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Talk:List of phrasebooks

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Revision as of 06:15, 30 September 2010 by Texugo (talk | contribs) (Constructed language phrasebooks)
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I'm tempted to add a "usable" category between "complete" and "outline". There are a lot of phrasebooks here that have no content, just an outline, and then there are a bunch that have full pronunciation guides & most of the template translated, but with a few gaps. I think it would be useful to separate them. --Peter Talk 13:37, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

Plunge forward! I'd set the baseline for usable at pronunciation guide + all of the initial section translated. Jpatokal 04:42, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Done. --Peter Talk 23:46, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

Category & List

I noticed there is this page, then there is also "Category:Phrasebooks". I'm not sure - do we need both? Could both prove useful? Army of me 16:44, 28 March 2009 (EDT)

I see zero reason to have the category duplicate an inferior version of what is here organized neatly. Basically we weren't using the category until you came along just now and added tags to a bunch of articles. I'm of half a mind to revert all that until a consensus is reached. Texugo 01:36, 28 March 2009 (EDT)
Yeah, adding the categories without discussing (or allowing the discussion to be concluded) is not really appropriate. I am for now going to revert these changes—it should be easy enough to undo this if we do indeed decide to use them. Please see Wikitravel_talk:Categories#Revisited_-_when_are_categories_OK? --Peter Talk 01:49, 28 March 2009 (EDT)
That's fine with me, whatever is decided. I didn't create the category and only started adding the category tag to pages because I didn't know of the existence of the List of phrasebooks page yet (I thought I was being helpful). Army of me 16:44, 28 March 2009 (EDT)

phrasebook status

There seems to be an inconsistency in statuses between List of phrasebooks and Wikitravel:Phrasebook status: there's Complete/Outline/Stub in ListOf and a standard set of statuses in PhrbkStatus. Which of them should we stick to? --DenisYurkin 05:07, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

Good point. I think it would be nice to switch to our standard article status system, described at Wikitravel:Phrasebook status. As of now, noone actually has tried to do the things required to make a phrasebook a star, since it's not too difficult to achieve that vague "complete" status. --Peter Talk 14:23, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

Telegu and Telugu

...seems to be the same language. One is under "usable", the other under "stubs". The main entry in ethnologue is Telugu ( Jummai 04:30, 3 March 2010 (EST)

Indeed, the Telegu phrasebook is actually just a redirect. I have removed it from this list. --Peter Talk 15:37, 3 March 2010 (EST)

Reorganize page structure

I found about 27 phrasebooks which were missing from this page and added them. Also moved existing books up if they had been improved from stub to outline or better, if they were now in the wrong group. This means we now have about 180. Ah, we've got about all, you may say. Well, the ISO standard 639-2 which lists the "major languages" has 484. And ISO 639-3, which tries to be more comprehensive, includes 7,918. No, we'll never have eight thousand phrasebooks, but the list will continue growing.

The current listing is arranged by status: complete, usable, outline, and stub. This makes sense for internal use, to see what is complete or what needs work. But for a traveler, it just means they have four lists to look through which might contain their desired language. Also, many of the languages are just plain obscure. Since many languages also have multiple names, locating a desired obscure phrasebook in a long list is made even harder, since you have to go to the phrasebook itself to see if maybe it is right.

I would suggest changing to a geographic breakdown of the list, by continent. This is the wikitravel way. Put the phrasebook in the continent with which it is most identified. Of course, if we put French is France, Spanish in Spain, and English in England, that leaves North America with just Inuktitut, Greenlandic, and Haitian Creole. I would also suggest a "world" category for the nine most prevalent languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese. This would appear at the top of the list and would serve the needs of most users without looking any further. Because many languages cross borders, I'd suggest stopping at the continent level instead of trying to arrange by country within continent.

We may also want to add an asterisk by the books which are complete, and a note asking people to work on any of the others. We may also want to follow the phrasebook name with a list of other names for the language therein. For example, "Akeanon phrasebook (also Aklanon)" or "Fulfulde (also Adamawa, Fula, Pulaar)". Meanwhile, we can add appropriate redirect pages to the specific phrasebooks from their alternate names to improve direct access. Bill in STL 18:33, 10 August 2010 (EDT)

That makes sense. I would like to overhaul the status system as well, changing it to our standard outline, usable, guide, star system, and would be happy to help do so as part of the effort. --Peter Talk 19:22, 10 August 2010 (EDT)
Since you mentioned changes to status system, I had a couple of other questions about the phrasebooks themselves. I see that some phrasebooks include the phrase template, which says "Some phrases in this phrasebook still need to be translated. If you know anything about this language, you can help by plunging forward and translating a phrase.

". Sometimes it is before the introductory paragraph, sometimes immediately after, sometimes down in the "Phrase list" section of the template. If we start adding it to template and stub level books, which place is preferred?

While we have a template to identify each other type of record, such as cityguide, parkguide, traveltopic, or intinerary, even continentguide, there is no "phrasebook" template, which makes it hard to find even correctly-coded phrasebooks. Should we have such a template to place on every phrasebook? Bill in STL 20:15, 10 August 2010 (EDT)
This isn't a huge deal, but could we also list the "World Languages" under their respective continents. It's a little duplication, but if someone goes straight to the continent, it's strange not to see them. (I did this and thought it was odd Japanese wasn't under Asia. Since it's basically only spoken in Japan, I didn't think of it as a "world language") ChubbyWimbus 03:15, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
Japanese definitely isn't a world language, as it's only spoken in Japan. Italian is also not a "world" language, it's only spoken in Europe. If Italian is listed, then Dutch should be listed more since it's spoken in the Caribbean, Suriname, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and Namibia. I think this is a good list to follow: [1]. I do agree that it's handy to have Japanese and Italian at the top there, but then they should also be listed under their continents. --globe-trotter 06:35, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
It might be most convenient to switch from "world languages" to most spoken languages. If we used the top 12, that would look pretty good (I think omitting Italian is OK). I agree that it's better to copy the top list to the continent lists, in case someone skips down.
Do people like what I'm doing with the color coded article status? I've basically done away with the stub classification, or at least color shaded it the same as outline, and am calling all "complete" phrasebook guides. It would be nice to come up with some star criteria to distinguish the very best. --Peter Talk 11:50, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
Ah, wait, I see we already have star criteria! --Peter Talk 11:57, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
I took my initial list as the top languages represented in the Library of Congress. But you are finding better sources. We have a number of separate Hindi and Malay phrasebooks, I don't think we want to list all of them as "world". We also have a number of languages from India, so not sure about including Bengali. The Ethnologue list admits that some of its listed languages groups together dialects which are not mutually understandable. I would suggest the "world" list include Dutch. I agree that the top list should also appear under the primary continent (so Spanish would appear in Europe, not North or South America).
I'm wondering if the color coding of status would be confusing to the casual reader.Bill in STL 12:30, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
Ah yeah, I meant to put in that color key, which is there now. I'm inclined to include languages such as Spanish (International) under all continents that have countries using it as an official or primary language. So Spanish would go into Europe and Latin America (where it is most widely used!).
On another note, I've nominated Russian phrasebook for star status, and would appreciate feedback! --Peter Talk 16:17, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
The color key looks good. Also the shorter width of the table. These really resolve my concern about the colors. I am adding alternate variations of language names to the Europe section; see if these help/hurt. On the request for new phrasebooks page, they ask for Bangla, but don't realize that we have it under the name Bengali. As long as we decide an appropriate limit for listing a language in multiple continents, I have no problem with doing it. Certainly Spanish in North and South America makes sense. Does this put French into North America for Quebec? The wikipedia:World languages page shows a map for each of the main languages, though interesting to see they include New York state as Russian speaking. You could probably argue for every Pacific rim language appearing in either Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Vancouver. Perhaps we limit multiple listings to continents where it is the "official" language of a country (or province/region?). Bill in STL 20:14, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
And I really like removing "phrasebook" from every line! Bill in STL 20:40, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
Well French would belong in North America because it's the official language of Haiti, right? ChubbyWimbus 23:14, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
It's also spoken in Saint-Martin, Guadeloupe, among others. --globe-trotter 17:57, 14 August 2010 (EDT)

The International Phonetic Alphabet

Hey guys,

I was curious if the IPA will be useable in the phrasebooks. In any case, make some research and make soundclips, if necessary.

In terms of chaos,

Esther Brown

Saraiki phrasebook and Seraiki phrasebook

Does anyone know if Saraiki phrasebook and Seraiki phrasebook are the same language? In wikipedia, they have a redirect page to Saraiki from Seraiki. Our Seraiki prasebook is much more developed than the other. The Pakistan article links to Saraiki while regions of Pakistan link to Seraiki. Only Seraiki is listed on this page. If they are the same, they need a merge tag. Merge which to which? If they really are different then the second needs to be added here. --Bill in STL 18:23, 30 August 2010 (EDT)

Phrasebook category

At present we have a Category:Phrasebooks that is nominated for deletion, but current consensus seems to be to keep it. If we are going to keep it around then it would make sense to include it on phrasebooks, but since categories on Wikitravel are typically included via templates it would make the most sense to either create a Template:Phrasebookguide or else to add the category to the existing phrasebook status templates such as Template:Guidephrasebook. Any thoughts, preferences, objections, inspirational quotations? -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:59, 23 September 2010 (EDT)

Stub phrasebooks do not have any template except {{stub}}, so adding to the existing status templates would still leave some out. I'd like to see us use Template:Phrasebookguide. This is consistent with almost all other types of records. For example, we use cityguide to specify it is a city, and then an appropriate status template such as guidecity, usablecity, starcity, outline, or just stub to indicate its status. Two templates for each page. --Bill in STL 02:00, 24 September 2010 (EDT)
Calling it Template:Phrasebookguide is a little awkward, since the pages are phrasebooks, not guides to phrasebooks. But Template:Phrasebook is taken, so I don't have any better ideas. LtPowers 13:19, 24 September 2010 (EDT)
I'm fine with using Template:Phrasebookguide, although if there's a less awkward name then I'd be in favor. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:07, 25 September 2010 (EDT)
*bump* Any other comments? -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:23, 25 September 2010 (EDT)
Template created. I think it makes sense to wait a day before starting to put it on phrasebooks in case someone sees the new template and then decides to object. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:34, 28 September 2010 (EDT)
All phrasebooks have been tagged with the new template. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:31, 30 September 2010 (EDT)

Constructed language phrasebooks

I wonder if there's a section of phrasebooks to add for constructed languages. Esperanto isn't the only one; besides, there are others such as Novial, Volapük, Interlingua, Interlingue-Occidental, Ido, Interglossa, Lojban, and Folkspraak. Anyone can turn to Omniglot, if they wish to. It's fascinating. p.s. Sorry about the IPA suggestion. Accept my apology. CurvyEthyl 20:10, 24 September 2010 (EDT)

Based on the fact that we have phrasebooks such as Australian English it seems like the bar for what warrants its own phrasebook is pretty low, so if there are others you think would be helpful then it might be best to just plunge forward and start on them. That said, I do think many of our phrasebooks are lacking in consistency and completeness - my understanding is that the Russian phrasebook is currently the best available, so if you're interested then it may be a better use of time to review that example and try to bring other existing phrasebooks up to higher standards. Similarly, the Russian phrasebook has been nominated for star status, so if you're willing to comment on that nomination it would help to define what a "complete" phrasebook looks like. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:31, 25 September 2010 (EDT)
My opinion is that there shouldn't be any phrasebooks for constructed languages. Phrasebooks are for aiding travelers. Constructed languages have very little if any use for travelers and would not fit with our goals & non-goals. AHeneen 16:51, 25 September 2010 (EDT)
Constructed languages can be quite useful as a common language, don't you think? LtPowers 14:15, 26 September 2010 (EDT)
That's the mantra of their supporters. In the world today, however, they remain of little value to travelers. AHeneen 21:07, 26 September 2010 (EDT)
I'm going to agree with AHeneen here. Your chances of going to a foreign country and bumping into someone who speaks Novial, Volpük, etc. are infinitesimally low. Next thing you know we'll be allowing Klingon and Elvish and Bork Bork Bork... You either learn those languages (and typically use them only at special meetings designed for that purpose) or you don't-- you certainly won't ever find yourself in a situation where you wish you had a phrasebook for them. Texugo 21:20, 26 September 2010 (EDT)
Well, the Washington Shakespeare Company is putting the Bard on in Klingon this month... ;) --Peter Talk 21:46, 26 September 2010 (EDT)
Well I was responding specifically to the assertion that the languages would have little use for travelers. I agree that the phrasebooks are probably not all that useful. An Esperanto phrasebook might be justifiable, but I don't think any of the other constructed languages are widespread enough to even consider. LtPowers 11:06, 27 September 2010 (EDT)
Personally, I don't think an Esperanto phrasebook is even worthwhile. If someone is going to take the time to purchase or print out a phrasebook for travel (or anything practical), it would be pretty assinine to choose Esperanto over a real language. What good would an Esperanto phrasebook do? Where in the world could you possibly go where it would be useful to ask for directions in Esperanto? Deal with the police in Esperanto? Do ANYTHING in Esperanto? It's useless! It'd be obnoxious and rude to go out and try to order dinner in Esperanto (although this is the sort of nerdy "let's pretend we're foreigners" sort of "adventure" I imagine it would be used for). It will only benefit you if the Esperanto word/phrase happens to be the same or close enough to the local language in which case it still leads one back to the question: What is an Esperanto phrasebook good for? If you want to communicate with people of a certain country, bring a phrasebook/dictionary for the language those people speak. You wouldn't bring a Twi phrasebook to Norway and you wouldn't bring an Esperanto phrasebook anywhere. ChubbyWimbus 01:59, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
I am inclined to agree with ChubbyWimbus.Texugo 02:11, 30 September 2010 (EDT)