Adding to its editions in 288 different languages, Wikipedia will expand its availability in Mexican indigenous languages, with new editions in Maya and Mixtec. This would be an addition to its current edition available in Nahuatl.
Ivan Martinez, president of Wikimedia Mexico, told The Associated Press that his association’s mission is to provide people with access to knowledge, and it has to accomplish this in their own language.
Wikipedia currently has an edition in Nahuatl, with approximately 10,000 articles. It also features the option to read them in ancient and modern Nahuatl, as many academics often learn ancient Nahuatl, while native speakers use the modern version.
Editions in indigenous languages emerge at the initiative of users, said Martinez.
“When Mexico Wikimedia was founded, there was already publishing in Nahuatl,” Martinez said of the edition created in 2009. “These tools are made by people themselves and do not require any authorization. Like Wikipedia itself, no one needed to ask permission to create and develop it.”
For now, the Maya edition, currently developed with communities of Yucatán, has about 1,000 articles prepared. The Mixtec edition has 100 articles and is being developed with communities in the state of Oaxaca. This language presents a particular challenge because it has around 81 linguistic variations.
To expand the content in indigenous languages, Wikimedia Mexico organizes translation marathons.
The announcement of new editions in indigenous languages was made during the first edition of the annual Wikimania conference in Mexico. Mexico was chosen, among other reasons, for having the highest readership of Wikipedia in Spanish, with 35 and 45 million unique visitors in Mexican territory. It also holds second place in the editing of more articles in this language, right behind Spain, according to data provided by Martinez.
This year’s edition in Mexico is the second Wikimania conference celebrated in Latin America after the first which took place in Buenos Aires in 2009.
During the conference, it was also announced that Wikimedia Mexico would be signing a collaboration agreement with Mexico’s National Council for Culture and the Arts. Wikipedia currently has the support of Mexican academics who use the encyclopedia as a teaching tool.
In Mexico, Wikimedia has 72 volunteers, most of which are women, and 25 staff members.
“We have created safe spaces for them to work in confidence with women -only events,” Martinez said of the participation of women in the free encyclopedia. He also spoke of Wikimedia Mexico’s commitment to close Wikipedia’s gender gap, illustrated by the fact that “out of 10 ‘Wikipedians’, only one is a woman.”
by Associated Press
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