Hi Milos, at the same time when you are concerned about the collection /
preservation of thousands of languages, I will briefly introduce a
project that currently takes place in Austria together with the Austrian
Academy of Sciences. This project has the same goal direction, which you
mention, even if we might go another way. Our way is at first the
acquisition of languages, micro languages, language varieties and
The basis of this work it will be, by a software (which has yet to be
made ) to capture the regional characteristics of the language.
written as a word, as a phrase, and then of course the regional
peculiarities in pronunciation, using and producing audio files.
Subsequently, there will be regional wikis to bring on a simple level,
people to represent their knowledge. This is important especially in the
german Wikipedia, because now it is almost impossible to enter de:WP as
a freshman. The claims are completely covered, we lose an enormous
number of authors and win hardly newones.
In the meantime, it is already partially so that even the articles are
no longer readable because they just follow an off-hook academic claim,
not the demands of most of our readers.
You are speaking about languages, Milos , of which you accept that it
is as a official standard language with an appropriate written version.
Here you will (and we will) encounter the first boundaries.
The most important part for me of your writing is that you're worried
about the fact that we constantly lose authors. So you're absolutely
right. In our projects we often ignore the fact that knowledge is not
necessarily a knowledge of the educated class alone, we find knowledge
even in places where you least expect it. Currently it is so that access
to Wikipedia, especially in the developed versions with 100,000
articles, already excludes many people to participate. The challenge is
simply too difficult.
Language does not stand alonefor itself, language is strongly tied to
the culture. And this culture is often - I am referring to the
German-language Wikipedia - already in a kind of elitist form of us even
reproduced and filtered.
But why should a language and word-collecting software make it possible
to attract new authors and to enable new areas of knowledge acquisition?
By being brave and just go new ways!Wikipedia is 13 years old and has
not changed in its basic concept. But this basic concept is, in my view,
in many ways no more purposeful in order to meet the requirements for
different classes of readers and writers.
Though I know that language does not stands on its own, so I also know
that culture is not just a part of everyday life of humans, the life is
the culture itself. But this isoften perceived by the elitists not as
culture but as folklore. Just as we perceive dialects as a language of
the subordinate social classes and as such also denote such languages
as dialectsso that the apparent superiority of a so-called high-level
language can be brought to the fore.
When we talk about knowledge, then we always talk about written
knowledge in a standardized form.
However, we lose a large part of the knowledge by the fact that our
culture is changing , our tools, our traditional professions. But that
also disappears the diversity of our culture.
If you look at the tools of a cobbler, then you will find there a piece
of steel which is called in german Kneip. It is for the shoemaker, the
most important of all tools in addition to the hammer. Today we no
longer findshoemakers. Until a few years ago there were shoemakers in
every street, in every small town. Probably in serbia or Belgrade, you
will find more than we have here in Vienna, Austria and Germany
together. And because this piece of steel , Kneip, wich is so extremely
efficient and above all extremely cheap, it was formerly in every
private toolbox. Together with a grindstone .
Today it is called the Stanley knife, but it can not compete at least
with the quality of Kneip. But we still have the word Kneip. And as long
this word exists and people know what it means, as long this tool
exists. If only in our consciousness. But when the word disappears ,
then the tool is finally gone. And thus also a part of our culture.
This is just a small example of how important it is to preserve the
language in its diverse form.
The same applies to languages. Each language is significant because it
is originated in and out of a very special cultural situation. If this
culture could retain without influence from outside, eventually it will
become a own language,because it is different from the more changing
If you understand Yiddish - which is understood as a separate language -
then you know about how people may have spoken German several hundred
years ago. Although, of course, Yiddish has also evolved. And even the
main spoken language in Vienna, wich is in parts