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Department of Ethnology and indigenous language incubation[edit]

Update from Liang via FB: "Just this morning, Wikimedia Taiwan spoke to a professor in the department of ethnology, and he want to discuss with us about possibility to incubate the Wikipedia of Indigenous Language in Taiwan. Very exciting, but a whole new field for us! Reke propose to have some teaching session for the students in the department would be great." :) Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 13 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Liang, please keep me informed about the status of that possible partnership and collaboration. It sounds very exciting! :) Also, which indigenous languages are you considering? Are they listed here or here? Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 17:32, 13 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion this morning was about their effort to create indigenous knowledge in Encyclopedia style. Two years ago,they had a program with Ministry of Education (MoE) in Taiwan. The department set up a MediaWiki-based site, and they gather some writers of two languages of the recognized tribes. (Amis and Paiwan, if my memory is correct, need to check with the professor) In the content of this magazine, you may see some of the projects they tried.
They ask people who are able to use their native language (mostly elders) in the tribes to write articles about their culture, and pay them for their articles. Then after the project ended, no budget for the maintenance of the site, the community freezed. Now they saved those files in doc format... And this year the department may have a new 3 year long project with MoE. This time they ask for our advice and willingness of cooperation. This morning, Reke had a meeting with the professor. The brainstorm result is to use the incubation process in Wikipedia. We will ask the authors to teach the students in the ethnology department to write in the indigenous language instead of give the author money for their article. The professor agree the possibility of that. Now we are still in the middle of discussion what languages we should start. MoE wanted articles on 16 recognized tribes (the living languages of Formosan languages)
But our first evaluation is that it's very difficult to build all the community of living indigenous language in 3 years. So we may propose to start with 1 or 2 most possible ones. That's it for the moment, feel free to give us any comment or questions. Stay tuned! --Liang_(WMTW) (talk) 18:03, 13 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Dear Liang_(WMTW), thanks so much for this update.
What an interesting and exciting opportunity this is: partnering with MoE, promoting inter-generational cooperation, and preserving indigenous languages! Each of those outcomes is impressive alone, but if it is possible to achieve that all together, that would be remarkable. A partnership between WMTW, the university, and the MoE might be very impactful. However, building encyclopedic content in 16 languages in 3 years is unrealistic. I am relieved that you propose to work with only 1 or 2 of the most possible languages. That sounds much more reasonable. :)
This project is unique. To my knowledge, not many educational programs have yet worked on language preservation projects. However, that does not mean that there is not potential to be explored. If there is interest, and there are opportunities, then there is potential to make great impact, and that is hopeful! :) I will collect more examples of work on smaller wikis and share that here on wiki. Though it won't all be in an educational context, it still might prove helpful to review other similar projects.
For now, I recommend that you connect with User:Sky Harbor (Josh Lim from WMPH) and get his advice. I know you two know each other from our ESEA group. The Philippines has 11 languages and 8 have WM projects (7 have Wikipedias, and one is on Incubator). Like Taiwain's, the education program in the Philippines is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, you can learn from each other and teach each other. :)
Please keep me updated after you talk more with the professor again. Good luck! Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:44, 14 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Hello Anna, Reke will talk to the professor on 4 March, so I will keep you update as soon as I get the latest information! --Liang_(WMTW) (talk) 19:49, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]