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Submissions/Lives and deaths of Wikimedia projects in a minority language

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 1052
Title of the submission
Lives and deaths of Wikimedia projects in a minority language
Type of submission
Authors of the submission
Nicolas VIGNERON, Pymouss
E-mail address
nicolas.vigneron@wikimedia.fr (Special:EmailUser/VIGNERON)
VIGNERON (talk), Pymouss (talk)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
  • sysop on breton Wikipedia and Wikisource
  • member of Wikimedia France (former board member)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Breton is a Celtic language spoken in Brittany. Spoken by less than 200,000 people, most of whom are over 60 years old, it is classified as “severely endangered” by the UNESCO. Breton Wikipedia has celebrated its 10th anniversary in June 2014, but 3 others wikimedia projects also exist in this language : Wiktionary (Wikeriadur), Wikisource (Wikimammenn), Wikiquote (Wikiarroud). Significant efforts on translation are also being carried out on translatewiki.net and elsewhere.

This presentation will provide an overview of the creation and the development of these projects, some being fairly successful while others still struggle to survive. Their histories are quite chaotic, as they include the specificities of a minority language, but also have to deal with more general issues that can be found on most Wikimedia projects. Among these characteristics, the small size of its community is the most significant factor, with consequences on the settlement of disputes, as well as the importance of political and cultural activism. We obviously can find general problems of community management too, but worsen by those specific conditions. The project format also plays an important role: Wikisource and Wiktionary have especially interesting advantages for a minority language.

I will not provide a miracle solution, each and every project having different practices, but I will present a number of errors that should be avoided, as well as some good practices that need to be replicated.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
20 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)

File:Lives and deaths of Wikimedia projects in a minority language.pdf

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