New year, new start
Languages of France seminar
Since June 2015, Wikimedia France, supported by the General Delegation for the French Language and the Languages of France, launched a project to train regional language speakers of France (Alsatian, Breton, Occitan, Creole languages... ) on how to contribute to the Wikimedia projects.
The political context in 2015 saw the return of the debate surrounding the ratification of the European Charter of Languages. Wikimédia France conducted a survey around regional linguistic and digital practices, involving several partners such as Lo Congrès or the Office for the Alsatian language and culture, Lo Cirdoc Béziers as well as universities such as Strasbourg, Sarreguemines ...
Following this survey, we held a first training seminar on Jan. 23rd at the "Maison de l'Europe" in Paris. The event gathered about 70 people.
Lingua Libre, a new tool for speakers
Alongside this first step, a second project is in partnership with linguists and contributors as Lyokoï, Psychoslave, Gratus, Vigneron and the APLLOD association. The development of an interface named "Lingua Libre" will record the words in regional languages and allow to upload them on Wikimedia Commons. The objective is therefore to bring an additional tool to help speakers to promote their language. In November 2015, the first recordings with Xârâcùù female speaker ( Kanak language of Canala region ) took place in the House of New Caledonia !
UNESCO make content and data available on Wikimedia projects
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have made over 1000 files available on Wikimedia Commons on a range of subjects and include photographs, illustrations, graphs and videos with many more to come in the coming months. They are also making data on their inscription programmes available on Wikidata including World Heritage, Man and the Biosphere and Global Geoparks.
Open knowledge in education
John Cummings has been working as Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO funded by a Wikimedia Foundation grant. "I think that Wikimedia has a unique role to play in universal access to education which many organisations are working towards as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Wikimedia has a huge audience and receives over 15 billion page views per month as well as providing information in Google searches, Facebook and other sites. I hope that by working with UNESCO to explore how they can use and contribute to open knowledge projects including Wikimedia it will encourage other intergovernmental organisations to do the same."
Wikiproject UNESCO has been created to help people organise improving information on UNESCO programme inscriptions e.g World Heritage Sites and to help navigate and organise sharing of UNESCO media content on Wikimedia projects. It is designed to be accessible for people new to contributing to Wikimedia and covers several of the projects including Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Wikivoyage. It is structured around activities including writing, translation and sharing media and has clear and simple instructions for all tasks, it has several tools to help people in all languages.
There are several ways to be involved in the project with more opportunities including in person events in the future. Many of the current tasks are essential for setting up further cooperation, currently the most important are:
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