Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Serbo-Croatian 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 rejected and the project will be kept open.

  • A Language Committee member provided the following comment:
    There is no reasonable possibility that shwiki will be closed by this request. Serbo-Croatian is a language, problems that arise from different scripts should be solved locally. Finally, if you want a general discussion about the future of e.g. Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia and the Wikipedias of its mutually intelligible standard varieties, please open an RFC. A proposal for closing is not the right place for that. --MF-W 00:12, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Type: 2 (non-routine proposal)
  • Proposed outcome: closure
  • Proposed action regarding the content: -no action. Closure. Non-editable wiki.
  • Notice on the project: As this disscution will continue few weeks, i will notify local community after 1-2 days. We need some neutral opinions (Neutral point of view) before will appear users from to defend as lions their project.
  • Informed Group(s): (Which chapters, wiki projects, and other community groups have been informed, if any.)

This is a request for closing (not deleting) project.

Originally posted on Wikimedia_Forum#Serbo-Croatian_wiki

Guys, you we close Serbo-Croatian wikipedia! What's the sense to keep this project in a hybrid artificial language? They just write the same text in cyrillic and latin alphabets. If exists two different wikis: Serbian and Croatian, why we need another project in a combination of those 2 languages? Why to not create then a Italiano-French wikipedia? Probably this case is somehow similar with case of Moldovan wikipedia, where people began write Romanian language text, from Romanian wiki in cyrillic script. But Serbo-Croatian wiki is more crazy: they write in two different alphabets on the same wiki )) Menus are partially in both alphabets, but wiki-content are in one of the two languages (scripts).

Just look here

and i noticed they are mass-importing articles from both other wikis: Serbian and Croatian. In past weeks this wiki growed up consistently with over 20,000 articles.

And, also, they are doing just they want: one of their admins, Dcirovic, runs a robot on his main account and creates a lot of articles as human-user but running bot In particullary in few days he created thousands of articles about Itallian communes (example).

I want to mention again - on the same wiki they have a part of articles written in latin script, and another part in cyrillic. So, some people, will not understood a part of articles written in stranger script. I can't find the sense to keep alive this wiki. Serbs can install to their wiki a script/gadget for latinization and Croats can install an script/gadget for cyrillicification and voila! - the problem is solved - Serbo-Croatian wiki it's not more needed, especially in this form with a part of pages in one script and part of pages in other script.

It's a madness!

Stop the world I wanna get off!

-- 14:42, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]




  • Replies:
@Vogone: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian Wikipedias are based on respective languages which are official in those countries. Serbo-Croatian instead is a hybrid language in 2 scripts simultaneously. Majority of content from this wiki is plagiarism from hrwiki ans
@Igor Windsor: I said, if you (Croatians and Serbs) need you can install script script/gadget for latinization and cyrillicification on both projects. But this project is useless. I will notify soon your community about this discussion.
...and this is not the same proposal: I propose just to close this project, not to delete it at all. And i see previous proposal was closed too fast, in just one day. Dubious... -- 21:20, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Serbo-Croatian is the former official language of Yugoslavia. The separation into bs, hr, sr was made after Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia became independent countries after the war, despite the fact that they are not really different languages. I guess the language separation has rather cultural reasons than linguistical ones. Vogone (talk) 21:58, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@ Your proposal demonstrates a total lack of knowledge about Serbo-Croatian. It is a "hybrid" language in the same way English is, in that it comprises several standard variants. Further, copies some articles from other wikis in the same way they copy some articles from And has tons of featured articles which do not exist on, or But, of course, to see and understand that, one needs to speak the language first. I can only hope that this proposal of yours has not been prompted by the fact that has surpassed in the number of articles. In any case, the previous proposal was rejected immediately as per the policy quoted above and this one will, I hope, be closed as fast, since, in my opinion, it is harmful, based on misconceptions, and obviously with no reasonable possibility of a decision to close --Igor Windsor (talk) 21:39, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, Igor, i understood your position.

To members of Language Committee: especially for this case i propose to make an ample discussion with notification of Serbian Wikipedia, Croatian Wikipedia (and eventually Bosnian Wikipedia) and implication of members from all those communities: we need to know their positions on this fact.

  1. Especially for this case (because is complex and difficult) i propose to make 2 different vottings: for yugoslav users with their home wiki on one of those enumerated, and the second votting for all other users from other wikipedias.
  2. Also votes of users from Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia must be marked somehow to distinguish them from all other. It is clear that any user from sh-wiki which worked months or years on this wiki (and/or have tens of thousands of edits on it) will strongly oppose to closure.
  3. Also i propose that: in this votting to not be allowed votes from anonimous users with my exception as initiator — voting must be not influenced by massive invasion of anonimous user sock-puppets in any of 2 ways (to close or keep). Let's admit to vote only users with over 200 edits in any wikipedia, and with account's age - at least 1 month. This rule will prevent votes from recently created sock-puppets.

-- 22:08, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do not see why only the initiator should be allowed to participate in the discussion as an anonymous user. Surely the same exemption should be extended to the initiator's best friend, at least. Also, there should be, not two, but three separate votings: for Yugoslav users, for Romanian users and for all other users from other wikipedias. All of whom should be marked differently, of course, as proposed by the initiator. And, while we're at it, let's make some more imaginative rules for this discussion. --Igor Windsor (talk) 22:19, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok. If we will notify and and this votting/debate will be more large with 20-30 participants with different opinions i will not more participate.
We need a larger discussion. If not now, then next year, and then in 2016 this topic will be reopened again, and again, and again. You must accept that your pseudo-language is very controversial - it is practically identical to other two languages, so always will appear confused users - "why such a project can exist?" - it practically duplicates the linguistic content from other 2 wikipedias...
Since in this project a part of articles are written in latin script of language - therefore in Crotian language, and another part is written in cyrillic script of language - therefore in Serbian language - we can consider that today we have two wikipedias in Serbian language and two Wikipedias in Croatian language. Or, to be more correctly, we have one and a half (1/2) Wikipedias in Serbian language, and one and a half (1/2) Wikipedias in Croatian language. LOOOOL. God, where are you? 22:42, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see what grounds you have for calling my mother tongue a 'pseudo-language', I find that rather offensive and discriminatory. --Igor Windsor (talk) 22:46, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's a pseudo-language in the sense that it doesn't have a coherent and unified standard. From the occasional browsing of the local Wikipedias, I can easily tell that the people on Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia have much more sincere goals than the folk on either of the other national Wikipedias. But, I'm afraid you're not seeing the forest for the trees. The gap to bridge isn't that of mere mutual intelligiblity, a Wikipedia should give the people terminology consistent with the sources it uses. What if little Jovica from Niš is trying to write an essay for his elementary school subject, and is left confused by the article on Venetian republic that uses terms like "otok", "Mleci" and with the fact that everything is spelled in a weird way? What if a random person from Croatia is searching for some Serbian delicacy and ends up on the dedicated SH wiki article? Many of the words will simply not be understood - the most basic terms. That's not what you expect from a Wikipedia. Serbo-Croatian was never used in such a way in Yugoslavia. If you had an encyclopedia, it was either in Croatian/Western or Serbian/Eastern. But never both combined and it never targetted the other group. That will continue to be an obstacle for SH wiki no matter how many articles it gets. 18:35, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The comments below were added after the rejection of the proposal. --MF-W 00:43, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a language with several mutually intelligible standards, in the same way as English is. --Igor Windsor (talk) 18:44, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are two kinds of proposals for closure of projects. We have those who want to close a project because it is inactive or otherwise unsuccessful, and those who want to close a project because it is too successful. This is obviously an example of the latter.

First of all, translating from other wikis is a very normal thing to do, it's just that from Croatian, Serbian or Bosnian (thank God we don't have a separate Wikipedia in Montenegrin!) there isn't much translating to do, so the proces can be automated. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all; if British and American English would have had separate projects, I guess the same thing would have happened. If you ask me, it's a terrible waste that we effectively have four Wikipedias for one language, all of them relatively small... we have languages without a standard or with multiple standards that manage perfectly well on one project. No, if anything, it's better to close sr, hr and bs than to close sh, in my opinion. IJzeren Jan (talk) 00:15, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

there isn't much translating to do, so the proces can be automated
What a stupid thing to say. I can only assume you can't even read those language(s), which begs the question why you would decide to comment on the mutual intelligbility. Some aspects can be automatized, the same way you would be able to automatize the orthographic difference between Norwegian Bokmal and Danish. But you most certainly cannot automatize the difference in terminology. There's a reason why Yugoslavia, although officially using Serbo-Croatian, never had a consistent unified standard. Instead Croatia used its Croatian standard, Serbia used its Serbian standard. Newspapers had to be translated. A judge from Serbia couldn't work in Croatia or vice versa. The two varieties existed because there were two separate traditions on terminology ranging from sciences, history, literature, cooking, judiciary, and every day life terms. If you're fine with showing Dutch kids a Wikipedia that's written in a language in which they cannot understand how to say the words "carrot", "fork", "air", "Oxygen", the adjective "personal", or countless other basic things, then sure, shut down Dutch Wikipedia as well and have them read something that's foreign to them and something they'd have to decipher.
it's better to close sr, hr and bs than to close sh, in my opinion.
Only after you shutdown Swedish, Danish, Norwegian Bokmal and Norwegian Nynorsk Wikipedias and introduce a new Wikipedia where people mix various terminologies and everyone is left utterly confused.
I don't care for SC Wikipedia, but the intermingling of those varieties shows that the people behind it don't understand how Serbo-Croatian was used in Yugoslavia. When Serbo-Croatian was used in official capacity, the variety had to be specified to avoid confusion. For that sole reason, for example, the army had to have Serbian as standard because terminology differed. Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia doesn't enforce a standard and is a complete free-for-all. That's confusing to anyone who wants to actually learn something. One moment you're reading a Croatian article on some Polish general, then suddenly after clicking a link you're on the Serbian article for a related general, yet all the terminology and names are foreign. 18:19, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's a language with several mutually intelligible standards, in the same way as English is. --Igor Windsor (talk) 18:44, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]