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-- Welcoming Bot 14:11, 27 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hello edit


Nice to see you contributing to the apc Wiki. Back then I tried to gather a community of native speakers but it was hard as I wasn't able to contribute myself. Adrian has a Discord with many Palestinian speakers (native or heritage speakers and learners). Same people who helped with the dubbing. I mentioned your efforts here but feel free to email Adrian. You may also find help in wikt:Wiktionary:Information_desk as there are some people contributing to Levantine there (or used to at least). Probably worth messaging Wikipedia:Category:User apc-LB as well.

From the previous discussions, issues we noticed:

  • Choice of a "standard" orthography. Some people suggested the following guidelines for instance: wiktionary:Wiktionary:About Levantine Arabic
  • How do you accommodate for local variations that go beyond just orthography, for instance vocabulary and grammar. Do you accept "rural" forms of verbs for instance? I would suggest to use the English Wikipedia as an example: "The official policy is to use British spelling when writing about British topics, and American English for topics relating to the United States. General topics can use any one of the variants, but should generally strive to be consistent within an article." (see w:Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English for more details). I can imagine articles about Palestinian villages written in a rural form for instance.
  • Political contentious topics.
  • People who want to write in Latin characters: I think in the future you could have something like the Kazakh Wikipedia with automatic conversion from one orthography to another (they have Cyrillic, Latin, and Arabic).
  • Option to convert numerals. The Hindi Wikipedia has this using this gadget.

Please let me know if I can help in any way. A455bcd9 (talk) 07:39, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thank you so much. :-)
I do have some questions and issues that I don't know how to fix.
  1. Is Incubator:Wp/apc/دليل الأسلوب the right page for the MoS? I created the (currently empty) page and am unsure if I did it properly.
  2. The citation template/s and many other important templates that are available on the English Wikipedia are unavailable here. (see how most citation appear at the bottom of this page). Of course, this wiki will be fine without most templates, but the citation ones are essential, especially since it makes copy-pasting citations when translating possible. I've seen the documentation for adding or importing templates, but is seems very complicated.
  3. By default, images are right-aligned and their captions are left-to-right aligned.
Those are generally all the issues.
I couldn't make a Discord account because it required my phone number, something I don't feel comfortable giving, but I'll email Adrian later.
Thanks again - FunLater (talk) 14:48, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
  1. MoS: you need to start with "Wikipedia: in the name" Similar to [ويكيبيديا:طريقة الكتابه this] for instance.
  2. Templates: it's a general issue here. There's no easy way to do it (as far as I know). What I recommend: don't focus on the template, not even on the citations (you can add a raw URL or title), but on the content. What matters it to have a community of a few people who edit every day. Then you can move to a "real" Wikipedia and there create proper templates.
  3. I spent some time on this issue and forgot the details but I think it's because "apc" wasn't part of the first language codes (there was only "ar" back then) so it's not yet recognized by MediaWiki. As @Amire80 wrote back then: "apc is supported on translatewiki. If anyone translates enough of it, it will be fully supported in MediaWiki." (here). Amire was kind enough to write the instructions here. Once we translate the "Most used/most important" it'll be fully supported in MediaWiki, which should solve other problems (for instance apc is not available on Wikidata for now).
Hope this helps...
Best, A455bcd9 (talk) 17:11, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
I'm still confused about the MoS. There is no namespace called Wikipedia; there's Incubator. Do I move the article to become a normal article (mainspace) with the prefix "ويكيبيديا"? FunLater (talk) 19:29, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
I've just found this in the FAQ I:PREFIX: "Prefixes are used in all namespaces for test-wiki content, e.g. "Template:Wx/xx/Template name" and "Category:Wx/xx/Category name". Note that the language code must be lowercase. Important note: The Help: and Project: (Incubator:) namespaces are reserved for pages serving the entire Incubator. To create a page for the Help: or Project: (e.g., "Wikipedia:") namespace of your test, place the page in mainspace by putting the namespace in after the prefix (e.g., "Wx/xx/Help:Help page" or "Wx/xx/Wiktionary:Project page")." (the rest of the FAQ can also be useful)
If still unclear, feel free to ask in the Incubator:Community Portal. A455bcd9 (talk) 19:56, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
It might be useful to contact contributors to other successful Arabic varieties to ask them for advice:
And also other similar projects in the incubator:
A455bcd9 (talk) 20:08, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. I think I understand the FAQ: basically it says to move the MoS to Wp/apc/ويكيبيديا:دليل الأسلوب, and I just did that. FunLater (talk) 20:08, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Perfect! A455bcd9 (talk) 20:10, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, they're doing the same thing at the Iraqi one: Wp/acm/ويكيبيديا:مقالات مختارة FunLater (talk) 20:11, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Sorry when I meant "ask them for advice" it wasn't about this specific namespace question but more generally: how did they find contributors? how did they convince people to contribute in their local dialect instead of MSA (or French or English)? How did they solve issues regarding orthography, local variants, etc.? I assume that there must be common challenges for all Arabic dialects. A455bcd9 (talk) 20:12, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Oh, okay. I'll ask. Thank you :) FunLater (talk) 20:14, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Good luck with this great project! Can't wait to see the Levantine Wikipedia officially launched :) A455bcd9 (talk) 20:29, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
I assume you've already checked it, but just in case, this list can be useful: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_articles_every_Wikipedia_should_have A455bcd9 (talk) 13:07, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I already did. Thank you anyway. You've really been helpful, and I appreciate the dictionaries you provided in the talk page. FunLater (talk) 22:10, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
You're welcome. Are the articles I created OK by the way? A455bcd9 (talk) 07:33, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
I changed them a little. You used MSA spelling a few times.
I also partly changed the way the sentences are written, because they felt awkward, but I don't think I improved them by a lot, and I ended up making the articles very inconsistent.
I think we need more editors right now, with whom we can discuss things like additions to the MoS.
For now, I'll read the Egyptian MoS (and Algerian, if I can understand) to see what are some uncontroversial guides that we can add without discussions with others, and I'll also try to let more people know about this wiki.
I also need to read more written Levantine and take note of the common spelling variations which should be mentioned in the MoS, but we won't be able to discuss which variants to use without more people.
How can I tell who were most active in the Egyptian Wikipedia before it was launched? Because, as you suggested, I should ask them how they promoted their wiki. FunLater (talk) 22:56, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for fixing them.
Yes, we need more people. The Moroccan Wikipedia (ary) was recently launched so I'm pretty sure that most people active today, and especially admins, were involved during the Incubator phase. I assume you can just message them here: ary:ويكيپيديا:ساحة د الجماعة. You can also directly message people registered here as Moroccan speakers: Category:Users:By language:ary. See also:
A455bcd9 (talk) 07:12, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Article count and category edit

Hi, FYI: To make sure that the article count on the main page is correct, we need to add [[Category:Wp/apc]] on every single page. I've just added those missing. It's a bit annoying that it's not done automatically... Best, A455bcd9 (talk) 21:10, 6 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Oh, that's goofy. Thank you for adding them and letting me know. FunLater (talk) 00:01, 7 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Have you managed to find other potential contributors btw? A455bcd9 (talk) 08:17, 7 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
A native Levantine speaker at the English Wikipedia said they're very interested, but hasn't made any edits. I've posted about the Wiki on Reddit in the r/learn_arabic subreddit, which has many native speakers, and it had mixed receptions: learners wanted it, native speakers didn't. I'll post on more subreddits.
Did you check if any editors at the Levantine Wikipedia are still active elsewhere? They may be interested in coming back now that there are other editors.
By the way, any advice on what to change/improve in the Reddit post? Anything you recommend I mention. Anything you recommend I don't... FunLater (talk) 21:29, 7 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
I've just emailed you the contact details of someone who might help.
The answers you got on Reddit are expected given that "dialects" are considered impure and/or an attack on pan-Arabism or the Umma.
My advice:
  • Understand from Moroccan and Egyptian contributors which arguments were convincing and how they found contributors.
  • My guess is that there are two main motivators for people to contribute to these editions:
  1. Ideology: people who want to actively promote their variety as a language instead of a dialect (e.g., Moroccan speakers vs MSA). Or who want to distinguish themselves from another community (e.g., Coptic Egyptians vs Muslim Arabic speakers)
  2. Local interest: if you want to cover things super specific to your area, it's easier in a "small" Wikipedia: you're village, the local flowers, traditions, slang, etc.
  • There might be other reasons like "fun" (to write in their native language instead of MSA), "historical" (to preserve information about the dialects, you can see this with the Ladino Wikipedia for instance), and "educational" (to help young people or non-native learners, especially heritage learners) but I suspect there are less important.
  • Based on the above, I would target audiences that might be responsive to each of these "motivators" and to modify the message depending on each audience. For instance:
    • r/lebanon & r/Lebanese: there's always been a significant % of Lebanese people who want to promote "Lebanese" as a language vs Arabic. They might be more receptive to the concept of a Shami Wiki.
    • r/Palestine, r/jordan, and r/Syria: from my experience, they tend to be more opposed to promoting "dialects" in their written form. But they're often proud of their "dialect" and OK with efforts to preserve them. And written articles help with this. For instance to preserve folk stories, songs, traditions, etc.
    • r/Israel: the best research on Arabic varieties and diglossia (and especially Palestinian Arabic) is done by Arab citizens of Israel in Israeli universities. So I assume that Arabic speakers living within the border of the State of Israel may be more willing to contribute. For them it may also be a way to affirm their identity and contribute to the preservation of their "dialect".
    • For r/learn_arabic: I would focus on "The goal isn't ideological. We don't want to compete with the MSA Wikipedia, it would be stupid and unrealistic to do so. We want to offer written content in the dialect in many topics to help learners, and especially heritage learners, to read and practice the language, because although Arabic is diglossic, reading helps during the learning process and also more and more written dialect can be found online and learners may struggle with this compared to MSA."
  • Haters gonna hate: ignore them and focus on the few people who'll be willing to contribute.
  • Then maybe create a community of contributors outside Wikipedia (Discord?) to nurture these people and discuss in a more casual way (Adrian Abdul Baha's Discord may do the job, we had a wiki channel back then).
A455bcd9 (talk) 07:47, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Another reason: as noted below, most LLMs suck for "dialects". That's because content online is mostly in MSA and resources for local varieties are scarce or low quality or they don't cover all topics. There's also a lot of content on Twitter but it's copyrighted and hard to "harvest" and you first need to do dialect classification. So if instead, we, humans, create content in apc here then LLMs could be trained on it later. It would be useful for conversational agents in Levantine Arabic for instance (Alexa, ChatGPT Voice, etc.). A455bcd9 (talk) 08:02, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. I emailed the person.
Adrian's Discord is unfortunately locked behind a paywall (Ko-fi and Patreon).
I'll post on more subreddits and Discord servers. (I posted here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Lebanese/comments/1732g8g/is_anyone_interested_in_writing_wikipedia) FunLater (talk) 16:05, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
wow I didn't know he added a paywall... A455bcd9 (talk) 16:07, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Levantine Arabic Machine Translation edit

Thanks for doing this, I hope it succeeds! I saw your post on /r/learn_arabic on Reddit and came here. I am only a beginner in this language, but trying to see if there is any way I can help. Yesterday I added the page for Albert Einstein. It was an output from Google's Bard, where I instructed to translate the MSA to Levantine. I see you made a number of edits, thanks for fixing it. Today I tried to add Indian Ocean, this time using Meta's NLLB machine translator. It supports 200 Languages including North and Sourth Levantine Arabic. I chose North for the Indian Ocean page. Please let me know how it looks. Gorkem80 (talk) 07:03, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Welcome here! I tried to do the same with ChatGPT, asking it specifically to output sentences in "colloquial vernacular Levantine Arabic" but the results were mixed and @FunLater also fixed it. I still think it can be a good way to generate a lot of drafts, for instance for the List of articles every Wikipedia should have, that can then be moved to the mainspace after review by an experienced editor. A455bcd9 (talk) 07:50, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
The article seems more Levantine-y, but honestly it's not very understandable.
Could you send the South Levantine translation here? Maybe it's better. FunLater (talk) 16:16, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thanks! @FunLaterHere is the South Levantine translation. Let me know if i is any better.
المحيط الهندي هوه ثالث اكبر محيط بين محيطات الارض، ويكتشف حوالي 20% من المياه على سطح الارض. ويحدده شمال شبه القارة الهندية؛ من الغرب شرق افريقيا، ومن الشرق شبه الجزيرة الهندية الصينية، جزر السوندا واستراليا، ومن الجنوب يحدده المحيط الجليدي الجنوبي (الاندركتيكا). ومن المحيط بس الكشف عن اسمه بعد بلد، والهند
@A455bcd9: Totally agree. Also there may be ways to fine tune the existing technology to adjust its output to the encyclopedic Levantine style that is to be used here, requiring much fewer edits eventually. Gorkem80 (talk) 17:39, 8 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Another attempt. This time first I made the English simpler using ChatGPT and then used NLLB to translate it into Levantine:
North Levantine:
المحيط الهندي واحد من خمسة محيطات في العالم. هوي ثالث اكبر محيط بعد المحيط الهادئ والمحيط الأطلسي. المحيط الهندي محاط بآسيا شمالاً، أستراليا والمحيط الهادئ شرقاً، المحيط الجنوبي جنوباً، وأفريقيا والمحيط الأطلسي غرباً. سميت المحيط الهندي على اسم نهر السند، اللي بيجري بالهند.
South Levantine:
المحيط الهندي هو واحد من خمسة محيطات في العالم. هو ثالث اكبر محيط بعد المحيط الهادئ والمحيط الأطلسي. المحيط الهندي محاط بآسيا شمالاً، واستراليا والمحيط الهادئ شرقاً، والمحيط الجنوبي جنوباً، وأفريقيا والمحيط الأطلسي غرباً. سمي المحيط الهندي على اسم نهر السند، اللي يتدفق من خلال الهند.
" Gorkem80 (talk) 04:54, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
You could add these stubs in a subspace "Draft:" btw (see for instance on the English Wikipedia for what it would look like: w:Draft:Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality). A455bcd9 (talk) 06:59, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, that makes sense. I'll use drafts going forward for machine translated stubs. Gorkem80 (talk) 04:46, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Though not perfect, that's much better. FunLater (talk) 08:47, 9 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Cool, thanks for reviewing. Gorkem80 (talk) 04:47, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Shami Discord edit

@A455bcd9 @TheJoyfulTentmaker I made a Discord server, if you're interested: https://discord.gg/8xsJptjTvR FunLater (talk) 21:07, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, I joined today! TheJoyfulTentmaker (talk) 23:07, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply