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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia South Levantine Arabic

South levantive Arabic WikipediaEdit

main page Requests for new languages (Wikipedia South Levantine Arabic)
submitted verification final decision
  This proposal has been rejected.
This decision was taken by the language committee in accordance with the Language proposal policy based on the discussion on this page.

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

There are no people proposing this project and the request is a mix of North and South Levantine Arabic interest. They are two different languages.
Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

There are about 6 to 8 Million people of Lebanese descent who can communicate in the Lebanese Language. The Lebanese language belongs to the West and Central Semitic family of languages that includes the Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, & Arabic. Other forms of this spoken language include the Palestinian dialect, the Syrian Dialect to a lesser extent and the dialect spoken in Jordan to an even lesser extent. The Lebanese language is an amalgamation of various languages that passed over the Lebanon. It is a result of centuries of linguistic contaminations, and thus is the state of every living language today. The Lebanese Language is used in an extensive body of popular poetry, play production, popular music, television shows, and much much more. The Lebanese language is instrumental in the understanding of the rest of the dialects spoken in Palestine, Syria and Jordan.

Reading and Writing Lebanese is a very simple process. Actually, Lebanese reads very well in Latin Letters. These same letters were originally a Lebanese (Phoenician) invention.

Having wikipedia in Lebanese is a great way to protect a spoken language. We are a non profit group (LLI) willing to donate our time to translate as much as we can from the the other languages and have new pages about the lebanese history, culture and people

Arguments in favourEdit

  • Support SUpport, but where is the Native speaker? Azmi1995 02:53, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I am extending my full support for the project although I am not a native speaker of lebanese language. It would be a great chance to see the lebanese language fully recognized and standardized in a way that would benifit milions of speakers. lebanses is widely understood in the middle east and creating a wikipedia in lebanese would definitely widen the scope of target readers and help to share the knowledge between different peoples and cultures.Reagrds--Ramsis II 14:22, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I support the project & I have seen your web-site :)
I'm Egyptian & I would like you to see this page & discussion & tell me what do you think. Note that it's a non-professional ambitious work.
Haven't you thought of writing Lebanese in Phoenician script? Mahmudmasri 03:22, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I was not planning to give an opinion about this proposal until I see the development project , However I thought maybe the users who made the proposal did not know how to start the project.

As I already support the proposal in principal I have made a start to the project on the Incubator with the correct ISO code , I hope this will be of help to the wikipedia Lebnany users in achieving the best project they can .

Best wishes for success of the project. - Ghaly 12:12, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Support My support to this project is based on a couple of arguments. The first argument is that the state of diglossia that the "Arab countries" are living in, works against the thinking process. There are two languages, one which is the classical Arabic, and this is considered in high respect, and the other is the spoken language, and this is considered in low respect. I can draw parallels here between this state of languages, and the state of some of the European languages, such as the Italian, the French and the Spanish. In the beginning of the 14th century through the works of Dante Dante Alighieri, in a time where such a language was considered a vulgar form of Latin, or simply put, a Latin dialect. Thus was also the state of the French language, as well as the Spanish language where they have evolved from vulgar or dialects of Latin.

In the case of the European languages, the development occurred as an off chute of the Latin language, today considered a dead language, whereas the Lebanese did not even evolve from the Arabic languages, it simply developed along similar lines. At one point in time the Arabic language influenced and supplemented the Lebanese language.

The classical Arabic language is not spoken in any single Arab country today. It is solely the language of institutions, and I believe that, even with it being a great language, such as Latin was at one point in time, it is bound to give way to more localized languages within the middle east, the Arabian peninsula, and north Africa. This is what happens to languages, it's a cycle.

To deny the evolution of the Lebanese language is to go against the tide. It is bound to happen, and it is prime time that it should.

On another angle, this argument is a highly political argument. But, most of the people argue against the Lebanese language from an Arabic nationalistic perspective. The political agenda of the Arab nationalists, who see the Arabic language as a political tool. The other side of the spectrum has used the Lebanese language as a tool to distance themselves from the Arab nationalists. Yet, the mere linguistic fact remains that the Lebanese language has evolved beyond the Arabic language and it deserves recognition.

Arguments againstEdit

  • Oppose Ok .. I think Wikimedia begins to break its original rule regarding languages version by establishing Egybtian arabic accent version .. and that is what opens discussions for all these arabic accents .. again they are accents not languages ... try to consult linguists to know exactly what is the differnece between language and an accent ... the future of such projects is like egyprian arabic now .. it is just a blog for few mebers to spread their own propaganda against the Pan-arabism and political issue in egypt .. in spite they have a space to express that in official arabic version ... regarding lebanese version .. can some body tell me how could be different from syrian version if i request it .. the difference between lebanese accesnt and syrian accent is just few words ... if you want to make a separate wikipedia for each country then change the policy of language aspects or why I dont apply for damascene wikepedia cause tehre is differnece between accent of Damscus and accent of Aleppo and accent of Homs .. and ya Accent of Deir al-Zur which is more similar to iraqi accents ... what about Mousli accent and baghdad accent ... ohh my god I can apply now for more than 100 arabic languages loool .. do you see how do you misunderstand the whole situation .. and all of that is invoked by approval of what u call egyptian arabic accent version which its owner doesnt know if they will keep writing in arabic letters or using invented latin script lool .. good luck --Chaos 10:25, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I would appreciate it if people discussing proposals for Arabic colloquial Wikipedias would refrain from using linguistically inappropriate words like "accent" and "slang" (see previous discussion at Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Egyptian Arabic). AnonMoos 00:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with the above argument of Chaos. I would re-phrase it in a different way:
  • First, the Ethnologue entry refers to it as «Arabic, North Levantine Spoken», which implies it is not written. I didn't find an explicit requirement in Language proposal policy that a language should be written to be proposed*); however, in my view, this would represent a kind of original research or, rather, an attempt to create a written language starting from Wikipedia. I do not think the purpose of Wikipedia is creation of new languages.
  • Second, in the same Ethnologue entry it is stated: «There is an urban standard dialect based on Damascus speech». Damascus dialect does belong to North Levantine Spoken; but it is obviously not Lebanese: Levant and Lebanon are not exactly the same. Thus, I believe the language code used for Wikipedia Lebnany in fact refers to Damascene, aka Shamiyyeh, group of dialects rather than to Lebanese as such (BTW, Beiruti is also mentioned; but again it is not the same as Lebanese). So would Ghaly kindly edit his claim above to read «I have made a start to the project on the Incubator with the correct an incorrect ISO code»?
  • Third, in the supporting web link to Lebanese Language Institute you can note that the proposed script is Latin-based (which surprised me, as on the home page an image of Phoenician alphabet is displayed). I doubt this script is used anywhere beyond this site. In addition, the long /i/ phoneme is to be represented by 'ii' letter; however in the entry for 'y' letter you may note that the example, 'Yamïn', «ï» is used instead of the «ii», and the former is not included in the proposed alphabet (same applies to «Kïfak»). A rather poor result for «the culmination of several years of research, modification, testing and implementation», innit? Besides, I failed to find any information about the Institute itself on their site; no contact details, no address, no names, nothing... A clandestine organisation?
  • Last but not least, I believe that all Arabic, North Levantine speakers who can read at all will find it more comfortable to understand texts in Modern Standard Arabic. --Abanima 13:08, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
How Ethnologue calls something is not as relevant as how it is called on the SIL website. This is what is in the standard. SIL calls it North Levantine Arabic. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GerardM (talk)
  • Oppose I will not talk here a lot, but I will say that there are too many Arabic dialects out there in the Arab World. Non of them is used to write any sort of whatsoever sientific material. On the Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia the article on "Egyptian Arabic" declares that it is a "language" and they have put a source which actually buts Egyptian Arabic in the group of Arabic dialects. They are also using Latin Alphabet to write Egyptian "Arabic" I see that as Original Research. And of Course, 98% of what is witten is actually pure Standard Arabic like what is written on Arabic Wikipedia. It will be the same thing with this proposed wiki.--Mohammed Ahmed 13:16, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • *) I striked through a phrase in my posting above about the requirement for a language to be written: the policy explicitly states: «there must be an extensive body of works in that language». Sorry. Abanima 19:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The Arabic Wikipedia is in need of more effort, breaking it up into smaller projects will just make it harder to make a complete Arabic resource.--Aa2-2004 14:21, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Other discussionEdit

Moderately skeptical: This request is much like Egyptian Arabic and Moroccan Arabic -- these languages are easily eligible on purely linguistic grounds (i.e. number of speakers, distinctness from other language varieties), but if there's no standardized orthography clearly distinct from the orthography of Classical Arabic, then the usefulness of a Wikipedia for them would be greatly impaired. This is because attempting to write dialectical Arabic with the standard Classical Arabic script, largely using standard Classical Arabic orthographical conventions, will always be a half-baked solution with many drawbacks and unsatisfactory results (negatives which are simply unresolvable within the Classical Arabic orthography system itself). In short, many of the distinctive features of each Arabic dialect will not be able to be written clearly and unambiguously, and it will look like an illiterate unsuccessful failing attempt to write Classical Arabic in the eyes of Classical Arabic purists. I strongly doubt whether an Arabic colloquial wikipedia will really be successful until and unless it adopts some kind of colloquial-specific orthography which is clearly distinct from Classical Arabic orthographic conventions. For an example of such a proposal for one Arabic dialect, see Nizar Habash's "Palestinian Arabic Spelling Standardization Project"... AnonMoos 13:36, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Very Skeptical: I agree with the above said by AnonMoos. There is no standardized grammer or orthography for this language, there is no Academy for it, the so called "Lebanese Language Institute" isn't an official institute for this language, it resides in the USA and there site is a blog-like site (still in beta) and doesn't state any scientific research on which they base the information they post there.

Furthermore, the request itself is full of inaccuracy the might be misleading:

  • They claim that other forms of the lebanese language is Palestinian, Syrian dialects... then they add "The Lebanese language is instrumental in the understanding of the rest of the dialects.." : It sounds that Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian are dialects of the lebanese language -which would be funny cause it would mean that most of the speakers of Lebanese aren't lebanese- When the truth is that Lebanese/palestinian/Syrian are members of the Arabic Macrolanguage.
  • Lebanese reads very well in Latin Letters. These same letters were originally a Lebanese (Phoenician) invention.: Firstly, the Alphabet originated from old egyptian, thought the Phoenicians where involved in its development lately. However, Lebanese is a different language than Phoenician and the Latin alphabet is different than the Phoenician (although linked). This being said, I don't think Lebanese can be easily read in Latin (it has more letters etc...). It would make more sense using the arabic (but this is also problematic as AnonMoos has pointed out).
  • The writing system they suggest, isn't a standard one and isn't widespread (I don't think it has been used anywhere), wikipedia is an encyclopedia and isn't a place for experiments. I'm pretty sure there are more literature about writing in Klingon language than writing in lebenese -no offense-.

I don't dismiss these kind of wikipedias (egyptian, lebanese etc...) but to do so there must be a standard writing system, grammer etc.. (which they lack), Although it is used widely in the spoken media there are little written media using this language. --Histolo2 15:40, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

No CommunityEdit

As this proposal has been proposed by an anonymous coward, this proposal will not be considered without people indicating that it is them who propose and indicate their willingness to contribute to this project. Thanks, GerardM 12:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

This language is not about LebaneseEdit

The name of this language is "North Levantine Arabic" according to both SIL and Ethnologue. More people in Syria speak this language then in Lebanon. Restricting this project to only "Lebanon" as is currently reflected in the name is not really acceptable. Thanks, GerardM 13:29, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

In my view, the main problem remains: be it Levantine or Lebanese (Beiruti, Tripolitan, etc.), neither is a written language: they don't have recognised writing systems. The other problem is the apparent absence of interested contributors. Abanima 17:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I have corrected the name and I hope the user who proposed it will come out and say what is the plan for this proposed wikipedia , I think I have nothing else to add after that to this page in general as I offered help to show the interested users how to start. - 16:41, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • You haven't changed the title of the proposed encyclopedia on its main page. There, it's still Lebanese with a strong Egyptian accent :))) Abanima 17:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Besides, I think Levantine (whether north or whatever) will need a separate application. On this page (see page title) we are discussing the Libanese Wikipedia. I will appreciate if you restore the See also to its original state. --Abanima 19:50, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

We do not discuss a Lebanese Wikipedia. Such a proposal will be rejected. GerardM 06:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

But I believe, Levantine, if proposed, will need a separate application anyway? We are not going to discuss it here are we? --Abanima 11:40, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


looooooooool .. it seems egyptian not lebanese wikimedia begins to produce comedian projects --Chaos 09:05, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


maybe Ghali should see some lebanese series b4 he tries 2 start the main page .. just trying 2 help continuing the play professionaly --Chaos 09:09, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I move the page project to the correct name South Levantine arabic. --- Crazymadlover.

But the people above said that the correct name was North Levantine Arabic...   -- AnonMoos 14:58, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Rename this proposal or put it on holdEdit

Unless there is something inherent in the actual South Levantine Arabic that makes it impossible to make a Wikipedia project on, I think this proposal should either be renamed, or the "South Levantine Arabic" should be put on hold. This Palestinian academic is coming up with a standardized way of writing "Palestinian Arabic" so maybe this can be applied to South Levantine Arabic? WhisperToMe (talk) 04:36, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

See alsoEdit

Wikipedia North Levantine project on the Incubator

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.