Friday, February 1, 2008

Update on the MediaWiki localisation

BetaWiki is a success. The numbers prove it; in a year the number of supported languages has increased from 266 to 307 and all the indicators have been steadily improving. When you consider that this is a project run by volunteers, it is pretty amazing. It is for this reason that I am so happy that UNESCO acknowledged BetaWiki for what it is; a community success story. BetaWiki is doing really well for the major languages but also for languages like Telugu, Marathi, Northern Sotho and Tajik. Martin's stirling effort for Swahili is not reflected yet in these numbers, his contributions will be life on all Wikimedia Foundation's wikis in the coming days. :)

I think you will agree with me that with improved localisation, it will be easier to reach out with MediaWiki to the readers of the world. We want more people to read and write in Swahili, Comorian, Maithili, Basque, Piedmontese...

In 2008, the year of languages, we have to celebrate our achievements. I am sure that projects like BetaWiki will help languages improve their presence on the Internet. Wikipedia, wikis are geeky, they attract young people. When young people continue to express themselves in their mother tongue, their language and culture is alive and well.

This week a Wikipedia was requested for Mingrelian and Maithili... As communities continue to form to write their Wikipedia in their language, we will be able to bring more information to more people in their language.

This year is still young :)

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