[Translators-l] India, home to the largest spoken languages in the world: A localisation opportunity

Siebrand Mazeland s.mazeland at xs4all.nl
Wed Oct 7 15:23:00 UTC 2009

Dear Wikimedians from India.

For those who do not know me, I am a staff member of
http://translatewiki.net, a project where most of the translation of
MediaWiki is done. MediaWiki is the software used by all wikis of the
Wikimedia Foundation. There is more to translatewiki, but I hope you may
discover that later.

I have made an analysis of the localization of MediaWiki and its extensions
with regards to use by the Wikimedia Foundation. I have done this with a
scope of the 50 languages with the most speakers in the world[1]. As India
is an enormous country, with a long history, it is no surprise that many
languages are spoken by a lot of people.

For India the following languages make the top 50 of most spoken languages
in the world: Hindi (3), Bengali (10), Gujarati (34), Kannada (33),
Malayalam (39), Marathi (17), Nepali (43), Oriya (42), Punjabi (15), Sindhi
(37), Tamil (28), Telugu (20), and Urdu (29). Some of these languages have a
fair level of localization (Telugu and Hindi are doing OK, but not
excellent), but many others have very poor localization (Oriya  and Urdu are
doing particularly bad)[1].

As I do not speak or read any languages that are not in a Latin, Greek or
Cyrillic script, and live in the Netherlands, it is hard for me to crowd
source translators for these languages. I am in dire need of structural help
in that area. Having Wikimedia India formed is something I recognize as an
enormous opportunity for getting the localization level of languages spoken
in India to a higher level. It will enable more users to experience and
enjoy the freedoms that we as Wikimedians try to create and provide.

Please help me help in getting India's languages gain more ground and
availability in the Wikimedia universe. Ideally I would like some kind of an
ambassador from your community to spread the word and focus on getting more
and more localization done for languages spoken in India. If you are
interested in contributing as a translator, please visit translatewiki.net.
If you are interested in investing time on a higher level, please contact me
on-wiki, on this list, or by private e-mail so we can work something out.
Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Siebrand Mazeland
translatewiki.net staff

[2] http://www.mediawiki.org

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