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Pt-Portuguese Wikipedia

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Mark Williamson
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 03:06:32

- - - - - Forwarded message - - - - -
From: Manuel Coutinho [...]
Date: Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM
Subject: Pt-Portuguese Wikipedia
To: [...]

Dear Node,

It has come to my attention quite some time ago that the Portuguese version of wikipedia is being overrun with articles written in Brazilian Portuguese, some of which I have corrected myself but the problem has, long since grown out of control.

I'm writting to suggest the creation of a new version of wikipedia in Portuguese from Portugal, in an attempt to provide Portuguese users with articles written in their correct version of the dialect.

I don't know why this hasn't been already implemented since the language options on the control panel when you create a new wikipedia user create that distinction already.

I hope that you take this under consideration and provide me with the guidelines to start this project.

I'm sure that i will be able to find supporters that are willing to start the process of translating already existing articles as well as creating new ones.

Thank you very much.

Yours trully,

Manuel A. C. Coutinho
Designer de Comunicação
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InstantDesign* Comunicação e Equipamento
www.instdesign.com

T +351 93 479 90 66


Milos Rancic
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 06:21:46

Is it possible to formalize differences in present technology at some reasonable level?


oscar
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:13:50

it the two are mixed, how to know which one to split off? one can also consider to rename the domain and split of portuguese portuguese with a separate project to be started from scratch.

in other words: to decide which (sub)community has to start all over is not an easy decision.

very best,
oscar


Gerard Meijssen
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:35:21

Hoi,
Having two wikipedias for the same language is not allowed within the rules of the language policy. The premise that an article on the pt.wikipedia.orgis in Portuguese Portuguese is a fallacy. It would be the same as stating that every article on the English language Wikipedia is in American English. It is not.

Milos in his reply is looking for a way out of this conundrum by technical means; effectively a tool that translates from one form of Portuguese into the other. Such a solution is for instance in use at the Serbian Wikipedia where the language is transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin script and the other way around.
Thanks,
GerardM


Milos Rancic
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:37:59

On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 9:13 AM, oscar <oscar at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> it the two are mixed, how to know which one to split off? one can also consider to rename the domain and split of portuguese portuguese with a separate project to be started from scratch.

> in other words: to decide which (sub)community has to start all over is not an easy decision.

Before anything else, it should be proved that those two varieties are distant enough to create separate projects. However, if it is just about some amount of lexics (which I suppose), it should be solved with conversion engine.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 12:59:22

[On Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:35], Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> Hoi,
> Having two wikipedias for the same language is not allowed within the rules of the language policy. The premise that an article on the pt.wikipedia.orgis in Portuguese Portuguese is a fallacy. It would be the same as stating that every article on the English language Wikipedia is in American English. It is not.

> Milos in his reply is looking for a way out of this conundrum by technical means; effectively a tool that translates from one form of Portuguese into the other. Such a solution is for instance in use at the Serbian Wikipedia where the language is transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin script and the other way around.
> Thanks,
> GerardM

I think it may be useful to note that the policy page on the the Portuguese wikipedia looks to the casual observer as if the folks on that wikipedia have expended some considerable thought on how to do this in the best possible manner:

http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Vers%C3%B5es_da_l%C3%ADngua_portuguesa

FWIW I do agree that of all the options the worst one would be to split into two projects. It could easily turn out that 50 % of European Portuguese speakers kept editing the old project, or even that only say a 10 % fringe group started editing the new European Portuguese only project. That would be a farce.

Speaking only for myself, I don't think a word substitution solution should be tried either, except as a very last resort, with a very strong community consensus that that is the only way forward. To me it seems from the policy page linked above, that the contributors themselves of that community have thought things out for themselves pretty well. Of course I have not followed the Portuguese wikis community closely, so I may be very wrong, in which case there shouldn't be a problem for the wikis rough majority consensus to emerge, and action to be taken based on that.

But in any case, nothing at all should be based on a single voice, there needs to be a multiplicity of viewpoints considered and consensus decision making employed.

Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen


Sir Lestaty de Lioncourt
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:20:47

Hello Milos,

The languages pt-pt and pt-br, they do not have a significant difference (pt-pt in general have a C in the words and pt-br no, among other things not very important).

The Portuguese Wikipedia have many internal problems and this is the reality for people always request a new wiki (See on MetaWiki, we have a lot of requests for a new Portuguese Wikipedia.).

A many time ago the language difference really was problem, now this is not more a problem. (See: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Language_Orthographic_Agreement_of_1990>).

I think the best option is the people from Portuguese Wikipedia make a resolution of your problems, but a new wiki dont is a solution for this.

Tonight I talked with people of both countries, and they do not agree with the separation, perhaps this is a wish of a single person.

Best regards
Lestaty de Lioncourt


David Goodman
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 16:58:36

If I understand the page in the ptWP correctly, they do not have the equivalent of the enWP rule that topics special to the UK, such as the article on London, are writing in the UK version of English, and those special to the US, like the article on New York City , are written in the American version of English (and analogously for Australian, Canadian, etc.). They do have the rule that if an article is started in one version it must be continued in that version--which in the enWP is supposed to be applied only to topics not special to one or another national version.

Have they considered it? It certainly simplifies things in the enWP, at least for those who can easily switch between the forms.

David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG


Sir Lestaty de Lioncourt
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 17:04:36

Yep, if you start a article in one version, this article must be continued in that version, but this is not a problem for the community (in the past yes, now no).

Lestaty de Lioncourt


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:01:35

Ever since Mark Williamson posted the message from Manuel Coutinho suggesting the creation of a new version of Wikipedia in Portuguese from Portugal, I have wondered if this list is the best place to discuss this matter.

This is a very serious and recurring issue:

2005: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Brazilian_Portuguese

2006: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Requests_for_new_languages/Archives/2006-11#Discussion_of_the_poll_concerning_the_creation_of_an_European_Portuguese_Wikipedia

2007: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_European_Portuguese

It also causes a lot of conflicts and animosity. There are heated discussions, with passionate and inflammatory statements that lead to exaggeration and uncorroborated «truths».

Perhaps the reason the issue keeps popping up is that, although it has been extensively «discussed», it has not been properly addressed, much less solved.

Perhaps the question is not the creation of a new version of Wikipedia, but to make the Portuguese Wikipedia appealing to all readers and writers (editors) of the Portuguese language. There might be solutions and proposals to address this problem which have been kept from seeing the light of day, for untold reasons.

It might be worthwhile to open a page where the discussion could be centralized. It would be nice if the page could be bilingual, with one section in English, to open the discussion to the wider Wikimedia community, and another in Portuguese, for those who lack enough command of the English language to participate in the broader discussion.

If anyone would be so kind as to suggest what that page might be and where it could be created, I would be more than happy to participate. Some statements have already been made in this list that require clarification.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Thomas Dalton
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:50:46

On 22 March 2010 19:01, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
> Perhaps the reason the issue keeps popping up is that, although it has been extensively «discussed», it has not been properly addressed, much less solved.

I think the reason it has never been addressed is that nobody outside the Portuguese community can see a problem. It all seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing. That means the wider Wikimedia community will never accept a two-wiki solution and the most obvious one-wiki solution is the one used by the English Wikipedia, namely: stop complaining and just write encyclopaedia articles. We're not going to indulge a community engaged in a childish argument about nothing.


Marcus Buck
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 20:24:47

I hope you speak Portuguese. Cause decisions like this should be made by people who know the language variants and their differences and not by outsiders. Leave the decision to the speakers of Portuguese. Anyway it seems that the majority of speakers does not want to split. Outsiders can assist by giving advice. E.g. how to minimize the problems that arise from the differences. But outsiders shouldn't impose decisions on the community.

Marcus Buck
User:Slomox


Thomas Dalton
Mon, 22 Mar 2010 20:49:26

I don't speak Portuguese, but that doesn't stop me knowing that different dialects of it are mutually intelligible. What happens with the existing project is a matter for that project's community, but the creation of a new project is a matter for the wider Wikimedia community.


Milos Rancic
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:53:19

On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 6:04 PM, Sir Lestaty de Lioncourt [...] wrote:
> Yep, if you start a article in one version, this article must be continued in that version, but this is not a problem for the community (in the past yes, now no).

At sr.wp we use the same rule in relation to writing articles in Cyrillic or Latin, Ekavian or Iyekavian, and even for transcription of foreign names or not. That rule removed a lot of tensions.


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 12:58:52

At 19:50 22-03-2010, [Thomas Dalton] wrote:
>> On 22 March 2010 19:01, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
>> Perhaps the reason the issue keeps popping up is that, although it has been extensively «discussed», it has not been properly addressed, much less solved.

> I think the reason it has never been addressed is that nobody outside the Portuguese community can see a problem. It all seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing. That means the wider Wikimedia community will never accept a two-wiki solution and the most obvious one-wiki solution is the one used by the English Wikipedia, namely: stop complaining and just write encyclopaedia articles. We're not going to indulge a community engaged in a childish argument about nothing.

I don't see any evidence that "nobody outside the Portuguese community can see a problem" unless one personal opinion should be considered proof.

The statement was not about anybody outside the Portuguese community seeing a problem, but that "the issue keeps popping up". The very fact that is being addressed here corroborates that statement. Examples of previous discussions were also provided spanning a period of five years. No evidence has been produced to the contrary, i.e., that the issue does not keep popping up.

If "it all seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing" that might be because appearances can be deceiving and burring your head in the sand or looking the other way will not make any existing problems go away, although everybody is entitled to ignore them. That's a very common attitude when the problems are not at your doorstep, although there's always the danger that they will eventually get there. Again, the very fact that this discussion is taking place here is a symptom that there is a fuss about something.

No statements were made concerning the creation or not of a "two-wiki solution". It's nice to know that someone believes that "the wider Wikimedia community will never accept a two-wiki solution". Hopefully not everybody will have such a preconceived idea and keep an open mind about the specific needs of specific projects. Until the problems and needs are properly accessed it is premature to dismiss any alternative solution.

Thank you so much for suggesting the "one-wiki solution [...] used by the English Wikipedia, namely: stop complaining and just write encyclopaedia articles." Assuming that you'll follow your own advice, your contributions to a constructive dialog will be sorely missed.

Indulgence can be an act of tolerance, a moderate form of respect, which is the basis for non-discrimination. As for childish arguments about nothing, there is something to be said for someone that bothered to address them. It is an example to be followed. If you do not engage youngsters in rational conversation often enough, even if it is about nothing, they might grow up to become rude adults or total morons.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 14:44:18

[On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 12:58], Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
> I don't see any evidence that "nobody outside the Portuguese community can see a problem" unless one personal opinion should be considered proof.

> The statement was not about anybody outside the Portuguese community seeing a problem, but that "the issue keeps popping up". The very fact that is being addressed here corroborates that statement. Examples of previous discussions were also provided spanning a period of five years. No evidence has been produced to the contrary, i.e., that the issue does not keep popping up.

There is also clear evidence that the community within the Portuguese wikipedia has a very good handle on the issue, for all that the fomentation around the European Portuguese issue seems to be perennial.

> If "it all seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing" that might be because appearances can be deceiving and burring your head in the sand or looking the other way will not make any existing problems go away, although everybody is entitled to ignore them. That's a very common attitude when the problems are not at your doorstep, although there's always the danger that they will eventually get there. Again, the very fact that this discussion is taking place here is a symptom that there is a fuss about something.

To me it seems that the great majority of people who are themselves on the Portuguese wikipedia do not think raising this issue time and again is a useful pastime. Thus the issue of whether you are or are not Portuguese language speaking yourself, seems to me a moot point.

> No statements were made concerning the creation or not of a "two-wiki solution". It's nice to know that someone believes that "the wider Wikimedia community will never accept a two-wiki solution". Hopefully not everybody will have such a preconceived idea and keep an open mind about the specific needs of specific projects. Until the problems and needs are properly accessed it is premature to dismiss any alternative solution.

I'll agree that "two-wiki solution" in this connection is very poor phrasing. Adding a European Portuguese only wikipedia wouldn't be a solution, and it wouldn't be "two-wiki", since I believe there currently exist *at least* two wikipedias relating to the Portuguese language grouping, namely Portuguese and Galician.

The issue is really whether how to discern the degree of apartness within the *many* Portuguese dialects, including not only European and Brazilian but the African, creole Portuguese etc, and which can not reasonably be expected to be able to contribute within the default Portuguese wikipedia.

One does not need to dismiss a proposed solution, to point out the inherent problems with it. And creating a European Portuguese only wikipedia would create many problems, of such weight, that though not dismissing the concept as a theoretical possibility, it is easy to weigh the pros and the cons, and come to a fair *evaluation* that it would be a very problematic "solution".

My personal evaluation tends to be that an European only wikipedia is not a good solution, though I am not sure about the African Portuguese or the Creole Portuguese cases -- purely because I have not at all studied the issues with those. I would agree that there is still perhaps too much resistance towards creating separate wikipedias for creoles, dialects and the like -- in the general case -- though I don't think a European Portuguese only wikipedia is a case where it is ideally justified.

Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:30:18

At 20:24 22-03-2010, Marcus Buck wrote:
> [On Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:50], Thomas Dalton hett schreven:
>> I think the reason it has never been addressed is that nobody outside the Portuguese community can see a problem. It all seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing. That means the wider Wikimedia community will never accept a two-wiki solution and the most obvious one-wiki solution is the one used by the English Wikipedia, namely: stop complaining and just write encyclopaedia articles. We're not going to indulge a community engaged in a childish argument about nothing.

> I hope you speak Portuguese. Cause decisions like this should be made by people who know the language variants and their differences and not by outsiders. Leave the decision to the speakers of Portuguese. Anyway it seems that the majority of speakers does not want to split. Outsiders can assist by giving advice. E.g. how to minimize the problems that arise from the differences. But outsiders shouldn't impose decisions on the community.

> Marcus Buck
> User:Slomox

The ability to speak Portuguese is really not a requirement to participate in a serious discussion about many problems concerning the Portuguese Wikipedia. There are millions of people who speak Portuguese, but are total or functional analphabets. I would not consider that they meet the requirements needed to engage in such a discussion. On the other hand, there are many people who might not speak Portuguese, but are the most knowledgeable about the Portuguese language. Ain't that a shame? Now, go figure.

I agree with the statement that "decisions like this should be made by people who know the language variants and their differences". People of average intelligence should be able to make an informed decision, if those variants and differences are clearly stated and explained to them. They will then be in the know, too.

The concept of "outsiders" is more difficult to grasp. If "outsiders" means people who don't "know the language variants and their differences", I'm afraid that will exclude a very large percentage of the most active editors of the Portuguese Wikipedia and a lot of them will not be capable of making an informed decision any time soon.

Leaving the decision to the speakers of Portuguese is perhaps a statement inspired in self rule and democracy, but those concepts are hardly understood, much less applied, in the conditions most speakers of Portuguese live in this very day. As for the practices in the Portuguese Wikipedia I'll already address that topic on another occasion. One might consider, on the other hand, that the generalization of such policy would make irrelevant all international organizations. The Wikimedia Foundation happens to be an international organization, by its very nature and basic principles. The fact that there have been posts made to this list, about the subject, by an international group, also goes to show that the problem and the solution concerns more people than strictly those who speak Portuguese. That would be a complete and total disaster, for reasons already explained.

If one truly believes in self rule and democracy, the assertion that "it seems that the majority of speakers does not want to split." is a real mystery. If those questions got to be decided by majorities, we all would probably end up with a single Wikipedia... in Chinese. Please, spare me of the fixation on to split or not to split. That might not be the question. Again and again I see people avoiding the issue of clearly identifying the problems, looking for appropriate solutions, and proposing and supporting informed decisions.

The notion that "Outsiders can assist by giving advice." brings to mind so many examples of "foreign advisers" that I shudder at the thought. After a childish epithet, all that was needed was a paternalistic one. Writing from a country with almost nine hundred years and being part of a nation much older and greater, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to spare my humbler and less literate countrymen and women from that embarrassing position. Let me assure you that we take pride in honoring our hospitality traditions and love to talk with our equals and people without pretenses, mostly if they happen to be false.

There is merit in proclaiming that the problems that arise from differences should be minimized, although it's kind of difficult to decide on "how" until it is clearly and completely known "what".

As for decisions imposed by outsiders on the community, that again all depends on how outsiders and community are defined, but no matter which way you look at it, that's exactly what's been going on.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:12:06

At 20:49 22-03-2010, [Thomas Dalton] wrote:
> I don't speak Portuguese, but that doesn't stop me knowing that different dialects of it are mutually intelligible. What happens with the existing project is a matter for that project's community, but the creation of a new project is a matter for the wider Wikimedia community.

It is gratifying to know that someone is so sure that different dialects of Portuguese are mutually intelligible. I speak more than one language and have never able to understand all native speakers of any language both in speech and writing. How dumb of me.

Blind non-interventionist policies have spelled disaster for countless minorities, but some people will get a better feeling for it when Spanish becomes the language of the majority of US citizens, as they already are when that is happening in their town, county or state.

I understand that the topic started with a suggestion to create "a new version of Wikipedia in Portuguese from Portugal", but I can't fail to notice that, for the wider Wikimedia community, avoiding to address any of problems of the Portuguese Wikipedia, might be very convenient to keep it where it is, mired in problems. We all have problems of our own, right? Why bother?

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 17:14:15

[On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:12], Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
> I understand that the topic started with a suggestion to create "a new version of Wikipedia in Portuguese from Portugal", but I can't fail to notice that, for the wider Wikimedia community, avoiding to address any of problems of the Portuguese Wikipedia, might be very convenient to keep it where it is, mired in problems. We all have problems of our own, right? Why bother?

While it may be true that not all contributors in this thread have written with perfect comprehension of the specific situation, I do think the above characterization of possible motivations is frankly beyond the pale.

Please understand that nobody -- really nobody -- wishes for Portuguese Wikipedia to remain mired in problems.

Personally I do believe that notwithstanding that, the best experts on how to heal the rifts within the Portuguese Wikipedia might not come from the outside. That is my personal view, lacking a believable plan of action for how the foundation or some other external part of the larger community could effect a healing action on the Portuguese community.

Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 18:30:59

At 04:53 23-03-2010, [Milos Rancic] wrote:
> At sr.wp we use the same rule in relation to writing articles in Cyrillic or Latin, Ekavian or Iyekavian, and even for transcription of foreign names or not. That rule removed a lot of tensions.

This is a very interesting suggestion and the recognition that it is important to remove tensions is very commendable.

Unfortunately I haven't heard of any plans for Cyrillic to be adopted to write Portuguese. Now consider that Latin characters were use by 200 million people and Cyrillic by 20 million. If you were someone who reads and writes in Cyrillic, would you like to use an encyclopedia where you might find 10 articles written with Latin characters for each one written in Cyrillic? Wouldn't you say there might be trend for both Cyrillic readers and writers to abandon that encyclopedia? Would you consider that a desirable outcome?

Suppose, furthermore, that the 20 million Cyrillic readers and writers can also read and write in Latin characters, but the opposite is not true. That is, the 200 million readers and writers who use Latin characters have a lot of trouble reading and/or writing in Cyrillic. Would you foresee a long life for Cyrillic articles? Would you consider that a desirable outcome?

Fortunately we don't have Cyrillic, but you might have started to get the picture, because the 200 and 20 million are real numbers.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:58:52

At 14:44 23-03-2010, [Jussi-Ville Heiskanen] wrote:
> [On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 12:58], Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
> > I don't see any evidence that "nobody outside the Portuguese community can see a problem" unless one personal opinion should be considered proof.

> > The statement was not about anybody outside the Portuguese community seeing a problem, but that "the issue keeps popping up". The very fact that is being addressed here corroborates that statement. Examples of previous discussions were also provided spanning a period of five years. No evidence has been produced to the contrary, i.e., that the issue does not keep popping up.

> There is also clear evidence that the community within the Portuguese wikipedia has a very good handle on the issue, for all that the fomentation around the European Portuguese issue seems to be perennial.

> > If "it all seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing" that might be because appearances can be deceiving and burring your head in the sand or looking the other way will not make any existing problems go away, although everybody is entitled to ignore them. That's a very common attitude when the problems are not at your doorstep, although there's always the danger that they will eventually get there. Again, the very fact that this discussion is taking place here is a symptom that there is a fuss about something.

> To me it seems that the great majority of people who are themselves on the Portuguese wikipedia do not think raising this issue time and again is a useful pastime. Thus the issue of whether you are or are not Portuguese language speaking yourself, seems to me a moot point.

> > No statements were made concerning the creation or not of a "two-wiki solution". It's nice to know that someone believes that "the wider Wikimedia community will never accept a two-wiki solution". Hopefully not everybody will have such a preconceived idea and keep an open mind about the specific needs of specific projects. Until the problems and needs are properly accessed it is premature to dismiss any alternative solution.

> I'll agree that "two-wiki solution" in this connection is very poor phrasing. Adding a European Portuguese only wikipedia wouldn't be a solution, and it wouldn't be "two-wiki", since I believe there currently exist *at least* two wikipedias relating to the Portuguese language grouping, namely Portuguese and Galician.

> The issue is really whether how to discern the degree of apartness within the *many* Portuguese dialects, including not only European and Brazilian but the African, creole Portuguese etc, and which can not reasonably be expected to be able to contribute within the default Portuguese wikipedia.

> One does not need to dismiss a proposed solution, to point out the inherent problems with it. And creating a European Portuguese only wikipedia would create many problems, of such weight, that though not dismissing the concept as a theoretical possibility, it is easy to weigh the pros and the cons, and come to a fair *evaluation* that it would be a very problematic "solution".

> My personal evaluation tends to be that an European only wikipedia is not a good solution, though I am not sure about the African Portuguese or the Creole Portuguese cases -- purely because I have not at all studied the issues with those. I would agree that there is still perhaps too much resistance towards creating separate wikipedias for creoles, dialects and the like -- in the general case -- though I don't think a European Portuguese only wikipedia is a case where it is ideally justified.

> Yours,

> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

Sorry, but I could not grasp the argument "that the fomentation around the European Portuguese issue seems to be perennial" is "clear evidence that the community within the Portuguese wikipedia has a very good handle on the issue." Does it mean that if a problem doesn't go away it's because it is well handled?

I'm glad someone considers addressing matters of one's language a pastime and salute the agreement that you don't have to know Portuguese to engage in such pastime. Everybody should have a hobby of some kind. Writing to a mailing list could be one. I do have other things to do, but this is so much more fun.

Nice try that of mentioning Galician, but that is a controversial issue and I would not touch it with a ten foot pole. It would also make you terribly unpopular in a lot of Spanish circles of power. There might be a mistake in the statement that those two wikipedias relate to the Portuguese language grouping. I believe the non-controversial wording is Portuguese-Galician language grouping.

I read with great interest the considerations about "how to discern the degree of apartness within the *many* Portuguese dialects", that it is "easy to weigh the pros and the cons [,of creating a European Portuguese only wikipedia] and come to a fair *evaluation* that it would be a very problematic "solution". I was very entertained by a "personal evaluation" and that someone of great authority in these matters doesn't "think a European Portuguese only wikipedia is a case where it is ideally justified." One must be really clever to reach all those conclusion so easily. I surely don't have an answer for that, myself, but would love to see, and I am willing to contribute to a serious study of the problem.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Chris Lee
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 21:03:11

As an example, maybe an article, possibly a featured one on the site be assigned to a few Brazilian Portuguese speakers to edit and to a few European Portuguese speakers to edit to their respective dialects, AND not on content. Measures could be taken to check that these are not biased 'separatist' editors, and then at least we can assess the severity of the issue.

And since most of this discussion is between non native speakers of either dialect (as the en community seems to be policing the wiki-world (not much different from the real world...)) hopefully there is at least one Portuguese-English speaker who can relay the findings back to us non speakers?

Just a thought.


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 22:51:29

At 17:14 23-03-2010, [Jussi-Ville Heiskanen] wrote: > [On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:12:06 ]Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:

> > I understand that the topic started with a suggestion to create "a new version of Wikipedia in Portuguese from Portugal", but I can't fail to notice that, for the wider Wikimedia community, avoiding to address any of problems of the Portuguese Wikipedia, might be very convenient to keep it where it is, mired in problems. We all have problems of our own, right? Why bother?

> While it may be true that not all contributors in this thread have written with perfect comprehension of the specific situation, I do think the above characterization of possible motivations is frankly beyond the pale.

> Please understand that nobody -- really nobody -- wishes for Portuguese Wikipedia to remain mired in problems.

> Personally I do believe that notwithstanding that, the best experts on how to heal the rifts within the Portuguese Wikipedia might not come from the outside. That is my personal view, lacking a believable plan of action for how the foundation or some other external part of the larger community could effect a healing action on the Portuguese community.

> Yours,

> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

I absolutely agree. My "characterization of possible motivations is frankly beyond the pale." In fact it is a very rosy characterization. There is proof buried in this mailing list and in my mailboxes of utter indifference, if not outright contempt for the problems of a Wikipedia in a "foreign" language, from the subscribers of this list all the way up to the highest levels of responsibility at the Wikimedia Foundation. A simple way to state it might be: you guys have a problem, you sort it out or don't bother us, and we won't bother you. A lot of people will pay lip service to the common good, but will not even budge when they have a chance to do something about it. Never underestimate the results of some gentle persuasion, specially coming from those who hold the keys to all the hardware that's being used as a playground by a few.

Please understand that a lot of people - really a lot of very powerful people - don't give a hoot about the Portuguese Wikipedia or any of its problems, and since I have proof and I haven't seen proof to the contrary anywhere, I rest my case.

As for a believable plan of action at the risk of repeating myself:

«Perhaps the question is not the creation of a new version of Wikipedia, but to make the Portuguese Wikipedia appealing to all readers and writers (editors) of the Portuguese language. There might be solutions and proposals to address this problem which have been kept from seeing the light of day, for untold reasons.

It might be worthwhile to open a page where the discussion could be centralized. It would be nice if the page could be bilingual, with one section in English, to open the discussion to the wider Wikimedia community, and another in Portuguese, for those who lack enough command of the English language to participate in the broader discussion.

If anyone would be so kind as to suggest what that page might be and where it could be created, I would be more than happy to participate.»

All I have asked for is the suggestion of a page. You can't find a single word about that request in all that has been written. Not even: what if that page is created and nobody contributes? That is a possibility. There's also the possibility that whatever conclusion is reached it will not be implemented by those who hold the power in the Portuguese Wikipedia or the keys in the Wikimedia Foundation. There's also the possibility that if someone had several million dollars to spare, any solution that would please that person would be implemented. So you see, most things can be had for a price, and all I have asked was the suggestion of a page. I wonder what it takes to have that.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Chad
Tue, 23 Mar 2010 23:25:20

It requires you to take initiative to start the page and try to draw others into a discussion. You don't need anyone's permission to do that.

Also, I think it was (briefly) glossed over before, but there /is/ the Language Converter code in MediaWiki that could be leveraged to help some here. I don't think it's necessarily a magic bullet, but it's worth exploring. I know nothing in Portuguese, so I don't really grasp how widespread the discrepancies are, but I assume there's rules to describe them.

Social solutions are also helpful, like the aforementioned American/British and Cyrillic/Latin issues mentioned earlier in the thread. A combination of social and technical solutions might just help bring some closure to this issue.

-Chad


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 00:05:21

At 21:03 23-03-2010, [Chris Lee] wrote:
> As an example, maybe an article, possibly a featured one on the site be assigned to a few Brazilian Portuguese speakers to edit and to a few European Portuguese speakers to edit to their respective dialects, AND not on content. Measures could be taken to check that these are not biased 'separatist' editors, and then at least we can assess the severity of the issue.

> And since most of this discussion is between non native speakers of either dialect (as the en community seems to be policing the wiki-world (not much different from the real world...)) hopefully there is at least one Portuguese-English speaker who can relay the findings back to us non speakers?

> Just a thought.

That is a good idea, but you have the work cut out for you. Simply e-mail the article «Portuguese language» to the largest possible number of professors of Portuguese at the most prestigious universities in the world and in both Portugal and Brazil and ask for their comments. A few things in that article and in both the «European Portuguese» and «Brazilian Portuguese» could use a few touches. You got to send out the article to a lot of professors to unsure that you'll get a few answers. Be sure to ask permission to publish their comments. Copy/Paste them to the article discussion page and there you have it.

That is the long road. The short way? Take a look at the articles «Língua portuguesa», «Português europeu», and «Português brasileiro»? Would you trust those responsible for an Encyclopedia that have the articles about their own language in that sorry state? OK, not all is that bad. You can always feast your eyes in the excellent translation made in «Futebol», or for something completely different, how about «Bruna Ferraz»? If you're male and above 18, don't miss on what the Commons have to offer. For something Portuguese, you can take a look at «Braga». I do agree that those two towers of the cathedral don't stand a chance in the comparison.

A final note. It is perfectly alright with everybody to say «Brazilian Portuguese». I wonder what Google might have to say about the difference between «European Portuguese» and «Portuguese of Portugal» (not even mentioned in the English version, but written as an alternative title in the Portuguese version - «português de Portugal»). European Portuguese? Only in Wikipedia. I bet you that if you asked on the street about it, people would not know what you're talking about or wonder if it is the Portuguese used in Brussels or some other place like that. I don't think such thing even exists. There's always been one and only one Portuguese, the Portuguese of Portugal. Everything else are just its descendancy spread all over the world, aside from syphilis, of course.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 00:17:57

At 23:25 23-03-2010, you wrote: > It requires you to take initiative to start the page and try to draw others into a discussion. You don't need anyone's permission to do that.

> Also, I think it was (briefly) glossed over before, but there /is/ the Language Converter code in MediaWiki that could be leveraged to help some here. I don't think it's necessarily a magic bullet, but it's worth exploring. I know nothing in Portuguese, so I don't really grasp how widespread the discrepancies are, but I assume there's rules to describe them.

> Social solutions are also helpful, like the aforementioned American/British and Cyrillic/Latin issues mentioned earlier in the thread. A combination of social and technical solutions might just help bring some closure to this issue.

> -Chad

Thanks Chad. I know that, but what kind of page (what title)? Where? Would it be alright to be bilingual?

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Chris Lee
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 02:30:03

On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 8:05 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
> That is a good idea, but you have the work cut out for you. Simply e-mail the article «Portuguese language» to the largest possible number of professors of Portuguese at the most prestigious universities in the world and in both Portugal and Brazil and ask for their comments. A few things in that article and in both the «European Portuguese» and «Brazilian Portuguese» could use a few touches. You got to send out the article to a lot of professors to unsure that you'll get a few answers. Be sure to ask permission to publish their comments. Copy/Paste them to the article discussion page and there you have it.

> That is the long road. The short way? Take a look at the articles «Língua portuguesa», «Português europeu», and «Português brasileiro»? Would you trust those responsible for an Encyclopedia that have the articles about their own language in that sorry state? OK, not all is that bad. You can always feast your eyes in the excellent translation made in «Futebol», or for something completely different, how about «Bruna Ferraz»? If you're male and above 18, don't miss on what the Commons have to offer. For something Portuguese, you can take a look at «Braga». I do agree that those two towers of the cathedral don't stand a chance in the comparison.

> A final note. It is perfectly alright with everybody to say «Brazilian Portuguese». I wonder what Google might have to say about the difference between «European Portuguese» and «Portuguese of Portugal» (not even mentioned in the English version, but written as an alternative title in the Portuguese version - «português de Portugal»). European Portuguese? Only in Wikipedia. I bet you that if you asked on the street about it, people would not know what you're talking about or wonder if it is the Portuguese used in Brussels or some other place like that. I don't think such thing even exists. There's always been one and only one Portuguese, the Portuguese of Portugal. Everything else are just its descendancy spread all over the world, aside from syphilis, of course.

> Sincerely,

> Virgilio A. P. Machado

Wow, those are some bitter words. Aside from the deep disgust you have... I don't think we need to contact any professors, most editors are probably not professors anyway. If there are parties from each side who believe there are significant differences and a need to split, rather than bring the work to the non native speakers and ask for our opinion or mediation, I was suggesting to simply take an article and have each side show eachother and us the differences there are; not in content, of course.

And dude, relax.


Mark Williamson
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 17:44:17

On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 5:17 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt>wrote:
> Thanks Chad. I know that, but what kind of page (what title)? Where? Would it be alright to be bilingual?

> Sincerely,

> Virgilio A. P. Machado

I think there are two options: Meta and pt.wp itself. My personal opinion is that it does not need to be bilingual, but that is of course up to you.


Gerard Meijssen
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 19:50:44

Hoi,
To poor some cold water on this discussion. The language policy is quite clear. There is no room for two Portuguese Wikipedias. When you are able to convince the ISO 639-3 standard to make Portuguese a macro language it will become different.

There have been languages that made that claim successfully and consequently they become eligible for multiple Wikipedias. The Kurdish Wikipedia hosted the Arabic scripted Sorani texts until it got its own Wikipedia.

So by all means discuss it, but from a language policy and committee point of view, it will be a hard if not impossible case to argue to split the pt.wikipedia at this time under the current conditions.
Thanks,
GerardM


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 23:37:02

At 17:44 24-03-2010, [Mark Williamson] wrote:
> I think there are two options: Meta and pt.wp itself. My personal opinion is that it does not need to be bilingual, but that is of course up to you.

Mark,

A page in the Portuguese Wikipedia could shut out the community at large. A bilingual page would be very hard to pull off. As far as I can tell, non-Portuguese discussions are not welcomed there.

I looked at Meta and saw no place for a page like that. Could you be more specific?

That's why I brought the question to the list: I really don't know where a discussion like that could take place within the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Going back to my initial posting:

«Perhaps the question is not the creation of a new version of Wikipedia, but to make the Portuguese Wikipedia appealing to all readers and writers (editors) of the Portuguese language. There might be solutions and proposals to address this problem which have been kept from seeing the light of day, for untold reasons.

It might be worthwhile to open a page where the discussion could be centralized.»

Like Chad pointed out, even within this discussion, there have been posts suggesting several helpful rules and technical approaches. Solutions from different projects could be brought together and would be available for all those where they might be useful. This would make the discussion less specific to the Portuguese Wikipedia but more valuable to the Wikimedia community. Even with that broader scope I don't know where to start. If there's not already a place like that, where would it appropriate to create one?

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Chad
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 23:41:48

For lack of anywhere else, start it up at Portuguese language issues or something. I'm not a regular metapedian, so there might be a better place--I just can't think of a *specific* place offhand.

-Chad


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Thu, 25 Mar 2010 05:16:27

Began!

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_language_issues

If you have any further suggestions or comments, they are very welcome.

Please use either the
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Portuguese_language_issues#English>English
or
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Portuguese_language_issues#Portugu.C3.AAs>Portuguese
sections of the
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Portuguese_language_issues>talk page for debate.

Thank you all so very much.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado