Punjabi Wikipedia conference held in Chandigarh | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Punjabi Wikipedia conference held in Chandigarh

Over 18,000 people are contributing to the Punjabi Wikipedia, 88 of which are active users while 7 are acting as administrators.

punjab Updated: Sep 11, 2017 22:53 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Participants during the Punjabi Wikipedia workshop at Sood Bhawan, Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Participants during the Punjabi Wikipedia workshop at Sood Bhawan, Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Sunday.(HT Photo)

“It is very important for a language to be on the internet to survive in the present time,” said Asaf Bartov of the Wikimedia foundation who was in Chandigarh on Sunday to conduct a workshop for Punjabi wikipedians.

Asaf Bartov who is the senior Program Officer of emerging communities at the Wikimedia Foundation held the workshop at Sood Bhawan.

Wikipedia is a platform where anyone can contribute. However, there will be a fact check by the administrators. Many volunteers are contributing to the Punjabi Wikipedia as they believe the internet should be for anyone even if they do not know English.

Long term survival of languages

Asaf pointed out, “For long term survival of a language, it has be on the internet. Now we have historical records of languages on the internet and the discourse continues.”

Wikipedia in Punjabi language started back in 2002 but did not do very well until around 2010. Around 2010, Satdeep Gill from Patiala started contributing to it, and started a group for it which included his father too. At present he is working as a strategy coordinator with the foundation.

“From that time on, the group has grown, and many youngsters and even older people are now contributing to the Punjabi Wikipedia. It is not paid work, it is a service for the language,” he said.

Over 18,000 people are contributing to the Punjabi Wikipedia, 88 of which are active users while 7 are acting as administrators.

Social impact

Bartov said, “It has a social impact too. One who cannot understand any other language than his own . As the articles on Wikipedia increase in a particular language, it will start coming up on the internet as a major search.”

Adding to it, he said, “We cannot escape the fact that it is a hobby for the middle class. Those people who have a laptop or a smart phone and can spare time, edit on the Wikipedia.”

He also said that Wikipedia in regional language will help all those people who can only read their own language and will help preserve the languages.

Presently, 26,791 articles are available in the Punjabi language on Wikipedia.