I took a look at the South African language Wikimedia projects again today, to see whether there’s been much progress since May.
Wikipedia – number of articles
* – incubator
The Afrikaans Wikipedia continues to develop well, shooting past the 10 000 milestone, and has a strong community. The quality of the articles tends to be quite high as well, as there’s a preference in the community for quality over quantity.
Otherwise, Tsonga has also had some momentum recently. Last year it was the smallest of the official South African language Wikipedias, while now it’s up to 3rd, and closing in on Zulu.
The Northern Sotho project is still in the Incubator, and not an official project, although it seems to be doing quite well there, and would be second behind Afrikaans if it were an official project. Getting out of incubator status seems unlikely though, as the requirements have changed since the early free-for-all, and an active community, as currently interpreted, seems to set the bar a bit high.
With the low level of activity, statistics can be easily skewed by one or two contributers. The Tsonga Wikipedia has benefited from a particularly active contributor, while the Venda Wikipedia, which was the 3rd South African language to reach the milestone of 100 articles, has seen only 19 new articles in the last year.
Wiktionary – number of entries
|Afrikaans||9312||11 168||13 036|
The Afrikaans Wiktionary continues to thrive, and a Tswana Wiktionary has sprung, or rather, crawled, into existence, but everything else really has ground to a halt. The Xhosa project has been closed due to lack of activity, and moved to the Incubator.
Wikipedia – African languages
Afrikaans remains the largest African language Wikipedia (and 79th largest overall), remaining comfortably ahead of Swahili. At 2007’s growth rate, Swahili looked likely to pass Afrikaans this year, but 2008 has seen new momentum for Afrikaans. Yoruba though has seen rapid growth, and since Jan 2007, there have been more new articles in Yoruba than in any other African language. Amharic and Lingala are the only other African languages with more than 1000 articles.
It may seem like we’re a long way from achieving the dream of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. But, perhaps, if we consider that of all the many years of human history, just 3 short years ago, an instant between the ticking of the galactic clock, most of these projects didn’t even exist, we’ll realise we’re doing quite well.
- The South African Wikimedia communities
- Venda Wikipedia Progress
- First Wikipedia Academy in Africa
- Wikipedia Week
- Of rock stars and Wikipedia translation
- Wikipedia translation tool
- Afrikaans Wikipedia hits 5000 articles
- Templates on the Afrikaans Wikipedia, and a translating tool
- Afrikaans Wikipedia hits 4000 articles
- Wikimedia and the FLOSS conference in Pretoria
- 500th Wikipedia edit