Friday, April 17, 2009

Kurdish Wikipedia & Sorani

Kurdish is a macro language. This means that there are multiple languages who are Kurdish. When you read the Wikipedia article "Kurdish language", you find all the classic arguments about language and dialects. The Wikipedia article assumes that Kurdish is one language while it provides all the arguments why a differing opinion is sound.

The language policy of the Wikimedia Foundation requires for new languages that they are recognised as a  language in the ISO 639-3. The request for the Sorani language was quite special; the localisation for ku-arab we were told was actually Sorani but what topped even this was the request we received from one of the Kurdish admins to consider the 500 articles in the Arabic scripts in the Kurdish Wikipedia because they are in fact in Sorani.

Given that the Kurdish community itself supports the request for Sorani and given that all the requirements are in place when you allow for such special circumstance I consider the Sorani proposal to be extraordinary and ready for showtime when the other members of the language committee concur.

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