Monday, October 29, 2012

dominant Wikipedia language by country

I devote a lot of energy to writing about the layers of information that augment our world and why they matter. Some of this work has further explored how not just the quantity or thickness of layers of information matter, but also their audiencing. In other words, the ability to access, read, and make sense of the layers of content that annote our world. 

One way to measure this audiencing of content is to look at the variable amount of information in different languages in Wikipedia. In other words, where do we see the densest layers of content in English vs. French vs. Arabic etc.? The maps below illustrate this information: showing the language with the most content per country. 

A quick note about method. Our geographic data were obtained by combining geotagged data from two independent sources, WikiLocation and Georeferenzierung. These tools enable us to capture data in 44 languages comprising 87 percent of all articles across all Wikipedias and articles from all Wikipedias with more than 100,000 articles. 

By displaying only the largest Wikipedia language in each country, these maps undoubtedly lose a lot of useful detail. However, the maps are still insightful in a few ways.

They interestingly reveal that European languages are dominant even when it comes to annotating countries outside of Europe. Only China and Taiwan (Chinese), Japan (Japanese), South Korea (Korean), Vietnam (Vietnamese), and Syria (Arabic) are the exceptions. The largest Wikipedia languages blanketing absolutely everywhere else in the world are European.

English is dominant in much of Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia, and even parts of South and Central America. We then see French in five countries in Africa (other traditionally Francophone countries like the Ivory Coast still have more content in English). German is dominant in one former German colony (Namibia) and a few other countries scattered around the world (e.g. Uruguay, East Timor). 

There are also a few European countries covered by a larger amount of content in a non-native language than a native language. A lot of English content exists about eastern and southeastern Europe. There is more French content about much of the former Yugoslavia than there is content in local languages. We also see Russian as a being a dominant language in a number of neighbouring countries (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine). 

In Spain, we also have one case of a 'minority language' (Catalan) with significantly more content (about thirty-five thousand articles) than the 'majority language' (Castilian/Spanish with about nineteen thousand articles) of the country. Nowhere else in the world do we see such high-visibility for a relatively small language. 

More broadly, what do these maps tell us? They certainly reinforce some of what we know about the dominance of English as a language in which people want to represent things, places, and events of note. But they also flag up the need for deeper research into issues of power and representation on/in Wikipedia. In other words, the near absence of Arabic, Swahili, Hindi, Bengali, and many other large African and Asian languages means that we need sustained new inquiry into old questions about power and representation. 


jah said...

Is 'ca' Catalan? Are most articles about Spain in 'ca'? Why is Spain labelled 'es' in the second diagram when the convention seems to indicate it should have been labelled 'ca'?

Mark Graham said...

Good point. The original map was incorrectly labelled in Spain. This has now been fixed. Thanks!

logoff said...

Catalonia has less 7.5 million people and Spain 47 million people. That's amazing. It seems that catalans are more Wikipedia-friendly than the whole Spain population.

Anonymous said...

Catalan speaking countries represent 11 milion people, about 1 third of the population in Spain. Catalan is not a minority language, it is just minored by the Spanish government:

Eduard - La Llegenda de Sant Jordi said...

Something that is not known even by spaniards is that castelian (what is known as spanish) is the primary language of only 60% of the territory while Catalan is the native language of 30%, galician 5% and basque 5%. Now Catalan is not the main language in all the territory where it is the native language, but it is the language of the culture and medium class.

JR said...

Catalan is a region of Spain.
one third of population?
Is a joke, only want more money with the independet.

Anonymous said...

In Spain, we also have one case of a 'minority language' (Catalan) with significantly more content (about thirty-five thousand articles) than the 'majority language' (Castilian/Spanish with about nineteen thousand articles) of the country. Nowhere else in the world do we see such high-visibility for a relatively small language.

Can you check the data twice? It is difficult to understand why this happens. Also ES is the language of a lot of people in America )north and south) 300 million people against 6 million so it is difficult to understand. Why they produce more content if they are one to 20 in rate???.

Anonymous said...

Y no será que la 'ca' es de castellano? jajaja Mira que si para una vez que se usa la tontería de 'castellano' en vez de 'español'...

Anonymous said...

Catalan is a region of Spain that used to do blackmail to get more money from Spain.

Now they said that or more money or independence, but European Union, Spain and spanish people said "NO".

Also... they are good people in the "information war".

Anonymous said...

I'm Brazilian, I live in Brazil. But my first language in Wikipedia is Catalan (since 2010, more or less).

Anonymous said...

ca -> castellano?

Anonymous said...

Catalonian government pay public money to foundations to create and write all that catalan language content in wikipedia

Garriga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catalonia is Spain said...

Garriga, inculto lo será tu puta madre. Cataluña es España, y si no, a devolver todo el dinero desde 1714 que hemos puesto entre todos los españoles. A llorar, rescatados

Anonymous said...

Païssos catalans stays for catalan imperialism.

Sastre said...

To some of the commenters who find strange the number of catalan wikipedia articles, saying that the government is paying for them... It is well known that catalunya is one of the areas in the world with more literary production and consumption, in general: books, novels, ... and wikipedia articles, also, but as you see this is not new at all.

Also note, for people who don't know: catalan is not just spoken in catalonia. We the people from Balearic Islands and the people from Valencia also speak catalan, in a bit different way each, but catalan in the end. Just google it up...

Even I've seen someone saying that catalans blackmail spain asking for money, how mean to say that, anyone here knows that for years the catalans have paid much more than they received in return, and also the same here in Mallorca. Combine that with not respecting our culture and language, and you'll understand why so many people here look with good eyes the democratic processes in Quebec or Scotland.

Sorry for the -partial- offtopic, but people use to make a political discussion even in an post about wikipedia articles...

Anonymous said...

Vergüenza de articulo, enquina catalana/yanqui contra la lengua mas bonita de este planeta. Y Cataluña es una parte de Aragón con la estrella cubana por el ron famoso que proceden con la caña del delta del Ebro EL RON BARCELÓ!! créanlo, tiene la misma veracidad que los colores del mapa.

Querol said...

I'm glad to see the way some typically aggressive spaniards introduce themselves writing nasty comments against Catalonia... in castilian (the original name of the language, called spanish to cover up the existence of other iberian languages), of course. The only language that should exist on the whole planet, for them.

Alfred said...

All that we, the Catalans, do after our money is robbed by the Spanish, year after year in a forced contribution of more than 16.000 milion euros/year is to write to wikipedia and try to calm us and forget our misfortune.

Anonymous said...

mighore 280pero que coÑo!! ¿de donde sacas esos datos? de la pseudo-embajada catalana en Chititistán???

Pim Pam Pum said...

This study is biased to the languages that are used in more than one country (with the exception of english). Supposing that the total content is finite, the creation of the content in each langauge is distributed between their countries. That is why in Spain Catalan is the language with higher percentage. Catalan is only used in Spain and the 300k entries of the catalan wikipedia are all from Spain. On the other hand, the 900k spanish entries are distributed between all the countries that uses spanish.

So, please, try to interpret the results correctly.

Antonio Gutiérrez said...

Sorry for my bad english, can someone explain me what's the difference in the words 'Spanish' and 'Spaniards'.

¿Alguien me podría explicar el término 'Spaniards' que veo escrito en los comentarios? ¿Es un despectivo de Español? Gracias.

Anonymous said...

@Antonio Gutiérrez.

No, Spaniards is not a pejorative term.
"Spanish" is everyone who speaks spanish (also spanish american people) or relating to the spanish language.
"Spaniard" is native of Spain.

There is nothing derogatory.

Anonymous said...

Interesting seeing how some catalan independentists are doing politics about this.

All said :)

Anonymous said...

Strict Catalonia is just 7,5 milion thats true, but the lands where Catalan language is spoken are bigger and include also the Balearic islands (where I come from) València, Andorra and the French Catalonia also known as North Catalonia, besides the city of "alguero" (l'Alguer in Catalan) which is in the island of Sardinia in Italy, so we are talking about a language spoken in an area of over 13,5 milion people spreaded in 4 European states (Spain, France, Andorra and Italy)

Infy said...

@Antonio Gutierrez:

As the Anonymous has said, "spanish" is the adjective and "spaniard" is the noun.

En resumen, "Spaniard" es el gentilicio.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing "CA" is for "Castillian Spanish" and not "Catalan". They're just trying to make a difference between the two main varieties of the Spanish language, ES for Spanish in Latin America and CA for Spanish in Spain. They just took the word "Castillian" because it's the original name of the language, it was created in the Kingdom of Castille and then when Spain was created between the Kingdom of Castille and Aragon they made it official for the whole country so they just simply called it Spanish. Of course there were wars and disagreements on this topic bus this is just a short explanation.

The way someone speaks Spanish in each region of Spain can change completely so just try to imagine how different can be the one spoken in Latin America where it's also completley different from North to South.

About the Catalan independence, I think that if it's a popular decision that's okay, you can't force them to stay in a country they don't want to be part of. I just think that they don't say the whole truth, they have always receive special treatments in form of special taxation, etc. They hold the main industries of Spain while the rest of Spain was condemn to poverty they were able to grow, among Madrid and the Basque Country . I think it's unfair that they use things like that to claim their independence, if they don't want to be a part of Spain that's fine, they just need to stop the lying because they get more than any other region. Also trying to fake history books and claiming to have a history they don't it's simply stupid. They claimed to be their own kingdom when they were part of the Kingdom of Aragon, their flag of course was their idea, they even have claimed that the highest mount on the Pyrenees mountains it's in Catalonia instead of being where it actually is, Aragon. there was also a pro independentist catalan web page saying that Miguel de Cervantes was actually from Catalonia... they should be proud of their own history and stop faking it, they have great things to be proud of... but stealing someone else's history it's not nice.

@Antonio Gutiérrez
Realmente no hay una diferencia y por supuesto no es un termino despectivo, nunca nadie ni británico ni americano me lo ha llamado en ese sentido y lo puedes encontrar en cualquier periódico serio de habla inglesa. Las dos palabras tienen la misma función que al fin y al cabo es decir que la procedencia es de España.

Catalan girls fucker said...

So you say catalans write more than spanish? JAJAJAJAJ
No one is going to believe that. In spain we speak SPANISH, not catalan. Catalan is the language of that people that the best think they can do is to kill themselves. And someone said a third of people of spain speak catalan. Let me laugh. JAJAJA Catalan is the pitiest region in Spain, and they are only 7,5 milion in a population of 47 spanish speakers. Someone says that valencians are catalans. Get the fuck off. Valencians are castilians and the hate you catalans, they hate you, go to fuck yourselves, damned rats. For you I have Cucal.

Anonymous said...

CA is for catalan and ES for spanish, you would know if you work a little bit with the web.

Also that the spanish spoke in different parts from southamerica can be more different than the spanish spoken inside spain is plainly not true and a lie. You just have to travel around southamerica and around spain, or you can just study a little bit of history to know that.

When languages were created in spain they evolved from latin. At that time, Spain was divided into feuds, to protect themselves from the muslims invasions. So travel among Spain was quite difficult, that's why they appeared catalan, castilian, galician etc, and even among each language, very strong accents, dialects appeared.

This fact didn't happen in southamerica, where spanish (I say spanish, cause there were catalans too) people imposed the "imperial" language to the natives.

That's why the spanish in the whole southamerica is more uniform than the spanish around spain. Most of southamerican people wouldn't understand a southern spanish speaking, even a gipsylike spanish. I have myself trouble with that. Thanks to television and chiquito de la calzada for that.

Nemam pojma Francesc said...

And catalonia was not part of the kingdom of Aragon, but was part of the Crown of Aragon, which is pretty different, the equivalent in the modern ages shall be the EU. (This crown had territory up to Greece in its golden era)

Jaime said...

Wild guess here, since there are already 900 thousand articles in wikipedia in Spanish and since the spanish speaking population of Spain is relatively small compared with the resto of spanish speaking population in the world. What actually happens is that many of the spanish articles have already been written by a native spanish speaker elsewhere.

However, catalan is spoken by a small, very focalized population. If they want wikipedia articles in catalan they have to translate/create them themselves.

Not to forget the passion and love that many catalans feel for catalan language, surely is a driver for this article creation.

Moreover the local government via the "Departament d’Educació" (Department for Education) also fosters catalan language on online publications.

Jaime said...

Sorry, I would just like to retract on the previous comment suggesting that there is local government support. Apparently the information is not correct.

Very interesting article by the way, it must be spooky for you to read all these comments.

xavi said...

I'd like to know wether you are counting the number of articles *about* a country, or the number of articles written by the people *from* a country.

This is: are most icelanders writing in German, or there are simply lots of articles in German about Iceland?

I think this is not clear enough in the main text.

Thanks a lot for this really interesting map, btw :)

PS: I am sorry your work attracted so many Spanish nationalist trolls to your blog. You'd better block the comments for a while, it'll be safer - but answer me first, please! ;)

Anonymous said...


That is thhe way it should be, as there are 450 million people talking in CAstellano and only 5 Million talking in Catalán.

Mark Graham said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Not sure I can respond to much of this, but let me clarify a few things.

"CA" on the map refers to Catalan. "ES" refers to Castilian/Spanish.

What we are counting are the number of articles about a place I.e. the number of articles about parks, buildings, festivals, battles, bridges etc.). These articles can be created from anywhere. In other words, we are counting what articles are about rather than where the edits come from. If you're interested in the origins of articles, I've also mapped those here:

xavi said...

@Mark Graham

Thanks a lot!

siska doviana said...

Hi Mark,
Indonesian should not be pink. This link

Show that more Indonesian read Indonesian language Wikipedia than English 53:40

another xavi said...

Thanks for this study! And forgive some of our Spanish neighbours, for they know not what they write.

Antonio Gutiérrez said...

@Infy & @Anonymous
Thanks for the replies.
All clear now.
Greetings from La Rioja, the birthplace of Castilian.

Rhys said...

Really interesting, in particular about Catalan/Spanish ratio for articles ABOUT Spain.

I think it was mentioned in the post that ONLY geotagged articles were used for the study, and it could be the case that on the whole Catalan Wikpedians are better at geotagging their articles compred to Spanish Wikpedians? So there may well still be more articles in Spanish about Spain, but they cannot be as easily measured as geotagged ones.

Someone commented:
Not to forget the passion and love that many catalans feel for catalan language, surely is a driver for this article creation

I think this is a factor. When Catalan Wikipedians were denied an official local WikiMedia Chapter based on their language, they just went ahead and set up their own independant one (Amical Viquipèdia) which appears to be increadibly succesful at co-ordinating the creation of new and valuable content in for their wiki. As a speaker of a minority language myself (Welsh) and an administrator on our wiki, they are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

No, no és Espanya. I punt. Rescatats vosaltres, tot això ens ho deu l'estat expoliador espanyol i no ho tornarem quan siguem independents. Utilitza Google translator. Gilipolles fill de puta espanyol.

Anonymous said...

The whole world can see how stupid the sapniards are.

There's not necessary to say any more.

Mad Hatter said...

When there is some news in a language X it is of poor education to speak in language Y. It is even poorer education to insult, no matter how insulting were previous contents.

For the record, Catalonia IS Spain. At least to this day. Many of you have also the same bad habits of the rest of the Spanish people, believe it or not. As for the bailout it seems stupid to even comment it: all "piigs" (and every one of its regions) are intervened, whether hidden or public. We all are immerse into and victims of this fraud. Any who thinks more of its hatred against itself or its neighbours could seem to lack perspective.

One last thing: if Catalan is so prominent in wikipedia may well be because of the fear of some Catalans to lose its language and thus they make more effort to improve its visibility. That does not necessary mean that the rest of Spanish are less erudite, it's just that they don't care so much about preserving their own.

Mad Hatter said...

There are also nasty comments in... Catalan. Yes, there is a number of aggressive people against Catalonia, but there are also aggressive Catalans. Of both of them, the more fanatics think their language is above the other. Bah, I'm sick of that «fight of languages».

Joan-Carles Martí i Casanova said...

I'm a Valencian, 550 km. south of Barcelona and yes Catalan is my home and culture language. I write from Elx a ctiy of 230.000 inhabitants. Differences between Catalan and Valencian are no bigger than between British and American English. The same happens with the Catalan spoken in the Balearic Islands and in other small pockets.

This said it's easy enough to check the world "production" in both languages as far as Wikipedia articles are concerned.

Spanish (in all its European, Central and South American varieties) is spoken in an area inhabited by some 350 million people (I count bilinguals from other native languages spoken in this area, including Catalan speakers as well).

Catalan is only spoken in an area inhabited by 14 million people (almost 30% of Spains' population) and all the children in this area are taught both languages Catalan-Spanish in Catalonia, the Valencian Country and the Balearic Islands: three different Spanish regions as of today.

There is also Andorra (a small United Nations state with Catalan as its only official language) and a small Catalan-language community around Perpinyà (Perpignan in French) and in the town of l'Alguer (Alghero) in Italian Sardinia.

I've just checked the WORLD FIGURES FOR CASTILIAN (SPANISH) and CATALAN. Castilian (Spanish) has 931.174 articles (November 1st, 2012) and Catalan has 387.094 articles as of today.

It is amazing how a language which has only 4% of the speakers of a world language such as Spanish manages to have 40% of articles entries compared to Spanish.

It is obvious that Catalan is a unique case in the world. It is also obvious that Catalan speakers, as can be seen here, are much more multilingual that the "average" Spaniard, with a higher command of English, which must be quite an asset for new and more extensive Wikipedia articles.

As for the political agenda I don't think that this is what we are discussing. The fact is that no other language which is not the official language of an Independent State has the cultural output and significance of Catalan.

Facts are stubborn things.

Mad Hatter said...

This forced contribution is called "taxes" and happens everywhere. It can be discuss and/or improved what to do with them or its quantity; but in any case it seems to follow a basic principle of solidarity with other regions.

Mad Hatter said...

Good point.

Mad Hatter said...

You're not helping yourself by acting like a complete impolite being. I pity you and pity all people here that have the need to insult the others on this never ending struggle between different "ethnics".

You all hate the neighbour whilst they get the white gloved hand into your pocket.

Mad Hatter said...

« It is also obvious that Catalan speakers, as can be seen here, are much more multilingual that the "average" Spaniard, with a higher command of English, which must be quite an asset for new and more extensive Wikipedia articles.»

I don't think that's true at all. I live in Catalonia and don't really observe a higher command of English put another languages. In fact I'd say it's the same terrific pronunciation than in the rest of Spain that I've seen. What I'd suggest is that Wikipedia writers for Catalan are more committed to that task.

Mad Hatter said...

Well, every Spaniard (that means every person inside its borders, whether Castilian, Catalan, Andalusian or so) were stupid enough to be born on a country with no responsibility to make things properly. And I don't think this is going to be changed by any of the aforementioned (or so).

Joan-Carles Martí i Casanova said...

Just one last comment from me.

I've just checked that the English language Wikipedia has over 4 million articles with Castilian Spanish not quite reaching the 1 million mark.

Obviously, as a Catalan speaker I am proud that my language has almost 400.000 articles considering that it hasn't been easy for us, as a language and culture, these past few centuries. The Basques and the Galicians, within Spain, have suffered pretty much the same.

Nevertheless, there isn't really much to brag about, and I dedicate this to my monolingual Castilian-Spanish friends.

The English language Wikipedia informs us that there are 387 million native speakers of Spanish compared to 365 million speakers of English. Ferocious monolingual Spaniards will rise the Castilian figure to 450.000 million speakers while they lower the Catalan figure to 5 million speakers. Since we speak to them, mostly, in Spanish they are convinced we make up a language we don't really speak. That's you for good manners!

This discussion would take us very far but I assume everybody knows what I am speaking about.

As a matter of fact some Spanish-language South American countries, according to your map, are producing more articles in English than Spanish! I'd be worried bu they have the same inferiority complex with English than they have a superiority one concerning Catalan.

Not that we are getting quite over them since we have spoken better French and English, than them, for quite a few generations. I speak, of course, of the cultivated elites.

There is hardly anything to be surprised about.

Let us compare Catalan ( roughly 400.000 articles) with Independent State Languages with a similar number of speakers and my facts are from the Wikipedia current figures:

Greek: 12 million speakers (only 74,000 articles)
Czech: 10 million speakers (only 190.000 articles, half compared to Catalan).
Swedish: 9 million speakers (500,00 articles, 100.000 more than Catalan, but a similar figure, you will allow).

This is what gives us an idea of the greatness of Catalan language and culture in a often, unfortunately, hostile Spain to other natives languages, which are not Castilian.

It also gives us an idea of how it is even more important for cultured Catalan speakers to master English (and French, since they are our neighbours) although we have been taught Spanish from an early age.

Both my Catalan-speaking children, now in their early twenties, only learnt Castilian Spanish as a second language in school, although they now speak extremely good Spanish.

Catalan is, nevertheless, their first language, at home and of culture, and my son now earns his living in England because he has been trilingual since he was six years old, the same as his sister and they learnt French from age 11.

This is what some monolingual Castilian Spaniards cannot understand. Too bad for them.

Joan-Carles Martí i Casanova said...

Dear Mad Hatter,

I was brought up in France and Australia of Catalan-speaking parents. Please allow me to consider myself a native speaker since I also hold a degree in English Translation and Interpretation, travel several weeks to England every year, live in an area with over 25% British residents with great friends within that ex-pat community as they love to call themselves.

I work in the Tourist Trade and I would suggest you compared the knowledge of French, Spanish or German on the Mediterranean coast (including the Islands) with the rest of Spain. There have been great translations of European "classics" in Catalan not only in the Middle Ages but for a long century now.

As for the accent, native Catalan speakers don't sound the same in English as monolingual Castilian-Spanish speakers. This is a fact.

As a trained linguist I will save you the explanation of the phonetic inventories of Catalan speakers compared to monolingual Spanish speakers. Catalan has a wider inventory and this makes it easier. The Catalan vocabulary has close ties to Occitan and French an English being a French Pidgin (please allow me a bit of Catalan sense of humor spiced with Australian grass) it is also a great help.

I have also been, as a younger man, a teacher of English for young primary school children in Elx, my hometown.

Results were much better amongst bilingual Catalan-Spanish children than amongst monolingual Spanish children.

I shall not discover new land in sight here but there is a lot to be checked by all, on the Internet, should you be interested.

Best regards and you will agree that my issues are merely linguistic right now.

Saim Dusan Inayatullah said...

I'm shocked Moldova is marked as Ukrainian, as only 10% of the population is ethnically Ukrainian and about half of them speak Russian as their mother tongue. Is it meant to be marked this way?

Also surprising is German in the Gambia, East Timor, Uruguay and Bolivia, as well as Italian in Costa Rica. There must be very few contributors in those countries for small linguistic minorities to be producing most of the articles.

Saim Dusan Inayatullah said...

The random French in the Balkans... it's a shame we're divided into Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbo-Croatian Wikipedias, otherwise it'd all probably be marked under "sh" instead of only Croatia getting "hr"... which is surprising, since the Serbian Wikipedia has the most articles of all the Serbo-Croat ones. And I thought English and German were more widely know than French in Serbia.

Albarnoyes said...

All the articles written originally in catalan are translated to Spanish and even to English, French and others as it's shown in the case of all catalan towns and their history and historical medieval figures. So the contribution of the catalans to the Wikipedia in both languages, catalan and castilian/spanish, and others are greater than expected. There's no need to focus that thing in politics. It's just love for culture and for wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

molt bé

Anonymous said...

Hola Antonio,

'Spaniard', significa español o hispano. No es en absoluto despectivo, que yo sepa.

Anonymous said...

@Mad Hatter Let me guess, are you English?
Just wondering

Anonymous said...

My point of view, being a US Think Tank analyst is that Catalonia is now an ex-repressed wounded animal attacking their legit State. They have become the opressors in the transsition. The CIA fact book states that in the larger cities in Catalonia not even a 35% of the population speak in Catalan. And the local government is very radical and agressive implementing the catalan among the students and institutions. Our view is that nationalisms are damaging the bare bones of the European legislations and are using tools such as languages to backfeed their unlawfull needs. Much of the Wikipedia catalan articles have been funded by the Catalonian local government in a global effort to disseminate their futile attempts such as the use of ilegal embassies to promote nationalisms. Semper Fi.

Anonymous said...

@Mad hatter
Let me guess, are you English?
(Just wondering)

Sancho said...

oh, we see the north american think tank analyist explaining us how bad nationalism is... Sweet irony, isn't it? If a country in all the world is known for being egocentric and ultra-nationalist is the USA.

Anonymous said...

How many citizens of New York are Native Spanish speakers, or Chinese speakers? If there are millions of them does that mean that English is not the legitimate language of that place?
Catalan is not being " implemented" in schools and institutions. Catalan is being restored. After many years of being banned in dictatorships time, When franco died, and democracy 'enlighted' Spain, finally no more people where emprisoned or executed for speaking CATALAN.
We Catalans are democrats, and respect democracy everywere. We all learn Sapnish History, Spanish
Language and Spanish Literature in Catalan schools and Catalan high schools. Of course, certain people we rather let our language desapear. Napoleon couldn't do it, Franco couldn't do it. But luckily our language is still alive and we use it for more than "buying oranges". We use it for high culture, for literature, for theatre. Our language was the languag.e of Antoni Gaudí, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Pau Casals, Ramon Llull, Ausias March.
I wonder who Is reporting from Spain to you, or from Catalonia. The information you have, is not acurate at all.

Anonymous said...

@ Albarnoyes Good point! Maybe there is something else. I am from Mallorca and of course, I am not Catalan, but a Catalan native speaker. Since we mallorquins (I guess the same happens with Catalans and Valencians) cannot have our own passport, cannot wave our own flag in the plympic games and cannot participate internationally since we are nations without ourt own state we have found in internet, wikipedia, facebook, etc a free way of expressinf our identities and point of views without "father Spain " monitring us.

Anonymous said...

Sorry in advance for going on with this partially off-topic debate, but I think it's necessary to clarify some issues:

People tend to confuse nationalism with national feeling. When someone says 'I am a Catalan and not a Spaniard' or 'I live in Catalonia but I define myself a Spaniard' or ' I feel I am both Catalan and Spaniard', he is just expressing and explaining the nation/ethnic/culture he sees himself with. There are no evil intentions with that, and in no way can this be considered nationalism in stricto sense (would you call yourself a nationalist for the simple fact of living -temporally or permanently- in a foreign city and still feeling your own national feeling? e.g. an German living in Barcelona, an Englishman living in NYC...). It's a pity that nationalists from both sides have stolen and used this national feeling concept incorrectly.

A significant part -arguably a majority, according to recent surveys- of Catalan citizens like myself want the independence from Spain because we strongly feel that the Spanish State institutions have always ignored -and often opposed and fighted- this differentiation, and there is absolutely not a single evidence of a possible change in this tendency in the future. If you add to this fact an excessive negative fiscal balance between Catalonia and the rest of Spain -which has no equal in any other country in the world-, you will easely understand this feeling.

How would you feel, for example, if you were English, French, German, Italian, Spaniard, etc. and the EU sistematically played moves against your own interest and with no intention to revert or simply ease the situation?

Please note that the feeling of the majority of the pro-independence people like myself is not against the Spaniards, it is just a desire to be free from the Spanish State and its institutions.
We just want to make our own decisions -correct or wrong- and have our own international voice. And, of course, we want to achieve this in a democratic way and via a referendum like the past in Quebec or the future in Scotland. It's a pity and a SHAME that the Spanish Government has positioned publicly AGAINST this referendum. A good example of "democracy"

Anonymous said...

Catalan language is also oficial and used in Andorra, Catalunya Nord (in the state of France) and the city of l'Alguer (Sardina, Italy). So your argument is false

marti said...

It's amazing how Mad Hatter first says "You're not helping yourself by acting like a complete impolite being. I pity you and pity all people here that have the need to insult the others(...)", just to continue two comments bellow with "every Spaniard (that means every person inside its borders, whether Castilian, Catalan, Andalusian or so) were stupid enough to be born on a country with no responsibility to make things properly".

Jaume Çonpere said...

It would be also interesting to know how many exiled Catalonias - from Alacant to Perpinyà and from Fraga to Maó and L'Alguer - are wrinting articles in the Catalonian Wikipedia.

Due to the fascist persecution of the Catalan people [especially by the backwards-looking poor-minded castilian francoists (so called spaniards - stealing, as is their wont, even the name of the rest of the people from the peninsula, which includes Basques, Portuguese, Andalusian, and others), but also the french jacobins] during these last three hundred years, there are large enclaves of Catalans all around the world who have kept their faith in the language and the culture.

This would also explain the high cultural activity noted in your factual and also excellent article.

Thank you.

Pere Çonjaume said...

It would be also interesting to know how many exiled Catalonias - from Alacant to Perpinyà and from Fraga to Maó and L'Alguer - are wrinting articles in the Catalonian Wikipedia.

Due to the fascist persecution of the Catalan people [especially by the backwards-looking poor-minded castilian francoists (so called spaniards - stealing, as is their wont, even the name of the rest of the people from the peninsula, which includes Basques, Portuguese, Andalusian, and others), but also the french jacobins] during these last three hundred years, there are large enclaves of Catalans all around the world who have kept their faith in the language and the culture.

This would also explain the high cultural activity noted in your factual and also excellent article.

Thank you.

Seawaterdrop - Mireia said...

Very interesting discussion. I would only like to add a point that, if I haven't missed it, has not been explicitly mentioned. That is, that in general use of computers and Internet, active involvement with online sites, scripting and the like, interest in social nets online, etc, is slightly higher in Catalonia than the rest of Spain -I am sure someone will say MUCH higher, but I have no actual data in front of me right now, so I will be moderate. That together with other factors already mentioned brings about the uniqueness of the catalan case.

Ferran said...

As a Catalan journalist living in Germany, who has never contributed to the Wikipedia, I am now seriously considering doing so in Catalan, my mother tongue.

@Mark Graham, many thanks indeed for the valuable information in your article!

Seawaterdrop - Mireia said...

I have a question, that rose after reading about this study in another site, again. If what the study is counting is geotagging, then it is not about languages but about most mentioned geographical areas? Or is it about articles about places in the language of the place...? Am I still not fully understanding how the study was done?

Teju said...

Thanks for that very interesting data about which languages get represented in Wikipedia regardless of what is being written about. Even if actual content is not generated in non-English languages, the Wikipedia referencing or citation structure affords real possibilities for drawing in material from such languages - so an article in English about a non-euroamerican person/location/event could cite non-English sources and thus lead the reader to a different set of annotations. Of course this would presume bilingualism at the very least!
For my early work on translation (discussing issues of power and representation), please see Tejaswini Niranjana, Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (Berkely: 1992).

Anonymous said...

Not only Spanish is not the first language in Spain's wikipedia, but it is not in most of Latinamerica! Mexico is the most populated Spanish speaking country, but they prefer English, same as Colombia, Perú... check the map

Miquel Adrover, Mallorca said...

From english Wikipedia

Miquel Adrover , Mallorca said...

From english Wikipedia

Miquel Adrover (Mallorca) said...

From english Wikipedia:

"Early in Wikipedia's development, it began to expand internationally, with the creation of new namespaces, each with a distinct set of usernames. The first subdomain created for a non-English Wikipedia was (created on 16 March 2001, 01:38 UTC),[35] followed after a few hours by (at 13:07 UTC).[36] The Japanese Wikipedia, started as, was created around that period,[37][38] and initially used only Romanized Japanese. For about two months Catalan was the one with the most articles in a non-English language,[39][40] although statistics of that early period are imprecise.[41

Anonymous said...

As a catalan and GIS enthusiast I love this article! thanks Mark!

rofl said...

I know Iceland isn't strong on WP, but German being the most dominant language there? What does that mean? Icelanders speak English, Danish and even Norwegian before German, at least...

Morty Viu said...

Beg your pardon: Is Spain who got money from Catalonia.

Anonymous said...

Inculto no. Ignorante. Ignoras la verdad de manera flagrante

Mark said...

Seriously, shut up you all, spanish trolls. This is about geography and linguistics, not about you being unable to write knowledgeable wikipedia articles about your own country in your own language.

Anonymous said...

It's all false. Catalonia collects about 25% of all taxes in Spain and only gets about a 18% in return. So if they claim for more money it's just their own money.
And about independence you are really wrong. Last September 11th -Catalonia national fair- 4 million people went to a pro-independence rally. So all these arguments are miserable in front of that amount of people without any incident.
Before talking about Catalonia you should be better informed about them.
I have been there many times and they are charming people under the unfair spaniards who are currently honouring Hitler's war veterans (as you can check googleing about "Llanos de Luna") and intoxicating each information from all the democratic process they engaged in their way to independence.

Savalls said...

Great article.

As a catalan I'm proud of the strengh of our contribution to the wikipedia.

As I still have a spanish passaport I would like to apologize to the people from the rest of the world that read their comments, for the rude behaviour showed by some of the spaniards with who I share nationality (for the moment).

We catalans are used to this kind of cyberbulling by the spaniards. But, I feel sorry you all had the chance to know their imperialistic dark side. A pity.

Anonymous said...

Your english sucks so you must be spanish.