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We ettle tae come up wi writin that's easy tae read an can be soondit bi readers in thair ain dialect.
September 5, 2007 7:59 AM   Subscribe

We've discussed Simple English Wikipedia, and descriptions of other languages in English, but have you tried reading wikipedia in Scots? You asked if Scots is a language? How about any of the other 253 languages of Wikipedia?
posted by jacalata (43 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like the "Article O' the Week" and that one of the "Applee'd sciences an industry" articles is "Fermin"
posted by delmoi at 8:07 AM on September 5, 2007


Since there are no universally accepted criteria for distinguishing languages from dialects, scholars and other interested parties often disagree about the linguistic, historical and social status of Scots...

"And Scots Nationalists armed with more bias than linguistic knowledge say it's a language, so it is, so there! Nearly identical syntax and mutual intelligibility mean nothing-- if the only difference was the verb 'ken' we'd still insist it was a totally different language!"

If language is that important to your national identity, make your kids learn Pict.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:10 AM on September 5, 2007


Useful for people like me who end up at workplaces that block wikipedia incompletely. For a month, en.wikipedia.org was blocked, but de.wikipedia.org wasn't, nor Simple English, Scots, Latin, or Armenian. That was an unexpectedly fun month.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:11 AM on September 5, 2007


What, no Engrish?
posted by rocket88 at 8:12 AM on September 5, 2007


They have Pennsylvania Dutch. It's understandable if you speak German and read everything outloud to yourself, as is Plattdütsch.
posted by creasy boy at 8:16 AM on September 5, 2007


The only language in the world where just doing an impression of a native is enough to get by.
posted by fire&wings at 8:16 AM on September 5, 2007


Simple English is going to provide hours of fun facetiously explaining obvious things in flame wars.

Another hour fun will be had noting that tautologies aren't the same as simplifications:

What is a Straight Line?
Lines can bend in a curve. If lines do not bend, they are straight.

posted by DU at 8:23 AM on September 5, 2007


Klingon, for christ's sake! Get one.
posted by athenian at 8:25 AM on September 5, 2007


It reads like a caricature of "Oor Wullie".
posted by vbfg at 8:26 AM on September 5, 2007


Try as I might on the Scots Wikipedia site, I cannot find even one instance where the word "veryvery" is used. Everyone knows that no Scot can use the word "very" alone. It must always be doubled up.

Also - Golf
posted by Sk4n at 8:26 AM on September 5, 2007


If it's nae Scots, it's crap!
posted by clevershark at 8:28 AM on September 5, 2007


Also I have to say, it's a real disapointment that they don't have any articles in Hawaiian Pidgin. But at least you can order Da Jesus Book online and you can read "Wat Da Bible Say Bout Important Stuffs?" For example:

"Jesus wen do plenny odda awesome stuff fo show who him, but I neva write all dat inside dis book. But da tings I wen write, I write um so you guys goin believe dat Jesus da Christ guy, da Spesho Guy God Wen Send, an he God's Boy. Wen you guys trus him, you guys goin live foeva fo real kine cuz you his guys." (John Tell Bout Jesus 20:30-31)
posted by creasy boy at 8:29 AM on September 5, 2007


Hey, hey, what? Bring back the Choctaw wiki! You people do not want me going Choc on your ass.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:38 AM on September 5, 2007


One big way in which Wikipedia has made my life easier is the ability to click on the "In other languages" links and find out what something or someone is called in Russian (or whatever). It's pretty much rendered obsolete my long-treasured Dictionary of Translated Names and Titles.
posted by languagehat at 8:39 AM on September 5, 2007


The Scots invented everything - McGlashan YouTube
posted by Jakey at 8:39 AM on September 5, 2007


On a related note, the politics of the proposed closure of the Moldovan Wiki are pretty fascinating.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2007


Hey, hey, what? Bring back the Choctaw wiki! You people do not want me going Choc on your ass.

Cherokee is still going strong—hah hah!
posted by languagehat at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2007


That's actually how I found this stuff, languagehat: I was googling 'wikipedia, depute' to find the usual English translation of Depute x from French (representative, for those playing at home) and it sent me to the Depute First Meinister o Scotland page. Delightfully, when I clicked on 'random page', it sent me here.
posted by jacalata at 8:44 AM on September 5, 2007


Cherokee is still going strong—hah hah!

Lousy Cherokee, think they're so big.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:47 AM on September 5, 2007


I find it amusing that more official government business is probably carried out in Inukitut than on "Scots".
posted by GuyZero at 8:47 AM on September 5, 2007


On a related note, the politics of the proposed closure of the Moldovan Wiki are pretty fascinating.

Indeed, and thanks for bringing it to my attention! That guy "Node" is a real case, insisting on his right to create content in languages he barely understands:
Well, at least I tried to write some content. You, on the other hand, said you think it should be deleted. I may have made some errors. But if non-native-speakers aren't allowed to edit, why don't we ban Bogdan from en.wiki? --Node ue 10:10, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I may not have a professional level of either language, but I have contributed articles to both Wikipedias. You may have your view, but you're not the one who jump-started the Albanian Wikipedia when nobody else wanted to write there. Given that Tajik is essentially Farsi written in Cyrillic and infused with loan words, it's not difficult for an intelligent foreigner to translate one to the other. I simply have a better grasp of how to Cyrillicise Farsi than do you. I may have made some mistakes, but it's better to have articles with a couple of misspellings than to have none at all. I checked nearly every word to make sure it was spelt correctly, and if it wasn't, I tried other probable spellings until I found the right one. There were only a few cases where I couldn't find it, in those cases I replaced it with a synonym most of the time, and when a suitable synonym wasn't available, I took my best guess (probably about 3 words in the article on encyclopaedias, 1 word max in the article about Wikipedia, and 0 in the translation of "Main Page", which I copied directly from ozodi.org) --Node ue
Sounds like some people who try to answer AskMe questions: "I took my best guess"!
posted by languagehat at 8:51 AM on September 5, 2007


Yeah, languagehat, that's Wikipedia's indispensable function for me too. Historical people are always called something slightly different in different languages and I have no idea how people ever got any translation work done before Wikipedia existed. The article doesn't even have to be correct, it just has to exist. King James I in German is Jakob I -- who would've guessed?
posted by creasy boy at 8:53 AM on September 5, 2007


Editin David Hume
Frae Wikipedia

Ye'v follaed an airtin til a page that disna exist yet. Tae create the page, stert typin in the box ablo (see the help page for mair info). Gin ye'r here by mistak, juist dab yer brouser's back button.


No David Hume yet? Sadness.
posted by Tehanu at 8:58 AM on September 5, 2007


Wow, it's like a long-lost Irvine Welsh novel.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 AM on September 5, 2007


No Irvine Welsh either.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:10 AM on September 5, 2007


No Irvine Welsh either.

NAE CUNTS LEAVING HERE TILL WE FIND OUT WHAT CUNT DID IT DINNAE WIKI IRVINE WELSH!
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:36 AM on September 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


isn't Irvine Welsh?
posted by criticalbill at 9:45 AM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don' talk Blackfoot, talk Cree, nah!
posted by breezeway at 10:25 AM on September 5, 2007


Wow, I had no idea about the Simple English Wikipedia. I can see that having a lot of value for things like mathematics, since a lot of articles in the standard Wikipedia (especially in mathematics) read like a transmission fabrication manual.
posted by antipasta_explosion at 10:42 AM on September 5, 2007


Is this 'Scots' language Highland Scots, Glasgow Scots, or Edinburgh Scots?
posted by rocket88 at 10:55 AM on September 5, 2007


I love how there's a Serbian, Croatian and then Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia. Not to mention a Bosnian one. I suppose it's only a matter of time before the Montenegrin one appears..
posted by Ljubljana at 11:05 AM on September 5, 2007


Ha! Love the Scots version, thanks for this!
posted by Zinger at 11:24 AM on September 5, 2007


It's almost as though someone programmed Babelfish or Google Translate to create this doggerel.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:59 AM on September 5, 2007


Theory of Relativity in Simple English Wikipedia.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:00 PM on September 5, 2007


I don't see Moroccan or Egyptian Arabic.

I don't care that stuffed shirts say that they're "not written."
posted by Liosliath at 12:17 PM on September 5, 2007


I can't wait to read this SF story written in Scots English.
posted by nickp at 12:33 PM on September 5, 2007


Ha ha, how funny, amusing and quaint. Those comments coming from a bunch of West Midlands speakers who know no other way, that is.

My favourite article is The Apologetic Apostrophe, purely on the grounds of its title.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:37 PM on September 5, 2007


The wird "mathematics" comes frae the Greek μάθημα (máthema) meanin "science, ken, or lairnin" an μαθηματικός (mathematikós) meanin "fond o lairnin".

Ah, too much fun.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:12 PM on September 5, 2007


I sent this to a Scottish mate of mine, who just responded:

Aye, braw that!

:-)

Have you found a Yiddish one yet? If not, there's your next fun project.


Yo.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:22 PM on September 5, 2007


Vicipedia! Nunc sunt 15,010 paginae!
posted by Iridic at 3:07 PM on September 5, 2007


I'm curious now what percentage of foreign language wikis are primarily written by native speakers as opposed to primarily english speakers.

I suppose this could be found out fairly easily by looking at the discussion pages. Latin, for example, is all in english.
posted by empath at 4:21 PM on September 5, 2007


I'm also now curious how much of the culture of en.wikipedia crosses over to other languages -- do they have inclusionist vs deletionist debates on es.wikipedia?
posted by empath at 4:23 PM on September 5, 2007


Latin, for example, is all in english.

You won't find too many native speakers there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 PM on September 5, 2007


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