Saturday, March 22, 2008

How many languages for the WMF and MediaWiki

In a recent conversation the question was asked, how many languages will we have in the Wikimedia Foundation. A guess can be made how many languages will have an project by the end of the year and how many languages will have a presence on the Incubator.

The only statistics available on the number of languages in time are the ones at Betawiki. As the localisations for most WMF projects have been imported, it gives a fair indication to the WMF growth. The list of Wikipedias informs us of 255 Wikipedias. Many of these have been closed because of inactivity. This has its effect in Betawiki as well; for many of the 275 anguages there is no localisation activity either. However, for some of the requested languages like Hiligaynon there is no localisation activity yet.

Jimmy said at some stage that a Wikipedia starts to become relevant when it has more then 1000 articles. There are currently 152 such projects. The minimum number of articles needed for a project to be viable is for me at 500, we have 216 projects that qualify.

In Februari over 150 languages contributed to Betawiki; my prediction is that we will have some 280 wikipedias by the end of the year and 185 of these will have more then 500 articles. The Incubator may have some 25 new languages. For Betawiki I expect some 320 languages with 210 being actively maintained.

I expect that there is a relation between the quality of the localisation and the relative health of a project. I hope we will have by the end of the year a better understanding on this relation

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