Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Wikis and an Encyclopedia in Urdu

Posted an update on Wikis and an encyclopedia in Urdu on the Urdu ke Naam blog about a wiki I found in Urdu and the Urdu Wikipedia.

The Wiki also provides information about blogging in Urdu. For those who are not following this, there is a very large community of bloggers in Farsi/Persian--it's a largest single community in one language besides English or something—and it will be wondeful to see people blog more in Urdu, too. The languages are very close in script and other such technicalities, so we should be able to build on their achievements.

BTW, I never tire of saying this: the Wikipedia community has also set up an encyclopedia in Urdu. Let's see how it engages the Urdu community. The lack of formal structure for scientific and modern knowledge in "Third World" (and I use that phrase very advisedly) languages--even major ones with hundreds of millions if not billions of users--and specifically those spoken and used extensively by Muslim communities is often discussed as a symptom, or a reason for their "lagging behind" in the march of "progress". (And, to name the elephant in the room, at other times it is used as an illustration of inferiority.) If this encyclopedia takes off, it should be a step towards proving orr disproving some of that. Here's the URL directly:

http://ur.wikipedia.org

(And here's a link to my Urdu ke Naam blog entry on this topic.)
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