Submissions/Minority Language Wikimedia sites using Chinese Wikipedias as an Example

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This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.

64

Title of the submission
Minority Language Wikimedia sites using Chinese Wikipedias as an Example
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
presentation
Author of the submission
Alan Lai and Deryck Chan
E-mail address
alancylai@gmail.com
Username
User:28481k, User:Deryck_Chan
Country of origin
Hong Kong
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Hong Kong / Wikimania 2013 organizing team
Personal homepage or blog
http://twitter.com/28481k
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikimedia projects are multilingual in nature, but as of today, they are still heavily skewed towards major languages due to the congregation of users in those languages. However, there are many minority languages whose users would want the same kind of Wikimedia resources as major language users even though most of them are also users of more prominent Wikimedia projects.

There are 284 languages in Wikipedia to date. However, only about 40 languages have more than 100,000 articles in their Wikipedia. This indicates a massive imbalance in information symmetry. Therefore it is imperative for minority language editions of Wikipedia to grow in order to provide native language access of information.

Chinese languages Wikipedias are an excellent example of a multilingual approach into Wikipedia. Chinese is a major macro-language in the world with many regional languages, and although Modern Written Chinese is regarded as a major literary vehicle in China, many Chinese speakers are also native speakers of regional languages. This provided an opportunity for regional languages supporters to start their own Wikipedias.

It might be facile to claim that Chinese regional languages are minority languages. Indeed, many regional languages such as Cantonese, Wu (Shanghainese as an example), Min (including Taiwanese Hoklo and South East Asian Hokkien) have millions of speakers in each of the languages, which would be respectable and healthy if they were other countries, but in a country where there is a national language to promote these regional languages can be perilous indeed.

The growth of minority language Wikipedia can been seen as a cultural assertion against major languages, either seeking political or cultural independence. This is also apparent in the Chinese regional language Wikipedias that I am about to illustrate, from the choice of orthography to the coverage of articles, they show the assertion as opposed to the majority culture.

Track
  • WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes
Slides or further information (optional)
to be filled in.
Special request as to time of presentations


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