Requests for comment/Start allowing ancient languages

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Currently the only wikimedia project that allows ancient languages is Wikisource and I would like to request that this policy changes.

I’m an editor in Middle English Wikipedia (which can be found in the incubator) and not to long ago someone posted a new request to create this wiki. This request was only open for two weeks but has a lot of comments (if you take into account the get short amount of time that it was open). What’s worse is that they guy who closed this project didn’t even bother to read the discussion (which is evident in this discussion) otherwise he would have seen some very valid reasons why ancient languages shouldn’t be rejected solely for the fact that they are ancient.

I will repeat some of them here. Having wikis in ancient languages (especially if there is actual effort to promote the wiki among people who are interested in ancient languages) will cause more users to join the Wikimedia Foundation and they might expand to other projects as well. I can to you that I joined in order to contribute to Middle English Wikipedia and that’s where I’m mostly active but I also edit English Wikibooks from time to time and even have uploader rights there. In addition from my understanding, ancient languages are not allowed because supposedly nobody would be interested in editing them except vandals but Middle English Wikipedia proves that it doesn’t have to be that way. If you go to Middle English Wikipedia and press check test wiki activity you will see that there are at least three non greyed out users consistently over the course of 5 months which means that according to your standards it’s an active wiki. Also, I think that having Wikipedias in ancient languages is beneficial because that way it will empower speakers of small language to create wikis in there languages become Middle English could do it why can’t we. Now, to be clear, I don’t expect Middle English Wikipedia to get a subdomain right away - I recognise that it has several milestones before that dream can be achieved.

All I request is that you take those requests seriously and don’t reject them just because they are ancient languages. In my opinion every test wiki should be considered individually and not get rejected just because it’s an ancient language. I recognise that creating a wiki in an ancient language is more challenging than creating one in a modern language but as can be seen in Middle English Wikipedia there’s a substantial number of users (including me) that accepted the challenge. However I realize there are valid concerns about this so I propose a new policy about ancient languages: Once a new request for an ancient language is created, instead of rejecting it right away, just put the request on hold for a certain amount of time or until it has a substantial amount of content and then contact linguists to verify that it’s actually this language and if it is, there’s a substantial amount of good quality articles, and the test wiki is active, the wiki will get a subdomain. It’s also possible to just verify them as eligible or to create a new status specially for ancient languages that explains that because it’s an ancient language it will be harder to get a subdomain but if the test wiki is active enough its still possible. You must understand that moving those projects outside of the Wikimedia Foundation will cause a migration of users interested in ancient languages to wherever you plan to move it to and it’s impossible to say for sure will they return or not. Keeping the ancient languages here though will be beneficial as they might expand and contribute to other projects as well.

Thanks for understanding, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:27, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

Edit: it’s also possible to categorize ancient langages together with constructed languages. The argument that there’s no point in having a wiki in an ancient language because there’s no any reason to think someone will search for info in them applies equally to constructed languages (even Esperanto). It will also take minimal effort for change the policy - just remove the section for Ancient or Historical languages and change artificial languages to Ancient, Historic, and Constructed languages. Then, it can say “ Yes, there can be wikis in ancient and constructed languages. There are already wikis available in Classical Chinese, Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua, Interlingue, Lojban, Volapük, Novial, Latin, Lingua Franca Nova, Old Church Slavonic, and Old English. See the relevant note under the prerequisites concerning fictional languages and reconstructed proto-languages.” Middle English isn’t a proto languages. Proto Indo European is since it was reconstructed based on modern langages and not on historic documents because it was spoken before writing was invented. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:00, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
DISCLAIMER: Allowing wikis in ancient language doesn’t mean they get a subdomain right away! They will still need to be active and to get reviewed just like any other language would! So saying that one specific test wiki that you don’t like isn’t active in your opinion or that you think it’s articles aren’t high quality enough isn’t an argument! In the same way it’s possible to ban many modern languages because their test wikis aren’t active. If they really aren’t active they will just stay in the incubator till they become active - this is what the incubator is for. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:09, 29 May 2021 (UTC)

Since I have published this request for comment, many arguments have been written in favor of this - not all of them are listed above. That’s why I decided to list all the arguments (list may expand in the future) in a readable list. I will include both arguments listed above and arguments listed by supporters in the comment below. Here is the list:

  1. Not all “ancient” or “extinct” languages are really “dead” languages as they hold immense cultural significance. Though some languages like Rongorongo glyphs found in Easter Island remain undeciphered and probably won’t be deciphered in the foreseeable future, there are other so called “dead” languages (Middle English, Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Ancient Meitei Langage, Classical Chinese, Old Church Slavonic, Old English, list goes on) These languages as mentioned before are all culturally significant in at least several ways.
  2. International Auxiliary Languages are allowed. Now I know many people in Langcom don’t approve of this argument but listen me out anyways. The vast majority of people who would be willing to read a wiki in an international auxiliary language or to contribute to it are enthusiasts or ideologists (WMF being politically neutral can’t favor certain ideologies). That being said the argument against this request that says that only enthusiasts will enter this is thrown out of the window. In addition, following this argument it’s possible to ban Wikibooks about arduino for example stating that only tech enthusiasts will read them
  3. The goal of WMF is to spread knowledge. Having a wiki in an ancient languages helps achieve this goal as long as the wiki is active enough (see argument below). For one, it will help the study of these languages. People who learn these languages will be able to practice their skills in these wikis. In addition, it will increase the amount of content available in these specific language and everyone who has learned a language knows the importance of having available texts. This isn’t the purpose of theses wikis (unfortunately for the people who used this statement as an argument against this request) however an additional benefit.
  4. Wikis in ancient languages will have to pass the same process any other wiki would before they get a subdomain. If your argument that wikis in ancient languages can not be active enough or can not have a sufficient amount of content (which isn’t btw as is evident by the test wikis), then you have nothing to worry about as they will never get a subdomain. This is why the incubator exists - they will only get a subdomain once theirs a sufficient amount of content and activity - just like any other wiki would.
  5. There will almost certainly be content that can be found exclusively in these wikis. Someone has listed content that can exclusively be found in Esperanto Wikipedia as a good reason why it’s useful. The same will almost certainly happen with Middle English Wikipedia as well once the amount of articles is larger and I’m almost certain is true in Ancient Greek Wikipedia.
  6. It will attract more users to WMF. I think that it’s undeniable that if WMF starts allowing wikis in ancient languages and starts advertising them among experts and students that many of the new users who will join will also contribute to other wikis.

Anyways, this is far from being a complete list. I will add more arguments to it as time passes. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:26, 14 June 2021 (UTC)


  • Support I support the allowing of ancient wikis to be able to have their own projects, so long as they have editors, good pages with significant comment and a significant corpus. --PastelKos (talk) 15:44, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support I support this proposal also. It has been easier for the Language Committee to have a simple rule -- no ancient languages -- but life and sociolinguistics aren't quite so simple. Languages like Sanskrit, Latin and classical Chinese are currently used for many well-defined purposes: linguists who are aware of these uses consider them special languages, not "dead" languages. Some of those uses fit well within the range of Wikimedia Foundation projects. (I have intentionally chosen examples that have a longstanding and active Wikipedia, set up before the rule about ancient languages was introduced. These examples show that such a project can work!) I fully agree with PastelKos that a proposed project needs to have active editors, good pages, and active discussions; and I'll add that proposers need to show why the project will be a useful addition to the Wikimedia family. Those should be the real tests. Andrew Dalby (talk) 16:27, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Ich unterstütze mit Nachdruck das Zulassen von Wikipediaversionen in alten Sprachen v.a. allem auch wegen ihrer Internationalität. Sie bewiesen bereits in der Vergangenheit auf beeindruckende Weise, daß sie ganze Völkerschaften - oft über Jahrhunderte hindurch und über weite geographische Räume! - verbinden können. Es ist nicht rechtens, heutigen Autoren solcher Sprachen ihr Recht auf Kommunikation und somit auf eine Wikipediaversion abzusprechen. Giorno2 (talk) 15:54, 27 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Partial support I do think a sound case can be made against wikis in ancient languages. Nobody needs them, that's right. But I see absolutely no reason to allow wikis in such marginal auxlangs as Lingua Franca Nova or Kotava and refuse an Ancient Greek Wikipedia. Moreover, the Ancient Greek test Wikipedia was started (and thriving!) before the current policy was implemented, so they have been treated quite unfairly. So to be brief: I support the creation of an Ancient Greek Wikipedia, though I'm not so sure about other ancient languages. There's more on this matter in this (partially dated) essay of mine. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 09:57, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support The goals of Wikimedia movement (to share and freely spread knowledge) are fulfilled in every active enough project. It's not up to us to decide which languages will other people use to fulfill that goals. If there is a community - and this is proven by an active incubator project - dead languages are just as fine as any other language. Furthermore, the cost of adding a new project is tiny so the argument that it won't be as useful as the English Wikipedia (or the 50 largest Wikipedias) is irrelevant.--Pere prlpz (talk) 11:09, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support I support the proposal; I am a professor of Ancient Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit and would be happy to have Wikipedias in all three of those languages -- we've got 2 so far. A. Mahoney (talk) 11:57, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
@Amahoney: Great! Thank you very much! You can edit Middle English Wikipedia but it’s still in the incubator (here). Also if you know anybody who is knowledgeable in Middle English please send them this link: Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 07:38, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
thanks -- I've been to Old English Wikipedia and didn't know Middle English was in the works: that will be fun. A. Mahoney (talk) 14:46, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Amahoney: looking forward to seeing you in Middle English Wikipedia. :) -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 17:48, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support I support the proposal: the quality deterioration of the Ancient Greek project adduced by the opponents is squarely due to the long quarantine of the project, which has given the opportunity to one-issue inept editors to infest it and do their thing. Legitimizing the project, however, will quickly improve its quality and attract serious contributors. The project already includes numerous creditable contributions. I see no structural reason for it to not rise to the standards of the Latin site. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 13:18, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support: I support allowing ancient Wikipedias to be able to have their own projects, as long as they have enough editors and good pages. In general, it has been the same people over and over again who have managed to hinder these projects by not allowing them to develop further. If a project is adequately active and has a significant number of articles already, it should just be allowed to proceed further. Heracletus (talk) 19:20, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Weak support, we should find a place for ancient language on the Wikimedia Galaxy (and existing project in ancient language - created before the current policy - are a proof it can work quite well). I'm in favour of amending the Language proposal policy but ancient languages probably need specific and stronger criteria. As a first step, we should written down and discussed these criteria (and probably also talk about small/minority/constructed languages). Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 10:58, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@VIGNERON: thank you very much for your comment! Users who are against this request, if ancient languages have stricter requirements than current languages (for example requiring ta least one thousand articles) this will make sure that low quality wikis don’t get a subdomain. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 12:10, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support: I don't see any sensible reason why the criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia should be different for certain categories of languages. If Latin should not be allowed (apart from being grandfathered in), then there is no good reason to allow e.g. Breton: There is hardly anyone left having learned Breton as a mother tongue and just searching for information who would go to the Breton Wikipedia. Those who could do that would know French as well and have a much better chance to find what they need in the French Wikipedia. If you go to the Breton Wikipedia, you necessarily do it for the language. You want some substantial information on a concept, but you also want to know the way to explain it in Breton and the whole related terminology (not just the translation of one word, which you could of course also find in Wiktionary). That's why people go to the Breton Wikipedia. There is a community out there that feels that need. I think that's legitimate, and as minority languages are allowed under the normal criteria, I assume many others agree. But guess what: People go to the Latin Wikipedia for the same reason, only very exceptionally because something is explained better there than in some other language they master. It may be an ancient language without native speakers, but it does have a community with that kind of need. I can't understand why to respond to that need would be less legitimate because the language in question is an "ancient" one. Now, I don't have any clue whether such a community exists for Middle English, but if a Middle English Wikipedia can pass the test of the usual criteria (recalled in the disclaimer of the original request), then the community exists. Otherwise, the wiki would necessarily fail the test anyhow. The distinction made by the current policy between, say, Limburgish or Lojban on the one hand and e.g. Ancient Greek on the other is completely arbitrary, because the kind of use made of such wikis is the same one for all these languages. The idea that someone only looking for encyclopedic information would turn to the Limburgish Wikipedia "naturally", just like people go to the German or Russian one, is frankly laughable. Et quod licet bovi, licet Iovi (ac caprae, cani, monstro vermiculato volatili ...). Sigur (talk) 13:37, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support I am unconvinced by the rationale that because very few readers will naturally read the wiki there is no reason for its existence, which is the most plausible objection I have read. There are plenty of Wikimedia projects that readers rarely, if ever, visit. Wikidata, Incubator, Test-Wiki, and likely many others are not entirely reader-focused and are valuable in other ways. A lot of people are expressing a narrow viewpoint on the value of Wikimedia projects. Creating a corpus of material for ancient languages is valuable in and of itself (and for machine learning, for language learners, for people studying the region in in question), and if there is a community willing to maintain and create it I do not see any valid reason that the project should not be allowed. Zoozaz1 (talk) 23:19, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Support The reason why i support is that a new Wikipedia of any ancient language is that it is strong power to let that ancient language get a sort of revival. Such as Classical Chinese, it is not just ancient language or dead language, it also being taught in China mainland and has a large number learning. Also it is written as a kind of unconventional blends language(網絡文言 or Network Classical Chinese) on china internet. This is the reason why i support start the Ancient Language Wikipedia. 吾舉之,蓋啟新典為一強力,而令古語復生也。若文言者,其非古語亦或死語,�諸夏庠序師之,修之者眾也。亦其書以非範式而綜攝他語之法而顯然於網絡也(或曰網羅文言)。此實吾舉啟古語新典之因也。--扎姆 (talk) 15:09, 30 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong support: "Ancient Wikipedias" could host unique contents concerning the ancient phases, the etymologies and the ancient names of places and things, becoming a catalyst for cultural interests that the other versions of Wikipedia often do not capture or neglect. I have already experienced this benefit of the Latin Wikipedia. Furthermore, unlike many other languages already present in Wikipedia, ancient Greek, though an ancient language, is also a living language (as well as Latin and Sanskrit): there are even monolingual classes provided in this language (e.g. Thus, I too don't see why we shouldn't have more Wikipedias in ancient languages. The adversaries of this project are probably people who are ignorant in this matter and, therefore, cannot appreciate its value. Anaxicrates (talk) 15:26, 6 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong Support: I strongly support this request because there are many ancient languages which are still not extinct. Denying those languages just because they existed right from ancient times isn't good, I think so. In fact, simple:Ancient Meitei language (lang-code:omp) is still in present day generations' tongue, regularly chanting and singing in the months long simple:Lai Haraoba festival every year in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. It's in the Wikimedia incubator too. Same case for many other languages. But it's very unfortunate that those still surviving ancient languages got viewed as dead or extinct. We should give them a chance to develop, construct and promote like other languages evolved in modern times. Haoreima (talk) 04:39, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
    • Sorry, I think you misunderstood the scope of this proposal. An "ancient" language in the sense of this discussion is, by definition, an extinct one. If it still has native speakers, it's already allowed (no matter how "ancient" it is). But of course "Ancient Meitei" is also extinct, because it doesn't in fact have native speakers – Modern Meitei has. Fut.Perf. 13:00, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
      • @Future Perfect at Sunrise: no I think he understood the proposal. He suggested that an Ancient Meitei Wiki should be created. It’s technically an “extinct” language because it has no native speakers but it’s still being used so it isn’t really “dead”. @Haoreima: did I get you right? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:56, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
        • @Gifnk dlm 2020: Absolutely, you are right. I think @Future Perfect at Sunrise: has some misunderstandings with my statement. BTW, thank you Gifnk for clarification. Haoreima (talk) 18:26, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
          • @Haoreima: you are welcome. Glad to help. :) -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 20:52, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
            •   Comment @Haoreima: BTW I’m impressed by the amount of content that was created in incubator:Wp/omp. 463 articles in less than 3 months! If you manage to get other people contribute to the test wiki as well, I don’t see any reason why it won’t be a total success. Keep up for good work! --Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 17:04, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Support younger generation can learn ancient language. A Mangang (talk) 11:54, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Support To corroborate Steinbach's argument, I've seen too many hobby IALs have their own Wikis when the languages of people who existed before and whose descendants do exist now get ignored. Kotava, for example, has a mainly Francophone following and the dictionary on their website is all in French. I don't know of any Kotava speakers. Lingua Franca Nova (LFN), I speak it. I'm in the FB and Reddit groups. The Volapük Wiki. Few speakers and inflated with poor quality articles by a bot. Who here has heard of an Interlingue? Or a Novial? Perhaps the nerd in all of us, but certainly not the average Wikipedia reader. The underlying current in all of these IAL Wikis is they're all supported by fringe hobbyists. Not people who spoke their first words, wooed their mates, gave sermons, commanded armies, and overall passed down culture from generation to generation. For at least Ancient Greek not to have a Wiki while their speakers have played a significant role is a shame.--Robbinorion (talk) 03:54, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
    @Robbinorion: Are you really sure you're not someone's sockpuppet? This is your first ever edit at Meta-Wiki, so where are you from? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 03:47, 15 June 2021 (UTC)
    @Liuxinyu970226: I think that it’s highly unlikely that he’s a sockpuppet. Check out Special:CentralAuth/Robbinorion. The account was created in 2017. Even if it’s a previous account someone used and then abandoned I don’t think they keep the password for such long time. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 14:55, 15 June 2021 (UTC)


  • Oppose If you want to cause more people to join the Wikimedia Foundation, we should open Pokemon and Animal Crossing wikis. That would have hundreds of times the impact that adding the Middle English Wikipedia would. Will there be someone who you stick around and contribute productively to other Wikimedia projects if and only if we add these projects? I doubt it; certainly not many, since there's few editors for these projects to start with. If the goal is recruitment, there are many other things that would be way more effective.
I see that you speak of Esperanto without knowledge, as the Esperanto Wikipedia has many pages on works and authors not covered by other Wikipedias. On the other hand, last time I checked, the Sanskrit and Classical Chinese Wikipedias did not seem to have any coverage that would lead readers to use them. These projects aren't working, IMO, and these are the "special" languages, according to Andrew Dalby. I see no reason to open the door to languages that are just dead, by any definition of the word, like Middle English. Ancient Greek is about the only "special" language that doesn't have its own Wikipedia, so these proposal is far too broad for that issue.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:20, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: just check Sanskrit Wikipedia statistics, Ancient Chinese Wikipedia Statistics, and Latin Wikipedia Statistics. These are highly active wikis. Also I think there’s a misunderstanding in my suggestion. I don’t request you to create or right away. All I suggest is that those languages get a chance to get their subdomain. Test wikis already exist in the incubator and they will get a subdomain when they have enough content and activity. Middle English Wikipedia is an active wiki and I don’t see any reason to keep the doors shut for this language if there’s an interested community. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 09:22, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
  Comment I suddenly don't know that, if you know that these wikis already exist, why don't you ping their administrators, as their benefits are also largely affected by your RFC, fwiw, they are: angwiki @Gottistgut:, arcwiki @334a:, cuwiki @ОйЛ:, gotwiki @Zylbath:, lawiki @Adam Bishop, Alex1011, Alexander Gerashchenko, Amahoney, and Andreas Raether:@Aylin, Helveticus montanus, Ioscius, Iustinus, and Lesgles:@Mattie, Neander, Rafaelgarcia, Schulz-Hameln, and Sigur:@UV, Utilo, and Xaverius:, sawiki @Eukesh, NehalDaveND, Sayant Mahato, and Shubha:, and zh-classicalwiki @Davidzdh, Itsmine, MintCandy, WAN233, and 丁子君:. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 09:34, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: it seems that you have written this in multiple edits so I’m not sure on which one to press thank😅. Anyways, thank you very much! -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:48, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
I understand what you're trying to do. I don't see those as highly active wikis; compare Classical Chinese WP recent changes with Estonian WP recent changes. And as Andrew Dalby said, those are "special" languages. I might understand changes for "special" languages, but I'm not at all interested in opening the door to Middle English and friends, for thoroughly dead languages that are just likely to produce badly written useless text. That could in fact hurt Wikipedia, as users who do know Middle English are turned off Wikimedia as a whole by the bad impression from the ME Wikipedia.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:53, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: I have repeated this several times but apparently it’s not enough so I will repeat again. Opening the door to those languages doesn’t mean to give them a subdomain right away! Before they can get one they will need to get a substantial amount of content and also to get reviewed! If we follow your argument about this that it can “hurt Wikipedia” why not close the entire project? I mean w:Province of Georgia says that it’s original land gran extended to the Pacific Ocean. This sort of nonsense will deter people who study this time period so let’s delete this article. Why not? Also as another user pointed out it doesn’t make sense to allow conlangs like Lingua Franca Nova but not ancient languages. This is why I suggest to classify them together. If the quality of the test wiki isn’t high enough we should improve it not delete it. And there’s a system in place already to make sure that only high quality and active wikis can get a subdomain cancelling all your arguments to why they shouldn’t be allowed. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:04, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Yelling the same things over and over is not the best way to try and communicate. I'd rather shutdown the discussion here instead of waste the time having the same discussion over and over. Please apply the same rules to my wild hypotheses that you would apply to yours; if it's possible and matters that we could gain users from these Wikipedias, then it's possible and matters that we could lose users from these Wikipedias. Conlangs have nothing to do with this conversation, nor does errors in Wikipedia, if that is in fact an error.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:26, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: To begin with, it’s indeed possible and even likely that if wikis in ancient languages get deleted users who are interested in them will just leave. Conlangs are related to the discussion since there’s no any more reason to think someone will search for info in Lingua Franca Nova than there is that someone will search for information in Ancient Greek. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:35, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  Comment I wonder what means the "deleted users" from you, @Gifnk dlm 2020:, because as far as I know MediaWiki originally doesn't support deletion of user account, and even such a mechanism is added, it won't be enabled on Wikimedia wikis, as we need user accounts recorded in pages' histories, and keep the sane attributions due to CC BY-SA licensing. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:30, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: if the test wiki gets deleted, users who are interested in ancient languages will just leave. That’s what I meant. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:37, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
And it's possible and even likely that if we create wikis in dead languages, that users who feel that's being silly will leave. Or that users who would be productive on a major project will move their time to an ancient language that nobody uses. Either way, it'll be marginal and irrelevant, but you're picking just the directions that help you. Conlangs aren't relevant because the proposal doesn't include conlangs. Make your proposal on your own terms.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:25, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: conlangs are not included in the proposal because they are already allowed. BTW, I will also reply to the other comments you left today here. Conlangs are relevant because a wiki in a conlang isn’t any more "useful" than a wiki in an ancient language however they are still alive. The same arguments you make about ancient languages can be made about conlangs. Why to let users "waste those time and resources" for Lingua Franca Nova Wikipedia when they can be "more productive" in English Wikipedia? Your suggestion that users who feel it’s silly will leave is much wilder than mine. It’s highly likely that users will frustrate that their hard work was deleted and just leave. Idk why you don’t like bulbapedia but just because you are not interested in Pokemon doesn’t mean the wiki isn’t useful. We don’t write Middle English like a relaxed form of Modern English - we try to be as accurate as possible and I didn’t say that I support the creation of an Ancient Egyptian Wikipedia - only that I think it should be allowed if it’s possible to use WikiHiero also in page titles and they can get a sufficient amount of content. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:57, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
Except that we've had editors leave because of Klingon and at least threaten to leave because of the Scots fiasco. Bulbapedia is useful; that's why it's relevant as an example of why not every Wiki needs to be with the WMF, and what we should be adding if adding members is our sole concern. I didn't say "relaxed"; I said "relexed". You said that an English speaker could write Middle English with just a dictionary, when that will merely get you Modern English written with Middle English spellings.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:23, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: where do I even start? For one I strongly oppose deleting Scots Wikipedia just because of few people who don’t speak the language. It’s not a good reason to delete the hard work of other users who do know the language. With Klingon Wikipedia at least their was the argument that it’s a fictional language and that the copyright matter is disputed. With Middle English such arguments don’t work. BTW, I checked what I wrote and I said “learn the differences between the languages and find a good online Middle English Dictionary“. To learn the differences means to read about Middle English Grammar online. this page links to several online resources for learning Middle English Grammar. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:44, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
You could start by reading and responding to what is written. Whether or not you believe the Scots Wikipedia should be deleted is irrelevant to the fact that a person did threaten to leave all Wikimedia projects unless all existing text was deleted. It doesn't matter whether or not Klingon should have been deleted; it only matters that people dismissed Wikipedia because of it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:06, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: I have read your comment. You haven’t written that a user threatened to leave unless all content is deleted -you made it look like he threatened to leave if all content is deleted. Is Scots Wikipedia was deleted, much more than one person will leave. When Klingon was deleted many users left and this was obviously harmful for WMF, but at least they had some justifications, and there are no such for neither Middle English Wikipedia, Ancient Greek Wikipedia, and definitely not for Scots Wikipedia. I have responded to what is written - if Scots Wikipedia gets deleted much more than one user will leave and it is true that users left when Klingon Wikipedia was deleted and I think that it’s bad but at least there was some justification. Thanks., -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 12:08, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
  CommentOne obvious fact is Classical Chinese is not a dead language, and also Classical Chinese wikipedia is not as you say that "did not seem to have any coverage that would lead readers to use them".In fact the user of Classical Chinese wikipedia are creating new word and content of this language, and until today it is totally create 17,094 pages in this language. Also Classical Chinese as a language that it is has large number of people are learning it from elementary to university in China Mainland, Taiwan, Hongkong and etc. Most people can read it and few people can write with it. So it is hard to call it a "dead language", but only that it just not have ability to create new content.
一事明者,蓋文言非「死語」,大典亦非汝所言「無用以人謁而用之」也。若大典之諸士,創制新詞,共修大典,迄今得文萬又七千九十四文,此可言「無用以人謁而用之」邪?夫文言之為辭也,修之者眾,多見於諸夏,自童而蒙,不止於大學,維其可閱者眾而書者寡,惟撰文而言者有數,故難謂其「死語」也。--扎姆 (talk) 14:26, 30 May 2021 (UTC)
If it's not a dead language, then it's irrelevant here, but show me one user who doesn't read modern Chinese and some reason to use the Classical Chinese Wikipedia instead of the modern Chinese Wikipedia.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:25, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
Classical Chinese is not a dead language is not equal to it isn't an ancient language. Such as I just has said, most of classic Chinese learners only can read classical Chinese and write some text in "modern classical Chinese" or so called "internet classical Chinese", in republic of China, the classical Chineese is still being used in official document. Also the page of ancient stuff on classical Chinese Wikipedia is more better than modern Chinese Wikipedia, and describe ancient stuff in classical Chinese is more effective and easy to read. And it's seem like you didn't know there is a translation style called "classical Chinese translation style",such as in classical Chinese we say “甲光向日金鳞开”, and this sentence translate into modern Chinese is "阳光照耀铠甲,一片金光闪烁", for the Chinese readers, it's totally two kind of conception.And also classical Chinese are used as Lingua franca before 1912, it is just one hundred years ago, so most of Chinese text at that time are written in classical Chinese not modern Chinese. English is not my native language so the logic may has some confusing.--扎姆 (talk) 17:08, 3 June 2021 (UTC).
I'd note that I wouldn't argue against Ancient Greek anymore, and I don't support the LFN Wiki, though I tend more towards neutral on both. But I will stand strongly against Middle English and Ancient Egyptian and any like language that will produce bad text for a project without the usefulness of Bulbapedia and other wikis excluded by the WMF.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:23, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
That's not a valid argument to oppose the proposal.--Xaverius (talk) 11:20, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppoose, as before. The main criterion for whether a project is useful is whether it has a natural readership – i.e., a significant population of people for whom this language would be their natural, preferred medium of gathering information. Invariably, dead languages lack such a readership. There is not a single person in the world who would most naturally tend towards a source written in Middle English or Ancient Greek, when they want to learn about the Second Law of Thermodynamics or some upcoming TV sitcom. Every single person on earth would find this information more easily in some of the other, existing projects in a living language. Thus, these projects are invariably doomed to remain no more than linguistic playgrounds for their editors. Projects designed for their writers, not for readers. – A second reason is that projects in dead languages invariably fail to achieve an acceptable level of linguistic authenticity and correctness. Without the linguistic yardstick and corrective of native-speaker intuition, participants in these communities simply won't know if what any of them is writing is linguistically correct and appropriate – they will end up producing rubbish just like the guy who reportedly wrote the Scots Wikipedia without knowing Scots. The "Ancient Greek" wikipedia incubator is just another sad demonstration of this fact. Last time I looked, not a single article there (except the ones which were copy-dumped directly from Byzantine originals) was in any way recognizable as actual Ancient Greek; most of it was more or less Modern Greek (or a mix of other modern languages) relexified with Ancient Greek words. This being as it is, these projects will also remain useless even just as a linguistic playground for readers who simply want to practice their reading skills. Fut.Perf. 10:08, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
Addendum: Since the Middle English project has been discussed so much here, I'll also state that its linguistic quality is even worse than the Ancient Greek one. With very few exceptions, articles are generally just as bad as those proverbially bad Scots Wikipedia ones. They are evidently just Modern English "relexified" with a smattering of Middle English orthographic and morphological forms, without any semblance of genuine Middle English diction, idiom and syntax. And it's sloppy and unprincipled relexification on top of that. Sadly, the activities of the initiator of this RfC, User:Gifnk dlm 2020, are in no small part responsible for the further proliferation of this type of pseudo-language on that wiki. Whatever possible educational value for language enthusiasts some outside observers might once have seen in some older articles there is rapidly being diluted and obliterated by the recent bout of over-enthusiastic editing we've seen by him and a few other, similarly self-overestimating editors. I'm sorry to have to criticize him personally here in this way, as this RfC evidently isn't about him personally; it's just that his example is so indicative of what is basically the unavoidable fate of all such wikis, given that the measure of a contributor's footprint on the total quality of the wiki is dependent only on their enthusiasm, not on their competence. Fut.Perf. 19:10, 17 June 2021 (UTC)
@Future Perfect at Sunrise: based on your comment it’s possible to make two conclusions (correct me if they are wrong). The first conclusion is that you are knowledgeable in Middle English and the second conclusion is that you have time to pass through Middle English Wikipedia, and it’s recent changes. My question to you is if so why don’t you try to correct at least one or two articles? I don’t expect more than that. I have asked the same question previously when you criticized Ancient Greek Wikipedia - instead of trying to delete a wiki, why not to try to improve it? This isn’t the unavoidable fate of wikis in ancient languages. The lack of activity is probably due to the fact that it’s still in the incubator for such a long time and because of the current policy potential contributors probably feel its pointless to contribute to a wiki that doesn’t have a chance of getting a subdomain and might get deleted at any moment (or just plain don’t know about it - that’s also an opinion). Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 21:03, 17 June 2021 (UTC)
Stop being obnoxious. Why would I want to spend my time trying to improve a project that I just explained I consider useless, and which I would consider useless even if it was less bad than it is now? And the problem with this wiki is not its lack of activity – to the contrary; the more active it's getting, the worse it gets. And yes, that is its unavoidable fate, as long as it attracts people like you. Fut.Perf. 12:47, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Future Perfect at Sunrise: You aren’t very pleasant yourself but I won’t comment about that. I will start with commenting to your explanation why wikis in ancient languages are “useless”. For one, you ignored the fact that wikis in International auxiliary languages are allowed and one IAL was actually approved as recently as July 2020, quite some time after the current policy was approved. Internationals auxiliary languages don’t have this “natural readership” you mentioned about and practically nobody would choose to get information in Kotava over getting information in his or her native language. Why isn’t Kotava Wikipedia “doomed to remain no more than linguistic playgrounds for their editors“? Why is Ancient Greek Wikipedia useless when Kotava Wikipedia isn’t? I’m not the only person who holds this opinion as is evident in the support section. And yes the problem is inactivity. If Middle English Wikipedia was more active, then the footprint of “users like me” would be much lower. In fact, if Middle English Wikipedia had more activity coming from experts and students, I wouldn’t have joined at all. Do you have any comments on the current state of Ancient Greek Wikipedia after PastelKos has joined? If it as significantly improved that it proves that this isn’t the unavoidable fate of wikis in ancient languages. And besides this isn’t relevant as they will have to be revived by independent linguists before they can get a subdomain anyways (this policy already exists - I didn’t make it up). About my edits, I decided I would temporarily stop creating articles and instead focus on improving the grammar in existing articles. If you are knowledgeable in Middle English and Ancient Greek it would be more constructive to help improve them (or at least not to try and get them deleted). -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 16:25, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
Your "improving the grammar" is making things even worse. It only shows how little you know about Middle English, and how utterly unaware you are of what the actual linguistic faults are in those articles. Edits like this are really hopeless. Fut.Perf. 19:55, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Future Perfect at Sunrise: it would be much more constructive if you at the very least mentioned some of the linguistic faults. I tried to improve the article based on this website. If you claim that my edits didn’t improve the article you could tell what the “actual linguistic faults” are. It seems to me as if you are purposefully trying to hinder the development of these projects by mentioning that there are faults without ever mentioning the main ones in case someone decides to fix them. That’s just my impression could be wrong. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 21:03, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Future Perfect at Sunrise: then why a wikis in constructed languages allowed? Esperanto is the only conlang in which you might make an argument that it’s for the readers, but what about Lojban for example? Nobody speaks Lojban as a native language so everybody who knows Lojban can theoretically get this information also in their native language. FYI, both Middle English Wikipedia and Ancient Greek Wikipedia are much more active than Lojban Wikipedia. Based on your comment about Ancient Greek Wikipedia, it seems to me that you are knowledgeable in Ancient Greek so it will be more constructive IMO to improve at least some articles. From my understanding, current @PastelKos: is fixing the pages one by one and if you know Ancient Greek you can also contribute. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:05, 28 May 2021 (UTC)
Time is a limited resource; why should they contribute to the Ancient Greek Wikipedia instead of the much more useful Ancient Greek Wikisource? Actually, the Middle English collection of the English Wikisource is pretty bad; in sheer terms of value, if creating the ME Wikipedia leads one users to it instead of the ME section of the English Wikisource, that's a net lose for the project.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:25, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
You're assuming that people actually would rather contribute to a non-ancient language, but that's not necessarily the case for everyone. Some people come to wikipedia only to add to (e.g.) the Latin wiki.--Xaverius (talk) 11:29, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
No, I mentioned existing ancient Wikis; editors can add to the Latin Wikisource or the Ancient Greek Wikisource or older appropriate languages to the English, German, or Dutch Wikisources. And if they're here for only (e.g.) the Latin Wiki, why does it have to be here? There are any numbers of free wiki servers, and you can roll out an AWS MediaWiki container easily enough.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:23, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
Das Argument von Future Perfect at Sunrise, daß es sich oft nicht um echtes Altgriechisch handelt, ist nicht ganz von der Hand zu weisen. Vielleicht wäre allen geholfen, würde man eine Wikipedia in neugriechischer Katharevusa machen. Dazu müßte der Anstoß am besten aus Griechenland selbst ausgehen: ich weiß, daß dieses Diglossie-Problem noch heute politisch aufgeladen ist. Aber immerhin sind ja schon einige Jahrzehnte (1976) verflossen, daß Dimotiki sich überall offiziell durchgesetzt hat. Ich könnte mir gut vorstellen, daß es nicht wenige (heutige, lebende) Griechen gibt, die dennoch gern zu einer solchen Katharevusa-Wikipedia beitragen wollten. Für die Altgriechen und Philhellenen im Rest der Welt wäre das auch eine Möglichkeit, eigene Griechischkenntnisse zu zeigen. Bekanntlich gibt es ja unterschiedliche Grade von "Attizität" innerhalt der Katharevusa, also progressivere aber auch traditionellere Sprachstufen. Auch könnte man als Textgrundstock gemeinfreie Katharevusa-Lexika einarbeiten. - Giorno2 (talk) 15:10, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
I have copied @Giorno2:’s comment to google translate and here is the result: “Future Perfect at Sunrise's argument that it is often not real ancient Greek cannot be completely dismissed. Maybe everyone would be helped if a Wikipedia was made in the modern Greek Katharevusa. For this, the impetus should come from Greece itself: I know that this diglossia problem is still politically charged today. But at least a few decades (1976) have passed since Dimotiki officially established itself everywhere. I could well imagine that there are quite a few (today, living) Greeks who would still like to contribute to such a Katharevusa Wikipedia. For the ancient Greeks and Philhellenes in the rest of the world this would also be an opportunity to show their own knowledge of Greek. It is well known that there are different degrees of "atticity" within the Katharevusa, that is, more progressive but also more traditional language levels. Public domain Katharevusa lexicons could also be incorporated as a basic text base.” To begin with, I suggest that you discuss this with the contributors to Ancient Greek Wikipedia as they know more about this specific case than I do (after all I’m an editor in Middle English Wikipedia). However, my suggestion would be to try to stay as close as possible to actual Ancient Greek not just a conservative form of Greek (maybe a separate wiki for Katharevusa? Idk how different they are though). Again you should discuss this with contributors to Ancient Greek Wikipedia. @PastelKos, BILL1, and Aureliiuss: what do you think? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 18:14, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
Who is trolling? Seems to me you are the only one that is..... -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 07:34, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
The Heracletus, which their only 3 edits are votes, so likely someone's sockpuppet. -- 07:57, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Check out Special:CentralAuth/Heracletus. He/she has many edits in English Wikipedia. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:30, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Gifnk dlm 2020: Umm, I also checked it, plus for other supporters, looks like ~5% edits are overlapped (i.e. they edited same pages in different timestamps), I have no interests on en:WP:SPI but if this is increased... --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:42, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: I don’t really get what you wanted to say.😅 Really so Idk how to respond. What do you mean by saying that they edited the same pages in different timestamps. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 12:12, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Rich words coming from an anonymous IP. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 12:59, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
    Yeah lol also two different ips. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:09, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose I find the reasoning behind this proposal very unconvincing. There's no evidence anyone other that you was or will be convinced to join the Wikimedia community by the existence of Wikipedias in ancient languages, and the Middle English test wiki does appear to be mostly inactive (you are one of only two people who has made a non-trivial number of edits in multiple consecutive months), and you only have ~200 edits outside of incubator, which is mostly trivial compared to the size of the wikis you are editing.

    Most of the rationales for supporting this seem to be simply unexplained "I like it" or appeals to mistakes that have been made in the past, whereas Fut.Perf explains what will likely happen if this gets implemented. * Pppery * it has begun 03:42, 29 May 2021 (UTC)

@Pppery: Enter any request for a new language. What will you see? The text "The community needs to develop an active test project; it must remain active until approval (automated statistics, recent changes). It is generally considered active if the analysis lists at least three active, not-grayed-out editors listed in the sections for the previous few months." Then yes, it is considered active according to your rules.
In addition I think there’s a misunderstanding that is common among the majority of people who oppose this request. I don’t suggest you create a Middle English Wikipedia, only open the door for this. I acknowledge that it needs a lot more content before it can get a subdomain, but look for example on Ancient Greek Wikipedia - it has 1,733 articles. Yes I know Ancient Greek is considered a special language but also Jewish Babylonian Aramaic can be considered a special language since there are still people who learn it. And yes, there is a test wiki in this language and there people who edit it. However the main problem is how to determine what is a special language and what isn’t. That’s why I suggest that you judges based on the activity and the content. As I see it this is the only objective way to do this. Once a test wiki gets a substantial amount of content and activity it gets a subdomain. If it doesn’t, it stays in the incubator. Can’t be simpler. Saying that in your opinion this one test wiki isn’t active enough it’s an argument as this isn’t about Middle English Wikipedia - it’s about ancient languages in general. Also this isn’t an argument in general since there’s the incubator so non active wikis won’t get a subdomain anyways. As @Steinbach: it doesn’t make sense to accept wikis in Lingua France Nova and Lojban, but not wikis in Ancient Greek and Middle English. Again the argument that it’s for the readers and not for the writers is not valid. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 07:34, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
  • The assumption that dead languages have no place as a Wikipedia is NOT because it is assumed that nobody has an interest.. It has more to do with the notion that modern society cannot be expressed by a language that is dead. That does not have a natural way of including new concepts.
When you consider Ancient Greek and Latin, they are languages that have been continuously been taught in schools and arguably they are not really dead (I am not of that opinion). In the case of Middle English, the culture the concepts have ended. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 07:45, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
The great thing about Latin, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit is that they are classical languages, not merely ancient languages, which means that they survived the cultures in which they originated. Latin was originally a farmers' language which then grew into a full-fledged Kultursprache. It was subsequently used for the world view of Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages from Early through High into Late, as well as the Early Modern Age and to some extent our age. It is not tied to any obsolete world view, like Middle Dutch (where water can also mean 'one of the four bodily humours'). Its use evolved with changing scientific insights.
On top of that, any language can be used to express modern concepts - if necessary. Calques, when applied carefully, do not violate the logic of a language - unless, maybe, it's a really primitive language lacking numerals above two or words for colours. Of course you can argue that this calquing would be pointless - but then again, any more pointless than doing the same in Lojban or Kotava? Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 07:59, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Steinbach: thank you very much for your well crafted comments! @GerardM: please read this comment above. ^ -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:18, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Lojban and Kotava are not dead languages, they are artificial languages; different logic applies. Middle English is not a "classical" language. Dead languages are not allowed as part of the language policy. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 09:02, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@GerardM: Nobody told that Lojabn and Kotava are dead languages.🤦🏻‍♂️ I know what the current policy says and in case you didn’t notice yet I requested that the policy will change, not that those wikis will get a subdomain right away. If wikis in ancient languages are pointless, what’s the point in wikis in conlangs. Practically no one goes and searches for info in Lingua Franca Nova but this wiki still exists. If you point out it’s active community- then this logic should also apply to ancient languages. If they have an active community they should also be accepted. This is why I suggested to group ancient languages together with conlangs that the rules that currently apply on conlangs will also apply on ancient languages. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:48, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
A dead language is not a conlang. A language reflects a culture, writing middle english does not make it middle english. At best it resembles middle English. This has nothing to do with communities, this has to with what a language represents. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 11:55, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@GerardM: ok let’s go on with your logic. If it has nothing to do with the communities that what does it have to do with? What exactly does a conlang represent? Why is a wiki in a Lojban better than a wiki in Middle English? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 12:06, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Gerard, excuse le mot but that's essentialist bullshit. Saying that something isn't Middle English because its author is not sympathetic with those who historically spoke it is like saying that a Westerner can never truly learn Navajo because Western and Native American communities are so different. This argument was fashionable in the 19th century but not in today's linguistics. A language is defined by a set of features - grammar, phonemes, words, idiom - which can be learnt. That's all there is to it. But starting from your argument, classical languages like Ancient Greek are not confined to their former communities. So what you might argue against a Middle English Wikipedia (and what I alluded to through my example of Middle Dutch) does not apply to Ancient Greek. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 12:58, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Steinbach: thank you very much! Exactly what needs to be said and how it needs to be said. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:07, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
You can learn Navajo; it is a living language. You may even be understood by Navajo and recognised for speaking essentially correct Navajo. There is nothing that anchors Middle English in a way that would make sense in a middle English context and we are expected to believe that what is new to be good enough. There is no such conundrum with constructed languages. I already made a point about ancient greek, latin and sanskrit as there has been continued interest for these languages over time. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 14:10, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@GerardM: you can also learn Middle English, Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Ancient Egyptian, etc. Middle English actually in my opinion has an unfair advantage as it is ancestor of Modern English and if you already know English, all it takes is to learn the differences between the languages and find a good online Middle English Dictionary. With reconstructed proto languages like Proto Indo European we don’t have an anchor it’s just speculation. However, with languages that left behind written documents and were studied by linguists we do have an anchor. Thanks, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 17:46, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
That's exactly why we shouldn't have a Middle English Wikipedia, because as while I wouldn't go as far as GerardM, as Steinbach says, a language includes grammar and idiom, and Middle English is not merely a relexed Modern English--anyone working through Shakespeare, much less Chaucer, knows how massively the idiom has changed--and labelling a Wikipedia full of relexed English Middle English is actively damaging to world knowledge. There's no value in opening Wikipedias full of texts not really in the language.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:25, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: One interesting thing: Special:Diff/21583566, no idea if this behavior is from Gifnk or not. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 04:07, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: don’t worry it’s not from me. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:05, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose I believe that most ancient languages are extinct or are on the brink of extinction. With little to no contributors left to create or edit the wikis, creating them will be a waste of resources (there's definitely a better way to phrase this) and will require an additional pair of eyes to actually check the wiki for vandalism/spam. Another issue is that language accuracy/neutrality might be a problem, if this can happen on a wiki with a supposedly large number of speakers, it can also happen on small wikis. --Minoraxtalk 08:08, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Minorax: I can’t speak for other test wikis but here in Middle English Wikipedia we rarely receive vandalism. The same can be said about any wiki because any wiki can receive vandalism. The vandalism that did happen was reverted so there’s no reason to worry. And again, saying that there are no contributors left is a subjective statement. In my opinion, the only objective way to measure a wiki is by its activity. If it’s active it gets a subdomain - else it stays in the incubator. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:14, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
The probable reason why the Middle English Wikipedia isn't receiving as such vandalism/spam is because it is situated in a relative big wiki and has the necessary infrastructure to combat them.,, & are some examples of some wikis that are a vandal/spam magnet currently. For the section portion of your reply, the wiki can be active enough now to have it's own subdomain but once everything dies down, it'll be pretty difficult to move it back to incubator AFAIK. --Minoraxtalk 08:22, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Note that I generally oppose the creation of subdomains of languages with a small number of speakers, be it ancient of not. --Minoraxtalk 08:24, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Minorax: I never requested to delete an article as I always choose to improve the article instead of deleting it, so it doesn’t have to do with this that it’s in a large wiki. You must also understand that despite the fact that I would really be glad if those wikis got a subdomain, my main goal is to shield those wikis because I don’t want the hard work of many people to get deleted. I would accept it if Middle English Wikipedia stayed in the incubator, but not if it got deleted. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:40, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Putting vandalism/spam aside. Like I've said before, "another issue is that language accuracy/neutrality might be a problem", how are we going to address this issue when there are only a small handful of people that actually know the language or are at least at a level 3 proficiency? --Minoraxtalk 13:22, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Minorax: sorry I missed your comment. This is why I suggested to invite actual Middle English experts to contribute to this wiki. If we try contacting them, I’m sure we will find at the very least one or two interested in staying and becoming active contributors. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 17:56, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Minorax: If we can get an actual Middle English expert to become an active contributor will that address your concerns? To be honest, I would have contacted them but I’m not sure what’s the best way to do so is. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:04, 30 May 2021 (UTC)
Note that by long-live vandalisms, not only test wikis can be largely moderated, the existing wikis may also be nominated for closure, an example is just Northern Luri Wikipedia, that their articles (if you were able to visit em before this year) were only spammer's perfects before closure. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:35, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
It's unlikely the Middle English Wikipedia will be deleted from the Incubator, but even if it does, it's all CC-BY-SA, and you can move it anywhere you want.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:23, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
  •   Oppose Vandalism, community activity, quality control, that all are things that can in theory affect all projects in any language and should therefore not be the primary arguments against or in favor of allowing "dead language" projects. The actual issue separating these projects from those in living languages is something running much deeper. The point of wikipedia and the other WM projects is to present all of humanity's knowledge in a way that is accessible to all of humanity. Any extinct or "ancient" language has, by definition, no (native) speaker community. (This can not be said of some of the constructed languages, that is why I strongly suggest to keep these two categories separate and not derail the discussion by comparing apples and oranges.) Thus, whichever extinct language you take, and regardless whether they developed into a modern language (like Old or Middle English into Modern English) or not (like. e.g. Tocharian which simply went extinct), there is no one alive who depended on having access to information in any of these languages. Who ever "speaks" Middle English or Ancient Greek nowadays or in the foreseeable future will with absolute certainty not be a monolingual native speaker in these languages and will most likely have the same information available to them in their primary language. While it might me "nice" or sometimes even "cute" (I have seen people making fun of Middle English articles on social media) to have knowledge available in these languages, it is not making productive use of our resources and it does not contribute to making human knowledge any more widely accessible. What exactly is the added value of having a WP article on any given topic in a language that is not actually spoken, other than artificially creating a corpus of unauthentic texts? Who, exactly, would benefit how, exactly, from a Wikipedia in an(y) extinct language? That is what needs to be answered. And I have serious doubts it can be answered in a compelling way. --✍ Janwo Disk./de:wp 09:45, 4 June 2021 (UTC)
@Janwo: I started contacting experts and though I haven’t yet succeeded in asking a Middle English Expert to actively contribute, one of them actually replied to my email and told: "Thanks for reaching out. I think I’m probably not that much use to you as I’m much more of an OE specialist. But I just wanted to thank you (all); my students *adore* the ME Wikipedia (and its offshoots, like the YouTube videos of animal entries), and it’s really fired their enthusiasm for engaging with and playing with medieval language and literature." This proves that even a wiki in an ancient language is valuable and to be honest I still don’t see the practical difference in between Middle English and Lojabn in terms of having a wiki project. Sure there are a few people who speak Esperanto as their native language however I’m 99% sure that all of them fluently speak at least one other language fluently so it’s possible to ask why can’t they get info in this language. BTW, also conlangs like Lojban that don’t have any native speakers are also eligible for new wikis. I know there has been the argument that those wikis should be moved away from WMF however theoretically all wikis can be moved from WMF an theoretically also gain readers and contributors. Anyways, to conclude, I think that there is as much benefit in creating a wiki in an ancient language as there is in creating a wiki in a constructed language (and depending on the conlang maybe even more). -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:01, 4 June 2021 (UTC)
As I said, conlangs are an entirely different thing since they are mostly meant to be second languages, although there are native speaker of some of them. That bis not what the RFC is about, according to its title. Let's therefore focus on the "ancient" languages here. You say that there were benefit(s) in creating, say, Middle English WP. Then, please, enlighten me as to what exactly these benefits would be. Not opposed to other wikis, but in themselves. --✍ Janwo Disk./de:wp 03:41, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
@Janwo: I only suggested categorizing them together with conlangs as a possible way to implement this suggestion. Creating wikis in ancient languages can have multiple benefits. For one it can empower speakers of small languages to create wikis in those languages. In addition it can also cause people otherwise not interested in WMF to join. Also it could be incredibly useful for people studying Middle English. I image it’s possible to invite them to read, correct, and create new articles Middle English Wikipedia as a way to improve their skills. This will be beneficial not only for them and for Middle English Wikipedia but for the entire WMF as they might start contributing to other wikis as well. Sure people studying Middle English can read the wiki even if it’s moved to Incubator Plus but the same can be said about any wiki. As @Zoozaz1: mentioned above creating a corpus of material in ancient languages is also valuable and if there’s a community willing to maintain it then there’s no reason why not. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:53, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
I entirely agree that the "point of Wikipedia and the other WM projects is to present all of humanity's knowledge in a way that is accessible to all of humanity;" ancient languages themselves are a crucial part of humanity's knowledge. Creating a resource that has the potential to teach these languages and inspire people to learn them is how we are making this part of humanity's knowledge accessible to all, and by extension the rich resources, texts, and materials only available in these ancient languages. Yes, there primary goal isn't to teach people encyclopedic information, but the information they do teach (in machine learning, which will have benefits for all down the road, or for people studying the region/time period), is valuable nonetheless. "No one alive depending on having access to information in any of these languages" (which I would quibble with and say there will almost certainly be information only present on ancient wikis) does not mean giving up on "present[ing] all of humanity's knowledge in a way that is accessible to all of humanity." Zoozaz1 (talk) 14:22, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
@Zoozaz1: thank you very much! I couldn’t have said it better myself! -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 19:12, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
That is at best an argument for Wikisources in those languages. Not the other projects. --✍ Janwo Disk./de:wp 06:18, 6 June 2021 (UTC)
@Janwo: no it’s also for other wikis like Wikipedia and Wikibooks. Anyone who ever learned a langage knows the importance of reading text in this language. Wikisource in an ancient language is limited only to ancient texts written back when the language was spoken in people’s day to day life which is very important however having new texts in this language can also help a lot. As I have already stated above, students who study Middle English love Middle English Wikipedia and it increased their enthusiasm (I can give screenshots of an email discussion that proves it). Wikisource is also very important however the importance of having new texts can’t be overstated. In addition, a Middle English Wikipedia can also give the opportunity for people who have learned Middle English to write new original texts in this language. I know I wrote about Middle English but it’s true also for other ancient languages. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 17:12, 6 June 2021 (UTC)
Learning a language takes years of study. Virtually anything would be better to study than a dead language that you have no interest in reading the texts written in it. Moreover, students should be reading correct material in a language, and I don't see any reason to think that the people writing in the Middle English Wikipedia will be any more knowledgeable in the subject than the students; as you said, the current Wiki has links to grammars and dictionaries and implies that it's okay for people to write articles in the Wiki using that knowledge.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:38, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: If you are concerned about a lack of linked resources, feel free to link additional resources (can be books in the archive library or a link to a page in a amazon where it’s possible to buy a book). In addition, I have suggested multiple times before that to invite experts to contribute to Middle English Wikipedia. As a response of your comment that it might expose students to incorrect Middle English, I suggest to invite them to start contributing once they get to a certain degree of fluency. Writing texts in a language that you are interested in learning can help boost the language learning experience by a lot. Also, because of the collaborative nature of a wiki you will have other users correcting any mistakes that you might make and that will further boost their learning experience. Not to mention it will bring more interested user to WMF. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 12:35, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
No. No. No. No. It is definitely not the purpose of Wikipedias to be a training ground for people to "(write) texts in a language that (they) are interested in learning". And it is also not the purpose of the "collaborative nature of a wiki" to give such people free language lessons or feedback or correct their mistakes. An online encyclopedia is not a language classroom. Training belongs to classroom settings and/or self study scenarios. Neither contributing to a live online encyclopedia nor its collective quality control are meant to be tools for that kind of "learning experience", unless it is in a dedicated wiki that is especially made for that purpose — which Wikipedia (etc.) is not! Just take a look at what non-speakers of a language have done to Scots WP and how much energy had/has to be spent to clean up their mess. --✍ Janwo Disk./de:wp 04:48, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
@Janwo: to begin, the collective quality control will help correct grammatical errors. About Scots Wikipedia, that sort of thing can happen to any wiki - not just language that are similar to English. FYI, in Israel there’s this project where they give school students to write an article in Hebrew Wikipedia. This is done not only in order to expand WP, but also that students will practice writing and improve their grammar. Also, I have suggested to invite experts and students (people who know Middle English) so your argument about “non-speakers” isn’t relevant. If “ It is definitely not the purpose of Wikipedias to be a training ground for people to ‘(write) texts in a language that (they) are interested in learning’”, then could you please explain me why is Lojban Wikipedia allowed? There’s no any reason to expect someone to search for information in Lojban so the only readers and/or contributors of this wiki interested in learning Lojban. If you check out the recent changes of Lojban Wikipedia, you will see that it’s almost nothing compared to Middle English Wikipedia, not to mention Ancient Greek Wikipedia. If we follow your logic, could you please explain me why is Lojban better than Middle English? Please not the argument “you can learn Lojban” because you can also learn Middle English and Ancient Greek. This is why I have suggested to categorize ancient languages together with conlangs. Sure, some ancient languages like Etruscan aren’t fully understood yet but not all conlangs are fully developed. Sure they are different I don’t suggest to claim that they are the same however practically for a wiki I think they have much in common. Just like fictional languages are not allowed, it’s possible to allow well researched ancient languages like Middle English and Ancient Greek but not poorly researched ones like Etruscan or Rongorongo. In addition, there are Middle English and Ancient Greek classes at universities but no Lojban classes. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:40, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
As for the Scots Wikipedia, that can happened to any wiki with too many language learners and enthusiasts, and not enough actual language speakers. In Israel, they speak Hebrew, so at least those school students are writing in their native tongue. The Lojban Wikipedia is irrelevant; it was opened before the current rules were created. "Other stuff exists" is not an argument for your stuff. (Though one of the arguments for Lojban over Middle English is that an ungrammatical Lojban Wikipedia is nobody's problem but Lojbanists, where as an ungrammatical Middle English Wikipedia is actually making the world worse by creating an display of ungrammatical Middle English to trick and confuse students.) I'm not for a bunch of new Wikis opened for constructed languages, and I give up on arguing against Ancient Greek, but I stand strongly against opening the door to creating Wikipedias to be writing and learning exercises for students, especially as those goals are in conflict.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:55, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: first of all, I would like to know which articles you use to base your claim of an “ungrammatical Middle English”. Not to long ago, it was praised by an actual Middle English expert so I don’t think your claim has any factual base. In Israel, we speak Hebrew but with grammatical errors that cause grammar enthusiasts to lose their minds. Also this project is done before we start learning Hebrew Grammar for our final exams. Ok I get it, Lojban Wikipedia was opened before the current rules were made, however what about Lingua Franca Nova? It was approved in December 2017. Those “writing and learning exercise” aren’t the sole purpose of Middle English Wikipedia, I just suggested them as a positive benefit from this. If a wiki in an ancient language gets a sufficient amount of content and is verified to be in correct grammar, would you agree to give it a subdomain? Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 09:07, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
@Gifnk dlm 2020: Fyi, Lingua Franca Nova's eligiblity was discussed at [1]. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:40, 15 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: I have looked in there a bit and I noticed the message “I am for consistent explicit (if possible) or implicit rules. If one of the relevant rules is the usefulness, then Ancient Greek is definitely more useful than any constructed language.” How do you comment to it? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 14:50, 15 June 2021 (UTC)
"In Israel, we speak Hebrew but with grammatical errors". This is linguistically absurd. The grammar of a language is defined by its speakers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:35, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
To go after the now-listed arguments one by one:
  • 1: It's playing semantic games. Why does holding quote-unquote "immense" cultural significance matter?
  • 2: As if the speakers of natural languages don't have their own political biases. And the writers of artificial language wikis are more likely to be the most competent at the language, unlike ancient languages.
  • 3: It will not help the study of these languages. If you want to learn a language, read the texts written in the language. If you'd rather read about computers, don't learn Middle English. If you have to read a simplified reader, read a simplified reader, which is usually very carefully ordered and written by someone with skilled knowledge in a language. What is the purpose of these Wikipedias?
  • 4: Most Wikis that are started aren't very active. I'm happy to let marginal Wikis start in languages that people actually use, in languages that people writing original writings in is productive and helpful. I'm not so happy to have arguments over Middle English.
  • 5: There will almost certainly be content that can be found exclusively in these wikis. Prove it. The Old English Wikipedia has been open for a decade; show me the proof. w:ang:Bēowulf should be a great article for the Old English Wikipedia, but it's a stub. Maybe some of the larger ancient language Wikis have useful material, but it hasn't been shown, and, again, Latin and co. are special in ways that Middle and Old English aren't.
  • 6: It is not undeniable. As I've said, WMF has apparently lost users from the Klingon and Scots Wikipedia, and in particular because of the poor condition of the Scots Wikipedia. There's no evidence more than a handful of people will be active in these Wikis, and no evidence that this will reach anyone not already familiar with Wikipedia. The effect, if any, will be marginal.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:35, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: replying to your commments:
1. If conlangs are allowed (not all of them have that significance) then why not ancient languages that have an immense significance?
2. I didn’t plan to debate the neutrality of Esperanto Wikipedia nor am I in a position to do so. All I’m saying is that people interested in International Auxiliary Languages are most likely ideologists or enthusiasts. WMF as a politically neutral body can’t say “ancient languages are not allowed because people don’t search for information in these languages but international auxiliary languages are even though people likely won’t search for information in these languages either”. But since you mentioned neutrality in other languages I will address this as well. Writers of wikis in ancient languages as individuals do have their political bias however these political opinions vary from person to person so they will be able to detect bias to the other side and remove it. You can read more in the article Why I Won't Learn Esperanto but basically if a language is created in order to reach a certain ideological goal it’s speakers most likely won’t be an ideologically diverse group. This isn’t true with ancient languages or with natural language. However, I repeat, I’m in no way trying to question the neutrality of Esperanto Wikipedia as I don’t speak the language so I’m in no position of doing. I shouldn’t have added the sentence that WMF should be neutral as it distracts from my main point - that people don’t use these artificial languages.
3. It will help the study of these languages and Middle English Wikipedia was already praised by a professor, and according to w:Latin Wikipedia, experts have praised Latin Wikipedia and swatted that the articles are in fact very good.
4. I understand that most wikis that start out are not active. It’s just the way that it is. That’s why the incubator exists - only active wikis will get a subdomain. Please explain me why is original writing in International Auxiliary Languages “productive and helpful” and then explain me why the same arguments don’t also apply to Ancient Languages? I would love to hear.
5. For example w:la:Index stellarum inter 16 et 49 a.l.m. distantium doesn’t have an equivalent article in English Wikipedia, w:la:Index planetarum extrasolarium has one that is more than 3 times shorter, w:la:Iaponia is actually longer than w:en:Japan, w:la:Provincia Oscensis is much longer than w:en:Province of Huesca. If you claim that: “Latin and co. are special in ways that Middle and Old English aren't” them you also accept the fact that Middle English Wikipedia also has a potential of growing. My question to you is: if Middle English Wikipedia gets exclusive content or pages that are much longer than the English equivalents, would you agree to verify the project as eligible?
6. Again the comment stating that it won’t do this. Sure, by now everyone knows about Wikipedia but it might cause them to get interested in joining Wikipedia and contributing to WMF. Especially if there is work done to promote these wikis among people interested in ancient languages. Do you understand the difference? In additional, I suggest to try and promote Scots Wikipedia among people who actually speak the language and I’m 99% sure there will be an improvement.

Thanks, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 13:59, 15 June 2021 (UTC)

1: You dodged the question; why do immense cultural significance matter in whether there should be an encyclopedia in the language?
2: WMF can do whatever it wants. I'm glad that people who don't speak Esperanto have a strong opinion on its biases; and that there's no chance of any biases in the group of people who learn a language that has little historical importance except that it gave rise to the language of the British Empire. I'd expect that Middle English is learned by English speakers who tend to have a romantic view of the Middle Ages, of kings and queens, of a time when London didn't have a Pakistani Muslim mayor.
5: I don't know how you found those articles, but you didn't look at them. The first two are obviously split into multiple pages on the English Wikipedia, cf. the links at the bottom of List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs and all of Lists of exoplanets. Look at w:la:Provincia Oscensis and w:en:Province of Huesca; one is filled with links to subpages and the other with links to missing subpages. How big the page on Japan tells you nothing about how much the English Wikipedia has on Japan, and a quick glance shows that the Latin Wikipedia has no article on several prefectures, including Chiba Prefecture, and surely has no pages for many of the thousands of pages the English Wikipedia has on Japan.
6: The Old English Wikipedia has 5 active editors. English Wikipedia has 43 thousand. If all of the Old English Wikipedians stormed out of the English Wikipedia, en.WP would have ... 43 thousand editors. If 0.01% of the editors of English Wikipedia stormed out because of the Middle English Wikipedia, that would be 43 editors, far more, and still insubstantial.
I'm not talking about conlangs any more. Make your case on its own value.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:56, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: I will reply here also to the comment you have left below in order to avoid having two discussions at the same time which is pointless if they are in between the same two users.
  • 1: For one, the immense cultural significance of these languages means that more people are interested in them. This means that people are more likely to read them and to contribute to them. I suspect that the lack of people contributing to Old English Wikipedia isn’t because of a lack of interest in the language but simply because they don’t know it exists. I found this wiki purely by chance and for Middle English Wikipedia I had to actively search for it doubting if it exists but still willing to check. It seems to me as if WMF is ashamed of those wikis and is trying to hide the fact that they exist which in my opinion is a shame because they really have a lot of potential.
  • 2: I wasn’t trying to criticize the neutrality of Esperanto Wikipedia because as I have told previously I’m in no position to do so. I only mentioned this as a reply to your comment that also speakers of natural languages have a bias. This wasn’t my main point. You complained about me dodging your question however you have several times dodged mine - what is the usefulness of having a wiki in an international auxiliary language? What I meant to ask is why is it useful to host a wiki in a constructed language when you know in advance that the people who know this language are either enthusiasts, ideologists, or both? My point is that there’s no native population speaking these language. I have nothing against Kotava Wikipedia which was approved in July 2020, and I’m really happy for them that they succeeded in getting a subdomain. My question to you is why are Middle English Wikipedia and Ancient Greek Wikipedia considered “not useful” while Kotava Wikipedia is? It’s this double standard that I don’t approve of. I have more to say about this but I will write it as a reply to comment 5 as it’s more fitting there.
  • 5: For one, the first article doesn’t have an English Wikipedia article at all so idk what you meant when you said that “the first two are obviously split into multiple pages on the English Wikipedia“. You told that Esperanto Wikipedia is useful because it has “exclusive content”. May I request that in order that we will be on the same level of understanding in the debate, that you will actually link to idk 3 articles that exist in Esperanto Wikipedia, not in English Wikipedia, and you think will cause people to choose Esperanto Wikipedia? Then we will be able to debate the topic of exclusive content. I will now reply to your comment below. “You can't measure the value of an article by its length, particularly when you ignore subarticles and different ways to split articles.” ok but if Middle English Wikipedia covered a topic that isn’t covered in English Wikipedia, would you agree to verify it as eligible? If you think that having stricter activity requirement ps is a bad idea I won’t insist on it. I only suggested it as a possible way to address your concerns. I suggest that wikis in Ancient languages will be verified as eligible if they have exclusive content that can’t be found in English Wikipedia. Then, if they consistently have at least three non greyed out users every month for some time, they will get a subdomain. I also agree to have a minimum number of articles. (1,00 for example) The number will most certainly be arbitrary however I think it’s better to try to reach an arbitrary number than to have Langcom deciding based on their feelings which as human beings are naturally subjective and leaning towards languages that they like.
  • 5: see comment 1. I really think that there are more than enough people who would be ingredient in editing an Old English Wikipedia if they knew that it exists however, unfortunately it’s sort of hidden and there is clearly zero effort to try to attract users to it.
In any case, I would love to hear your comments on this. Most importantly, why the hell is a wiki in an ancient language useless when a wiki in a conlang isn’t? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 18:31, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
  • 1: Which doesn't seem to be true, as shown by the Old English Wikipedia. You think there's people who want to write an Old English encyclopedia and didn't think to check the massively multilingual, hugely popular Wikipedia? I'm skeptical.
  • 2: Is this RFC/Stop allowing constructed languages? No, so constructed languages are irrelevant.
  • 5: You gave me a list of star systems between 16 and 49 light-years away. No, the English Wikipedia doesn't have such a list. It has pages of List of star systems within 16–20 light-years and List of star systems within 45–50 light-years. Exclusive content is a gameable rule (as evidenced by your attempts to game it). I'm not interested in setting a set of rules for ancient languages like Middle English; I'd prefer to see a tour-de-force that has to be answered, instead of an attempt to meet a random set of rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:12, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: replying to your comments:
  • 1: Yes I’m certain there are people who would choose to contribute to Old English Wikipedia over contributing to English Wikipedia. For one, their 3,328 articles had to be created by someone. I admit Old English Wikipedia isn’t “highly active” in any sense like English Wikipedia however it still proves that there are willing to contribute. The same thing is evident also in Middle English Wikipedia and in Ancient Greek Wikipedia despite the fact that both of them are still stuck in the incubator.
  • 2: You keep dodging my question. This RFC is about ancient languages and one of the reasons I have listed to allow ancient languages is that conlangs are allowed. I don’t think that ancient languages are fundamentally different than conlangs in terms of the usefulness of the wiki, but because of their cultural and historical significance it can be argued that they have an advantage over most of not all conlangs.
  • 5: You were the first user who opposed this RFC and you wrote quote “Esperanto Wikipedia has many pages on works and authors not covered by other Wikipedias”. Could you please send here at least idk 3 of these “many pages” that are not covered in English Wikipedia? If a wiki in an ancient language covered many of the topics listed in List of articles every Wikipedia should have would you agree to give it a subdomain? Another much simpler set of rules would be to not treat wikis in ancient languages differently and just give them the same minimum activity standards that you would give to another non ancient language. How does that sound for you?
Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:01, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
I don't know if that twisting of what I said is deliberate or careless, but neither is especially helpful. Of course I know about the Old English Wikipedia, and I didn't mention the English Wikipedia; I mentioned the massively multilingual Wikipedia project.
I don't see any point in continuing this. I think it clear I'm not going to convince you, and I think I've made my point.--Prosfilaes (talk) 14:25, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: sorry, I don’t quite get your meant. Did you mean to ask why would someone choose to contribute to Old English Wikipedia instead of contributing to any other Wikipedia? There are people who join the WMF specifically in order to contribute to wikis in ancient languages and so long such people exist I don’t see any reason to not at least verify them as eligible. Also, you still haven’t brought even one article in Esperanto Wikipedia that would cause people to choose to get information especially from Esperanto Wikipedia instead of their native language. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 16:32, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: correction: I misread your comment. For some reason I thought you told that Latin isn’t special in any way that Middle English isn’t😅. Please ignore this part. However, you told that Esperanto Wikipedia is useful because it covers topics that aren’t covered in other wikis. If this is what causes a wiki to be useful in my opinion, I suggest a policy in which ancient languages are allowed but at the time of verification, the test wiki must have at least several articles that either don’t exist in English Wikipedia or are significantly (like twice or three times) longer than the English equivalent. Then, the test wiki will be verified as eligible and it will still have to meet the activity standards (I agree to having stricter ones for ancient languages) before they can get a subdomain. Anyways, this is my suggestion. I prefer we discuss it in the section for discussions as this section is getting a bit long. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:28, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
You can't measure the value of an article by its length, particularly when you ignore subarticles and different ways to split articles. If we have stricter activity standards for ancient languages, no such Wikipedias will ever leave it, which means there's still constant complaints about such Wikipedias not being started, combined with standards being rigged to keep those Wikipedias from being started, the worst of both worlds in my opinion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:56, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
  •   Oppose As was said at a similar discussion, I don't think we benefit from having materials about w:en:macOS in defunct languages, when macOS itself isn't even translated into said language. --Rschen7754 01:32, 7 June 2021 (UTC)
@Rschen7754: check out the discussion just above you. There are multiple benefits to having a wiki in defunct languages. For example they can help people who are interested in those languages. It can also help machine learning. As @Zoozaz1: mentioned in the said discussion, "point of Wikipedia and the other WM projects is to present all of humanity's knowledge in a way that is accessible to all of humanity;" Having wikis in ancient languages will help advance this goal. Also I don’t think that it matters that macOS doesn’t translate to these languages. Check out w:he:macOS - not only they didn’t translate it to Hebrew but they also kept it written using the Latin alphabet despite the fact that Hebrew has its own alphabet that is used in this wiki. Also check out w:he: אינטרנט - it’s literally just the word internet spelled in Hebrew alphabet. That being said Hebrew is a living language and Hebrew Wikipedia is quite active. In case you didn’t get it, my goal wasn’t to mock Hebrew Wikipedia but to show that things related to modern technology don’t necessarily have to translate to every single language in order to be able to write about them in these said languages. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 08:04, 7 June 2021 (UTC)

*for me, it's nearly impossible to make a clear division between modern English and Middle English. the division should make sure that every single English work falls into one but only one wiki, not both, not neither. --DS-fax00:47, 18 June 2021 (UTC)

  • I think this is someone trying to impersonate Hat600, and not the actual user. @Liuxinyu970226: what do you think about this? Since the edit (Special:MobileDiff/21607933) was done by an anonymous IP address I highly doubt Hat600 is actually behind it. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 07:38, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
Striked, thx for reporting. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 07:41, 18 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: thank you very much! -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 09:28, 18 June 2021 (UTC)


  • I just found that these open requests are about the topic (no Wikisources mentioned, as they are allowed under the de facto policy):
  1. Ancient Greek: Wikipedia (4th request), Wiktionary, and Wikiquote (I'm interesting that why this is eligible?);
  2. Wikipedia Classical Mongolian;
  3. Wikipedia Coptic (3rd request, and why this is eligible?);
  4. Wikivoyage Latin (on hold);
  5. Wikipedia Shumerian;
  6. Wikipedia Taivoan;
  7. Thao: Wikipedia (2nd request), Wiktionary;
  8. Wikipedia Yurok.

--Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:26, 28 May 2021 (UTC)

Some clarifications is needed here I think. "Ancient" languages are not really excluded, being old is not *in itself* a criterion for rejection, the policy is more focused on having a strong community of native/living speakers and readers (ancient/historical languages often don't have speaker/reader or only a few but not always). But at the very least, the policy should be change to make that clearer. Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 11:19, 29 May 2021 (UTC)

@VIGNERON: Note that the Wikisource requests for those ancient languages may also be doubtful, an example of this panorama is Wikisource Literary Chinese request, which has got an inflammation of the zhwikisource users' uppers. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:23, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: true, good example that actually support my point : being "ancient" is not the sole and unique criterion. You can be "ancient" and still be acceptable (Hebrew, Basque or Icelandic are "old" languages and still modern at the same time) and you can be "new" and still not be acceptable (if there is too few speaker for instance) ; in the same way, you can be "ancient" and still don't fill the exception for having a Wikisource (in the Literary Chinese case, the part "[...] such languages should be bundled with the modern equivalent Wikisource project [...]" of the policy applied, but this sentence is a bit wobbly...). It's natural that proposer focus on the "ancient" aspect but this focus is biased, being "ancient" is not everything when it comes to opening a new wikimedia projects. Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 14:02, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
Another problem is that how to make sure that the author of this RFC is not intend to let WMF allow language revives, since that's unlikely agreed by most of Board members. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 22:39, 29 May 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: I’m the author of the RFC so I can answer any questions you might have about it. I didn’t quite understand what you mean but letting languages revive. Do you mean to use to use WMF to revive extinct languages similar to how Hebrew was revived? If yes, then I don’t plan to. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 07:40, 30 May 2021 (UTC)
Aren't you doing exactly that by reviving Middle English? --MF-W 18:34, 4 June 2021 (UTC)
@MF-Warburg: well in a way I guess writing in Middle English can be considered reviving it that’s why it was kinda a weird question to ask (@Liuxinyu970226: can you please clarify what you meant). I don’t plan to revive Middle English to day to day use but if a group of people want to revive an extinct language in a similar way Hebrew was revived and want to get a wiki I don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed to get one. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 20:04, 4 June 2021 (UTC)
@Gifnk dlm 2020: You may be interested in Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Kamassian, that said, language revive wasn't, isn't, and won't be one urgent work of WMF in any historic points. Also, can you please clarify what's your opinion on Hebrew? You repeated for more than 2 times "Hebrew was revived", what means that thing? Isn't Hebrew a living language? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 23:13, 4 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: Hebrew is a living language but not to long ago it wasn’t and was only used to read the Bible. Then, it was revived and became the official language of Israel. This of course I’d oversimplified but you get the point. I have checked this request and understood that it was rejected because the user who proposed it didn’t speak the language and that speakers of this language will be welcome at any time to submit a new request. I never expected reviving languages to be an urgent work of WMF - I only requested to allow wikis in ancient languages to get a subdomain once there’s a substantial amount of content. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:35, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
Back to the Wikisource Literary Chinese, an oppose comment let me have some interests on the connection with this RFC: "And, if someday this proposal is approved, the Middle English wikisource (enm) is also able to create its own site, because they can simply copy many Middle English texts from English wikisource and paste them to the new site!" If this is true, then a possible strong against reason can be happened, just one word: copyvio. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 23:24, 4 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: what do you mean? If Middle English Wikisource is approved it’s possible to move existing Middle English text from English Wikisource to Middle English Wikisource. However I agree that text shouldn’t be just copied and pasted from Wikisource to Wikipedia. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:37, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
About the Ancient Greek Wikipedia proposal, the last langcom message that mentioned this was post by StevenJ81: "After March 1 (to put everything on the same archive page) I am going to make a one-off proposal to mark Ancient Greek Wikipedia as "eligible". After that, I'll make a proposal on historical languages more broadly." Now 2 years past and @GerardM: I wonder why don't you consider it? I also really doubt if you have reason to not mark it as eligible and however mark rejected. PS: I also tried to account this RFC to the langcom mailing list, but I'm afraid that my message was again discarded. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:21, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: yeah that’s the problem. I never really understood how localization works. I tried more than once to log in and to localize the names of moths and days of the week. Apparently it uses something called translatewiki and it’s accounts are apparently independent from WMF so I didn’t manage to log in. I will be glad to get some explanations. Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 16:48, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
  •   Comment BTW, does anybody know if when will be possible to link pages from the incubator to pages in existing wikis in other languages in the same topic? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 18:53, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
    @Gifnk dlm 2020: If you are asking interlanguage links on the left, under the toolbar, it's nowadays a Wikidata work, for interwiki links, feel free to use ":en/fr/de...:(article)" format. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 01:21, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
    @Liuxinyu970226: yes I mean interlanguage links below the toolbar. The article about Concepción, Chile has interwiki links like you suggested but I don’t really like this way of doing it. I heard there’s a suggestion to support interlanguage links to articles in wikis that are still in the incubator through wikidata so I was wondering if there’s any chance that this feature will be added any time soon. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 07:19, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
    @Gifnk dlm 2020: I doubt if this can be happened, because I suddenly found Language committee/Voting policy, where it states "2/3 majority ... Any change of the rules, including the committee's role in possible changes of the Language proposal policy and Closing projects policy." This means that unless if there are 2/3 of langcom members also support you, it's unlikely that LPP can be changed just because your collection of "support votes" as they are all not langcom members. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:02, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
    @Liuxinyu970226: I have read this page and to be honest it makes absolutely zero sense. For one, almost 2/3 of the people who voted here have supported this request and have brought a much wider variety of arguments than those that opposed it. I don’t see any reason why this makes sense unless an argument coming from a langcom member is worth a hundred arguments. In addition, what’s the point of having established rules if langcom decides which projects are eligible and which ones aren’t? I used to think that they follow some rules but based on your last comment it looks like they don’t. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:33, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
    @GerardM and Sotiale: How do you consider this question? This question is regarding how the langcom works, and beyond my knowledge scopes. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:01, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
  • Please appreciate the scope and the original objective of the Language committee. It is to say no. We had a situation where many Wikipedias were created often on the say so of a single editor. This was thought to be unacceptable and a set of rules were created and they are very much still in place. It was these rules or the deletion of many of the Wikipedias that had been created. One of the consequences of the policy is that "one hundred arguments" make no substantial difference. It is also why I have always been of the opinion that at the very start it is determined if a specific language is eligible in the first place. At the end of the incubation it is determined if what is written is indeed the specified language. If it is not, it will not be accepted. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 18:31, 14 June 2021 (UTC)
    • @GerardM: OK at least now I understand the reasoning behind this. I know there has been a mess like for example Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Aramaic of Jesus. I’m not opposed to creating wikis in Aramaic but I agree that they should be clearly defined. However, this policy doesn’t entirely solve this problem. If the problem was that many wikis were created with only one editor, then I think that the incubator solves this problem. Anybody can create a test wiki but it will only get a subdomain once it has a substantial amount of activity. I agree that the deletion of many wikis isn’t the solution and is also unacceptable however I don’t think that having such rules is the solution either (though maybe back then it was necessary in order to avoid having to delete many wikis). Instead, I suggest to judge a wiki based on its content and it’s activity. Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Middle English was rejected “as part of a reform of the request process”. This suggests that the test wiki was created before the reform. Same about Ancient Greek. Hope you understand. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 14:43, 15 June 2021 (UTC)