Wiktionary:Votes/2012-12/Unified Malay

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Unified Malay[edit]

This would involve the emptying and eventual deletion (or use of {{movecat}}) of all of the subcategories of the deleted categories, especially Category:Indonesian language, including topical categories that start with (for example) Category:id. All the templates and their subtemplates would be deleted except for {{id}}, which would be moved to {{etyl:id}} (because many English and Dutch words come specifically from this dialect). The langrevs (like Template:langrev/Indonesian) would be edited to say ms. Note: this would leave etymologies that point back to Indonesian wholly intact.

Context templates for each L2 header to be merged must also be created. These tags will fill categories like Category:Indonesian Malay, for terms that may not be used in Malaysia or other parts of the Malay-speaking world.

  • Vote starts: 00:01, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support as nom. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:56, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg SupportCodeCat 01:22, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support — and just to answer Lmaltier, yes, ISO/Ethnologue have “Malay” (ms, msa) and “Indonesian” (id, ind), as we do now, but Malay is listed as a macrolanguage, with Indonesian being listed as an individual language belonging to the Malay macrolanguage. Malay (ms, msa) should properly encompass multiple varieties, as on Ethnologue. It also has separate entries for and “Standard Malay” (zsm); that is what we are currently (exclusively) putting under ms. We could simply use one of those codes instead of the broader ms; however, it is not appropriate for us to include standard lects without regard for nonstandard and historical varieties, and I don’t feel that it is practical for us to include the entirety of Malay (as we should strive to do according to the motto “every word in every language”) without [unifying it] (added missing words – Krun (talk) 18:46, 10 January 2013 (UTC)). Also, I have not noticed that there is much bad blood; as I see it, the name Indonesian is mostly being used in Indonesia in an effort to make non-Malay ethnic groups feel more included. Scholars don’t seem to be shy about it either. So we aren’t very likely to have the same kind of problem as we did with Serbo-Croatian. Essentially, we are dealing with Malaysian (bahasa Malaysia) and Indonesian (bahasa Indonesia), both of which are varieties of the wider Malay language/macrolanguage, but also with the many other varieties of Malay. The question is not what to include, but how, i.e. whether to group them together or not, or at which node to demarcate our chosen grouping, and the answer (IMO) should be founded on practicality. – Krun (talk) 20:43, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    The argument we use with Serbo-Croatian is that they are mutually intelligible and have near-identical grammar and lexicon, with only some regional differences owing to different sources for loanwords and different preferences towards word-formation. That seems pretty similar to how it is with Malay. Should we treat it the same too? —CodeCat 20:51, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    I was not aware that ms is a macro-language in ISO 639-3. In this case, the best way would be to allow all individual languages (including Malaysian). But ms should be kept, at least until all words have been moved into one (or more) of the individual languages. ms might also be allowed in addition to individual languages, if you find it better for practical reasons. A good reason for allowing ms is that it is accepted by the Foundation. This looks like cases such as zh or ar. Lmaltier (talk) 22:32, 1 January 2013 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Dan Polansky (talk) 12:46, 1 January 2013 (UTC) The vote provides not a single link to an external academic source. It does cite an enternal source--Wikipedia. It further cites various Wiktionary editors as authorities. Believing W:Indonesian language and W:Malay language, ISO has distinct codes for the languages or varieties: ISO 639-1 id, and ISO 639-1 ms. On a less important note, the vote does not link to any Beer parlour discussion, and it mixes a proposal with a rationale, both instances of poor form, IMHO. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:46, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    It's actually rather difficult to find much of anything academic written in a language you can read. There's this, FWIW. Ethnologue says of {{kxd}} and {{meo}} that they "are so closely related that they may one day be included as dialects of Malay". But you have voted oppose in the vast majority of votes over the last year, and you have always opposed or ignored any votes that I have proposed, so I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you when you clearly have your own personal reasons for being oppositional. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:14, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, because ISO has distinct codes. This does not mean that anybody should duplicate one's work if the word is used in both languages. If Amir Hamzah 2008 prefers to create entries only for the ms code, no problem. But entries in one of these headers should be kept if correct. Lmaltier (talk) 13:31, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    We have also chosen to unify several other languages such as Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian, which also have distinct ISO codes. So that argument isn't really valid, unless you can demonstrate why this case is different from Serbo-Croatian. —CodeCat 13:56, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    Lmaltier also opposed that unification. I don't think it's fair to say "your POV lost a previous vote, therefore it's invalid". (Especially since that POV didn't lose that vote. The unification of Serbo-Croatian actually proceeded despite a failed vote.) —RuakhTALK 18:22, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    That is true I guess. I just don't see how having an ISO code makes something a language. After all we have, beside some ISO codes we specifically do not include, also many languages currently lacking ISO codes. —CodeCat 18:53, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    Re: "I just don't see how having an ISO code makes something a language": Well, obviously I don't speak for Lmaltier, but he's said many times in the past that he views this as an NPOV issue; if ISO/SIL/etc. have assigned a code, then that's proof of an internationally-recognized POV that the language exists, and in his view, NPOV means that we have to allow entries for all-POVs'-all-languages. (I disagree with him on this point, BTW.)   Re: "we have [] many languages currently lacking ISO codes": Certainly. He's never argued that lack of an ISO code means we must forbid the language (since ISO doesn't assign codes for all POVs), only that presence of an ISO code means we must allow it (since that means that one major POV posits it). —RuakhTALK 19:19, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    I don't think such a position is tenable when points of view conflict. We can't include both B/C/S and SC when each POV argues the other should not exist. That's like trying to follow every religion at once when each one says you're an unbeliever for believing in any of the others. —CodeCat 19:24, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    Yeah, that's the tricky part. Lmaltier has said that we should allow both B/C/S and SC, but the problem is that ==Bosnian== doesn't convey "some people think Bosnian is a distinct language" (as NPOV would have us say), it conveys "Bosnian is a distinct language". Including languages from both POVs may be neutral, but it's also confusing as heck. —RuakhTALK 19:37, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, Ruakh, you understand me perfectly. And this policy works (cf. fr.wikt). I add that, sometimes, there might be political reasons when assigning language codes, and it's normal. And there might or not be political reasons when trying to unify them this way (but if Amir Hamzah 2008 says I'm Indonesian, I will be surprised). Lmaltier (talk) 22:19, 1 January 2013 (UTC) Sorry, I was convinced from the proposal that is was more or less an Amir Hamzah 2008's initiative. I now understand that it's not the case at all. Lmaltier (talk) 22:39, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    No, be sure to attack me, not Amir. He won't say that he's Indonesian, because he's not. National identity has little do with it. I won't say I'm English, because I'm not, but it's my native tongue and what I habitually call the language I speak. This is not political, although the assignment of codes often is. This is simply the case of extremely similar lects being treated together. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:17, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    It was not an attack. I just assume that most Indonesians would not wish entries with the Indonesian label to be banned (I use banned on purpose, because this is the issue: the only important thing, in my opinion, is that they should allowed and kept when created, even if nobody creates them). Lmaltier (talk) 21:30, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, I think. w:Comparison of Malaysian and Indonesian suggests that the status of these lects has political-cultural significance; and our experience with B/C/S has firmly convinced me that we need to be less boldly scientistic in ignoring such things. —RuakhTALK 18:18, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    From that same page, though, I gather that the official standard definition of Indonesian includes languages like Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese etc which we consider separate languages on Wiktionary. As such, it's not possible for us to adhere to the national standard of what Indonesian is, unless we exclude its sub-languages from Wiktionary. Otherwise, we'd end up in the rather confusing situation that every Javanese word is automatically also an Indonesian word because Indonesian includes Javanese by definition. That leads me to believe that if Javanese/Balinese/Sundanese etc are languages, then Indonesian is not, and vice versa. —CodeCat 19:31, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    What is important is: which words are used in texts considered by their authors as written in Indonesian? which words are used in texts considered by their authors as written in Javanese? etc. Official definitions are not really relevant, in my opinion, and they may change with time. Lmaltier (talk) 22:19, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
    I don't think that is important at all. There are many cases where people consider their language to be a dialect of another when in reality it's a separate language. Low German is a good example, as is Dalecarlian. The attitude speakers have towards their language doesn't really have any linguistic value, just cultural or political. —CodeCat 03:06, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    Then, I should have written considered as written in the language by people considering that the language does exist as a language. Lmaltier (talk) 21:22, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    @Ruakh: Would you prefer to cave to political pressure? To what degree would you cave? Is this related to the "hate mail" we get about B/S/C/M? How do you make that kind of choice? Why shouldn't linguistic reasons come first in a linguistic resource? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:17, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    Re: first three sentences: Who said anything about "caving"? Apparently our use of "Serbo-Croatian", and our informal-but-strictly-enforced banning of "Serbian" and "Croatian", greatly offends many ordinary people. As long as we strive to be a linguistic resource for humans, human considerations will be relevant.
    Re: last sentence: Who said they shouldn't? Sure, linguistic considerations can come first. But if they were all that mattered, we could define African-American as “(politically correct, inoffensive) An American n——.”
    RuakhTALK 02:08, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    Our offensive content (and sexual content, like having a photo at penis) also offends many people, and we regularly get complaints. Are those complaints relevant? Should we hide those entries, or censor them? If not, are we ignoring "human considerations"?
    Your second point: that's not really a meaningful comparison, and I think you probably realize that. We seek to define words in terms of their more common synonym where possible, and BGC hits support this current setup. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:39, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    I actually think my second point is a much more relevant comparison than yours, so I guess we're at an impasse. —RuakhTALK 02:56, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
    Well, I was aiming for an argumentum ad absurdum but evidently I botched it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:02, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. Although the proposition may simplify tasks for editors, it does so by eliminating implied metadata. - Amgine/ t·e 19:26, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
    What do you mean? — Ungoliant (Falai) 19:33, 1 February 2013 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg AbstainUngoliant (Falai) 17:57, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg Comment there do seem to be more differences between Indonesian and Malay than between e.g. Bosnian and Montenegrin. (Whether there are more differences than between Scots and English is hard to ascertain.) Some of the other lects (e.g. Brunei Malay) are even said to be mutually unintelligible with standard Malay. The situation is a mess, but I'm not convinced a merger makes it less messy. Sometimes (e.g. with Low German!) keeping things separate makes them less messy than merging would make them! - -sche (discuss) 21:04, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
  3. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain Maro 20:56, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  4. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain The arguments are not convincing and there are not enough knowledgeable editors to have a strong case like it was with Serbo-Croatian, Romanian and Moldavian. Malay and Indonesian are similar and mutually comprehensible but they differ a lot, even on the very formal level, let alone dialects, colloquialisms and variant spellings. We don't have enough contents in either language to make it a maintenance nightmare, simply put, Malay and Indonesian editors are not that productive so that could have a reason to complain. If we had, in one language (e.g. Malay) and a person would say that over 90% of the contents is also Indonesian, then we could revisit. As it is, Bulgarian and Macedonian, Hindi and Urdu, Malay and Indonesian are better kept separate. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:59, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  5. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain. Seems like a good idea, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about the differences between them. DAVilla 03:20, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


Fails 3–4–5 (43%).​—msh210 (talk) 17:54, 3 February 2013 (UTC)