Mangfold på Wikipedia/Nordsamisk Wikipedia
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Wikimedia Norge is supporting Wikipedias in three languages: Norwegian Bokmål (460,000 articles), Norwegian Nynorsk (130,000 articles) and Northern Sami (7,000 articles). The two Norwegian varieties are Germanic languages, while Northern Sami is an indigenous language in the Uralic language family. Northern Sami is spoken in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and is by far the biggest of several living Sami languages. In Norway about 25,000 people speak Northern Sami, but far fewer are able to write in the language. The Northern Sami Wikipedia currently has no active contributors, and Wikimedia Norge is looking into building a project to revitalize the Northern Sami Wikipedia.
This conference gave us an unique opportunity to learn from the representatives from different Celtic & Indigenous language Wikipedias. We hosted a workshop where we asked:
- Where do we start with no active community?
- What kinds of institutional partners should we seek?
- What activities should we prioritize?
- How can we best support a language with limited resources?
- What have been the biggest challenges for similar projects supported by Wikimedia UK and other related entities?
- What are the pitfalls, things to avoid?
Notes from Eterpad from the workshop
Where do we start with no active community?
What kinds of institutional partners should we seek?
- How many speakers? 25,000
- How many are literate?
- Collect Oral History, old stories. Experts can transcribe.
- More spoken content
- Oral Citations
- Incorporate Wikimedia education into Sami langauge education, similar to the Welsh Baccalaureat
- Focus on retired teachers, or other groups that have free time
- Engage other groups such as patients
- Recording everyday experience
- Where do we start?
- Find the community!
- Educational partners
- Give the potential partners a sales pitch: what’s in it for them? Find out
- Problems in a language can not be solved ON Wikipedia.
What activities should we prioritize? How can we best support a language with limited resources?
- Create a social dimension to support the work, more important to build community.
- WikiClub concept in Armenia seems to work
- Reduce scope, to focus on a specific dialect where the conditions are best
- Wikipedias must be living in order to be relevant
- Do Sami people want to discuss Minecraft?
- Focus on subjects that are not too changeable?
- Physical distance can be a problem, so take advantage of other events/structures that bring people together
Group 2: Stuart
- What activities: teachers, education on Sami language, sound recordings
- Record everyday experience
- Go narrow and deep
- Community based events, take advantage of other events that are already take place (festivals, annual events)
- Make it a Sami owned thing
- Tap into public resources
What have been the biggest challenges for similar projects supported by Wikimedia UK and other related entities?
- How do you standardise a language? How do you discuss that? Social media is a good place to start that.
- Building foundations for communities
- Going to events to engage with the language community, pitch it to them in a way where they get something back
- Not everything has to be digital, outreach doesn't need to be just digital, so think photography or other activities.
- Diversifying over methods to try new things.
- First: Make a good collection of terminology and words , try to standardize
- Use social media to collect response
- Use Facebook: get engagement
- Create a living www with social media as a tool, a synergy
- You need a critical mass
- Minority languages: contact institutions that can contribute. Avoid partners that will dominate to much
- Think about contest to draw people in, like WLM. Think about prizes
- How to draw them in? Competition
- Find key persons who have information, push them in social media
- How do we engage community groups (instrinctive motivation)?
- Tell us the place you come from: microphone! Record
- Record material: across a wide spectrum: tradition, wild life and music
- Contest: all names of reindeer!
- Reaching people where they are!
- University of Tromsø: for speak recognition. Can feed back to other resources as well.
- Look for the gaps!
- Find a person the community trust! We need an advocate person
What are the pitfalls, things to avoid?
- Do not think in boxes
- Everything is important, think holistically, cover the gaps
- Don’t underestimate the work on getting people to physical meet. Not enough with a digital crowd.
- Interface! Where things cross, where ideas spark between disciplines!
- Not focus on 1 idea, try everything
- Avoid a community becoming too dependent on us, WMNO
Group 3: Jason
- Social media, existing social media groups use them
- How to engage the community: what’s in it for the community? Find out!
- Do not only think digital, and that may be more inclusive: sound recordings, photography
- Don't put all egg in one basket. Don’ be afraid to fail