Wikipedia:Mercat Cross

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Mercat Cross, Edinburgh.jpg

Walcome tae the Mercat Cross! This is the airt tae tauk aboot the technical wirkins o the Wikipedia.

Tae raise or discuss spellin o Scots wirds, an which we shuid be uisin, please gaun tae Spellin Fettle
  • Archives: 1 · 2 · 3.

Growth team experiments on your wiki?[eedit soorce]


I'm Trizek (WMF). I work as a community relations specialist for the Wikimedia Foundation, and in particular with the Growth team.

I'm contacting you after the recent revelations about your wiki. My goal is to offer some help.

The Growth team's goal is to create tools that would help newcomers, and you apparently have more newcomers these days. The objective is to increase the retention of new editors.

This is the newcomer homepage (displayed using Czech language)

We have created several tools to help them, and also to help community members who help them:

  • Newcomer tasks: a feed of task suggestions that help newcomers learn to edit. Newcomers make productive edits through this feed. Also, they are more likely to stay on Wikipedia after making edits using this feature!
  • Newcomer homepage: a special page that hosts the "newcomer tasks" and is a good place for a newcomer to get started. They get the contact with an experienced mentor who can help them.
  • Help panel: a platform to provide resources to newcomers while they are editing. If they do suggested tasks, they are step-by-step guided.

These tools are already available on some wikis, you can also try them on

We can deploy these tools on Scots Wikipedia. What do you think? I'm looking for people who could help working on translations and also to check on the configuration. What you have to do is explained on this page. It is mostly about translations, identifying useful templates and have a list of mentors ready to help. I can also assist you anytime with it.

I'm looking forward your reply, hoping for a great collaboration. Let me know if you have any question about this project! Of course, please move or share this message if needed.

Thank you, Trizek (WMF) (tauk) 13:06, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

@Trizek (WMF): if you had to choose between two new non-content namespaces, "Scroll:" and "Jottin:" as opposed to both or none, which do you think would be the most useful for increasing the proportion of Scots in the Scots Wikipedia? James Salsman (tauk) 00:28, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
(in Inglis) @Trizek (WMF): I've been interested in this since you posted it, and have mentioned it here and there on and off wiki. I think generally there is interest in some of what the Growth team has to offer, if the comments on our current RfC about whether to disallow IP editors from creating articles. I'm not at all qualified to be speaking on behalf of the community, and can't offer to translate, but wanted to bring this up so some more people had a look at it. James Hyett (tauk) 20:53, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
[en] Thank you for the highlight @James Hyett. Growth team tools may be a really good opportunity to help new users to make their first steps and stay on Scots Wikipedia. Let me know if the community wishes to adopt them. Maybe an RfC would help? Trizek (WMF) (tauk) 12:40, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

RfC on date airticles[eedit soorce]

A hae foond twa muckle problems wi the date airticles, e.g. 1 Januar:

  1. fair feck o Scotched English
  2. no or bare referencin on leets (wi a tot o thoosands o events/births/daiths)

If it wis jist 1, that wid be no different tae {{fixscots}}. But ti ma pense, baith maks a kittle (see 5).

A propone ettlin throu ilka date airticle an:

  • rid ony events/births/daiths wi no reference
  • apairt fae ony that airt tae the date, e.g. the non date relatit pages
  • pit thon remainin ower intae Scots
  • eikin references
  • fendin the airticle, so anely autoconfirmed users can edit (mony Scotched/no reference contribs ar fae IP editors the nou)

Thochts? soothrhins (tauk) 21:22, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Aye, A'm happy wi aw this. Better aan jest leavin em open fur edit fermin CiphriusKane (tauk) 05:56, 28 September 2020 (UTC)

Establishin 'notability' policy[eedit soorce]

See proponed here: Wikipedia:Notability
Request for comments and votes for what to call it here: Wikipedia collogue:Notability
Aefauldlie - soothrhins (tauk) 10:11, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

Label article dialect and language quality[eedit soorce]

Hello there, inspired by other small wikis, I would like to make the following suggestions:

  1. Add a label to each page to show in which variant/dialect it is written. This is used on many wikis in non-standardized langauges and prepares the reader/editor. Maybe this could be especially valuable for the Scots Wikipedia, since I hear stories where people wouldn't contribute since they think their Scots is bad just because their Scots is different from that used in a certain page.
  2. Mark the "quality" of the Scots used in an article. This--of course--won't help with AG's contributions, but maybe with people who only just start writing Scots. Plus, I would help others find articles that need help language-wise. Such a system is used in the Latin wikipedia.

Just my two cents. -- (talk) 14:45, 24 September 2020 (UTC) --Andreas (tauk) 18:43, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

I like it! –MJLTauk 14:54, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
On (1.), aye, but as maist articles ar screived in a kind o general Scots, it wid be maist uiseful if a editor scrieves a page in total Ullans (for example).
On (2.), nice idea, but dinnae ken how ye wid grade quality o a non-standart leid wi oot causin quarrels. Mibbe sumhin ti leuk at lang intae the futur efter the muckle cleanup. soothrhins (tauk) 21:18, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Point taken, and I kinda agree with your comment on 2.
A didna ken that there was something like a general Scots. I just though it might make sense when I stumbled upon a talk page where person (Glaswegian, iirc) mentioned they didna ken "ken". Also, there are several ways to design such a system: You could just go with the major dialect groups (insular, northern, central, southern, Ullans and Doric). That is if they aren't purely an academic thing and people know about them. Or you could use a "braid", "general" and "urban" system. In both cases you could allow for a variable where the authors could add their town or county. Apart from Ullans, something like Caithness Scots might also be worth labeling. Anywho, it's just something that came to mind from reading comments here and elsewhere. --Andreas (tauk) 22:20, 24 September 2020 (UTC) Btw, is there an article in Ullans?
A hae seen yin scrieved in Ullans an non-Ullans on the same page (an labelled). Can a mind whit it was? No! A hink thare's miles in settin sumhin up lik {{byleid|freetext ti pit the byleid in here}} (a bit lik Template:aboot), whaur free text gies room for nuance. soothrhins (tauk) 22:39, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

If Wikipedia is supposed to be an online encyclopedia that anybody can edit is it then expected that edits to a page with a "which variant/dialect it is written" label are done in the labelled variant/dialect? The edits might be being made by somebody unfamiliar with the labelled variant/dialect or who chooses to spell it differently than has already been done. A veritable can of worms attempting a project typical of an Ausbau language with language varieties that effectively function as local varieties of colloquial English spoken in Scotland that are ultimately heteronomous with respect to Standard English. Nevertheless, it seems that when this Wiki was started attemps were made to address that issue. Nogger (tauk)

(Looks like @Nogger: added their answer to #1 after I already replied to their answer ad #2, so I'll reply to this one separately.)
Like I said in my reply to yours below, I know where you're coming from since I contributed to the Bavarian Wikipedia in the past. The situation of Bavarian is virtually the same as that of Scots in that is not standardised, not taught in schools etc. (It's not even recognised as a regional language by Bavaria or Austria, so congrats on that part, I guess). I'm merely sharing experiences made in other similar projects. With that out of the way, I could certainly give you the details of the language policy over there, but I think every community should figure out its own way to handle language use. If you want the details anyway, just let me know. On a separate note, I would love to know what makes Scots an ausbau language rather than an abstand one. If you find the time, please leave me a note on my collogue page. Thanks! --Andreas (tauk) 00:50, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

It would certainly be a challenge to Mark the "quality" of the Scots used in an article where, according to experts in the field such as those who created the The OU Scots Language and Culture course [1], Scots is a non-standard language.[2] That would indicate that any spelling or turn of phrase that can be understood by a Scots-speaker literate in English is as good as any other. Consequently resources for schools inform that "you can spell Scots any way you want" (within reason of course). [3] I suspect that it was assumed that transactional or discursive writing for an encyclopedia is something that Scots would never be used for. On the other hand, the Wikipedia article Modern Scots mentions "spellings ... based on ... prestigious literary conventions". Nogger (tauk) 22:23, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

While I like the idea of spellings ... based on ... prestigious literary conventions, I totally understand where you're coming from. I used to write for the Bavarian (my mouther tongue) and Neapolitan (my then SO's mother tongue) Wikipedias. I know that regional languages like these and Scots--which are close to their region's "prestige variety" and often considered dialects thereof--are not standardised nor taught in schools. I know that your head easily switches to the "prestige variety" as soon as you pick up a pen or put your hands down on a keyboard. That's what the "quality check" should focus on: how English is the Scots on a page--especially grammar-wise? This reminds me of another method we use on the Bavarian and Alemannic Wikipedias: a Help: page (entitled How to write good Bavarian/Alemannic) which explains the major grammatical differences between these varieties and Standard German, simple things you might get wrong when you aren't used to wrting them. Such a page could also be linked to in the welcome wagon/messages.
I don't know, just trying to help. Let me know what you think. --Andreas (tauk) 23:01, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

There's 50,000 pages, and not enough native mother-tongue contemporary Scots speaking editors on wikipedia. If there was a large pool of enthusiastic domestic native speakers involved then this wouldn't be a problem, but as it is the non-natives who rarely hear spoken Scots vastly outnumber them. I'm not a native speaker myself, but I'm sceptical of the merits of using 18t Century sources, the Online Scots Dictionary and even the Scots Spelling Committee, because a modern contemporary Scots speaker, Jimmy on the Clackmannan omnibus, can turn round and say that it looks like nonsense, nae one talks like that.
As a counterpoint, professional Scots authors and book publishers are staking their likelihoods and careers on getting spellings and grammar right, and not spouting nonsense. There's only a couple them, and only two or three Scots leid books published a year. --Illandancient (tauk) 08:25, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

It is certainly likely that Jimmy on the Clackmannan omnibus won't be speaking the Broad Scots that Survived into the middle of the 20th century or be familiar with the vibrant literary tradition that accompanied it before rapid dialect levelling occured. It was that Broad Scots which is described in the introduction to the 1985 Concise Scots Dictionary as having "linguistic distinctiveness" and a "remarkable literature" among other features which are "attributes of a language rather than a dialect." Since the onset of widespread dialect levelling after WWII most folk speak various intermediate mixtures of residual Broad Scots and Standard English/colloquial influences from throughout the English speaking world which is described as "the country's everyday vernacular, but now no more than that" in the introduction to the Concise Scots Dictionary mentioned above. That intermediate mixture was perhaps not regarded as Scots at all when C. Macafee concluded in the 'Edinburgh Companion to Scots' (p.51) that by the end of the twentieth century Scots was at an advanced stage of language death over much of Lowland Scotland.
The same "nae one talks like that" perhaps also applies in the world inhabited by John on the Millwall omnibus. When perusing the English Wikipedia John sees English written in high register aureate transactional prose rather than a representation of his habitual colloquial English. Years of schooling in Standard English transactional writing make John on the Millwall omnibus aware of that and enables others to produce it. Should the Scots Wikipedia be drawing on the Broad Scots literary tradition in order to educate Jimmy on the Clackmannan omnibus and help him reclaim his linguistic heritage or should the Scots Wikipedia be written in a colloquial first-person narrative drawing on that vernacular mix of residual Broad Scots and Standard and Non-standard English along with other colloquial influences from throughout the English speaking world?
The fact that most books currently published in Scots (rather than having Scots in dialogue and the narrative in English) are creative writing for children would indicate that many view Scots (of any kind) as an unsuitable medium for non-fiction transactional prose. Which is probably why Jimmy on the Clackmannan omnibus, and many like him, consult the English Wikipedia rather than the Scots one. Nogger (tauk) 20:53, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Server time is off by an hour?[eedit soorce]

The times logged when making changes seem to be an hour behind. It's 2:18 BST as of saving this. --Andreas (tauk) 01:19, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Prolly loggin in GMT, that Scotland uises hauf the year. Nae shuir if it's possible tae change this CiphriusKane (tauk) 01:21, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
The server time is UTC+0000, but you can change your time zone in your settings. Bear in mind this will only change the time displayed to you, it will not affect where the time is displayed as part of the page contents. If you see a time stamp in someone's signature on a talk page, for example, you'll still have to account for the difference yourself. Signatures will usually be tagged "UTC" so you know you might need to account for differences, like so: my_hat_stinks (tauk) 14:24, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

The message at the tap o the page[eedit soorce]

The message at the tap o the page says:

"(in Scots) Followin recent revelations, Scots Wikipedia is presently reviewin its airticles for muckle leid inaccuracies. (FAQ)"
Wad it no be mair Scots tae say:
"(in Scots) Follaein racent clearances, the Scots Wikipedia is praisently reviewin its airticles for muckle leid inaccuracies. (FAQ)"

Munci (tauk) 16:02, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Wiki of functions naming contest[eedit soorce]

21:22, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

RfC on delisting guid/featurt airticles[eedit soorce]

At the current time, there's a couple of standards for quality on the wiki, primarily guid articles and featurt airticles. Given Leidgate and the abysmal quality of some of these articles (see Betula pubescens, which was a "guid airticle" until recently), I'm proposing all featurt airticles prior to October 2020 (i.e. all bar Findhorn) and all guid airticles be delisted and that we set up some process for assigning these tags. As an additional note, some articles listed as "guid airticles" had the tags added by the article creators due to the English wiki having that status (see: Timbaland) CiphriusKane (tauk) 10:09, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

Seems lik the richt thing tae dae, mibbie we should delete Template:Good article an aw, an anely use Template:Guid airticle tae discourage it's use whan lifit ower as pairt o en-wiki owersettins. Monospaced (tauk) 15:41, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

RfC on "guid airticle" usage[eedit soorce]

Point 1: Given the lack of decent articles on the wiki, I'd like to propose that we assign "guid airticle" status to potential featured articles. When we reach a point where we've got enough good articles to be a bit more picky, we can have a discussion about redefining "guid airticles".
Point 2: I'm proposing we award "guid airticle" status to The GFT, The Reid Road and George Square. These three should hopefully tide us over until we get some more quality articles CiphriusKane (tauk) 10:46, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

ad Point 1: +1. And I'd suggest to use one-tier system, at least until that redifining you propose happens. Maybe give a more Scots name (Braw airticles)? --Andreas (tauk) 15:56, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
ad Point 2: I nominate River Dee, Aiberdeenshire, Findhorn and Ben Lomond. --Andreas (tauk) 16:49, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
RE Point 1: Clarified in the Discord server, repeating here. The proposal is we assign "guid airticle" status to articles which can be featurt airticles and allowing admins to pick the next featurt airticle from the guid airticle pool. This would mean that GAs are our best and FAs are GA articles we've promoted (as opposed to the enwiki system where GAs are decent articles and FAs are the best), so the proposed "one-tier system" would be counterintuitive
RE Point 2: I'll clarify in the other RfC that Findhorn will be exempt from the FA cleansing and should automatically be awarded GA status as per Point 1. I'm happy with Ben Lomond but will refrain from commenting on River Dee, Aiberdeenshire given I wrote most of it CiphriusKane (tauk) 02:42, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

(in Inglis) Moving pages (can't do it myself)[eedit soorce]

(in Inglis) Erse Republican Airmy -> Irish Republican Army. Definitely a neologism coined on this wiki which can't be found in any Scots or Ulster Scots sources. Probably best to stick with the English as the official title of the page with Erse Republican Airmy in brackets. (n.b. this doesn't refer to the PIRA, which I previously moved to PIRA (Provos); if folk want to move this page then I understand).

Laird's Prayer -> Lord's Prayer. While "Laird" has been used in some older Scots translates (e.g. William Laughton Lorimer), "Lord" is the term used by the Kirk in their Prayer in Scots section. This was actually mentioned in the Leidgate discussion on Wikimedia. --Bangalamania (tauk) 20:56, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

@Bangalamania: on it. soothrhins (tauk) 21:36, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Cleanup on Wikidata[eedit soorce]

(in Inglis) Now that we're into the mass-deletion stage, I've been working on cleaning up Wikidata labels (~item titles) in Scots, which was one of the concerns raised during the meta RFC. Because Wikidata items automatically take their titles from the Scots Wikipedia pages, there's a risk that bad article titles from here (scotched English, strange spellings, etc) will persist on Wikidata, make their way into translation projects, etc.

I've so far cleaned up and checked the Scots labels for about 4000 of the items deleted by MJL in Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Proposal 2, batches A & B - these are the easy ones, eg people's names. About 500 are places in Scotland and I'll sort them out manually using the Gazetteer to make sure they're correct. There are about ~6500 left. My feeling is that since we're deleting all the articles as potentially bad Scots, we should probably remove the Scots labels as well. I suggested this in the meta discussion and didn't have any objections, but wanted to flag it up here as well in case of concerns. If not I'll go ahead and remove the rest of the labels in the next few days. Andrew Gray (tauk) 19:29, 3 October 2020 (UTC)

(en) I've been doing this (manually) as best I can when deleting/moving pages. Either correcting or if there is any doubt removing it. I don't know enough about how all of Wikidata works, but I see no problem with your suggestion to clean it up. soothrhins (tauk) 20:56, 3 October 2020 (UTC)

(in Inglis) Happy to point folks in the direction of some wikidata training materials, if that would help? Or could run an intro-to-Wikidata session on Zoom, if folks were interested? I'm also advised that translating key properties (there's about 3000 key ones) is quite helpful for a language. Sara Thomas (WMUK) (tauk) 11:41, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Call for feedback about Wikimedia Foundation Bylaws changes and Board candidate rubric[eedit soorce]

Hello. Apologies if you are not reading this message in your native language. Please help translate to your language.

Today the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees starts two calls for feedback. One is about changes to the Bylaws mainly to increase the Board size from 10 to 16 members. The other one is about a trustee candidate rubric to introduce new, more effective ways to evaluate new Board candidates. The Board welcomes your comments through 26 October. For more details, check the full announcement.

Thank ye! Qgil-WMF (talk) 17:17, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Politics news on 'e Newsins?[eedit soorce]

A'm wunnerin gin news tae dae wi politics wad be alloud on the Newsins bit? A wis hinkin thit the Welsh border closin wad be newswirthy here, bit wisna shuir anent the policy on politics news an wis telt tae come here an ask yese?

(in Inglis) So I'm wondering if news relating to politics would be allowed on the Newsins? I figured that maybe the Welsh border closing would be newsworthy here, and I was told to come here to ask what the policy/stance is on political news? -Cobra! (tauk) 23:00, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Uiser:Cobra 3000, as I see nobody answered you (yet), I think you can go ahead and report on any political news you think might be relevant. I don't see why not. And if anyone objects, then they will hopefully let us know. But in the meantime, I think you can go ahead. Thanks for your hard work, Sije (tauk) 18:59, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
(in Inglis) Alrighty then! -Cobra! (tauk) 19:36, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Scots & Wikisource[eedit soorce]

(in Inglis) Bit o chat over on the Facebook group about Scots language texts on Wikisource; there's a Texts in Scots category, and a Scots Portal as a starting point. Thought folks here might be interested. Transcription is a relatively easy entry point into editing on wikki, and doesn't require a high level of Scots language proficiency, so perhaps a good entry/learning point for folks with a lower Scots proficiency / who want to learn more. Happy to point folks in the direction of training materials / answer questions if I can. Scotland's had a good showing on Wikisource recently, what with the National Library of Scotland's lockdown project on the Scottish Chapbook collection. Relevant articles on can be enriched with links to source texts on wikisource, too... Sara Thomas (WMUK) (tauk) 12:04, 16 October 2020 (UTC)