Minority languages in Russia and Wikipedia

Trond Trosterud trond.trosterud at uit.no
Thu Jan 14 13:02:51 UTC 2010


There is now an initiative on the Russian Wikipedia to look at how the Russian Wikipedia may help the minority language Wikipedias develop:


I find this a very welcome initiative.

It is well known that Wikipedia is strong for state-bearing languages and for some of the minority languages in Western Europe, but weak elsewhere. Especially problematic this is for a country like Greenland, with a monolingual population without lexicon resources, Wikipedia or other.

In Russia, the minorities of course know Russian. But to readers of this list it is worth reflecting a moment upon what the status of the national Wikipedias is. Restricting myself to Uralic, and the largest languages, the situation is as follows:

	• коми (1 502)
	• эрзянский (1 371)
	• марийский (луговой) (938)
	• удмуртский (506)
	• мокшанский (330)

This is too little, I have a feeling the language communities are capable of doing better. I thus urge the readers of this list to mention this in relevan contexts.

We of course have our own axes to grind as well: Working Wikipedias will provide us with authentic corpus text showing actual language usage.

Trond Trosterud.
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