The text below initially came from another user's posting in the proposal page, and has been brought here to be used as a blueprint/starting point in order to evaluate the proposal arguments (both in favour and against) and create a community thesis. You should feel free to edit it as needed, adding, changing, or removing content, until we synchronize on a final text that is going to represent the position of the community. While doing so, it is probably better to do it in English as this is the language that is going to be communicated in the proposal page. If somebody does not speak English, they can do so in their native language or ancient Greek and we will make sure to carry the meaning in English.
Before doing any of the above, I have to suggest that members first read through the postings at http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/27515, which lists thorougly the objections of the language committee and their rationale, back in 2008 when the proposal was last denied.
As a second thought, the text, once finalized, should also be translated to Ancient Greek (not a top priority). After all, whatever version we end up with will be a text of the community.
Arguments in favour of having an ancient Greek Wikipedia
- In daily use: There is a living population that are natural speakers and make use of the language (en:Koine Greek = bible Greek), namely the sum of Greek Orthodox churches, monasteries and of course the head authority of the Orthodox church worldwide in Ecumenical Patriarchate where the language is used for communication and admin purposes further to solely liturgical, very similar to Latin use in the Vatican City. Further to the Christian church, the language is also used by the modern pagan followers of the old religion.
- Is useful: If people are paying in order to be taught Ancient Greek in university courses and educational institutions, and the language is also taught in secondary education in UK, Germany, and France, then surely this showcases that there is both a demand as well as a need for offering a free encyclopedia in this language, in the spirit of Wikimedia's mission which is to provide the sum of human knowledge to every human being.
- Can describe modern concepts: Ancient Greek has continuously been used for creating words for new concepts (e.g. en:List of Greek and Latin roots in English) if Ancient Greek was not capable to describe new concepts it would never have been used for this purpose and a great lot of words in most European languages would be very different from what they are today (Airplane anybody?). Furthermore there already is an available mapping of most core modern terms in one of the pages in the incubator wiki as demonstrated here, conveying the meaning and maintaining the linguistic accuracy of the language. Lastly, the Zolotas speeches are interesting too.
- Has modern uses:
- Modern mass market books published in ancient Greek, i.e. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- Modern comicbooks: Four (4) issues of Asterix have been translated into ancient Greek and published.
- A 10+ years old news website, still up and running
- Onomata Kechiasmena a modern crossword & puzzles magazine in Ancient Greek.
- a 6000+ lines poem
- Classification:SIL, the official registration authority for ISO 639-3 has the grc language code assigned with the language having a status of being Active, as well as being unique enough to be Individual in scope and Historic in type not classified as ancient or extinct as per the respective classification definitions in the ISO
- Has translated interface:(Update 01.03.2016 - the required MediaWiki interface translations have been fully completed!
- Already has a great number of articles:More than 2000 articles at the incubator project which shows that there is an active interest and potential.
- Has closest thing to native speakers: Furthermore, independent pockets of people numbering up to 5,000 have been found that are speakers of a very close dialect of the language such as the example here and here and here.
- A great lot of other things could be said about the cultural and educational importance and legacy of the language, the large volume of available material, the high number of people familiar with the language internationally and able to contribute, but at the end of the day if the single most important argument for having the committee proceed to approval is that there are people that use this language day to day as native speakers, arguments for this are presented above.
- It has no native speakers
- Has speakers that constantly and consistently use it as a prefered language of communication (eg. Eccumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Autonomous State of Mt. Athos, in ecxactly the same fashion Latin is used in the Vatcan State, i.e. none has it as a mother tongue but is the language of communication, spoken and writen)
- Has speakers that constantly and consistently use it for their religious practice (e.g. Orthodox Church of Greece, the whole mass and related rituals are in grc and never translated in modern greek)
- If we accept this language then we will have to accept XYZ other languages, we can't allow this
- If any other languages exist that are the official language of a worldwide religious authority and of an autonomous self-governing state, are been taught in universities and secondary schools in different countries, have modern publications published in it, have an immense corpus of literature, has continuosly been used in order to create scientific, technological and philosophical terms, and is not classified as being extinct by ISO, then this other language should be accepted. However, there aren't any other languages like this one that do not already have a wiki (Latin, Sanskrit, Traditional Chinese, Arabic). Ancient Greek really is the only language without a wiki that a strong case can be made for creating a wiki for.
- It is not an official language of a modern entity/country
- It is the official language of a Religious Institution for nearly 2 millenia and the de facto official language of the Autonomus State of Mt. Athos
- It has no uses in the modern world
- It has continuosly been used to create terms in science, technology and humanities
- It is unable to express modern concepts due to it's age
- See uses in the modern world
- It has no continuous use like Latin does for instance
- See uses by Church and uses in the modern world
- Even if it is able to express modern concepts this is a neologism and not a historically accurate form of the language
- Linguistic accuracy is what is important, we want a living Wikipedia not a museum exhibition. Also see uses in the modern world with regards to its continuous use.
- It has too many dialects and forms to be able to have it under 1 Wikipedia
- Koine is understood to be the most common form of the language, but there is room for other versions depending on the subject of the article, similar to the way that wikipedias such as En (US/UK), Es (ES/Latin America) have managed to find solutions to the same problem.
- It is not in line with Wikimedia's mission which is to provide the sum of knowledge to every human being as it is a language that is not used by anyone
- The language is being taught on a degree level in universities worldwide, as well as in secondary education in some countries. This merits offering a free encyclopedia in the language, and is exactly in line of providing knowledge for everyone
- if we open a "Wikipedia Ancient Greek" what comes next? A new testamentary Greek Wikipedia?
- It is not Wikipedia Ancient Greek technicaly, it is grc.wikipedia. Under grc are classified the various dialects of greek from ancient to Koine. The various flavours of the language can coexist in a pattern that will be provided by the community.