Requests for new languages/Wikipedia British Sign Language

British Sign Language Wikipedia

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.

  • 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 bfi (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name British Sign Language name in English
Language name British Sign Language 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 Q33000 - 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 no indication Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Samples of BSL in use Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name "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 no 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 Europe/London "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.

Per the request already gaining support for a Wikipedia in ASL / Signwriting, I propose we do the same for British Sign Language. Most of the arguments put forward by the ASL supporters are exactly the same, people not having knowledge of English or preferring to use their own language as recognised by their community. Plus, if you do an ASL Wikipedia, a BSL one is gonna be an requirement asset, since most BSL users don't understand American Sign Language, and vice versa.

Arguments in favour

  • Well, if you are looking for some one who speaks British Sign Language then it's here. Most arguments against said if there is some one for Sign Language then you can approve, now I'm here, I can speak Sign Language (that doesn't mean I'm deaf or dumb). Aviyal (talk) 19:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Arguments against

There is an actual request, it's here. I am not out to make a point, I am out to level the playing field. As I said at the ASL request, I have basic knowledge of BSL even if I'm not a native speaker, nor indeed deaf. The 2 languages are not interchangeable, so a BSL version would be an asset, assuming of course that the ASL one gets off the floor. I want to know if the language is eligible and if so, I will make preparations to incubate it and start one. BarkingFish 23:00, 1 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • A. pointless, deaf people can read and one would have to use english to represent the signs anyway. B. It is a different way of writing the same stuff as english wikipedia, different scripts are not entitled to seperate wikipedias I.E. both Hanja and latinised russian have been rejected on this reason.

Other discussion


The notion that when an ASL Wikipedia is granted a BSL would be required is a fallacy. They ARE distinct languages and there is no automatism involved in granting one when the other is granted. At that there is also Australian sign language.. Thanks, GerardM 00:01, 2 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Ok, so maybe requirement is the wrong word. But making a BSL wiki available would be an asset I believe, since BSL users attempting to read the ASL one would be headscratching. I feel that it would be a welcome option to proceed with, and am currently looking into preparing a wiki using the same system proposed for the ASL one, which is apparently totally multilingual in its range, being used in everything from ASL to Ethiopian Sign, GDS (German) and Norwegian (NTS). BarkingFish 01:11, 2 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Which writing system would you use? --Millosh 05:02, 25 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

From the perspective of the Language committee, the project is eligible. However, you there is still no browser support for top-down writing systems, so you can use Sign Writing. If you are interested in making a work group for creating that support, please contact me: --Millosh 03:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Forgive my ignorance, but... how does one actually make an encyclopedia article in sign language "script" anyway? Are we talking about a page full of GIFs representing hand signs, or does it have its own grammar/character set? If the latter, would it be "easier" to simply have a translation portal of some sort, replacing the text characters with the appropriate BSL gesture animation? Kylu 03:28, 4 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
American, British and Finnish SL projects can't be started before browsers start to support top-down writing. AFAIK, SignWriting is on the way to be added in Unicode (or it has been already added). So, they'll need to wait for technical support. --Millosh 16:00, 14 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
70% of Wikimedia users use browsers that support top-to-bottom writing. --Yair rand (talk) 04:50, 1 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]



How is this eligible? There is no native speakers! Kanzler31 01:40, 19 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

w:British Sign Language claims 50,000 native speakers. What sources are you calling on?--Prosfilaes 22:07, 19 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I think Kanzler means that there are no native speakers interested in participating in this project, see the grey "proposal summary" box. Cbrown1023 talk 02:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly what Cbrown said. There is no native speakers supporting this project. Kanzler31 21:12, 20 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Eligibility means that it can be approved, *when* there is enough activity. SPQRobin (talk) 18:59, 18 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I can speak British Sign Language Fluently, so 1 point for British Sign Language. There will be more editors once the project starts. Aviyal (talk) 19:38, 25 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
This is untrue... there are numerous native speakers of BSL, including some folk who are not deaf, but have deaf parents etc. I do not know how this Wikipedia would work though. BSL is not a written language.-MacRusgail (talk) 16:11, 14 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]