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Talk:List of phrasebooks

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Revision as of 01:51, 23 October 2010 by LtPowers (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)
I wouldn't want to presume too much. It's possible there may be a traveler who is more comfortable with the patterns and pronunciations of Esperanto (since the vocabulary is based on Romance languages) than they would be with a local language from another family. Certainly, it would not be something you wanted to count on in place of the local language phrasebook, but there are Esperanto speakers in nearly every major city worldwide, so it could be a useful supplement. LtPowers 21:50, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
I don't think it's presumptuous at all. A traveler who is not comfortable speaking the words can use a phrasebook by pointing. That's how most Westerners get by in Asia with phrasebooks. There are Swahili, Chinese, and Japanese speakers in most major world cities, too, but once again, why would anyone bring a Swahili phrasebook to New York City, a Chinese dictionary to Addis Ababa, or a Japanese phrasebook to Paris? Travelers just don't bring tons of phrasebooks just in case they happen to run into that one person in Oslo that speaks Twi. There are not enough Esperanto speakers in any country or city to warrant bringing an Esperanto phrasebook. I think it's a stretch to say it's useful for this sort of thing. ChubbyWimbus 21:20, 2 October 2010 (EDT)
Well, why don't you nominate it for deletion, then? Regardless of how useful you think it is, I see no need to actively remove a phrasebook we already have written; it harms nothing by being present and just might help someone. And the phrasebooks can be useful for more than just looking stuff up on the fly. LtPowers 14:53, 3 October 2010 (EDT)
Isn't this more of a policy-forming discussion, though? Whether or not we want to allow fabricated languages to have phrasebooks? If it is decided here that we want to permit them, there is no need to waste time voting to keep it. If it is decided here that we don't want them, it can be a speedy delete that refers to a policy, so we won't need a long debate. To me, it just seems that a language with no strong affiliations to any country, city, ethnic group, etc. doesn't have much use from a traveler's perspective. The Esperanto version of Wikitravel makes sense, because it's about your own understanding and comprehension to best read about various locales, but since a travel phrasebook is about communicating with others, there need to be enough speakers somewhere in the world to warrant having the phrasebook. With Esperanto and other fabricated languages, I think you would have to actively seek out the speakers in order to communicate in the language. People who do that likely already know it and don't need a phrasebook (why seek out someone solely for the language they speak when you can't communicate with them?).
There seems to be some support for creating a policy against these languages, but I think it needs to be clearer. Can others (re)state their opinions, perhaps with Esperanto in mind, since there is so much discussion based around it? ChubbyWimbus 00:28, 4 October 2010 (EDT)
I'm happy to leave Esperanto phrasebook alone as an exception, but create a policy against other constructed languages. --Peter Talk 18:20, 4 October 2010 (EDT)
Exactly what reasoning is there behind keeping it aside from the fact that the article currently exists and that keeping it does no harm? We have deleted many articles that fall into these categories before, and these arguments could be made for any phrasebook. Is there a reason that relates to why we have phrasebooks on Wikitravel? If we are going to make a policy and tag on an exception, we should have a reason for the exception. What makes Esperanto any different from a traveler's perspective than any of the other fabricated languages? ChubbyWimbus 23:14, 4 October 2010 (EDT)
Esperanto was created for the purpose of international communication, which is what our phrasebooks are about—it has more legitimacy than Klingon. Yes, an Esperanto phrasebook is not the most helpful tool for travelers out there, but we have phrasebooks of far less utility out there. Esperanto seems like an acceptable exception. --Peter Talk 13:37, 7 October 2010 (EDT)
Every language is fabricated — some more recently and orderly than others. The criteria for inclusion could revolve around whether there are native speakers of the language. Esperanto has at least a thousand native speakers, according to WP; Klingon has none. Gorilla Jones 18:51, 7 October 2010 (EDT)
I think everyone knows that Esperanto is "fabricated" in a different way than real world languages, which were not formed by Eurocentric linguists or creators of fantasy worlds and creatures. The Isle of Man language at least has a home (aka: a place where it is spoken/used). The Isle of Man language, in that regard, is still way more useful than Esperanto. Esperanto doesn't seem far from Klingon in its usefulness. In order to use it, you really have to actively seek out people who speak it. If you need a phrasebook to communicate with them, then there's no point in trying to find them, because they are not like an ethnic group; they're just Americans, Brits, etc. that are the same as everyone else except that they've wasted time learning Esperanto. The language is the only distinguishing factor, so why go to them just to use a phrasebook? I think all of our phrasebooks should have concrete connections to a real location where we can say you are likely to find people who speak it in such numbers that it would make sense to bring a phrasebook (aside from the internet, which is where Esperanto is predominantly found/used.). ChubbyWimbus 19:53, 7 October 2010 (EDT)
Not sure where you're getting that claim about Esperanto existing mostly on the Internet — see Wikipedia, which describes a number of its "concrete connections to a real location" over the course of 120+ years. Gorilla Jones 11:18, 10 October 2010 (EDT)
Most Esperanto speakers do use it mainly on the internet. That's why speakers have to form "societies" where they can speak it; because not enough real people speak it to make it useful in daily life, and the link proves moreso that it does NOT have any real geographical stronghold where it is spoken in any large number, unless you honestly believe that "somewhere in Eurasia" is concrete enough to stick a pin on the map. It's not as though there is any place where you'll find people who speak Esperanto but NOT any other language, like the local language that you should have brought a phrasebook for. This is not a language that anyone would/could use anywhere for any sort of practical travel and no points have been made here to say otherwise. It is laughable for someone to bring an Esperanto phrasebook anywhere with any real thoughts of needing to use it (or even being able to use it). ChubbyWimbus 19:51, 10 October 2010 (EDT)

I think we may be getting bogged down with something not terribly important. I sort of figured keeping the existing Esperanto phrasebook (especially in light of the fact that there is an Esperanto Wikitravel!), but otherwise ruling out the more silly or obscure constructed languages would be an OK compromise for us to move forward with a new consensus. --Peter Talk 20:36, 10 October 2010 (EDT)

It seems reasonable to me. LtPowers 06:33, 18 October 2010 (EDT)
What if there are enough contributors who want to start a language version in another fake language? Will we also accommodate them with a phrasebook? We still don't really have a reason why Esperanto is NOT a "silly language" and every other constructed language is. Wikitravel language versions are personal, so a Lingua Franca Nova version of Wikitravel would not burden anyone but the reader. A phrasebook is used to communicate with others, so Lingua Franca Nova and Esperanto phrasebooks are equally burdensome/useless for travel. It just seems easier to say "constructed languages have no practical purposes in the real world for travelers in any country or region, so we don't create such phrasebooks on Wikitravel." and it's a lot more travel-oriented and in-line with our goals than, "We don't create phrasebooks for constructed languages unless and until contributors open a new language version in that language." ChubbyWimbus 17:57, 18 October 2010 (EDT)
Esperanto has by far the largest base of native speakers among constructed languages. LtPowers 18:09, 20 October 2010 (EDT)
Wikipedia has other constructed language versions, which means that we could very well have them, too. The number of speakers of Esperanto remains negligible, considering they're so spread out, and "more among constructed languages" is really just more than very few. ChubbyWimbus 13:55, 21 October 2010 (EDT)
You asked for a reason to keep Esperanto while ruling out the others. The disparity in number of native speakers is good enough for me. LtPowers 21:47, 22 October 2010 (EDT)