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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia North Frisian 2

North Frisian Wikipedia and WiktionaryEdit

See also the third request (approved).
main page Requests for new languages (Wikipedia North Frisian 2)
submitted verification final decision
  This proposal has been closed as part of a reform of the request process.
This request has not necessarily been rejected, and new requests are welcome. This decision was taken by the language committee in accordance with the Language proposal policy.

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

This discussion was created before the implementation of the Language proposal policy, and it is incompatible with the policy. Please open a new proposal in the format this page has been converted to (see the instructions). Do not copy discussion wholesale, although you are free to link to it or summarise it (feel free to copy your own comments over). —{admin} Pathoschild 02:30, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Proposal summary
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Having started a test-wiki, I would like to propose a North Frisian Wikipedia and Wiktionary. The latter will be necesarry to cope with the large differences between the North Frisian dialects. I will mainly do coordinative work, as I did with the Sater Frisian Wikipedia. User:Pyt will collaborate at this project.



  • Oppose. I do love North Frisian, though. I will change my vote if the following conditions are met:
    • Native speakers are found
    • Insular varieties are not included -- having Söl`ring and Öömrang and Ferring etc. will only serve to complicate things to an impossible level. Just as Shetlandic dialects are excluded from Scots Wikipedia. I know they are all very small, but I am sure we will find some solution or another for them. Hey, after all, if we can have a Saterfrisian WP, why couldn't we have a Söl`ring WP or an Öömrang-Ferring WP at some point in the future? But for right now, I think this must be limited to the mainland dialects.
  • But I do wish you luck, unconditionally. --Node ue 18:47, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
The system of many dialects in one Wiki is successfully employed for Dutch Low Saxon, see e.g. the Stellingwervian category. Pyt 00:32, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, first of all, "Dutch Low Saxon" dialects are far less divergent than North Frisian dialects. Second of all, even in their case, there has been some deficiencies. Over of a quarter of the articles there are written in West Veluws. Nearly another quarter are written in Stellingwervish. It is a poor situation that 75% of the content at this Wiki is in 4 dialects, to the exclusion of 5 others, who only have 25% of the content (6% of content is in Twents.) If it could be ensured that each dialect would be exactly equally represented, in terms of number of articles and which articles (so, for example, writing 1000 articles on places on Söl' in Söl'ring is not equal to writing 1000 articles about international politics, physics, and biology in Mooring), it might be a good idea. But it simply does not work. It is not inviting to the end user. You can only try to unify a Wiki to a certain extent, and in my opinion it is very poorly done in most cases, the only exception being Serbo-Croatian (where dialectal forms are often alternated in the same sentence, which although a bit awkward ensures equal coverage). All Wikis must: 1) Select a standard to elevate at the expense of other dialects, or 2) Opt for a more pluralistic approach. #2 does not work well in situations of larger dialect differences. If you are dealing with a language such as Scots, limited to the varieties of mainland Scotland, dialectal variation is no trouble because it is relatively small in written form. Dutch Low Saxon may pose more problems, but at least its dialects are still relatively close. However, with North Frisian, I hesitate to even call it a language. That is because it really can't be considered one. It is 4 different languages, as far as % cognation goes -- basically Mainland (including Halligen Frisian), Öömrang-Fering, Sölring, and Halunder. It's not acceptable to try to squish them all into one Wiki. --Node ue 17:31, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Node, I understand your concern - and share it. The differences between the various North Frisian dialects are massive and probably difficult to cope with for the average speaker. However, we thought one Wikipedia for all dialects would be better than two or even more Wikipedias for several individual variants. First of all: North Frisian is with at best 10,000 speakers a very small language. It will already be very difficult to gather some willing contributors for all dialects together, let alone for single dialects. Second: In North Frisia, tri- and even quadrilinguality is quite common. People grow up speaking Frisian, Platt and High German and learn English later. This means they are much more familiar with different but similar languages than say, the average Arizona resident. Third: creating two Wikipedias, one for mainland and one for insular North Frisian will not solve the problem. Within these two groups, large differences also appear. Söl'ring (perhaps 500 speakers) and Halunder (700 speakers at best) are not mutually intelligible with each other and with the much stronger Feering-Öömrang. Same goes for Hallig Frisian (only tens of speakers!), which may be a mainland Frisian variant but is not so easily intelligible by Mooring speakers. Must we create different pedias for those variants as well? That's highly uncooperative...
You say it would be better, but you don't provide any evidence. You can't just lump languages together because there are very few speakers. You yourself admit that they are not mutually intelligible with each other!! This is unworkable in a Wiki situation!!!! Also, I'm highly insulted by your statement about "the average Arizona resident". This is almost ad hominem. Arizona is irrelevant -- North Frisian is not indigenous to Arizona. Also, I doubt you've done any demographic research on language usage in Arizona. Just because you know Platt and German and your own Frisian dialect, does not magically allow you to understand languages you do not know! I do not propose to create one Wiki for Insular dialects and another for Mainland. Rather, I think we should start with one for Mainland, and worry about insular varieties later. There will probably be considerably less demand in that area, and we can deal with it as it comes. But it is completely unworkable to force Söl'ring and Mooring in the same Wiki. It's like if I told you you should combine nl.wp and fy.wp!
Of course we have thought of a solution. We will certainly include large pages about the various dialects which can be consulted by confused readers. On top of every page or alinea (if the article is written in more than one dialect). And it is not umsonst that we request a Wiktionary as well. We want to create a sort of comprehensive database in which words from other dialects can be easily looked up. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 09:21, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
After this, with all of your "we", I have reached another interesting discovery -- it seems that by "we" you mean "Pyt and I". Another concern I raised above is that no native speakers have requested this Wiki! If you wish to have a single Wiki for all north frisian varieties, it is my belief that you must consult carefully with representatives of each dialect first as to whether this is desirable or even possible. My guess is that they will tell you to forget about it. This is not the way minority languages are to be handled. Just because one language is related to another, does not mean we lump them together, so long as they are not mutually intelligible. And also I would beg to differ about Söl'ring, Halunder, and Ferring-Öömrang being unintelligible. In spoken form, yes, I am aware that intelligibility is difficult if at all possible. But from personal observations, it seems that in written form the separations between them are similar to the various Norman varieties. Note that this does NOT include the mainland varities, which are basically a separate phylum.
So please abandon this request, both of you, until you can get some advice, support, and assistance from North Frisians, both islanders and mainlanders. I urge you. --Node
And after all, we can always consider breaking up the wiki later, when enough people are contributing. Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 10:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Why wait? It makes more sense to start a Mainland North Frisian WP. If people want any other North Frisian variety, it is up to their judgement to request. But again as I said before, let's wait for native speakers. You guys are being hasty. We just got native speaker support for Saterfrisian. What is your hurry!? --Node
I am not really familiar with the North Fresian dialect situation. That said, let me share an idea that might be applicable to the North Fresian variants as well. It is similar to what Chinese and Serbian already have. With those, you can select a script (traditional or simplified Chinese) or a dialect + a script (Latin or Cyrillic) and have the entire texts of articles displayed in that dialect+script automatically. Software takes care of the necessary conversions.
This can be done by simple rule-based transliteration, by dictionary lookup, or a combination thereof.
Propositions exist, to apply this principle to many more dialect groups. I had a lengthy talk with GerardM 'father of' Wiktionaryz about that, see also here, Section "Some more on non-standard orthography". I for one am convinced that, for some (or many) variants of the Ripuarian dialect continuum e.g., this provides a good method to have a store one, display multiple approach which is likely to turn out far supperior to having to translate every article individually into every local dialect, where there are differences but they are not huge.
What is needed to make this happen is a good documentation of how the variants are spellt. Programmers and programs need reference material. So I agree with your approach to have such data collected. I for one would suggest to put e.g. boxes into the Wikipedia articles where lemmas are translated into various dialects, so as to make them visible and likely to be filled in. Programs will later use these boxes contents to build a dictionary. A separate Wiktionary might be an additional option for those words that make no good lemmas, but maybe the same information could as well be derived from translated articles or sections. --Purodha Blissenbach 11:46, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Purodha, this can of course work to some extent, but functionality becomes difficult when you encounter syntactic grammatical differences as well. Insular North Frisian varieties can very well be termed individual "microlanguages" (in that they have small numbers of speakers, but are not mutually intelligible). Besides, to what extent inter-dialect translation should be used or not is quite a slippery slope. Should we have one Wiki for all Western Germanic languages? No? Then what about perhaps all West Middle German varieties? We already have 4 Wikipedias (and 1 proposed new one) in these languages. But they all have greater mutual intelligibility than Insular North Frisian varieties. Their grammar and syntax is similar enough that a converter for just vocab would surely work. It saves space and makes for cooperation. If you looked at a tree with cognation rates, the WMG languages would be much closer to one another than the individual INF varieties (not to mention their mainland counterparts!). --Node
Long ago I learned Mooring North Frisian by reading a periodical and knowing only West Frisian, Dutch, and a bit English. At that time, I had no dictionary, grammar, or learning book available. I am really not a polyglot, so I feel we don't need to fear too much for reading problems in this case. After all, North Frisians are people familiar with a bilingual situation too.--Pyt 18:09, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, then, why not combine the West Frisian, North Frisian, and Dutch Wikis? Just because you can _learn_ to read it with a little practice at reading it, does not mean it is convenient. As I said before, no native speaker requested this Wiki, and it all seems a little hasty. Stq.wp really could use some help right now -- just because it has one user doesn't mean you should abandon it. --Node
Seems a logical conclusion, but the North Frisian dialects (perhaps apart from Halunder) share one regional community, which the others don't. I expect native speakers to take over soon (already and then I will return to Wp/stq. --Pyt 11:39, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Hey, still another one:; I thought it was me, but it isn't. I don't know why they stay anonymous; perhaps to get used to Wikipedia. --Pyt 12:35, 12 November 2006 (UTC)