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Given that a large portion of the online community has some level of proficiency in English, what is the motivation for people to invest large amounts of time into translating wiki content?

Why is it that Wikipedia is the only wiki community that has a thriving multilingual community? --AlainDésilets

http://wikitravel.org is multilingual and doing pretty well - at least the French and English ones. -- SebPaquet

Bonjour Alain. My motivation to maintain a PageTranslation index is that I've not any proficiency to speak explicitely and clearly in English. As a small HoneyBee in the WikiNow, I find very useful to understand some pages here and reuse them to propagate some nice original content elsewhere in the bigger wiki-dom. A multilingual link-language appears to be very useful. For example, I just picked with FairUse some content from Sunir extracted on MeatballBoard to imagine the future of a BarCampBank board. Hope Sunir will not be offended ? Let's say otherwise, I would have been completely unable to find out any other clear terms. -- ChristopheDucamp

My motivation in translating wiki content to Tagalog is not only because I want to make other people who uses my NativeTongue? to feel at home, but also because:

While translating, I avoid borrowing words from English, and inevitably I have to either search for Tagalog words that don't borrow from English. "Pook-sapot" is an example. Instead of using "websayt", or worse, "website", why don't we mash two existing words together? I already see some Filipinos do this, so there's no harm in doing such thing. -- JobBautista

Job, are you sure Tagalog is your mother tongue if you are not 100% proficient in it? What was the first language you learned as a child?

You mentioned Russian not using a lot of English words. As a Russian, I think I have some knowledge in the topic. In some cases, Russian speakers use a lot of English-sourced words, especially in newer areas such as programming, informatics, gaming. It happens all the time. It's the same for Japanese, I'm sure. Not sure about Chinese, though.

By the way, here in Russia there are many different ethnicities united under one flag 🇷🇺, with the Russian being the biggest one. I live in an area where the local language is dying, and everyone is just speaking Russian.

With that happening, many people rise up and try to //defend// their language, try to keep it //pure//. I don't like it. They have a poor explanation of what is pure and what is not. Languages get mixed with other languages and it's ok. In fact, this is how all modern natural languages came into existence.

I'm not saying that Tagalog is dying. It's not, it has got so many speakers! I'm just saying that LanguagePurism? is not really needed. What's the point of looking for non-borrowed “Tagalog words”? There's probably no point if the borrowed versions are better understood by the speakers.

Think about the learners of the language! When they see a familiar word, it's easier for them. I can read French quite well despite ignoring lessons at school thanks to the vast amount of words shared between it and other languages I know.

Websayt. If I see this word in Tagalog, I will instantly recognize it. We have the same word — вебсайт, which is read the same.

Pook-sapot. Is this word used that widely? I hope it's not because I want people from different parts of the world understand each other more easily.

Should we all just start speaking English? Well, it wouldn't work, but I find it perfectly fine to borrow tons of words from it. Not only English, borrow from everywhere!

Overall, I'm not saying that you shouldn't translate to Tagalog. You should! It's great to have the content available in multiple languages. The purism is what I find worth discussing. — TimurIsmagilov

Timur, chill out. It's unnecessary to attack people. If he likes doing it, he likes doing it. Why discourage someone?

Also one's native language and one's first language are different things. The language of the ethnic group one self-identify as is your native language, but one may not learn to speak it. It's perfectly reasonable to want to connect with one's self-chosen ethnic community by learning its language.

Like anyone learning a language, one will make mistakes while figuring out what is common parlance. If any errors are made along the way, other fluent people will eventually correct the mistake. Indeed, correcting errors in fluency is a fantastic way to increasingly learn and connect with one's ethnic community. -- SunirShah

Yeah, sure, sorry; Job, I didn't want to offend you. If it looks like I'm aggressive in the previous message, well, I didn't mean to. It's my emotionless opinion. The word “attack” I used in the digest was a joke.

Indeed, if he likes to, he likes to, it's alright. I just don't like LanguagePurism?, but I would still like to hear what makes Job like it.

Here's what WikiPedia says about native language: > A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1), is a language that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period. In some countries, the term native language or mother tongue refers to the language of one's ethnic group rather than one's first language.

The meaning is location-specific, as it seems. Interesting, didn't know that. Job, what exact meaning did you use? I used the first one.

Fun fact about me: I'm part of an ethnic minority with a dying language. I don't speak it and do not consider it as a part of my identity. — TimurIsmagilov

Added later: did some research. Job is a native speaker of Tagalog, it's his first language. Source: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pandakekok9

Hi TimurIsmagilov, I use the same meaning for "native language" as you. But even though I'm first exposed to Tagalog rather than English, I still don't know every single word of Tagalog, and am still refining my fluency in Tagalog. So for me, "native language" doesn't always translate into fluency. I'm pretty sure the Filipinos living in the U.S., for example, can relate to this.

You do have some good points. It's a lot more convenient to borrow words from English rather than trying to make it yourself. Making sure your readers understand what you write is also important. But I think it is still possible to retain LinguisticPurism? while still being understandable to your fellow native readers. If you know that your readers won't mind the LinguisticPurism? you're employing, why not make your writing purer? It makes both you and them appreciate the language better, in my opinion.

In Tagalog Wikipedia for example, I don't think a Filipino would go there and expect heavy borrowing from English. If they do, they'd probably rather go to the English edition than the Tagalog one. So it should be safe to pursue LinguisticPurism? where reasonable. I say reasonable because there are words that are just too complex to translate to Tagalog. Take "software" for example. You can technically translate it literally, soft is *lambot* and ware is *paninda*. So a literal Tagalog translation would be *panindang malambot*. It's too long, and probably unreadable even to the experts of Tagalog.

So translation should be balanced between purity and readability. But I think Tagalog in the net is tending towards the latter too much, losing its individuality. It is becoming more subordinate to English for Filipinos, a convenient code to communicate with other Filipinos. And it worries me. I admit that English has a technical superiority in the internet, due to the latter being born in North America (but imagine if the internet was born in say, Japan. There would be a lot more Japanese speaking in the internet). But do we (pointing to Filipinos, not you) have to give up on this front as well? The Spaniards and Americans have almost killed our language during their colonization. The internet is an opportunity for Filipinos to bring back Tagalog into life as an independent language. Why pass it up?

P.S. I wasn't offended, don't worry about it. I'm actually glad someone responded and refuted my points. You just chose the wrong word. :) -- JobBautista

CategoryWikiTechnology CategoryGlobalization CategoryUncommonWikiTechnology


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