Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Ainu 2

submitted verification final decision

This language has been verified as eligible.
The language is eligible for a project, which means that the subdomain can be created once there is an active community and a localized interface, as described in the language proposal policy. You can discuss the creation of this language project on this page.

Once the criteria are met, the language committee can proceed with the approval and will verify the test project content with a reliable neutral source, such as a professor or expert.

If you think the criteria are met, but the project is still waiting for approval, feel free to notify the committee and ask them to consider its approval.

A committee member provided the following comment:

No native speakers around. Please, find them to make this request eligible. --Millosh (talk) 05:19, 29 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]
There is now sufficient content and activity to mark as eligible. Please contribute to the test project. For LangCom: StevenJ81 (talk) 16:10, 27 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • 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.
  • The community needs to complete required MediaWiki interface translations in that language (about localization, translatewiki, check completion).
  • The community needs to discuss and complete the settings table below:
What Value Example / Explanation
Language code ain (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Ainu Language name in English
Language name アイヌ・イタㇰ - Aynu itak - Айну итах Language name in your language. This will appear in the language list on Special:Preferences, in the interwiki sidebar on other wikis, ...
Language Wikidata item Q27969 - item has currently the following values: Item about the language at Wikidata. It would normally include the Wikimedia language code, name of the language, etc. Please complete at Wikidata if needed.
Directionality LTR Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name ヰキペンチヤ - Wikipencija - Ўикипэнчийа / ウィキペンチヤ - Ujkipencija - Уйкипэнчийа "Wikipedia" in your language
Project namespace usually the same as the project name
Project talk namespace "Wikipedia talk" (the discussion namespace of the project namespace)
Enable uploads yes Default is "no". Preferably, files should be uploaded to Commons.
If you want, you can enable local file uploading, either by any user ("yes") or by administrators only ("admin").
Notes: (1) This setting can be changed afterwards. The setting can only be "yes" or "admin" at approval if the test creates an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) first. (2) Files on Commons can be used on all Wikis. (3) Uploading fair-use images is not allowed on Commons (more info). (4) Localisation to your language may be insufficient on Commons.
Optional settings
Project logo This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone Asia/Sapporo "Continent/City", e.g. "Europe/Brussels" or "America/Mexico City" (see list of valid timezones)
Additional namespaces For example, a Wikisource would need "Page", "Page talk", "Index", "Index talk", "Author", "Author talk".
Additional settings Anything else that should be set
submit Phabricator task. It will include everything automatically, except additional namespaces/settings. After creating the task, add a link to the comment.



It has been six years since Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Ainu was discussed, with overall support though no conclusion. The Ainu language (indigenous language of Northern Japan and adjoining islands/coasts now belonging to Russia) is currently a living language with several hundred native speakers, and a larger body of Japanese speakers (some of Ainu heritage) studying the Ainu language at universities and language centres in the language's current indigenous homeland of Hokkaido, as well as Chiba University in Tokyo. The language has a set orthography, primarily a modified form of Japanese katakana, as well as an alternate Latin orthography. There are some written works in Ainu, as well as an online newspaper, Ainu Times.

To successfully incubate and create a Wikipedia Ainu with a threshold number of articles will likely require coordination with Japanese Wikipedians in order to engage the academic community in Hokkaido, as well as the Ainu-related blogosphere. Some of these organisations have parallels in English where Anglophone Wikipedians may be able to assist in spreading awareness of this initiative. Since there is nearly a 100% Japanese proficiency among internet-using Ainu speakers, it should be possible to (initially) use some basic article-writing instructional materials and tutorials/ArticleWizard from to accelerate the initial process of compiling a body of articles. There are a number of Ainu-related articles on and that can be translated (and their images and references brought over), enabling the wiki to initially be a translation exercise which could plausibly be executed by Ainu-language students, with the native/fluent Ainu speakers initially focusing on proofreading to maintain quality.

On a much smaller level, this can be compared to the successful Welsh while there are a negligible number of non-Anglophone internet-using Welsh speakers, there is significant cultural utility in having a place where proficient Welsh speakers can read and write in the language. Interest in Ainu culture is increasing with time, with more and more individuals reclaiming their Ainu heritage, and a step to Wikipedia seems a natural move. This will take some linguistic cross-coordination requiring some proficient Japanese speakers to cross this idea over to the pool of Ainu speakers in Japan, but I submit that for the sake of preserving and expanding global knowledge, Wikipedia Ainu is a topic worth revisiting. MatthewVanitas (talk) 19:35, 10 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Since this project will eventually require coordination with Japanese speakers, please indicate JA after your signature if you are proficient in that language.

Incubator page here:

  • Support: Has a valid ISO 639 code, is sufficiently distinct from other languages, and is a living language (hopefully we can find a sufficient population of native speakers). -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs 02:57, 11 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support: Per above benlisquare. --►Safir yüzüklü Ceklimesaj 05:43, 11 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Question to the proposers: How likely is it in your opinion that native speakers would (be found by you and) contribute to such a Wikipedia? --MF-W 17:32, 11 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    • It's a valid point, so I'd say that the absolute linchpin of getting this thing off the ground is going to end up getting into contact with Ainu speakers through: a) Ainu political and cultural organisations like the en:Hokkaido Utari Association and en:Ainu Times b) the academic community of Ainu-language instructors and students in Sapporo and in Tokyo. The ratio of "native speakers" to "proficient speakers" will, presumably, initially be low, but the more proficient speakers who are internet-active are involved, the more easily they, who have access to native speakers both online and offline, will be able to add native-approved/vetted material. Again with the Welsh parallel: not every editor on speaks Welsh better than English, but even sub-native speakers are able to contribute, with the native-fluency speakers serving as a quality-check. Were it not for the decent amount of cultural and academic organisations using Ainu language this project would not be feasible, but if we can recruit some experienced Japanese-speaking editors we can do some outreach to Ainu speakers in Hokkaido and guide them through the process of adding content in Wiki format. MatthewVanitas (talk) 18:22, 11 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    • I have posted a request for support at ja:Wikipedia:Help_for_Non-Japanese_Speakers#アイヌウィキペディア - Ainu Wikipedia incubator? on Japanese Wiki, so hopefully that will bring in some more Japanese-English bilinguals to discuss, and figure out how best to engage the Ainu speakers. MatthewVanitas (talk) 21:15, 11 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose: In order to support this proposal, I would need to see support from at least a few native speakers. I don't see any support here from any native speakers or even from any non-native speakers, and it's not even clear that any of the supporters are proficient in Japanese. After three months, the call for support posted above seems not to have generated a response. I lived in Japan for a while and my understanding is that there are only a few hundred native Ainu speakers nearly all of whom are past retirement age, though no one I knew had ever met an Ainu speaker. The prospects for recruiting enough Ainu speakers, let alone native speakers, to edit a wikipedia seems dim. The existence of one online newspaper evidences that there is one person enthusiastically devoted to preserving Ainu (who unfortunately may not have time for both the newspaper and a wikipedia); it does not evidence a vibrant community of Ainu speakers. In my opinion, the critical factor is the complete absence of support from any Ainu speakers. I would happily support this if there were a few native Ainu speakers committed to making a go of it. I would withdraw opposition (but withhold support) if there were a few non-native speakers (but no native speakers) supporting the proposal. I hate to be a sourpuss but starting this only to have it fail does not serve any productive purpose. M Carling (talk) 10:52, 18 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment: I sent email to the Hokkaido Utari Association and Ainu Times, pointing them to this discussion. Hopefully that will attract some attention from native speakers. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:28, 28 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose WP has far too many live projects already with no participation from native speakers. I think WP should be shrunk, not expanded, and a lot of currently active projects returned to the incubator. I don't see an Ainu project going anywhere in real time any time soon, given its infinitesimal base of speakers. Regrettably, Varlaam (talk) 22:19, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support, because even if there is a very little number of ainu speakers, it should have a wikipedia because the language is lived and have native speakers. Elder people are human also, and can learn to use computer. If this project is rejected, then we would supress the fake Simple English Wikipedia (which is not a language) and Latin Wikipedia (zero native speakers). This project at beginning possibly could not grow very much, but with the possibility of editing here, interesting in ainu can grow. --Zerabat (talk) 16:45, 5 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support: It's an endangered language, there are only 10 native speakers now. It's our duty to protect it.--el caballero de los Leones (talk) 01:58, 12 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]