A sixth African-language Wikipedia has reached the 1000 article milestone, with Wolof now sitting at 1068 articles.
African Language Wikipedias
Swahili remains the largest African-language Wikipedia, and is moving rapidly ahead. Having passed Afrikaans in August 2009, it’s now almost 3000 articles ahead, while Afrikaans remains on a steady trajectory.
Swahili also benefited from a Google project to create more Swahili content, focusing on the Swahili Wikipedia. Google initially targetted 7 East African universities, and sponsored prizes. Contributers had between November and January to write new articles, and the contest resulted in a 30% increase (by words) in the size of the Swahili Wikipedia for that period. New articles were up to 35 a day (up from 9 in October), but it appears this was a temporary boost, as rates have dropped off to 5 or 6 new articles a day since, below the Afrikaans average of about 9.
So, the African language Wikipedias show steady progress, what about Wiktionary?
African Language Wiktionaries
Many of the languages have stagnated, with the possible exception of Malagasy, which at first glance appears to have taken off and is now the 3rd-largest African language Wiktionary. In March though, the Malagasy Wikipedia stood at 6119 articles, so it appears a large number were not article quality, or were spam, and have been deleted. Article count is not a good indicator of quality, as it’s quite easy to create large number of low quality stubs, which isn’t indicative of a vibrant project.
On to the South African languages in particular:
South African Language Wikipedias
* – yes, one article has been created since I started writing this.
** – The Northern Sotho Wikipedia is going great guns in the incubator, but it appears no closer to becoming an actual project, even though it would easily be second to Afrikaans. The missing criteria is “having an active community”, a criterion most of projects still in the main space would fail.
Besides Northern Sotho, and of course Afrikaans, there’s been some minor activity in Venda and Swati, but otherwise the other South African language Wikipedias have all failed to come to life yet, with Sotho even reducing in size as spam articles are cleaned out.
And how about the Wiktionaries?
South African Language Wiktionaries
Again, outside of Afrikaans, and a notable spurt from Swati that seems mainly to have been contributed by one person, nothing but the most superficial of progress.
Overall, only two languages, Swahili and Afrikaans, could be called success stories, but there’s some progress overall with some of the larger African languages.
- Swahili Wikipedia now the largest African-language Wikipedia
- The state of Wikimedia projects in South African and Africa – Dec 2008
- 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