Naidheachdan Mu Dheidhinn Scots Wikipedia

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Iain Sasannach
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Naidheachdan Mu Dheidhinn Scots Wikipedia

Unread post by Iain Sasannach » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:13 pm

As you may have heard, it's emerged this week that the Scots Language Wikipedia is mostly fake, being written in a bad eye-dialect of Scottish English by an American teenager. The Gàidhlig Wikipedia seems OK to me, but if anyone here's an active contributor to that I'd like to ask if vandalism is a problem on it and also for more general thoughts on Wikipedia's provision for minority languages.



akerbeltz
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Re: Naidheachdan Mu Dheidhinn Scots Wikipedia

Unread post by akerbeltz » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:41 pm

Vandalism less so but as other small wikis in small languages, it suffers from well-meaning contributors with shoddy Gaelic who often regard volume to be more important than quality. We had a specific problem some years back with one semi-fluent editor who was creating hundreds of stubs on who-bloody-cares US towns because they were easy to replicate. I had to spend a considerable amount of time chasing after him and deleting all that junk until he gave up and left. It's a shame that Wikipedia does not have controls in place for smaller wikis to ensure only people with a reasonable command get to edit the articles. There can still be a place for novices but only away from writing content IMO.

Níall Beag
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Re: Naidheachdan Mu Dheidhinn Scots Wikipedia

Unread post by Níall Beag » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:27 am

Iain Sasannach wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:13 pm
As you may have heard, it's emerged this week that the Scots Language Wikipedia is mostly fake, being written in a bad eye-dialect of Scottish English by an American teenager. The Gàidhlig Wikipedia seems OK to me, but if anyone here's an active contributor to that I'd like to ask if vandalism is a problem on it and also for more general thoughts on Wikipedia's provision for minority languages.
The problem the Scots Wikipedia had wasn't conscious vandalism per se. Yes, there was some vandalism, with people deliberately editing articles with nonsense mocking the language as just "bad English" or "misspelt English", but the bulk of the problem was a well-intentioned kid who decided to "start" thousands of articles by downloading them from English-language Wikipedia and running them through a big search-and-replace dictionary to substitute Scots words for English ones. What he never understood was that it wasn't really helping anyone, particularly given that there were never enough editors to keep up with the job of fixing these garbage articles.

There really is little opportunity for the same thing to happen in the Gaelic wikipedia, as people are more likely to understand that a dictionary substitution is going to be utterly garbled. However, there is always the possibility that someone might start trying to be "helpful" by running English articles through Google tr*nsl*t* in order to get articles "started" in the belief that this is somehow easier to fix than tr*nsl*t*ng ground-up from an article in another language.

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