Scots Wikipedia

The Scots Wikipedia (Scots: Wikipædia) is the Scots language version of Wikipedia, and is run by the Wikimedia Foundation. It was established on 23 June 2005, and first reached 1,000 articles in February 2006, and 5,000 articles in November 2010. As of March 2021, it has about 43,000 articles. The Scots Wikipedia is one of eight Wikipedias written in an Anglic language or English-based pidgin/creole, the others being the English Wikipedia, the Simple English Wikipedia, the Old English Wikipedia, the Pitkern-Norfuk Wikipedia, the Tok Pisin Wikipedia, the Jamaican Patois Wikipedia, and the Sranan Tongo Wikipedia.

In August 2020, the wiki received scrutiny from the media for the poor quality of the Scots writing in many of its articles, and for the discovery that at least 20,000 articles had been written by an individual who did not actually speak the language. This attention led to a review of the wiki's content by Scots speakers as well as editors from Wikipedia's wider community.

Reception

By February 2008, the site contained 2,200 articles and had outpaced Maori Wikipedia and Kashmiri Wikipedia. Reported reception, however, was mixed, with Scotland on Sunday's literary editor describing it as "convoluted at best, and an absolute parody at worst," while Ted Brocklebank, culture spokesman for the Scottish Tories, described it as a "cheap attempt at creating a language." However, Chris Robinson, director of the Dictionary of the Scots Language, spoke more positively of the site, noting: "The fact it is doing well gives a lie to all those people who decry Scots and try to do it down." In 2014, Jane C. Hu of Slate.com described the site as reading "like a transcription of a person with a Scottish accent", and said one Wikipedia editor had proposed that the project be closed, in the mistaken belief that it was a practical joke.

Controversy

In August 2020, the site attracted attention after a Reddit post noted that the project contained an unusually high number of articles written by a single prolific contributor who is not fluent in the Scots language, writing without using genuine Scots idioms or grammatical structure and assumed to be using an online English-Scots dictionary to crudely translate English Wikipedia article segments. Over 23,000 articles, approximately a third of the entire Wikipedia at that time, were created by this American teenager, most of which having been variously described as "English written in a Scottish accent" and "very odd" to abject gibberish with nonsensical words and spellings not present in any Scots dialect. The incident was described as "a huge failure on Wikimedia’s part", with specific criticisms placed on Wikipedia's "labyrinthine back-end system" and a lack of coordination across smaller Wiki projects.

Robert McColl Millar, the Chair in Linguistics and Scottish Language at the University of Aberdeen, said that the affected articles displayed "a very limited knowledge both of Modern Scots and its earlier manifestations". Michael Dempster, director of the Scots Language Centre, contacted the Wikimedia Foundation over the possibility of building upon the Scots Wikipedia's existing infrastructure, describing the renewed interest in the site as having "potential to be a great online focus" for the Scots language.

See also

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Scots Wikipedia, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.