who made this wiki (not the editors but the coders and writers) to have their hard work ruined. TravelAroundOz (talk) 10:39, 5 March 2021 (UTC)
    You were doing na:Special:Diff/82427/82438, which you should not have done. This could be at least justified if you had permissions on another wiki. AnotherEditor144 t - c 10:44, 5 March 2021 (UTC)
    Edit at 10:55, 5 March 2021 (UTC): This, this, this and this should not redirect to en:, as they will be looking for information in Nauru. The list of redirects is extensive.
    Most Nauruans understand English. TravelAroundOz (talk) 03:04, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
    Are you sure? As I said, they will be looking for information in Nauru. AnotherEditor144 t - c 07:33, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
    If most Nauruans understand english, I'm sure they would read english wiki instead because people actually care about english wiki? I don't get why they would read a tiny Wiki with nothing instead of reading the large english wiki, as apperently "most of them can understand the language". Also, I'm pretty sure "hard work" is not one sentence pages with an image, and adding redirects to english wiki is not helping this at all. Max20characters (talk) 16:53, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    @Max20characters: Yep. Now I see. AnotherEditor144 t - c 17:31, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
    But the Wikimedia Foundations purpose is to «grow community around the world» and «make our projects more inclusive» and as Aŭdrea said, closing a project that isn't prone to vandalism is just defeating the WMF's goal. SHB2000 (talk) 06:02, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
    @SHB2000: It is prone to vandalism (see the diffs preceding na:Special:Diff/82427/82438). Spam. AnotherEditor144 t - c 07:28, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
    It has been deleted. SHB2000 (talk) 07:29, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
    @SHB2000: I don't think the problem here is that it's prone to vandalism, it's because Nauru Wiki have only a couple hundred speakers to edit this Wikipedia, but they don't. As you say yourself, most Nauruans understand English anyway,so why bother to make them read and edit this wiki when they can read a wiki people actually care about? (english) max20characters🇺🇸 16:25, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
    Firstly, Please see Россиянин123's comment, SHB2000.
    Secondly, "Closing a project that isn't prone to vandalism is just defeating the WMF's goal." Yes, but neither is maintaining a project that nobody will edit.
    There is nobody to edit na:! See my previous comments. AnotherEditor144 t - c 16:47, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose: same as TravelAroundOZ.--Eru Rōraito (talk) 11:18, 4 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support: I recognize the concern that these projects provide truly global information, but considering most Nauruan speakers also speak English, they're clearly better served by enwiki than this. These microprojects provide no value and serve only as timesinks for people who could be improving viable projects. Sending the project to the Incubator, which would happen if it closes, still allows the people who insist they've come to save the project to demonstrate the willingness to work on it. Vaticidalprophet (talk) 12:12, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia is a valuable resource for helping revive and encourage the use of endangered languages. The Nauruan Wikipedia is no exception and removing the page would a major loss. Pladica (talk) 06:06, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

@7elteven, Atlantic306, SHB2000, and Eru Rōraito: I know it can be very inappropriate for Wikimedia projects, but I want you to rethink your opinions. Why does everyone think that the main point is inactivity or low number of articles, and not total lack of native (or at least fluent) Nauruan speakers? Creating more one line pages with content from other pages won't help the cause. That's how you'll create something like Chechen (90% of articles were made by a bot) or Cebuano Wikipedia (almost 100% of articles were made by a bot), but with much less articles, no people who speak this language, made manually and not with bots. We need native Nauruan speakers who can confirm it. There are some occasional anonymous edits on English Wikipedia from Nauruan IP addresses, like from en:Special:Contributions/ and en:Special:Contributions/, but you can't find an edit from Nauru on Nauruan Wikipedia. I can also mention Nauruans being fluent in English. Seems like Nauruans themselves don't care about it. Of course, all Udmurt speakers can also speak Russian and all Breton speakers can also speak French meanwhile Udmurt and Breton Wikipedias exist and aren't really read, but there are multiple native speakers who somewhat care about these projects. As far as I know, even Kirundi and Dzonghka Wikipedias had some native speakers, althrough it seems like they didn't put in a lot of effort, since they have not a lot of articles and almost all of them don't have much encyclopedic value. But there is not a single native Nauruan speaker who edits Nauruan Wikipedia. Россиянин123 (talk) 08:08, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

@Россиянин123: Yes. I have acknowledged that in my vote. @7elteven, Atlantic306, SHB2000, and Eru Rōraito: Why? There is nobody to edit na:! AnotherEditor144 t - c 16:42, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Most Nauruan speakers might not know Wikipedia. I might try to find another website that has preserved this small language. Darubrub (Inform me) 15:22, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support per Vaticidalprophet. If they also speak language that is more widely spoken (English), they can contribute in that language. If the project kept open, it won't grow. Not all language can be given a wiki. Enjoyer of World (talk) 09:52, 7 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose While there are few potential Nauruan contributors to the project, that means keeping it also aids in preserving their language. Even a couple native speakers will aid in this preservation. Suggesting that just because most Nauruans speak English means they should just use the English wikipedia is a pretty damning precedent. Languages should have the right to be used regardless of how bilingual the users of that language is. Yes, the potential of this wiki is small, but why should that prompt deletion? It also shouldn't matter whether the users are native speakers, or just fluent speakers. The stats of Nauruans not having internet access will change, they'll come to the internet, and a resource will be available for them. Native speakers are valuable, and it will be important for the wikipedia to get their validation when they come along, but it shouldn't be deleted in the meantime.
Deletion should be considered if spam/vandalism is to such an extent that it becomes far too much effort to keep in check. Deletion should also be considered if the translations on the wiki are so poor that the website actually becomes misleading and damaging to the preservation of such a small language (Here's where I'd want native speakers to confirm the translations). Neither of these is systemic enough to warrant deletion.
The wiki is doing no harm, and has the potential to do some good, however small. I cannot see a good reason for its deletion. Supertrinko (talk) 22:21, 14 June 2021 (UTC)