Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2009-06/Unified Serbo-Croatian

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It appears from discussions that you clearly mean the following:

L2 Sections of ==Bosnian==, ==Croatian==, ==Serbian== and ==Montenegrin== are prohibited. Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin words must be described under a ==Serbo-Croatian== header, by applying the guidelines outlined in the proposal policy WT:ASH.

If you also prohibit L3 headers such as ===Bosnian=== (this is less clear), this prohibition should also be made explicit in the sentence, in order to prevent misunderstanding:

L2 or L3 sections of ==Bosnian==, ==Croatian==, ==Serbian== and ==Montenegrin== (or ===Bosnian===, ===Croatian===, ===Serbian=== and ===Montenegrin===) are prohibited. Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin words must be described under a ==Serbo-Croatian== header, by applying the guidelines outlined in the proposal policy WT:ASH.

Lmaltier 08:31, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

It would be misleading to imply that we're somehow "prohibiting" something. What this proposal is about is binding what used to be 3 different L2s into one, with the proposed policy in mind. The prohibition of B/C/S L2s after the unification is implicit (it's already mentioned at the WT:ASH). Perhaps using obsoleted instead of prohibited instead?
Also L3 sections have never been used for individual languages, are not allowed by WT:ELE and AF would tag such sections as anomalous, so I think that it's superfluous to mention that L3s for B/C/S are also not allowed. --Ivan Štambuk 09:10, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, if these language headers are not prohibited, then they are allowed, and removing them should be considered as vandalism. You want to prohibit them implicitly, but proposals must be explicit, otherwise they may be misunderstood, and the vote would be of no value.
About L3 headers, I feel that some contributors might interpret the proposal this way if it's not clarified. Lmaltier 09:26, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
What I'm saying is if you put the verb "prohibit" into the one-sentence description of the proposal, you make it sound as if the whole thing is about prohibiting B/C/S L2s. It isn't. People contribute exactly the same way as before, but now using ==Serbo-Croatian== instead of whatever they used before.
Anyhow, I've made it a bit more explicit [1] - is that OK? Remember, we're voting on the WT:ASH, not on the description of the vote on this page.
The change to L2 directly influence everything else (translation tables, categories, etc.). --Ivan Štambuk 10:14, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
obsoleted does not mean prohibited. You want to prohibit some language headers, state it clearly in the proposal. Lmaltier 15:40, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed: "People contribute exactly the same way as before, but now using ==Serbo-Croatian== instead of whatever they used before." is prohibiting the others, requiring that the SC L2 header be used. And the edits that have been done under the proposal have consisted of removing the other L2 sections: the intent is clearly to force everything into SC. The vote description is intentionally evasive. Robert Ullmann 14:39, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
In case you haven't noticed, it got changed in the meantime by Ruakh to as it is now. --Ivan Štambuk 14:47, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

It is very sad that some of the people doesn't see that various languages are welth of this world, and it is also sad that those people even live on this world. I don't even belive that this creature called Ivan Stambuk is beneficient.

Links to Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian projects?[edit]

Wiktionary:About Serbo-Croatian gives the impression that we're to ignore the existence of Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian projects. At least, it says to use {{t|sh}} for translations. I'm really not happy with this; I don't think we should have this vote until we have some sort of working {{t-sh}} template that the SH contributors here are happy with and that allows linking to all four relevant Wiktionaries. Also, insofar as eliminating the distinct L2 headers implies that we should eliminate the bs, sr, and hr language templates, I'd like some sort of solution for {{projectlink}}, {{wikipedia}}, etc. (though that's not urgent: we don't need to eliminate those language templates, so can take our time getting it right). —RuakhTALK 12:22, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I did ask mr. Ullmann if he could add the support to {{t}} and Tbot of linking to all 4 Wiktionaries simultaneously a while back, but received no feedback. I'm not sure whether he's willing to do it regardless of the likely positive outcome of this vote :( But since all of those 4 Wiktionaries are basically dead projects, it's not much of a loss anyway. English Wiktionary has more comprehensive SC entries than all of them combined.
Those other templates could be easily rewritten with some conditional branching. E.g. by adding additional multiple-language paramaters (e.g. lang1=, lang2= etc.) so that they could be reused in other similar cases. --Ivan Štambuk 12:33, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I have an idea for a workaround solution: Make a list from a dump of all the mainspace entries on those 4 dictionaries (some 20K collectively, with much of an overlap) in Cyrillic and Latin script (the 2 ones used for SC), and create a template with a giant switch which could return "true" if some of them has the entry, and "false otherwise". That template would be machine-generated, and we would update it e.g. once a month (or even rarer, as those 4 wiktionaries grow really slow). The output of that template could be used to generate blue or red wikilinks to bs/hr/sr/sh wiktionaries, in a special translation template for SC called e.g. t-sh.
That kind of template wouldn't be too hard to write (I could do it), and wouldn't be much of a burden on server-side either, as it would be static and compiled only the first time it is invoked. I've already used giant switches (1000+ cases) in a template that generates URLs for Sanskrit reference template (e.g. {{MWp2URL}}), and noticed that there was a few-second delay only the first time that template is used.
Of course, all of this would be unnecessary if Robert would cooperate, which I hope he would. I'm just proposing this as a possible workaround.. --Ivan Štambuk 12:59, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

If these wiktionaries are basically dead projects, the deadest one is sh.wiktionary (132 entries, compared to sr: 15000, hr:3000, bs:320). And it's probably the less likely to develop again (unless you intend to contribute to it in the future). From these statistics, almost all contributors to sh/sr/hr/bs wiktionaries seem to view them as individual languages for the purpose of the Wiktionary project rather than a single one. Lmaltier 13:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Numbers can be misleading. Serbian Wiktionary has some 10000+ entries which are nothing but bot-generated proper names [try hitting the Случајна страница ("Random page") wikilink and look at the content of a random entry: it's just мушко име ("male name") or женско име ("female name")]. Typical Balkanic number megalomania, "who has the biggest one". I mean, just look at their respective growth statistics: SR, BS, HR, SH - it's really negligible.
almost all contributors to sh/sr/hr/bs wiktionaries seem to view them as individual languages for the purpose of the Wiktionary project rather than a single one. - No they are not. They are all contributing to their respective wikiproject along ethnic lines, and because they're the most literate in their respective national SC variety. It is of absolutely no problem for either of them to contribute to any other SC wikiproject - in fact, much of the content among the SC wikipedias is simply being copy/pasted and trivially adapted (ijekavian/ekavian etc.). I have lots of quality edits in Croatian entries on Croatian wiktionary, and Dijan on Bosnian wiktionary, yet both of us are for this unification on English Wiktionary. So the numbers or the very existence of bs/hr/sr wiktionaries proves exactly nothing. --Ivan Štambuk 13:32, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


NPOV is the first Wikimedia founding principle. A basic NPOV rule is not to choose between opinions (for disputed issues), but to assert undisputed facts and to describe opinions. To Atelaes:

NPOV does not apply, as we must take a point of view, and none of them are neutral: I disagree. Some contributors strongly want to keep Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian headers (e.g. Robert Ullmann), some contributors very strongly want to use Serbo-Croatian headers. Obviously, this is a disputed issue, and not only here (Wikipedia pages also show that this is a sensitive issue). Therefore, the NPOV principle does apply. A solution would be not to take any point of view (Wikimedia chose this solution by accepting bs, hr and sr wiktionaries and wikipedias, without closing sh projects). If you want to take a point of view, it would be less neutral, but the only possible option would be to rely on decisions made by ISO and by States where these languages are spoken, which are verifiable facts, rather than on arguments such as what "99% of Western Slavics" do (this figure cannot be verified). Whatever the actual figure, this issue is controversial and this is what matters.

To Ƿidsið:

if all the editors working on these languages want to work this way: I've seen at least one Serbian native speaker creating pages with Serbian headers (after the beginning of the Beer parlour discussion). And all editors working on these languages have contributed to many Croatian, Bosnian, or Serbian sections before changing their minds (I don't understand why), and I don't think that they were "brain-damaged" at the time. Lmaltier 20:06, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Ullmann provided no argumentation for why to keep separate B/C/S headers except for some insane gibberish involving swastikas, war crimes and whatnot. He later retreated from the entire discussion after I presume he eventually figured out that what he was saying makes absolutely no sense at all (I just hope that he won't be mentioning words such as swastika or genocide on the vote itself, trying to scare away other potential voters completely ignorant on the matter).
The NPOV principle on Wiktionary pertains only to the definition lines, nothing else, and there is no NPOV policy here regarding the L2 section names.
Once again, we're writing a dictionary here, not an encyclopedia, and we're trying to chose a solution that is the most convenient for particular language contributors. We are not taking a POV by choosing to format what was ==Bosnian==, ==Croatian== and ==Serbian== into ==Serbo-Croatian== - only reducing the complete duplication of content by some 50% (even more when they finally invent "Montenegrin language" this fall). English Wikipedia, OTOH has plenty of instances were the term Serbo-Croatian is used. E.g. on the article on Balto-Slavic languages and the section on SC pitch accent (both of which I wrote), as it is pointless to list identical words with identical accents and identical inflection as if belonging to 3 "different languages". This is an English Wiktionary, not B/C/S Wiktionary (where they can chose whatever scheme they want to).
You speak of "verifiable facts" - yes all the three standard languages have separate ISO/SIL codes - for the very simple reason: they're today "maintained" by 3 national bodies and the assignment of ISO/SIL code is along national lines, and nothing else. My figure of 99% Western Slavists treating SC as a single language is absolutely correct, and I've listed you a number of the most prominent Slavists of the 20th century who treat(ed) is as such in their most important works. Can you dear Lmaltier name me one such who didn't/doesn't? I don't think you can name any prominent Slavist at all..
This is only "controversial" in the eyes of petty nationalist linguists, whose advancement in the academic career depends on how big "Croat", "Serb" or "Bosniak" they are. Croatian Academy of Sciences for example has a record of banning top Croatian scientists (e.g. Miroslav Radman, who is good enough for French and World Academy of Sciencies, for Nature/Science/Cell journals..) on the grounds of them being not "big enough Croats". What such hopelessly brain-washed academicians think should be of no concern to us, or whether their poor feelings get hurt.
I've seen at least one Serbian native speaker creating pages with Serbian headers - yes, the Serbian nationalist you personally canvassed into the discussion, who tried to make the case with a bunch of "Serbian only" words most of which are in fact used also by Bosniaks and Croats, and some "Croat only" words nobody speaks (1990s neologism histeria in Croatia is over).
And all editors working on these languages have contributed to many Croatian, Bosnian, or Serbian sections before changing their minds (I don't understand why) - because they finally realized that it was a bloody stupid idea to have one section cloned in 4 different places, and the effort of maintaining them is not worth of concern of mental health of some poor nationalist who might get "offended" by seeing ==Serbo-Croatian==. Now you do the same thing as you did before, only with different L2 name. --ⰉⰂⰀⰐ ⰞⰕⰀⰏⰁⰖⰍ 20:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that the Serbian speaker I mention was somebody else, not the one who participated to the discussion. But I don't know them anyway. It seems that somebody asked him to participate to the discussion, but it's not me. I only asked a question to Wikimedia, but got no answer yet. Lmaltier 21:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
They know each other; Dungodung is a steward so once he saw your notice he prob. mentioned it to his comrade nationalist Smolenski (who still believes that Kosovo is a "province of Serbia"). Had you asked nationalist trolls on Croatian and Bosniak Wikipedia you'd get the same type of answers: "totally different languages and peoples", "completely inappropriate to treat as one header" yadayada.. 99% identical grammar, 100% mutual intelligibility, identical phonology and inflection...one language, one header, everything else is a waste of time. --ⰉⰂⰀⰐ ⰞⰕⰀⰏⰁⰖⰍ 21:28, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

To Davilla: Linguistic concerns are the only ones of importance.: No, Wikimedia founding principles are much more important. Wikimedia projects are not allowed to take an official position on controversial subjects (controversial political subjects, controversial linguistic subjects, etc.) Lmaltier 20:33, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

To Ruakh: Our perhaps-too-rigid structure requires that words belong to specific languages, and does not allow for this sort of flexibility.. But current entries do include Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian headers (and Serbo-Croatian headers too). It works, with our current structure. Why do you think that some change is required? Lmaltier 20:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

It's required because SC contributors don't want maintain 4 identical sections. Can you understand something as simple as that? --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 21:10, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Nobody obliges you to maintain sections you don't wish to maintain. Can you understand something as simple as that? Lmaltier 21:17, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
LoL, I want to maintain sections on my mother tongue - Serbo-Croatian, and not its imaginary spinoffs fabricated by hardline nationalist governments in the 1990s for their genocidal propaganda purposes. Of which EU has and apparently still is quite fond of (the usual divide et impera strategy). --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 21:30, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Re: "It works, with our current structure": I guess "works" is relative. The database has indeed managed not to contract ebolavirus, but our readers can't easily tell whether we have the information they're looking for, because we label it inconsistently and alphabetize it according to these inconsistent labels. If your proposal were a true reflection of NPOV, perhaps the cost would be worth it; but your proposal is no such thing. If use of SC is a POV and use of B/C/S/M is a POV, then it's not NPOV to say that we'll have four sections espousing one POV followed by one section espousing the other, and it's not NPOV to say that each editor can edit according to whatever POV he prefers. On Wikipedia, someone who consistently and pointedly edited according to a single POV, such as you're telling Ivan to do, would be blocked. Your proposal, then, is not "Wiktionary should adopt a neutral POV", but rather "the Wiktionary community should not have any input in what non-neutral POVs it adopts". And while frankly, it does make me uncomfortable that we're voting to adopt a specific non-neutral POV, I just don't see your proposal as much of an improvement. Specifically, it's not enough of an improvement to compensate for all the downsides, and to outweigh the decision that our relevant contributors have all agreed on. —RuakhTALK 21:34, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget that there are other similar cases. There are many Arabic sections, but there are Egyptian Arabic sections as well. You mention users, but users have not complained about the presence of Serbo-Croatian and Serbian sections, as far as I know. Would you propose to prohibit Egyptian Arabic (there is an ISO code for it)? Lmaltier 06:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know much Arabic, but we do prohibit Ancient Hebrew (ISO code hbo), which is another similar case. (I'm not saying we have to prohibit Ancient Hebrew — there may be other approaches that would also work — but it's valid to do so, and I would be furious if non–Hebrew-speaking editors tromped in, shouting that our suppression of Biblical Hebrew was anti-Christian linguicide.) —RuakhTALK 13:19, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I think we usually follow normal human socio-political instincts in trying not to make our own decisions. One aspect of NPOV is to rely on external authorities on potentially hot-potato issues. ISO has been one such authority. Departing from the acceptance of that authority will open us up for involvement in more linguo-political decisions. The vehemence with which this particular proposal is being pushed scares me a bit. The only good thing is that we have not had any two-way nastiness. That has something to do with our votes not being very visible to most users. I fear that the lack of nastiness in this discussion is no guarantee that there will not be nastiness later when some partisan of a national language comes here to make an entry and finds that, of all the thousands of ISO language codes there are three that are not supported here. DCDuring TALK 23:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Re "The vehemence with which this particular proposal is being pushed scares me a bit": Yes, me too, but I nonetheless cast my vote in support (primarily for the reason I gave at the time). I hope I won't rue it.​—msh210 23:42, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, relying on ISO (i.e. allowing at least headers in languages recognized by ISO) is a good principle. We are not here to make linguistic decisions, only to describe linguistic facts about words. This is why I would allow Klingon (of course, there are not many native Klingonophones to complain, but principles are principles). Lmaltier 06:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
But even so, we don't allow Klingon and a number of other conlangs, even though they do have an ISO code, because they're someone's imaginary linguistic perversions and not real-world communication codes. In January 2008 there was this dude who started adding words in this imaginary language ("conlang") "Lingua Franca Nova", and people asked him to stop doing it as conlangs first need to pass a vote, before they're allowed to be added to Wiktionary, plus it had no ISO/SIL code. The dude sent an e-mail to SIL, and the next day came back with an announcement. Everyone was pretty much shocked, I mean - are those folks at SIL drunk or something, that they get you a code by simply politely asking them? Where is some kind of "panel of experts" or "formal process"??? When you further investigate SIL website, and realize that they've moreover assigned codes to some completely imaginary natural languages, e.g. Knaanic language (which I guarantee you does not exist, not even in traces), you realize that you're really dealing with a bunch of amateurs. If an e-mail can force them to get you an ISO code for some conlang (imaginary language no one speaks), no wonder that they've been assigning codes to some nationalist fabrications who have an entire legislative body behind them. So SIL/ISO is really nothing sort of a "credible authority" you guys are trying to describe it.
You say Lmaltier: We are not here to make linguistic decisions, only to describe linguistic facts about words - Sorry but you are completely wrong. We're here to write a dictionary, and can make whatever linguistic decisions we want to ease that goal with regards to both contributors and potential users. We have 3 (soon 4) standard languages, all based on identical subdialect, sharing an enormous part of lexis, having 99% identical grammar, and morover up until 20 years ago all treated as the same language everywhere (and today also in overwhelming majority of Western sources) - isn't the most logical thing to do to achieve that goal (write a dictionary) to simply treat them all with common ==Serbo-Croatian== section?
principles are principles - but pragmatism is pragmatism. Principles don't write dictionaries, humans do. Who are you to tell others to pursue some "principles" that would make them their (volunteering) job here 5 times more complex and time-consuming? --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 07:32, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, you are wrong. I have absolutely no doubt about it: Wikipedia is not allowed to make political decisions on controversial issues (e.g. about which kind of government is the best one, which is the advisable vote in an election, etc.). It's exactly the same here, for controversial linguistic issues. This is what neutrality means, and this principle applies to all Wikimedia projects, without any exception.
And, once again, if you want to contribute to Serbo-Croatian sections, and not to other sections, allowing Serbian sections is not more time-consuming to you. My only concern is that you don't remove valid Serbian, Bosnian or Croatian headers (written by you or by other contributors). You don't own them, they belong to the project. Lmaltier 09:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not allowed to - we are not Wikipedia. We have our own goals and methods. Most WP principles are completely inapplicable on Wiktionary. We, for example, do and moreover promote original research by our CFI. That kind of thing is completely forbidden at WP. We don't care about "authorities" or "communis opinio", we are just trying to write a dictionary reflecting real-world language use. Academic credentials are completely different thing when it comes to e.g. etymologies or "preferred usage", but for the basic purposes (writing definitions of used words) they are not.
And, once again, if you want to contribute to Serbo-Croatian sections, and not to other sections, allowing Serbian sections is not more time-consuming to you. - Look Lmaltier, my mother tongue is Serbo-Croatian, and I want to contribute to it, and I don't want to waste time maintaining or even looking at L2s of ==Bosnian==, ==Croatian==, ==Serbian== and ==Montengerin==, all having exactly the same content, and at the same time contributing to ==Serbo-Croatian==. It's completely absurd to have all 5 of them at the same time, from the point of view of both contributors and end-users. You perhaps may be imagining that you're doing some kind of Good Thing, promoting "diversity" and NPOV, but in fact you're causing massive time waste and introducing total anarchy.
You don't own them, they belong to the project. - No they don't belong to the project. What is written in Wikipedia or Wiktionary or any of the other projects is not "owned" by anyone. It's public knowledge licensed under GFDL. This project can move to an external website any time (and I hope it will be one day, as MediaWiki is completely unsuitable for writing a dictionary). No one at Wikimedia has any right to direct me what to do or not to do here. It's the community that is self-organized in deciding which are the best means and practices to achieve the goals of the project. --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 11:30, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
"Who are we?" Are you now saying we have no business voting? This vote only came about because Robert Ullman noticed that you were effectively mass-deleting content as if the content were yours to do with what you will. Those who oppose are aware of the linguistic and convenience considerations.
"Who are we?" We are the pragmatic people who are concerned about the consequences of an unprecedented decision to effectively delete content en masse without being able to claim that it is the result of a decision that reflects the interests of the large populations whose language codes are involved.
Who we are are people concerned that the decision being made is an effectively irreversible one that violates the principles that are part of what motivate us to be involved in WMF projects in general and this one in particular. Those principles are supposed to be what keep projects and component efforts from being hijacked by groups with narrow agendas and theories. DCDuring TALK 09:23, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you now saying we have no business voting? - anyone can vote. However, votes coming out of complete ignorance, prejudices and sheer malevolence should be sanctioned are ignored IMHO. So far I haven't seen a single sound or sane argument as why not to "unify" SC. Just massive trolling, ad hominems and logical fallacies all over the place.
This vote only came about because Robert Ullman noticed that you were effectively mass-deleting content as if the content were yours to do with what you will. - HELLO DCDURING! I wasn't "mass-deleting" anything - I was simply reducing massive multiplication of content, and moreover have been doing this (and other SC contributors) for several months, and then along came Ullmann with his ingenious comments and undoings of "severe damage" [2] (LoL), undoing efforts by other contributors which were done in best possible intentions. Of course, he only noticed it because his Tbot re-created entries that were merged - otherwise who know when he'd notice (he ignored my request at Tbot's talkpage a few months ago).
that it is the result of a decision that reflects the interests of the large populations whose language codes are involved. - Why should we care what a bunch of nationalists think? Their minds are contaminated by petty self-centric fascistoid world-view. We have our own goals and methods. 99% of Westerns Slavists treats SC as one language and that's all we care. There is no SC-en dictionary in the word that has simultaneously all those "4 languages". The most comprehensive and professional one (Morton-Benson) still uses the title Serbo-Croatian containing all 3 (4) varieties simultaneously. It should be our role model, not these "Croatian dictionaries" or "Serbian dictionaries" published after the 1991.
Those principles are supposed to be what keep projects and component efforts from being hijacked by groups with narrow agendas and theories. - principles are for idealists, this is real world. I ask you too: Who are you to tell others to pursue some "principles" that would make them their (volunteering) job here 5 times more complex and time-consuming? --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 11:44, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Red card[edit]

I should point out (at the risk, or rather certainty, of raising the temper) something that everyone should take into account: Mr. Ivan Štambuk was blocked (given a "red card") for exactly this sort of extreme aggressiveness on the Croatian Wikipedia. It was a 3rd or 4th block, for one year. The admin's comment was that the block was only for 1 year because it was the longest time available short of infinite. He has also been criticized for similar disruption pushing Cro-nationalist POV on the Wikipedia, but I cannot evaluate whether that is valid, so please see for yourself (or not ;-). Robert Ullmann 13:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually I was blocked at hr wikipedia because it's ruled by a clique of sysops who block everyone who doesn't fit their "perceptions", for trivial reasons. The first time I was blocked (for 1 month) was I after I pointed out that one article was copy/pasted from a copyrighted website, and I repeatedly tagged it as such and deleted disputed content. The admin clique used it as an excuse (the reason for blocking was "deliberate obstruction of the project") to get rid of me. Later the use the first block as an excuse for longer future blocks under trivial reasons, until you get indefinite block. They used the same method to ban several other high-profile editors. The whole case long after some other incidents ended up under inspection by certain WM "authorities", and the conclusion was something like "There is no help for this Balkanic wikipedias". Anyhow, I don't see how this is relevant for this vote, this is a clear example of ad hominem attack, something RU is very used to doing here (and the only reason why everyone is putting up with this behavior of yours is because of your important and unfortunately irreplaceable contributions to this project). --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 14:09, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I added a useful link to the vote page, and Mr. Štambuk removed it. I have restored it. (and Ruakh helpfully edited, thank you) Note that it is a page on the 'pedia that he has contributed to. This sort of crap is what got him blocked, and we should, unfortunately, begin to consider if he should be blocked/banned here. He clearly has learned nothing from the hr.wp blocks, none of were for the "incidents" themselves, but for his aggressiveness and abuse. (Which I note from the vote comments has also bothered others.) Robert Ullmann 14:16, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
What you are doing with linking to that WP article is trying to use it as a some kind of "argument" as why the proposed scheme wouldn't work. Of course, it's nothing sort of an argument, as I abundantly elaborated on how pretty much all of the "differences" listed in that WP article could elegantly be handled in the rationale (I suggest that you finally read it). I provided an overview of the differences in real-world texts varieties of the standards (the Universal Declarations), and how they are all handled within the proposed scheme. IMHO, for a casual reader completely ignorant of SC (such as you are), linking to that WP article without a context would be completely misleading, inducing great deal of unnecessary prejudice and skepticism. --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 14:31, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm confused. First you assert that "Serbo-Croatian" is a genocidal Serbian nationalist construct, then you point out that Ivan's been criticized on Wikipedia for his Croatian nationalist POV? (The latter, BTW, may well be true; see Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2009/March#Serbo-Croatian, where Ivan explains his change of heart with the comment, "I received disinfection from nationalism disease.." If the criticisms on Wikipedia were from before that, then perhaps he'd now agree with them.) —RuakhTALK 14:27, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I had incorrectly assumed (from seeing this extreme POV elsewhere), that he was Serbian; I was corrected by some comment somewhere in the last day. (And his old talk page, which was much more informative than the present one.) BTW: his comment "casual reader completely ignorant of SC (such as you are)" besides being abusive, is entirely false. And I have read the "rationale" and the entire document, and to me it is almost entirely handwaving. A long series of "fixes" to problems that don't need to occur in the first place is not useful. Robert Ullmann 14:43, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
What does my nationality has to do with anything I say? Non quis, sed quid!
Also Robert, we all still remember the crusade you waged against the split of Norwegian Nynorsk/Bokmal, when native speakers came along and gave you a cold shower, when it turned out that these have much more differences than you were willing to admit (apparently quite different inflection). Ironically, here you are for the split of SC, when all those "different languages" have in fact basically identical inflection. Someone might think that your thoughts on what constitutes a "language" or not are entirely based on political reasons.. --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 14:55, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Can you make one comment at all without an offensive personal comment? And as to Norwegian, you entirely misunderstood. In fact, the present not-quite solution was what I proposed. The original state of affairs, which IMHO was better (best), was using no=Norwegian, nn=Nynorsk, and nb not used (this is in fact enforced by the WM s/w, which treats nb interwikis as no). This is consistent with the rest of WMF and the rest of the world. And I am not for "splitting" SC; there is nothing to split. Robert Ullmann 13:33, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
No what we have now (two different L2s ==Norwegian Nynrosk== and ==Norwegian Bokmal==) wasn't what you advocated. Your proposal implies that there is more "Norwegian" to Bokmal than Nynorsk, which is discriminatory and unacceptable, as our Norwegian friends have explained. You ardently advocated L2 ==Norwegian== at all cost, when it turned out that the solution of merging both under single L2 was not an easy thing to do, as these two have quite a lot differences in inflection or morphology (way more than Serbo-Croatian varieties). The analogy I mentioned is perfectly applicable, and demonstrates how your opinions of merger/splitting of L2 are susceptible to arbitrary political prejudice. --Ivan Štambuk 13:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
No, what we have now is THREE L2 headers, matching the ISO codes. And this "solution" was exactly what I proposed, after (as you note correctly) a whole lot of whining by others that we couldn't call Norwegian Norwegian and Nynorsk Nynorsk because that was "discrimination". In both cases I was following the ISO standards. (Having had the small advantage of knowing fom my involvement in the process that "nb" was assigned solely to placate the Nyorsk proponents, with no intention that it ever be used; indeed, WMF does not use it ;-) , Your conclusion that it reflects political prejudice is entirely, flatly, false. I, for one, would vote to block/ban you permanently right now for this continual bullshit. Robert Ullmann 13:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes we now have 3 L2s but the remaining ==Norwegian== are slowly being split by the Norwegian contributors. Some time we'll have only two L2 sections for Norwegian.
Well you did assume that I was a Serbian just because I advocate SC unification, which turned out to be untrue (and neither of the other SC contributors is Serbian). That pretty much shows how prejudiced you are towards the people, and not their arguments.
Re: for one, would vote to block/ban you permanently right now for this continual bullshit. - no comment. You should really be more civil. --Ivan Štambuk 14:16, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Pot … kettle … black … words … failing. —RuakhTALK 14:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

technical issues[edit]

The proposed vote glosses over the difficulty of implementation. The technical changes needed to implement this special case, especially as it conflicts with all of of the other wiki projects, are immense. Mr. Ivan Štambuk seems to be under the impression that it only involves a few templates here; this is incorrect. The changes he requested to Tbot are not even possible, as there is no way to reference the (hr,bs,sr) wiktionaries and combine the information. (A very large number of words are unique to one or two of the 3 languages, and whether they could be called "Serbo-Croatian" is not determinable, the 3 standard language headers are required in these cases anyway.) Regardless of the other problems with suppressing Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin (and Serbian itself!), it is in conflict with WMF standards and ISO standards (which we use in the browser interface, remember? If we code things as "sh", how is the CSS and browser going to know whether to use hr, bs, or sr? eh?)

This proposal is not technically feasible. Practically, it can't be done. Robert Ullmann 13:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Excuse me, but how exactly what I proposed here some 4 months ago is not technically feasible? The only thing that Tbot would need to do is treat SC as a sort of special case, and combine the bluelinks and redlinks into one bs/hr/sr/sh superscript.
A very large number of words are unique to one or two of the 3 languages - That doesn't bother us. There is no reason why Serbian-only words could not be entries on the Croatian wiktionary, or Croatian-only words on Serbian witkionary. Do you think that entries such as hr:berza, hr:sudija or hr:uslov are not "useful" to link to? For once, they demonstrate that the term is not proper "standard Croatian" (in case someone is learning the language, and is not sure of how the term is spread geographically). And as one can see, they can contain additional useful information such as the inflection.
it is in conflict with WMF standards and ISO standards - can you explain in more details what exactly do you have in mind? In the proposed scheme, there would be no bs/hr/sr for browsers to take care of, only sh. There would be one set of templates, and scripts are already handled language-agnostically. --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ)
(I don't know why I am bothering to continue at this point ;-) Tbot is only partly about updating t-templates. That isn't too hard to do, but since the proposal is bad in the first place, it isn't worth thinking about.
The browsers must be given a standard language code, which "sh" is not. All the interfaces with everything else (inside and outside WMF) must be given the correct, separate codes. By the time you get to the bottom of all the issues, you might as well have separate entries anyway. Robert Ullmann 14:54, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
but since the proposal is bad in the first place, it isn't worth thinking about - So, it is technically feasible after all? You above state that it isn't. I would be very thankful if you would answer this question.
a standard language code, which "sh" is not - we already have a plenty of quasi-codes used. Why sh wouldn't work, and these would? sh is reserved 2-letter code which won't be assigned by SIL/ISO to any other language, because they don't assign 2-letter codes anymore. Can you give some specific examples involving CSS or templates where sh would break things, and where such changes could not be fixed? --Ivan (ⰃⰎⰀⰃⰑⰎⰅⰞⰉ) 15:01, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The browsers (FF and IE) use bs, hr, and sr, and will presumably use the code for Montenegrin when it is assigned. They don't use sh. When the script templates pass the language parameter, it must be one of the legal codes. And the templates have to know which one. If you merge the 3 (or 4) languages into one non-standard language, this breaks, and is extremely hard to fix, as the templates now don't have the information. To fix this, each of the "Serbo-Croatian" entries would have to specify which standard language is "really" meant. (which of course is not really possible, except perhaps for assuming that Cyrillic is probably sr). The "quasi-codes" we use are for extensions which will not make sense to browsers until they are coded by ISO; but in this case the ISO coding is clearly set and specified. We don't have a technical option; we must comply with the standards. Robert Ullmann 13:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
But you still didn't explain to me what difference does it make to the browser whether it's bs/hr/sr or simply sh? What would exactly break with the browsers? Serbian is written in both Cyrillic and Roman (on the Web, much more in Roman), so the mapping of script to language cannot be dealt with language code, but with sc= parameter. --Ivan Štambuk 14:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Re "A very large number of words are unique to one or two of the 3 languages, and whether they could be called "Serbo-Croatian" is not determinable, the 3 standard language headers are required in these cases anyway.": We use the same L2 header for color and colour, for braces and suspenders.​—msh210 18:49, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it’s no different from bloke, which is British but not American English. It can be handled the same way we handle GB/US words and phrases. Even European and Brazilian Portuguese are more different than the S-C dialects, and we handle them under Portuguese. Norwegian Bokmål (‘no’) and Nynorsk (‘nn’) are more different, but both are handled as one language in the Norwegian (‘no’) Wiktionary. —Stephen 03:36, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Just to point out part of the problem in a bit more detail, at the probable risk of making it even more confusing:

The proposal involves suppressing the Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian entries in Translations sections, using "Serbo-Croatian", and a modified {t} template, looking something like this:

  • Serbo-Croatian: word(sh bs hr sr)

As Ivan Štambuk asks on Tbot's talk page, saying "where each of those would individually be checked against the existence of entry in the corresponding wiktionary?" There are several severe problems. First, what language tag is given to "word" in the HTML? "sh" is invalid, and the template has no way of choosing among the valid tags. Next, there are numerous cases where the word is in one or two of the three standard languages, so we need various combinations of links.

But also note that the checking results in the template becoming {t-} or {t+}, as well as possibly remaining {t}. With 4 different checks, we now have 34 = 81 combinations. (81 different templates? not ;-) It would take some parameters. But then how would it generate the CSS classes that control the link colours and presentation? The existing CSS will not work, and it is difficult to see how it could be designed in a way to allow the existing customization capability to apply. Note the example above is only the default appearance (sans colour). What would you do (for example) to do what setting the tneg class to not show links to non-existent entries, presently:

.tneg { display: none }

If the class is inside the parens (it would have to be, because other links may exist) but none of the links exist, you get the parens:

  • Serbo-Croatian: word()

If, say, only the sr.wikt has the entry, you get

  • Serbo-Croatian: word( sr)

(and it is actually worse than that, when you look at the other custom cases) just to give you a small idea of what a mess this is. And a totally unnecessary mess if we just continue to follow the standards as we have been. Robert Ullmann 14:23, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, I am not that familiar with CSS and Wiktionary customization schemes (which I don't use). About this: First, what language tag is given to "word" in the HTML? - so every Wiktionary word is given a HTML tag? Why would sh not work and e.g. sr would in that case? I still don't understand why browser's must be given either bs/hr/sr but not sh. What exactly would break if they be given an "invalid" code?
As for the other example: could it work with the format (bs)(hr)(sr)(sh) ? --Ivan Štambuk 14:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Funny Robert how you claim it isn't possible, then actually explain how to do it yourself, genius! Mglovesfun (talk) 11:26, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Google statistics[edit]

Arguments given are incredible... More feed for thought:

  • of course, I'm not a Slavist at all. Nonetheless, on fr.wiktionary, I've created some entries for Russian, more than 150,000 entries for Bulgarian (and a number of Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian entries too). All that is completely irrelevant to the discussion, of course, but remember you can do the same by adding sections, not by removing them.
  • You suggested several times that 99% of Slavists agree with you. I assume you could easily cite at least 4 linguists accepting to use Croatian, or Serbian, or Bosnian as language names (linguists you call rabid nationalists). Could you give a list of 4*99 = 396 linguists refusing to use these language names, and accepting only Serbo-Croatian?
  • Pepsi Lite voted as a user, not as a contributor. But opinions from users should be welcome too (the only constraint is that their account should not be too recent).
  • I tried the following Google searches (number of hits). Please, verify them if you don't trust me.
    • "serbo-croatian-english dictionary" : 607 ... mine: 3,670
    • "english-serbo-croatian dictionary" : 2,320 ... mine: 161,000
    • "croatian-english dictionary" -"serbo-croatian-english dictionary" : 368,000 ... mine: 292,000
    • "english-croatian dictionary" : 589,000 ... mine: 579,000
    • "serbian-english dictionary" : 12,200 ... mine: 12,300
    • "english-serbian dictionary" : 78,800 ... mine: 70,000
    • "bosnian-english dictionary" : 1,240 ... mine: 1,410
    • "english-bosnian dictionary" : 8,150 ... mine: 710,000
    • "Serbocroatian-english dictionary" : ... mine: 332,000 —Stephen 16:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Total of hits using Serbo-Croatian : 2,927 (about 0.3%)
  • Total of hits using separate languages: 1,057,390 (about 99.7%)

These statistics don't mean anything precise, but they are suggestive nonetheless: English speakers generally use the separate language names when they refer to dictionaries. Lmaltier 15:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Using your terms, I get very different numbers. For example, you got 607 for "serbo-croatian-english dictionary"...but I got 3670. For a slightly different spelling, "Serbocroatian-english dictionary", I get 332,000 google hits. —Stephen 16:33, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I copied my exact searches, and exact numbers of hits. My Google interface is in French, but I don't understand why it would change results. Please, could you give your complete figures? Lmaltier 16:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Google results are often not consistent even with the same country. It is particularly necessary to be precise about hyphenated terms (serbocroatian -serbo-croatian). Google often inserts what they think you meant. I am sometimes surprised by their search results. DCDuring TALK 17:37, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
What is you proficiency in those Slavic languages? Can you understand literary Bulgarian? If so, you should also understand of great deal of literary Serbo-Croatian too. Can you discern among the texts written in "Bosnian", "Croatian" and "Ijekavian Serbian" on sight?
I listed already a number of the top Slavists and Balto-Slavists in the world on various places. What difference does it make if I listed 1000 more, when all those names mean nothing to you?
Pepsi Lite's opinion was basically a discriminatory (racist) comment to my nationality. Do you support that kind of comments? I've read how France has notoriously fascist language policies (suppression of Breton, Basque etc.)
Google searches for some arbitrary phrases - that is supposed to prove something? --Ivan Štambuk 15:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm not a Slavist. And I don't agree with Pepsi Lite's comment, nor with anything discriminatory to any language. I already answered your last question. Lmaltier 15:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually you haven't answered it, only drew a wrong conclusion from the data you gathered. On this proposal's vote page I already listed several major English-SC or SC-English dictionaries, either separate or within a reference textbook, that all treat SC varieties collectively. None of them separate indexes for "Bosnian", "Croatian" and "Serbian". The most comprehensive en-sh/sh-en dictionary (Morton-Benson) treats it as one language.
But anyhow, that's not the point. The point is that there is no dictionary out there that simultaneously treats bs, hr, and sr words as if belonging to different languages, like the Wiktionary would do in the scheme you propose. It is either focused on some particular variety of SC (which makes it 95% applicable to other varieties), or it treats all of them collectively (like the ones I mentioned). It is makes no sense to insist to have not only 3 (soon 4) different sections with identical content, but also a collective ==Serbo-Croatian== section! It would be total overkill. Unlike paper dictionaries, we also provide additional content for words, such as the inflection, pronunciation, etymology, example sentences, notes, synonyms etc. - entries could grow as much as 10k big, if worked thoroughly. There would be an immense amount of duplication. The benefits of the unifying approach are obvious. --Ivan Štambuk 15:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
  • All votes by those who can't run good Google searches should be thrown out.
Running a search from the US on Google Books for books with "dictionary" in the title:
All dates:
  1. serbian in the title: 320
  2. serbocroatian or serbo-croatian in the title: 427
  1. serbian in the title: 139
  2. serbocroatian or serbo-croatian in the title: 5
Make of this what you will. Apparently those whoring publishers and authors of commercial lexicographic works in this field have lately been putting their money and time into separate languages. It would be interesting to see how sales are going for the various types of dictionaries.
In the EU there seems (to a non-linguist, non-European who shouldn't be allowed to speak or vote) to be a significant trend toward national and subnational language differences, despite transnational economic and political integration. It would be remarkable that the languages in question should be bucking the trend when they are establishing their various national identities. DCDuring TALK 18:09, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. All these figures seem to suggest that it's very usual for English speaking people (including publishers) to use separate language names. As Google results seem to be rather unpredictable, I suggest to everybody to try this kind of search for yourself, and to conclude what you wish.
About the EU: you are right. However, the EU currently has to spend money for many translators (for any couple of official languages: Bulgarian/Swedish, Portuguese/Danish, Estonian/Dutch, etc.) If Croatia, etc. become part of the EU, I'm not sure that they can find all the required Bosnian/Lithuanian, etc. translators they need, and they'll probably have to group Serbo-Croatian languages because they won't have any other option (and for financial reasons too). Lmaltier 19:45, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I suggest that everyone refrain from drawing any kind of conclusions of google search results, unless they are capable of investigating whether these results actually refer to "separate" or single language, because as I explained below - the book titles can be quite misleading!
As for the EU: you are right, but not because of the lack of translators (which they are plenty of, I assure you), but because it would be simply a waste of money (like ICTY decided to write it's decisions in "BCS"). It would be equivalent to "translating" American to British English and vice versa. --Ivan Štambuk 20:16, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
HELLO DCDURING! Do you actually read anything I write? You draw a remarkable conclusion: publishers and authors of commercial lexicographic works in this field have lately been putting their money and time into separate languages - and I am wondering how exactly would you know that on the basis of g.b.c. search results alone, in the language you don't have the faintest clue of, let alone the ability to discern differences among the lexes of SC literary varieties that are numerically lesser than that of British and American English? You see, on the vote page itself (that this is a talk page of), just a few hours ago a excerpted to Daniel Polansky (according to him, unnecessarily, but here it appears to be more then necessary!) some grammars (of SC, and comparative Slavic) that were entitled such as Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language or Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Grammar With Sociolinguistic Commentary. Now, according to your logic, these would be in the search group that support "separate languages", when in fact these works explicitly treat all those "languages" as one!. And moreover, openly make fun of the imaginary concepts such as "Croatian language". Perhaps the term Serbo-Croatian itself has fallen out of usage, and got replaced by awkward terms such as "BCS" or "Cr&S" or "Serbian and/or Croatian" - but that Western scholars have started treating them as "separate languages"? Far, far from that dear DCDURING!
Not a single one lexicographical work in the world has has simultaneously Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian treated separately as "different languages"! And that is what you and Lmaltier are advocating for Wiktionary! It's either all Serbo-Croatian varieties collectively (in some 90% of cases - my estimate), or some of its varieties alone (amateurish dictionaries, for tourists and such) - this latter one being at least 95% applicable to either of the other SC varieties!
Also funny is that you mention the EU! This should be of interest to RU also (war crimes :)) - I'm sure you've heard of the ICTY. It's a "court of justice" established to whitewash EU's lack of participation to prevent the 1990s wars in B&H and Croatia, thousands of people dying each day in the EU's own backyard while they were "passing resolutions" and "negotiating", or sending Christmas presents such as the embargo on weapons for the whole ex-Yugoslavia area (effectively siding themselves with those who had the most military power - the Serb rebels who had the complete control of the ex-JNA military machinery). Anyway, you'd imagine that as an international, UN-blessed public institution with a genocidal pedigree, wanting to promote ethnic separation and hatred amongst the Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, it would do everything it takes respect these "national languages" in its legislative outputs. But did it? No!! It uses only one language called "BCS" (bosanski, srpski ili hrvatski). Try searching the icty.org website for "BCS" ! There you could find phrases in the official documents such as Translation into English of BCS original.., ..the Accused have not shown that the proposed use of the BCS audio recordings.., Request for Providing All Material Translated in BCS and so on. I get 727 Google hits! I also get 430 for "Serbo-Croatian" ! It is also fun to search for "Serbian language" or "Croatian language", end read the outputs [hint: it has something to do with most of the defendants being hardline nationalists, and the usage of "wrong words" could drive them insane to the point they'd pretend they don't undestand that "foreign language" :))] A parody video on that theme here (for SC speakers). Or e.g. this video] by Vojislav Šešelj (start watching from 1:40) where he explains how the ICTY court "invents this BCS language when we all know it's Serbian" ^_^ Even Šešelj thinks that it's one language! :D here's another funny one.
Another amusing language-related thing regarding the EU has happened just a few months ago. [3] - Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader (now ex prime minister, he resigned in the meantime, this was March 2009) in a visit to his Serbian colleagues promised that Croatian government will send them translations of the documentation needed for the negotiation with EU, that is worth millions of euros. Translating some parts of the articles, containing statements of the Serbian politician Dragoljub Mićunović: It is not normal that two neighboring countries upon whose relationships the stability of the region depends, have bad and frozen relationships for 15 years. Our countries used to live together, and today when we have plenty of mutual issues, the worst option is to continue by the path we went for now. [...] In conversations with Croatian officials, and esp. with the prime minister Sanader, it was emphasized that they would at first help us not to translate hundreds of necessary documents on whose translation they've already spent more then million euros. They're ready to give them as a gift and that is what Sanader will do.. So you see DCDURING, it's far far from the picture you're trying to present. In Serbo-Croatian we have a saying para vrti gdje burgija neće that is precisely applicable in this situation (roughly translated as "money solves problems that hard work wouldn't"). One day that both Croatia, B&G and Serbia enter EU, I have no doubts that EU documents - which ought to be published in all the languages of the member states, will follow the route of ICTY or these preliminary sharing initiatives among the governments of Serbia and Croatia. Everything else would be a waste of millions of euors of taxpayer's money. --Ivan Štambuk 20:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't read what you write because it is overlong and abusive. DCDuring TALK 20:29, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
That particular comment was long because Daniel asked for such a long, detailed list with references, and I personally see no "abusive language" in it towards anyone in particular. My comments are often long simply because this issue is complex, and it is necessary to provide an objective big-picture perspective to interested readers, especially to the ones who, unlike me, don't know anything of Slavic languages, let alone Serbo-Croatian, are not familiar with sociolinguistic processes that have lead to sudden emergence of what appear to be "three languages", and don't have either the time or resources to look up verifiable academic sources that would be supportive of either side of the proposal. Hence, it's imperative not only to be both comprehensive in approach in such voluminous commentaries, but also coherent in statements as I've been summarizing entire epochs or movements in a few sentences. --Ivan Štambuk 20:56, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Not a single one lexicographical work in the world has has simultaneously Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian treated separately as "different languages"! : why should they? Normal dictionaries address a single language. But we have to address all languages. Lmaltier 20:32, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Lmaltier, multiple-language dictionaries exist for thousand of years. What I was trying to say is that here is no multiple-language dictionary that treats B/C/S as "three languages", in any language. It's either all collectively (as Serbo-Croatian) or some of the individual Serbo-Croatian variety. Since the latter approach is inapplicable to us as we're writing the dictionary of all languages, only the former approach remains as a reasonable alternative. --Ivan Štambuk 20:56, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, you are wrong. Just an example: http://www.lexsee.net/ Lmaltier 21:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
LoL! Can you give me something actually published please? ^_^ You know, not some randomly-googled website, but something printed, written by a person signed with his name and surname. --Ivan Štambuk 21:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
If you want to print the complete Wiktionary, good luck... Lmaltier 21:28, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to do that (in fact I scan some of the printed books I buy - I hate paper!), but the point is that there is a necessity in the world for multiple-language dictionaries, especially technical dictionaries in certain fields of science or engineering, and making such a dictionary for separate B/C/S wouldn't make much sense. For example, the website you link, what it gives as "Serbian" and "Croatian" in the main page translation for Welcome is also simultaneously valid standard Bosnian (which the website doesn't mention). This would be the case with some 95% of words (most of those that would differ, would differ in trivial non-lexical details such as jat reflex, word-final -l, non-etymological /x/ etc.). It simply makes no sense to write such multiple-language dictionary in case of B/C/S, but to treat them all collectively. --Ivan Štambuk 21:34, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, now that you mention that website, every single translation of Welcome into "Croatian" given on the main page is also valid standard Serbian, and also what it gives as "Serbian" is also valid standard Croatian. As a native speaker I can confirm this. --Ivan Štambuk 21:27, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

To all who voted in opposition[edit]

I'm going to start using l2 headers for different dialects of English, as well as for any language that has dialects, especially ones that aren't always mutually-intelligible. If the mutual-intelligibility isn't the issue in the Serbo-Croatian case, then there will be no reason for anyone to object to separating the several dialects of Lithuanian, Armenian (2 Vahagn, we should probably do that anyway, at least for Eastern and Western), Hindi (that should be a nice little nightmare) and (dare I say) Mandarin? I'll start with dialects that have definite ISO codes. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I suppose while I'm at it, I can duplicate all the Romanian entries with identical information under a Moldavian l2 header. Along the same lines, making sure every country gets its own. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 19:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't know; we don't have an explicit policy on POINTing, but it still seems like a bad idea. I don't think it's likely to win anyone over. —RuakhTALK 19:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
My opposition to prohibiting separate headers is not based on linguistic issues, nor on the fact that they are associated to different countries, only on the fact that they are recognized languages (which is not the case for different varieties of English), and that prohibiting these headers would be discriminatory. Sections for all languages with an ISO code should be allowed (which does not mean that anybody has to create such sections). This is all the more important in sensitive cases such as this one. Lmaltier 19:13, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh: I wasn't planning on winning anyone over, just following their logic. Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are all easily mutually intelligible, from the testimony of our natives and skilled linguists (like Stephen). Supposedly a Serbian and a Croatian would understand each other better than I usually understand people from Northern Scotland. That tends to be rather challenging. Even leaving English, HBS are all based on one dialect, as are Moldavian and Romanian. Most Moldavians simply call their language Romanian, but of course, there are those nationalists (and Transnistrians) who still call it Moldavian. So I want to make sure they're catered to, as long as we're making sure we keep the racists like Pepsi Lite pleased.
Lmaltier: Of course they're recognized, by some. But so is Moldavian, which even the Moldovan government agrees is the same language as Romanian. Prohibiting the headers is, in my opinion, simply a better way to keep it clean and tidy. There's really no reason to have three separate headers for languages that are conjugated, declined and spoken the same way. As has been pointed out, they are only called different names because of geo-political borders. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 19:24, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
O.K., but why are you planning on following their logic? It's obvious that they haven't convinced you of their viewpoint. It seems like you're just being דווקא \ דַּוְקָא (dávka). (Sorry for the Hebrew, I just don't think English has a good word for it. It's like when you ask someone why they did something, and their answer is just a shrug, or maybe just a "Because I could." That's davka.) —RuakhTALK 20:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I only propose to keep current practice (separate headers exist here, but also at fr.wiktionary, es.wiktionary, de.wiktionary, etc). Users have never complained, as far as I know. If this proposal is applied, they will complain. This project is for users, not for contributors. Lmaltier 19:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Lmaltier, can you please show me a single complete (human-written, with inflection table) entry on fr/de/es wiktionaries of simultaneously having Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian L2s? --Ivan Štambuk 19:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionaries I mention have entries with Serbian, Croatan... headers. Complete entries, I don't know. But they are allowed, if somebody wants to create them, this is what matters. Note that all existing entries in these languages at fr.wiktionary are human-written, but most lack pronunciation, etc. Lmaltier 19:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, under "written" I didn't mean "human-generated by a non-native speaker from a translation table copy/pasted from the corresponding English-wiktionary entry" (and let's be honest, 90% of entries on all of the foreign wiktionaries are such). But, my point is that none of those other wiktionaries has extensive coverage of S-C (in either variety, not to mention all varieties simultaneously, which is a situation in which your argument makes sense), of at least several thousand complete basic entries written (and checked!) by a native speaker, that would presumably be a useful learning resource. When you say "no one complained on fr/es/de etc. wiktionaries" - it's simply because no one has actually used them to study SC seriously. I cannot imagine a newbie user that wouldn't be confused when using Wiktionary to learn e.g. "Croatian language", only to find out that there are in some 95% cases also other two identical L2 sections, but every now and then there are some differences..some meanings are slightly different, what is somewhere tagged as regionalism or dialectalism elsewhere isn't, and so on. From the end-user's learning perspective, you cannot possibly advocate the separation into 3 (or even 4!) L2s of something that could be easily handled at one as something beneficent to the potential end-user, that wouldn't be worth complaining of. --Ivan Štambuk 20:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
No, I was meaning nobody has complained here, where most entries are separate (currently...). And I have no doubt there will be complaints if the proposal is adopted. Lmaltier 20:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, by the time this vote draws to its end, most SC quality entries will be merged (just look at my contribs :p), and in the past 4 months of continual merging I haven't seen a single complaint. If there would be complaints - it would almost certainly not be from the users who'd be presumably using Wiktionary as a learning facility, but from native speakers who are indoctrinated with some narrow-minded political/ideological agenda. The billion dollar question is: which one of them is the Wiktionary target audience? We cannot satisfy both of them. --Ivan Štambuk 20:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
So you consider that Robert Ullmann has not complained? He was the first one... Lmaltier 20:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Robert Ullmann, in my very very personal opinion, is an insufferable, whiny twat whose continued existence is, in his words, a crime against humanity. He should stick to his bots that creates stubs and his ELE-mania. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 22:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
He complained after he found out that the Tbot (which he maintains) re-created an entry that was merged into ==Serbo-Croatian==. He didn't complain as a user of Wiktionary intent to learn SC. That is very important thing to have an mind. Furthermore, his opposing of the merger is primarily induced by some extralinguistic arguments, which IMHO >99% of English-speakers doesn't have (that 1% being the English-speaking proud Bosnian, Croat and Serb nationalists..). So in conclusion - there indeed was no complaints by the users of Wiktionary (users as in "not editors"). --Ivan Štambuk 20:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Please correct me if I am wrong, but a plain reading of the opening comment under this heading makes it seem like a threat to violate WT:ELE if we don't go along with the proposal. Please clarify that this was not the intent. DCDuring TALK 19:58, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
How is it a violation of ELE? I said I was going to look for ISO codes first. And you use the word 'threat' very loosely, as if I'm some kind of Wikiterrorist. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 22:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

(To Opiaterein) Dude, for now let’s keep the threat of 1) doing that 2) blowing up Wiktionary or 3) sending Godzilla to Kenya in our arsenal till we see the vote is failing :) Right now I'm sure the proposal will pass. As for splitting Eastern/Western Armenian, I'm sure we'll have to do that when we have a diasporal Armenain willing to contribute to Western Armenian. And with regard to tens of non-literary dialects I think we can handle them under an L3 header ===Dialects===, I will request some day; much like the Dialektausdrücke header you can see in de:Hund in German Wiktionary.
(To all) Stop antagonizing each other already! Even though I don't mind watching the drama, do you honestly believe your opponents can change their mind now? --Vahagn Petrosyan 20:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I was really just thinking of separating Western and Eastern Armenian, since they're so different. I'm not sure if each has its own ISO-code, though, I've never looked. But if they don't, it would still be wiki-illegal to treat them as separate languages, even though they're (as far as I know) not mutually-intelligible. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 22:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
They do not have separate ISO 639 codes (see [4] and scroll down to "Armenian"). Angr 13:38, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I find it poetic that two dialects of the same language with wildly different phonetics, conjugation and declension don't have separate iso-codes, when Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, which are almost identical in those three respects do. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 16:36, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Now imagine that you are an extremely knowledgeable native speaker of the latter willing to contribute to Wiktionary, and others that don't know a single word of any Slavic language tell you that what you are doing is "wrong", under various extra-linguistic excuses.. It would be a good material for a satirical poem that's for sure :p --Ivan Štambuk 16:51, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Vahagn: Did you just join in and repeat the threat? Is that how you think a vote should be carried out? Did you not note w:WP:POINT? DCDuring TALK 20:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    I think that he was 100% serious. Though it's a tough decision to make whether it would be cheaper to recruit North Korean DDoSers that would smash WM's servers, or to smuggle Godzilla eggs from the secret cloning facility in Iran --Ivan Štambuk 20:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    I'd like an explicit renunciation by all of the threat, due to my lack of a sense of humor when it comes to votes. In a case such as this where one cannot assume that all readers have a native speaker's ability to detect wit, it is very easy to obtain some of the benefit of a threat without taking responsibility for having made it. Particularly in the context of mass deletion of content under L2 headers already having taken place and continuing to take place, without the sanction of a vote. Self-reversion of all of the changes would be a suitable good-faith gesture. DCDuring TALK 20:53, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • First of all, the mass "deletion", as you call it, was sanctioned by agreement among the relevant editors, followed by a BP announcement. I'm not at all impressed that it's continuing to happen during the vote, but "Self-reversion of all of the changes", assuming that that means all of the past several months' changes, is not a reasonable thing to ask, at least not unless the vote actually fails (at which point we'll have to re-evaluate).
    Second of all, there is no benefit to this sort of threat, so we don't have to worry about Vahagn reaping it.
    Third of all, humor is important, and the notion of outlawing it makes me, well, laugh. I can just picture the BP announcement: "Puns are now forbidden. First offense: warning. Second offense: three days' block. Third offense: removal of all section-headers from user's talk-page."
    Fourth of all, I don't think you can read Vahagn comment dispassionately and sincerely think he's making a threat. Did you catch the part where he told us all to stop antagonizing each other? At worst, he's implicitly threatening to threaten. :-P
    RuakhTALK 21:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • How dare you? Of course I was serious: could swear on WT:ELE! DCDuring's got exactly one hour to change his vote to "Support" till I visit him with my squirrel army. --Vahagn Petrosyan 22:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • After the personal abuse, I lost my sense of humor with respect to all conversations involving this subject and many of the advocates. I'm not expecting a prompt return of it either. DCDuring TALK 23:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to hear that. I suppose I can't blame you. —RuakhTALK 01:24, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
  • DCDURING, You again speak of "mass deletion".....*Sigh*. Really sad that the same type of rhetoric continues to be used by you, Ullmann and Lmaltier on and on and on...as if I am some kind of a "vandal" with some kind of a subtly diabolic agenda aiming to cause "destruction" of the entries, doing the type of changes that all of you haven't even noticed up until a month ago or so.
    Here to be explicit: I have absolutely no intention of stopping the merger that has been going on for the last 4 months, unless someone actually familiar with the language intent to contribute to Wiktionary voices on the WT:ASH talkpage some relevant points on why exactly the merger either wouldn't work, or would be a bad move with regard to the Wiktionary target audience (which is primarily my concern as regards to my contributions of my mother tongue entries here, and not some Četnik/Ustaši/Balija nationalists who pretend that they don't understand each other only to prove the existence of "different languages"). This vote is but a mere formalization of the effort ongoing for a long, long time, reflecting the unanimous communis opinio among the regular Wiktionary Serbo-Croatian contributors which authored >99% of all the separate B/C/S entries (me included). I have also absolutely no intention of reverting my changes, that, you may have noticed, also contain extensive updates of the previously stubbed separate B/C/S entries with inflection and pronunciation details, the type of changes that Ullmann characterized as "severe damage" [5]. This is for the simple reason because I see no plausible scenario in which this vote would fail, and if, in theory, the voting majority would succumb to the FUD promulgated by some of the opposers, which has apparently managed to caught some of the regulars that previously showed absolutely no interest in Serbo-Croatian (or any Slavic language), I'd simply quit editing Wiktionary, as it would be completely worthless to donate my free time here where it would require four/five times more space and at least twice as much time to achieve the type of thing that could otherwise be elegantly solved by the approach outlined in the proposal. And since all of the material here is GFDL (nobody "owns it", not even the Foundation), you are free DCDURING to revert all of my "severe deletions" to your pleasure ^_^ The reason why this vote got started in the first place was because it was suggested to me to do so by some of the editors in that second Beer Parlour discussion on SC initiated by RU, where some very controversial views with lots of hard words started to be used, even the threats to terminate the entire project! (but I have some reliable information that Jimbo Wales is very sympathetic of Serbo-Croatian unification, but don't tell that to Lmaltier :p) Most language policies here on Wiktioanry are simply drafts (except for the English), but if this gets voted, it would become a formal policy everyone would have to abide by, and generally I am against that type of "rigid proscription" that should set in stone something that could be eventually changed, but in this particular case there simply doesn't seem to be any viable alternatives due to conflictive opinions by some of the major editors. --Ivan Štambuk 21:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The mass deletion is more like mass consolidation. Deleting the things that are repeated three times over on the page, calling that mass deletion is a step short of Robert's silly "crime against humanity" statement. And nobody said anything in particular about Pepsi Lite's very obviously racist statement. I really wonder about some of you sometimes. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 22:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
For the record, yes, I found Pepsi Lite's very obviously racist statement to be offensive and unpalatable. If I thought there were much risk of him/her sticking around, I might have taken some action; but since his/her only edit (aside from to his/her user-page) is the one where (s)he makes his/her racism and jingoism clear, it's not like we have to worry about anyone failing to catch it. Similarly, if I thought there were any chance his/her vote would be retained on procedural grounds, I might argue for it to be stricken on moral ones. But as it is, I think the less attention is paid to him/her, the better. His/her racism does not affect the validity of other editors' opposition. —RuakhTALK 22:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The way some of these people are acting, I'm not sure I can rule out the possibility that someone will try to count it. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 23:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Why don't we disallow the votes of those who are personally abusive and insulting, make intimidating threats, and violate content-editing standards? Failing that, why not put them in charge? DCDuring TALK 17:33, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
If you found my "threat" to be "intimidating", you must have regained your sense of humor. I don't see how the "threat" of treating Eastern and Western Armenian under separate headers is any more intimidating than treating them under the same header. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:10, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that just a few hours ago everyone has been invited to act calmly, to tone down their language and generally spread WikiLove. We all know who originally started the "abusive language" so.... Let's all be polite and civil from now, not getting back to what has been said to whom by who.. --Ivan Štambuk 17:36, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Wording (again)[edit]

If you read comments written by those voting support, you'll see that, very clearly, they generally try to answer the question: is it justified to deal with Serbian, Croatian... words under a Serbo-Croatian header? But it's already current practice by most contributors to these languages. Actually, this is not the objective of the proposal (or my vote would have been different, and the proposal would not have been needed anyway). The only objective of the proposal is to prohibit separate Croatian, Serbian... sections, even from contributors accepting only to contribute to such sections (their reasons may be linguistic, or political, or relate to international standards), and to remove these sections when they already exist, even when they contain valid information. But this objective is not explicit in the text of the proposal, despite my early comments (see above). The question is flawed from the beginning. Lmaltier 06:33, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

The only objective of the proposal is to prohibit separate Croatian, Serbian... section - and where exactly did you draw that conclusion from? Where exactly is that kind of formulation mentioned or insinuated in the rationale or the proposal? You Lmaltier act like Ullmann from the start, make it sound as if there is some kind of "hidden agenda" underneath. As someone who created more than 5000 full-blown Croatian lemmata under ==Croatian== in a about year and a half, figured out how stupid it was in the first place, and authored the proposal policy afterward, I must strongly emphasize that what you claim is completely untrue. Nowhere does it say that this is about "forbidding things" - only optimizing the immensely duplicative presentation layout to make it job something like 2-3 times easier for both users and the contributors. --Ivan Štambuk 09:54, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

What I state is obvious from discussions. I'm happy that you agree that it's not obvious from the proposal, as it is worded. Lmaltier 11:44, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

What you state has absolutely nothing to do with the rationale of the proposal. You explicitly state above: The only objective of the proposal is to prohibit separate Croatian, Serbian.... Since, as obviously everyone can see, the proposal has nothing to do with "prohibition" but with merging the common core, you are simply spreading FUD again.
I simply don't get it Lmaltier, why do you care that much of all this? Are you genuinely convinced that the proposal is made in bad faith (as some unfortunately are), or you really think that you're fighting for some kind of NPOV ? --Ivan Štambuk 11:59, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to accuse anybody of anything. I'm convinced that a Wikimedia project is not allowed to take an official position about a controversial, polemic, issue such as this one, and that consequences to the project might be very serious. Lmaltier 12:51, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, I respect your opinion and vote. But here you are making an accusation (I'll cite it again): The only objective of the proposal is to prohibit separate Croatian, Serbian... section - which is certainly not the case. We'll simply be following the approach of 99% of world's comprehensive dictionaries of Serbo-Croatian, who treat all the three varieties collectively. For English that would be Morton-Benson, as I mentioned. This approach will enable us to waste significantly less time chasing duplicates or triplicates, immensely increasing the maintainability of the entries, as well as ease the usage of Serbo-Croatian entries by English-speaking learners, who'd wouldn't be wasting time looking up the "differences" themselves. It's basically a win-win situation. --Ivan Štambuk 12:58, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Lmaltier, as far as I can tell, you're almost completely mistaken. The reason for this vote is that Robert Ullmann wrote some highly intemperate comments in the Beer parlour, alleging that the existing practice of using ==Serbo-Croatian== is a war crime that severely damages entries. It's true that this vote would prohibit the individual language headers, and I don't see how Ivan can claim otherwise, but I think the main point of this vote is to confirm the consensus that ==Serbo-Croatian== is an acceptable language header. —RuakhTALK 14:05, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

  • That is my reading also. Prohibiting the individual language headers is not the objective, it is a prominent side-effect designed to ensure that interested editors are entering the information once rather than 4 or 5 times. Ƿidsiþ 14:11, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Robert Ullmann protested against the removal of Serbian, etc. sections and their replacement by Serbo-Croatian sections. The vote was organized to get an allowance for this practice of removing sections and replacing them by Serbo-Croatian. I think this is very obvious if you read discussions, but it's less clear in the proposal (this is "implicit" and should have been explicit). As it is, people don't vote on the same "main" point, as these reactions clearly show. Lmaltier 14:31, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Robert Ullmann also thought that I and Dijan were some kind of Serbian nationalists that advocate "Greater Serbia". Robert Ullmann also invited everyone who voted for the merger to change their vote to "oppose" due to some "intractable technical difficulties" that upon detailed analysis ended up affecting almost 0.00001% of the entire Web population. Methinks that the reason for Ullmann's opposition to the proposal is hardly based on some rational argumentation and the objective consideration of the numerous benefits the merger would bring to both the users and editors. --Ivan Štambuk 14:36, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Ruakh! I again emphasize: the reason for this vote is primarly to formally confirm a practice done by Serbo-Croatian contributors since March, and which was disputed on some very contentious grounds. Yes, this vote would prohibit L2 ==Croatian==, but it would not prohibit Croatian words! You do exactly the same thing as before, only now you use Serbo-Croatian everywhere you used to use Croatian, plus optionally a context label where applicabble. I'd personally have no problem of using the term BCS (as ICTY and some English handbooks are using), or any other term that is far less politically colored, but the point (that I hope have demonstrated) is that 1) the term Serbo-Croatian is still heavily used in English 2) it is still the primary term when referring to what we would grup under L2 ==Serbo-Croatian== (BCS and others still have really marginal usage) 3) In English language it is not that at all that "problematic" as it would presumably be for some proud native speakers, where it would bring back some Yugoslav language policies which indeed were segregational from time to time. I provided numerous evidence for this latter point, when Daniel Polansky asked for it, the most prominent being Encyclopedia Britannica article (one of the rare eminent scholarly publications that has not succumbed to the nationalist pressures), SIL/ISO itself which still uses the term Serbo-Croatian for their "macrolanguage" classification, and a number of the most notable Western Slavists and general linguistics, especially Wayles Browne who authored technically the most competent grammar of Serbo-Croatian in English, which still uses the term Serbo-Croatian in post-1990s reprints when these new "languages" were invented.
So it would really be misleading to say that the main objective of this proposal would be to forbid individual L2 sections for B/C/S/M - it's more of a side-effect, as Widsith wrote. I'm sorry that Lmaltier perceives that side-effect as something unacceptable and NPOV-violating, but overall the numerous benefits of the merger approach justify it. --Ivan Štambuk 14:38, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It hardly matters what the motive is. Nor whether it is called a side-effect or an effect. And it is not really good parliamentary practice to discuss unstated intent and motives. People's stated motives and intents need not be credited either.
An effect of the proposal is to permit any material entered under headings for the three language codes to be deleted or moved under a different language header. Presumably that would include Interwicket material as well. There are other effects on templates, dumps, etc. I am not sure what the status of any future language codes deemed to really be Serbo-Croatian would be under this proposal. The Serbo-Croatian code would get all the positive treatment and support that would be denied the other three codes. DCDuring TALK 15:09, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
What Ivan Štambuk explains is my problem: in the proposal, it's implicitly considered that the removal of sections is a necessary side effect, but this side-effect is not necessary. People vote with different points in mind, this clearly shows that the wording is not clear. I would have supported a proposal such as Should Serbo-Croatian headers be allowed, without prohibiting nor removing Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian sections?. Also note that accepting sections and not removing them is not additional work, it's less work (as you don't have to remove them). Lmaltier 15:18, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but having simultaneously collective L2 ==Serbo-Croatian== and 4-5 other L2s with identical content is not an option. This is an exclusive type of decision that deals with a real-world problem, not an exercise in parliamentary democracy. Wording is crystal-clear as far as I can see, it's just that some of the opposers apparently see in it things that aren't there. --Ivan Štambuk 15:38, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
@Lmaltier: No, I don't think so. People vote with different points in mind because they have different perspectives on the issues, not because the vote is unclear in telling them what perspectives to have. Even if it did tell people what issues they should base their vote on, no self-respecting voter would obey that. As you can clearly see, several of the "oppose" votes did base their opposition on not wanting to eliminate any L2 headers. Now, some of the "support" voters would likely also have supported an alternative proposal that did allow those headers (and some likely would not); but that doesn't mean they didn't understand this proposal, only that that issue was not a determining factor for them. (That said, I agree with DCDuring that we should vote based on everything this vote would do, not based on what its "main" effect was intended to be.) —RuakhTALK 16:02, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
It hardly matters what the motive is - How on earth can you DCDURING write such a thing! Numerous motives for the merger abundantly outlined in the proposal are the most important thing for making such a decision. If you want to vote on this proposal completely disregarding the motives for it in the first place - you're effectively making fun of what you call "good parliamentary practice" which presumes that all the voters have the best intentions in mind. And ignoring the motives (rationale) is hardly a good-faith voting.
Presumably that would include Interwicket material as well. - what Interwicket material?? Interwicket adds interwiki links and nothing else, and has no idea what L2 sections are there listed at all. Interwicket would work as before and wouldn't require any kind of change. Tbot will OTOH, but that is still being worked out because we haven't decided what the format for adding the interwikis in the translation tables would have to be. I just hope it wouldn't require me writing Python code.
There are other effects on templates, dumps, etc. - no effects on dumps AFAICT, but some templates would have to be adjusted for multiple-language support such as {{wikipedia}}, but that would be trivial. Only {{t}} will require some serious rewriting to SC as a special case (if we decide to use {t} at all, or simply delegate it to separate special {t-sh} template for SC).
I am not sure what the status of any future language codes deemed to really be Serbo-Croatian would be under this proposal. - all will be handled under ==Serbo-Croatian==. Montengerin language is planned to be codified this fall (but will probably take a few more years), and the format could be trivially extended with Montenegrin-specific context labels such as (Montengrin). We'll deal with that when it comes, we cannot predict the future. The vote explicitly says in the first line that it also covers Montenegrin, so I have no idea how you ended up being unsure. Montenegrin will be the last SC national standard to be codified, there are no more ex-Yugoslav states left.
The Serbo-Croatian code would get all the positive treatment and support that would be denied the other three codes. Yeah, poor "language codes" ^_^ We're dealing with languages here, not language codes. They are all one language in 2 varieties in 3 national standards. How many times do I have to repeat that! --Ivan Štambuk 15:54, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Validity of votes[edit]

The only clear limitation in voting guidelines (other that "no sockpuppets"...) is Account must predate start of vote by one week. It seems that, up to now, all votes meet this criterion (I used the Logs command to check), except DIREKTOR. I tagged the vote accordingly by adding the mention Account created during the vote, but the tag was removed, so I mention it here. Lmaltier 14:50, 22 July 2009 (UTC) Of course, this is not very important, the important thing is arguments provided and trying to find a consensus, but there are so few guidelines that it seems better to use them. Lmaltier 14:54, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I found it interesting to read Štambuk's view on the validity of votes, especially where there is little or no policy. You can read it here (with a reply from an hr.wikt admin). We should certainly revisit our (limited) rules. In this particular case, please note DIREKTOR's contributions on the 'pedia; the account is a unified login, not technically "created" during the vote. (And not a sock.) Consideration of work in between sister projects should be a factor I would think. Robert Ullmann 15:10, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I've told you before: that happened long time ago, was under investigation you have no clue about (try asking friend Connel what really happened - he was well-informed at the time; I started contributing to en.wikt immediately after that), so I'd be really grateful if you stopped insinuating something about me and making any kind of "conclusions" characteristic of you. We all know how it all ended the last time you "assumed" something. --Ivan Štambuk 15:25, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Most Wikipedias simply ignore unified login for voting requirements. I think it would be stupid if unrelated people from other WMF projects were able to come and vote since they likely have no experience with Wiktionary at all. -- Prince Kassad 15:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
You mean in a way somewhat like the fact that (as far as I recall) no one who has voted oppose, except for the racist, seems to have any real experience in S-C or any Slavic languages? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:53, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
After checking, there are two exceptions, one of whom has 'left the project'. So, why should Wikipedian votes be less valid than votes by people with no knowledge of the language or situation? "I'm of the opinion that these are three languages!" Why? Three countries? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:58, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah beside Duncan (to whom I apologized and who'll hopefully be back here soon) there's the Polansky who's Czech and who asked me for references on several occasions, and when I cited ones from the most illustrious living and dead Slavists he changed his vote to oppose :P I guess he still holds a grudge against me when I confronted him at the article střední Evropa (which is SoP per official Czech orthography but is formatted as a ==Proper noun==; should be Střední Evropa). But generally yeah, it's easy to vote against something that doesn't touch you at all: if the opposers were the ones actually editing Serbo-Croatian entries, they'd likely be singing completely different tune ;) Long live the CNN/Hollywood/Wikipedia education.. --Ivan Štambuk 19:08, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I think so to, but when I mentioned that the opposing vote casted by Pepsi Lite should be deleted (no edits here prior to vote, and he came here with a semi-racist comments), I was aggressively attacked by Ullmann and others. So no double standards please. Either all count, or not. Of DIREKTOR: He is a Croat who actively contributes to English Wikipedia, native speaker of both Serbo-Croatian and English. 100% cured of petty Balkanic nationalism. If anyone is eligible to vote, he would be. I'd rather strike several opposing votes that appear to be blatantly canvassed cast by users not being native speakers of any Slavic language at all, and who moreover never showed any kind of interest to SC entries prior to this vote. Language-specific policy should be primarily determined by people who 1) actively contribute to it 2) are familiar to it (e.g. either being native speakers of it, or of some closely related language of the same linguistic family) 3) users who'd utilize the policy for learning the language in question. So far the overwhelming majorty of the opposing votes is not by that group. All native speakers (excluding the paratrooper P.L.) and foreign-language SC learners (e.g. Francis Tyler) are supportive of the proposal. --Ivan Štambuk 15:22, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) We have one rule for voting, which is mentioned at the very top of WT:VOTE:
Account must predate start of vote by one week.
User:Pepsi Lite's account was created back in 2008, thus making it eligible for voting. User:DIREKTOR's account was created during the vote, thus by the above criteria, it's ineligible for voting. Addition of any other rules would require an additional vote, and obviously would not affect the running vote (only future ones) -- Prince Kassad 15:38, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
As said, that rule was written before the advent of unified login, so it doesn't make sense anymore. --Ivan Štambuk 15:43, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to propose improvements to the voting rules. I agree that they seem kinda pointless now that we have SUL. -- Prince Kassad 15:46, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Quite so, the "account" has, IMHO, been around for a while. Also note that right above that rule, it says "No voting policies are in effect at this time. Tentative guidelines for voters:" so, ah, it isn't policy; we've never set any. IMHO DIREKTOR's vote should be considered valid. Robert Ullmann 15:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
GOOD! I was almost afraid that Pepsi Lite's vote would count, and DIREKTOR's not. That would be really, really bad. I imagine that soon after this ends (1.8.) the voting eligibility policy will be proposed, similar to that of sister projects. (I will, if nobody does it). --Ivan Štambuk 16:17, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
User:Pepsi Lite's comment contains obnoxious and unambiguous racial hatred, which serves as his only motivation for this vote. Substantiation by means of (incitement of) ethnic hatred is inconceivable, therefore this vote is as repugnant as it is destructive and ought to be discarded. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 19:27, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Besides, User:Pepsi Lite appeared on Wiktionary for the first time on July 10 at the time that he "voted" and he has never made a single edit or contribution here, other than his filthy comment. He has no constructive business here and his comment should be more than enough reason to block him. —Stephen 20:50, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. In his second edit on the voting page, Pepsi Lite (talkcontribs) addressed a strongly vulgar term toward an ethnically determined group of people. That, combined with his zero contribution to the project, leads me to support striking his vote, declaring it invalid.
DIREKTOR's vote should be considered valid. --Dan Polansky 13:28, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
This is a very biased opinion. The most neutral option would be either to discard both or count both. -- Prince Kassad 14:25, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
All opinions are biased. It's what makes them opinions. Direktor's account, whether on Wiktionary or not, has been around for a while. His rationale for his vote was clearly motivated from a place of intelligence, whereas Pepsi Lite's was clearly not. On one hand, we have someone who could possibly be or become a good editor here, and on the other, a useless lump of infectious human waste.
Being that Dan Polansky voted oppose, his opinion on this matter isn't actually biased in a way that supports his point of view, anyway. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 14:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
To Prince Kassad: I don't understand what you mean by saying that my position is biased. My position rests on the assumption that while low rate of contribution here on Wiktionary alone does not disqualify a person from voting, an extremely aggressive verbal behavior combined with low rate of contribution on Wiktionary does disqualify. The editing summary "Fuck Croats" given by Pepsi Lite (talkcontribs) is what makes me classify his behavior under "extremely aggressive verbal behavior", which, by my position, makes him ineligible for voting. --Dan Polansky 14:47, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

DCDuring and Ruakh[edit]

[6] - why are you spamming the page with this nonsense? Could you please do your games...elsewhere? --Ivan Štambuk 20:23, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry. I thought some levity might help. Apparently not. DCDuring TALK 20:38, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Parsing our principle[edit]

"All words in all languages" is more than the slogan I thought it was. It is a sacred principle. But it apparently must be parsed carefully. The naive reading is for children.

"All words" is itself apparently a principle that underlies everything and one by which one of our few policies WT:CFI can be found wanting an in need of change. Any interpretation of WT:CFI that does not allow any class of words to be entered is to be severely frowned upon. "All" is in this sense a very inclusive term, including many things far beyond normal use of word, such as proverbs, abbreviations, and symbols. OTOH, CFI is the footnote to "all words" by which we can reject vast numbers of "stupid" contributions by "imbecilic" contributors.

But one must look yet further. English is a very polysemic language.

In the case of "all languages", "all" might be read broadly to mean anything that has ever been called a language, and one can find languages included that might support that reading. But it seems not so simple. First it seemed that we limited ourselves to languages recognized by standard-setting bodies, except for cases of certain extinct languages (which, after all, did not have their own wiktionary). Nothing was forbidden within the realm of the standard language but little was permitted not from this realm. (But the standards were broad enough to include w:Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin so this didn't seem too restrictive.) But now, it appears that "all" for purposes of describing languages is to be read even more restrictively. Not only are we to forbid entries in languages recognized by standard-setting bodies, but also we are being asked to forbid entries in languages that have their own wiktionaries while accepting entries from languages with fewer than 200 speakers.

So the knowing insiders' reading of our principle should be "All words in all languages (subject to certain terms and conditions, and surprising definitions)". We can at once make a noble face to the world with the short version and at the same time knowingly insert footnotes markers appropriately in our statement of principles for at least 4 out of the five words in it. ("In" seems to be used an in English.) It seems just a wee bit hypocritical to present as open and universal and accommodating but actually act contrary to on an unnatural reading of the plain words of our sole wikt-specific principle.

Whatever the purported benefits of excluding the languages of sister wiktionaries in terms of valuable contributions of individual entries and language coverage, I fear that we are selling our birthright for a mess of pottage. DCDuring TALK 21:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure that I completely understood the point of this essay. But the same catch-phrases seem to be repeated time after time, so I'll simply say what I have to say on them :)
  • There is no such thing as "internationally recognized languages". SIL/ISO is not the "UN of languages", they merely assign codes on the basis of formal request (by language institutions, or even individuals). Sometimes getting a code is as easy as sending a polite e-mail (the case of Lingua Franca Nuova we had). They also assign a bunch of code for constructed languages, including those that are virtually spoken by no one, having basically non-existing corpus of literature. They even assigned codes to "languages" like Knaanic which I assure you did not exist (it is just Middle Czech under different name).
  • CFI still perfectly applies as it did before. None of the B/C/S words is "forbidden". Anything goes! What is different is merely the treatment, under merged entry instead of separate sections. Also, since we don't confine ourselves to the literary idiom, but also regional words and dialects, those 3 will overlap even more then they would had we treated only the standard idiom. From the point of "all words in all languages" principle, the merger is a Good Thing, bringing great benefits to the contributors who'd now have the ability to trivially mark regional distribution of the terms, regardless of their "proper" status (which can be noted in usage notes).
  • I have no idea what you mean by "excluding sister wiktionaries". What exactly did you have in mind? We're not excluding anyone. B/C/S Wiktionaries themselves are prime example of how pointless the political division of SC varieties is in practice. Take a look at e.g. hr:banana - three identical sections, with exactly the same inflection, and also pronunciation, etymology and everything else you could add. How do you "translate" locative plural of banana from Croatian to Serbian? :D If I'd be evil I'd go on those Wiktionaries and simply copy/paste hundreds of entries into all of the missing "languages".. And bear in mind that that could be done for 99% of words - even those that are not "official" in the prescriptive usage norm, but are nevertheless trivially attestable as they were all used by notable Bosniak/Croat/Serb writers in the last 2 centuries..
  • So all in all, we are not forbidding words, and there is no such things as "internationally recognized languages", and it's pointless to discuss only of "standard languages", when our CFI also freely allows for non-standard dialects and their respective words granted they pass CFI. Please keep that in mind! --Ivan Štambuk 22:26, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. Our purview is "all words in all languages", not "all attested language-names as level-2 headers, with all associated words copy-and-pasted repeatedly from section to section". If it were the latter, we'd even need to allow the ==English language== L2 header, let alone ==Standard American English== and so on. —RuakhTALK 22:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
When did dialects start getting their own L2 headers? Just because they have their own ISO codes? I'm going to ask Vahagn to talk about Eastern/Western Armenian. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 22:33, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I had long since stipulated that these politically motivated linguistic entities are very similar and could be considered one language. That was in the vain hope that such a stipulation would lead to a civil discourse. It didn't. To the charge that I am repeating myself, let me say that I am proud to be called either a pot or kettle.

But rather than repeat the stipulation, let me break new ground by rescinding it.

Frankly, if the speakers of a language claim they speak a different language I think that merits some credence, especially if it is backed by a governmental determination to that effect. I don't care about their motives. If North Korea claims that its citizens are speaking a different language than South Koreans are, fine. Let a thousand flowers bloom. If we are so arrogant as to dismiss such claims, we deserve the consequences. If the various linguistic entities copy each other mercilessly and have various small vocabulary differences and smaller grammar differences, fine. If the duplication is by hand fine. If it is by bot, fine. If some folks feel a little bit more pride in themselves and their country, fine. If those people dislike their neighbors, fine. If folks get together and determine that it really is not worth accentuating language differences, fine.

The only thing that is not fine to me is failing to allow contributions in the form people would like to make them, when doing so breaks no principle that we have and costs little.

I had before this vote suggested that there might be an acceptable basis for converting to Serbo-Croatian some entries untouched by other editors. This was an intemperate and erroneous suggestion on my part that failed to recognize that the entries are not owned by those who contributed them. It was an instance of caving in to pressure, for which I apologize to all.

I believe that it is a fundamental error for us to make a decision that MAY get in the way of the willingness of a single potential contributor based on withdrawing linguistic recognition of any language that has ANY recognition by a major international standards organization. The argument is a fortiori with respect to any linguistic entity that has a sister project in its language, especially a wiktionary.

I am willing to accept the legitimacy of the motives of those who favor this proposal. I am disappointed and shocked at the rejection by so many of the openness and tolerance that has been so central to WMF projects. I think I have seem signs of a new value system emerging here and spreading here. DCDuring TALK 23:55, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

[7] - This was my answer to the same hypothetical type of "what-if" argument raised by Lmaltier, identical in form as you do know. I am simply astonished by the inability of you two that realize that now and here you have all of the SC speakers (native and non-native) and SC contributors supporting the proposal, 2 of which (Dijan and me) are responsible for 99.9% of current SC/B/C/S Wiktionary entries, and you still care for some mythical could-be contributors, proud nationalists that would be editing only their own corner of the universe in separate ==B==/==C==/==S==/==M== sections....
Really DCDuring, your concerns and convictions are weird. IMHO. --Ivan Štambuk 00:13, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Why don’t you produce someone who speaks, say, Serbian but not Serbo-Croatian. Produce a text in standard Serbian that is not Serbo-Croatian. The difference is not in grammar or vocabulary, but in religion and, to a very minor degree, accent. Like the difference between London English and Ulster English. In all of these thousands of words and hours of writing, no one has been able to produce a single speaker of one of these so-called languages, or a single text. All of the contributors to the S-H language are in agreement that it is one language, and your muleheadedness will not serve to attract other contributors, but it might cause our current ones to quit in disgust. Our policy of deleting difficult and complex terms, proper nouns, and terms containing spaces causes far greater loss than your imagined loss of Serbian contributors. I, for example, create few new pages and do little work in exotic languages because of the constant threat of deletion of my hard work. We are not losing Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian by calling them what they are, Serbo-Croatian, but you may wind up losing the ones we have if you don’t recognize that you are not competent to made such judgments about a language that you cannot speak or read. —Stephen 00:15, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Alright, I wasn't going to say anything about it here BUT[edit]

I suspect Robert Ullmann of trying to manipulate the outcome of the vote (which at this point could only really be no consensus) by using people who knows, who I don't think have any real opinion about the actual meat or outcome of the vote. "Hey, come vote oppose on this because I think it's a crime against humanity", That sort of thing. I thought it was a little strange when votes from users with varying skills in Swahili started voting in opposition. Users Rose Waswa, DianaKhanjila and Kasmil are the three users I'm looking at. At the moment I'm looking at their contribution histories and in a moment I'll check the user creation log for those dates. DianaKhanjila and Kasmil also have identical user pages. I don't want to cry sockpuppets, but the whole thing smells to me. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 13:06, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

[ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 13:11, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

At least one of them (Rose Waswa) is apparently Ullmann's personal acquaintance, so canvassing seems to me pretty much obvious. Those poor guys probably think by now that I'm some kind of "Serbian nationalist" intent on "linguistic genocide" :D
Also, the sudden termination of editing once they've cast their vote is quite indicative. As if they've first tried to "gain some credibility", so that they could vote as full-blown "community members", and after that - adieu :)
Veeery similar editing patterns, identical userpages...I think a checkuser request would be very much merited under the circumstances. I don't really mind some of the obviously bad-faith canvassed opposing votes, but these newly-emerging contributors with zero knowledge and interest in the SC and/or Slavic languages in general really disturb me.--Ivan Štambuk 14:51, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
All of these editors have been active (to varying extents) on the Swahili Wiktionary, where Robert has also been active. It seems to be meatpuppetry rather than sockpuppetry. The "identical user-pages" bit is somewhat of a red herring, since the user-pages are just Babel-boxes. All told, if it's as it seems, then I agree that it's inappropriate, but it's not the worst thing I've seen here. —RuakhTALK 15:18, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Certainly not the worst, but perhaps the most disappointing. Long-time editor recruiting users to vote against something that ultimately has no affect on them. Shame shame. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:24, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah. If I voted for oppose, I would really rethink twice before siding with such folks. --Ivan Štambuk 16:29, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
No, people should vote for the position they think better, not against people they dislike. Voting is about improving Wiktionary, not about taking sides in battle. (Note, BTW, that Robert's main reason for voting "oppose" seems to have been some pathological fear that voting "support" would put him on the same side as various genocides. So I'm surprised to see you, of all editors, advocating that same mentality.) —RuakhTALK 17:14, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm not advocating that same mentality, but RU's ardent opposing was one of the primary driving motives for lots of the opposing votes IMHO, and which I hope could be turned opposite with this new perspective in mind :) Lots of the opposing votes are simply "Gee, there seems to be a controversy here, lets vote for oppose". At least one of the voters voted for oppose exactly for that reason. I am also firmly convinced that several opposers (nomina sunt odiosa) haven't even bothered to read the proposed WT:ASH policy and rationale (some 10 minutes maximally), and to rethink whether it is a "good" or "bad" thing, with everything in mind. Simply the unnecessary political connotations obscure the big picture, which has caused lots of folks to vote for oppose despite the doubtless numerous practical benefits for improving the SC Wiktionary entries the proposal brings, and which are listed and were argued many times on many places. --Ivan Štambuk 17:28, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Robert Ullmann's attempts to circumvent local community decisions by more FUD[edit]

Some of you who vote for {support} might have received this:

What follows is the text being presented to the Wikimedia Foundation board.

There is a vote pending in the English Wiktionary, proposing to prohibit the recognized standard languages Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian, and using only the non-standard language "Serbo-Croatian".

(The proponent of the vote, a Mr. Ivan Stambuk, has conducted a campaign of relentless personal attacks and tirades against anyone who dares disagree. It is not clear whether he is knowingly pushing extreme political POV, or simply ignorant of the possibility that there may be other views in the world, sort of akin to white racists who are blithely ignorant of their racism, as it is all they know. The resulting level of intimidation has made rational debate impossible.

In order to be consistent with the list of current existing wiktionaries, it has also been proposed to accept Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, as well as Serbo-Croatian: editors willing to work only for Serbo-Croatian would be allowed to do so, people willing to work only on their own language (e.g. adding only Croatian sections) would also be allowed to do so, and would not been rejected. But this proposal has been vehemently rejected by proponents of "Serbo-Croatian" only.)

"Serbo-Croatian" was originally a language reform promoted in the 19th century (when there was a wave of such things, all more-or-less utopian, and all pretty much linguistic nonsense.) As the languages are auspraches, that is, mostly mutually intelligible, this seemed/seems reasonable to the reformers, regardless of its unworkability. It was revived (but not in identical form) by Communist Yugoslavia, used to promote Serbian (and Croatian) dominance. During the break-up of Yugoslavia, it became clearly identified with the Serbian and Croatian groups conducting the genocide, now in the court in the Hague.

The term "Serbo-Croatian" is profoundly offensive to the victims of that genocide.

The Serbian constitution specifies the national language to be Serbian, and the script Cyrillic. The Ministry of Education recognizes Bosnian as a language, providing Bosnian language courses beginning in primary schools.

The Croatian constitution specifies the national language to be Croatian, and the script Latin. ("The Croatian language and the Latin script shall be in official use in the Republic of Croatia.
In individual local units another language and the Cyrillic or some other script may, along with the Croatian language and the Latin script, be introduced into official use under conditions specified by law.")

The Bosnian constitution ... is complicated. There are several different "entities", and many changes to the constitution(s) of the last two decades.

Article 6.1: "The official languages of the Federation shall be the Bosniac and the Croatian language. The official script will be the Latin alphabet."

also 6.1, as of 2003, official gazetted version: "1) The official languages of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be: Bosnian language, Croat language and Serb language. The official scripts shall be Latin and Cyrillic."

The present version appears to have elided mention of official languages. (Which language(s) should be considered official being quite controversial, but note that in any cases it is "languages"; no mention of "Serbo-Croatian")

The Montenegrin constitution makes the official language Montenegrin, but also recognises Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian. It also declares Cyrillic and Latin scripts to be of equal standing. Article ("Član") 13: "Službeni jezik u Crnoj Gori je crnogorski jezik. Ćirilično i latinično pismo su ravnopravni. U službenoj upotrebi su i srpski, bosanski, albanski i hrvatski jezik." On 10 July 2009, the official specification was published.

(A note for native speakers of English: English is a demotic language, a common vernacular; it evolves with usage by writers and speakers, and is not regulated. Some languages are regulated officially, with standards for orthography, pronunciation, vocabulary and so on. It is common for speakers of English and similar demotic languages to assume that all other languages are the same, without realizing that they are making any assumption. The languages discussed here are regulated by official standards.)

ISO, the Library of Congress (as the ISO 639-1 RA), SIL (as the ISO 639-3) have deleted "Serbo-Croatian" and the corresponding code ("sh") from the standards. The national standards institutes and national libraries of both Serbia and Croatia applied to ISO to have the language Serbian in Cyrillic script and Croatian in Latin script recognized as the definition of the former codes ("scc", "scr"; SC in Cyrllic and "Roman"), with those codes replaced by "srp" and "hrv", the standard 3-letter codes for Serbian and Croatian respectively; ISO concurred.

The use, coding, and name "Serbo-Croatian" have thus been firmly rejected and repudiated by all of the relevant standards bodies and national institutions.


Noting that the other wiktionaries usually follow the lead of the English wikt, and that the English wikt is approximately equal in size and activity to all the others combined after French; that the wikts represent the linguistics part of the Wikimedia project:

Is it acceptable for a vote on the English Wiktionary to, therefore, effectively establish a Wikimedia Foundation policy prohibiting the inclusion of the standard languages?

Is it acceptable for such a vote to actively promote a language and concept that is seen as profoundly offensive and rejected by the international community and uniformly by the nations involved?

(On the latter, note that while the Wikipedia, for example, documents neo-Nazism, it does not establish policies promoting it, leaving that to such sites as Stormfront. Also note that mentioning the Nazis invariably results in someone, incorrectly of course, invoking Godwin's Law.)

RU has or intends to send this to the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. I have never seen so much lies, FUD and evilness in my life. Especially this part:

Serbo-Croatian" was originally a language reform promoted in the 19th century (when there was a wave of such things, all more-or-less utopian, and all pretty much linguistic nonsense.) As the languages are auspraches, that is, mostly mutually intelligible, this seemed/seems reasonable to the reformers, regardless of its unworkability. It was revived (but not in identical form) by Communist Yugoslavia, used to promote Serbian (and Croatian) dominance. During the break-up of Yugoslavia, it became clearly identified with the Serbian and Croatian groups conducting the genocide, now in the court in the Hague.

Robert Ullmann is apparently as ignorant in history as much as he is in linguistics. "linguistic nonsense" (According to RU, the world's foremost Slavists' works are "nonsense", and him who has zero proficiency in any Slavic language has the "authority" to claim otherwise), and esp. the part that says "clearly identified with the Serbian and Croatian groups conducting the genocide" - I mean just - LoL. Too much CNN and Hollywood movies I guess. One would think that RU would learn a lesson from the continuous accusing (and moreover publicly! Imagine that!) of Croat and Bosniak refugee from the 1990s war to be "Serbian nationalists" promoting "linguistic war crime", but people like him never really learn anything.

I advise all the opposing voters to reconsider their votes again: you are explicitly affiliating yourselves RU and supporting everything he writes by casting an opposing vote, even if based on entirely different grounds, and he has and will abuse your opposing votes to promote everything abovequoted, using your votes as an instrument of his FUD. If it's OK with you to be mentioned in the context of "Neo-Nazism", or think that SC is a "utopian linguistic nonsense", fine. --Ivan Štambuk 15:04, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

I sincerely apologize to everyone for triggering yet more abuse from Štambuk. Robert Ullmann 15:28, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

I believe the "abuse" was (imo rightfully) directed at you. Apologize to yourself :p
What was directed to anyone else was a warning. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:31, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
"The term "Serbo-Croatian" is profoundly offensive to the victims of that genocide."
I DARE YOU TO PRODUCE AT LEAST ONE. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:33, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
The only ones he can "produce" are some Croatian and Serbian nationalist bigots, like Pepsi Lite and his ilk. Now his modus operandi is to self-victimize himself as if he is the one being "abused" (and let's all remember that it was Ullmann who started personally abusing me and others who proposed the merger, publicly! - I was being civil for quite some time towards his BS), now editing in the pattern that can be described as:
  1. Produce lots of dirty lies and FUD. Don't have any sources (because you can't find ones). Imagine that your "authority" on Wiktionary gives you credibility to render all your ridiculous claims as truisms. Don't feel embarrassed by your ignorance on the matters of linguistics and history.
  2. Wait for Ivan to respond
  3. Ignore all the explanations and proposals Ivan suggests (see e.g. the above discussion on superscript-generation in translation tables), mock them, and try to portray yourself as a "victim of abuse". Occasionally engage your minions to troll Ivan.
As for asking the Board on this issue - I am looking very forward to illuminating them with a complete account on this matter, with actual context RU has failed to provide, with plenty of references and e-mails from uni professors who wrote books on this "linguistic nonsense" :-) --Ivan Štambuk 16:41, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
It's true that it's Robert who started in with the abuse, but he's long since stopped, and you've long since surpassed all comers in that department. Further, your abuse has been directed at several editors, not just him — including editors who have shown you nothing but politeness and deference. You can say what you want, Ivan, but don't be under any illusions that you still have the high ground here. —RuakhTALK 20:23, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
He's only stopped because he's playing a different game - making himself the victim. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:42, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Then you-all should stop because you're playing into that game - making him the victim. (With everyone else as collateral damage, I might add.) —RuakhTALK 21:15, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh, he is indeed playing the self-victimizing game and I'm quite sick of it. He repeatedly spreads filthy lies and FUD here, on meta and now apparently to the Wikimedia Board, and also to all the users who voted for {support} on e-mails (I didn't posted those ones here, maybe I should - they've even more bizarre!). I could waste 10 kilobytes of text to reply on what is exactly wrong with everything he wrote, but I did it already countless times and at this moment I am fully aware that the only thing RU is concerned with is to portray me as some kind of abusive PoVer, him being the "enlightened" Guardian of the Wiki, to "prove" that B/C/S are "separate languages" by citing state constitutions and ISO codes assignments as if they're some kind of "ultimate arguments" on "international language recognition" (a myth I've debunked several times here, and also on meta) and so on. Why doesn't he cite Slavic handbooks, or the SC manuals in English, like the ones I've cited to Polansky on the vote page? Because that Thomas F. Magner's quote in that great handbook, of so-called "Croatian language" existing from the 1991, basically says it all.
RU is not acting in good faith. That is pretty much obvious. When he is, I always reply to him civilly (e.g. on community discussion boards).
I am not being abusive towards other editors (I've crossed a line bit at the start, and have apologized to the respective parties for that). I now try to illuminate ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 23:08, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I understand your frustration, I just don't think your piles of abuse are appropriate. Neither you nor anyone else is the arbiter of good faith. (But I'm glad to hear that you've apologized to DCDuring et al. Thanks for doing so.) —RuakhTALK 19:26, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
It’s disgusting and unethical. —Stephen 23:16, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow. Definitely disgusting. Well, can't wait to see how this plays out. --Dijan 08:48, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

As far as the ISO code sh being deleted[edit]

We still have ISO 639-3 {{hbs}}. So that tiny bit of argument is flopped. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:16, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

I've already mentioned that several times, that we can use hbs as a replacement for sh if the latter would cause browsers to self-destruct or something. And it would be basically trivially to replace all the instances of usage sh by hbs by a bot, if it becomes an issue, because ISO codes are consistently used in all the standard templates.
As for the introduction of Serbo-Croatian macrolanguage by SIL/ISO - that's a bit sad twist of fate for the nationalist bigots who sought to separate what is linguistically doubtless one language. Someone probably in those standardization bodies prob. thought: "OK, you're gonna get your damn ISO code, but you're being grouped within the SC macrolanguage!" ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 22:55, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Even in a Slovene grammar...[edit]

during the time that Slovenia was becoming independent, the radio, television, and newspapers used the phrase bivša Jugoslovanska republika ‘the former Yugoslav Republic’ for two weeks, after which the language editors (lektorji) began to deprecate this usage and—who knows why—substituted the syntagm nekdanja Jugoslovanska republika ‘the erstwhile Yugoslav Republic’. Evidently they ‘recognized’ the form bivši, -a, -e as an ‘archaism.’ On the other hand, in everyday speech speakers will produce the phrase bivša punca ‘ex-girlfriend’ or to je moja bivša ‘this is my ex’, which bothers nobody and, moreover, it is only marginally acceptable to say nekdanja punca, nekdanji fant”.” With regard to bivša Jugoslavanska republika it is conceivable that the form is avoided because of the similarity to BCS bivša Jugoslavija, bivša Jugoslovenska republika.

[ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 14:43, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Why did you have to chose Slovenian? I was hoping you'd start learning Persian :( --Vahagn Petrosyan 15:07, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Haha why Persian? :D I've been wanting to learn Slovenian a long time, really. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:16, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Prob. because Persian is in a desperate need for inflections, and that is sth you excel in ^_^
Yes, Persian is an extremely important language which had profound influence on neighbouring languages. It would be nice to have it with inflections and pronunciations Opiaterein-style. --Vahagn Petrosyan 16:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Aw you guys :D Maybe I'll see what I can do :p lol — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 16:30, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Statistics of voters[edit]

This table will provide up-to-date statistics on the voters, for future voting policy to be retroactively applied in case of frozen, but formally non-closed votes such as this none.

username vote (+/-) more than 50 edits 1 week prior to July 1st more than 300 edits 1 week prior to July 1st proficiency in SC or other Slavic languages
Ivan Štambuk + + + sh-N
Widsith + + + pl-1
Atelaes + + + -
Dijan + + + sh-N
Bequw + + + -
Atitarev + + + ru-N, pl-3, uk-3, cs-2, be-2
Ruakh + + + -
Stephen G. Brown + + + ru-4, pl-2, uk-2
Vahagn Petrosyan + + + ru-N
DAVilla + + + -
Krun + + + ru-1
Opiaterein + + + sl-1
EncycloPetey + + + -
Dcabrilo + + - (268 edits) sh-N
Doremítzwr + + + -
Francis Tyers + + - (52 edits) sh-0.5 ?
User:B-rat + - - sl-N
DIREKTOR + - - sh-N
Bogdan + + - (118 edits) ru-N, uk-3
Karelklic + + + cs-N
Mzajac + + + uk-3, ru-1
Vukotic + - (23 edits) - sh-N
Local hero + - (31 edits) - sh-2
PalkiaX50 + + + -
Bogorm + + + sh-2, bg-N, ru-4, sl-1
Maro + + + pl-N
Conrad.Irwin + + + -
OC Ripper + - - sh-N
Makaokalani + + + -
Maria Sieglinda von Nudeldorf + - - sh-N
Griotta + - - sh-N
Biblbroks + + - (84 edits) sh-N
AugPi + + + -
MaEr + + + - (?)
Lmaltier - + + -
DCDuring - + + -
Duncan MacCall - + + cs-n, sk-4, ru-1
Robert Ullmann - + + -
Prince Kassad - + + -
Neskaya - + + -
Dan Polansky - + + cs-N, sk-1
Hippietrail - + + -
史凡 - + - (271 edits) -
Rose Waswa - - (39 edits) - -
Urhixidur - + - (226 in the main namespace) -
Blurpeace - + - (67 edits) -
DianaKhanjila - - - -
Luka Krstulović - - - sh-N
Kasmil - + + -
Rising Sun - + + -
Ex13 - - - sh-N
  • whistles* I didn't realize we had so many HBS natives that voted. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:55, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah :D I am thinking on adding a comments column with notes of possible sock/meat-puppeteering, and also to mark project irregulars.. --Ivan Štambuk 19:04, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Allowing modification of the outcome of a vote to happen retrospectively would set an extremely bad precedent, and completely undermine the entire point of voting. I suspect we have to just take this vote as it comes, and if (as unfortunately seems likely) some restriction is imposed, they can apply for future votes. Conrad.Irwin 19:11, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
How exactly would it set a bad precedent? We simply freeze the vote once it expires (after some "details" are settled out), and interpret the results once we agree on the vote-acceptance rules. It doesn't make sense to force everyone to recast their votes they stood by for five weeks, and which they've prob. haven't changed their opinion on few weeks later.. They could be allowed to change it if they've changed their mind on the vote itself (but only that!), but I doubt that there will be many of such users.. --Ivan Štambuk 20:44, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
  • So basically if we agree on vote-acceptance of users having 300 edits 1 week prior to the vote initiation (i.e. 1 day prior to the vote being proposed), we have 21 for and 10 against. Of those against, only 2 have some kind of proficiency in Slavic languages, and one is likely to be meat-puppetted really having no stance on the issue altogether
  • If we agree on the vote-acceptance of users having 50 edits 1 week prior to the vote initiation, we have 27 for and 13 against. Of those against, only 2 have some kind of proficiency in Slavic languages, and two are likely to be meat-puppetted really having no stance on the issue altogether.
  • In both of the cases there are 68% of the voters voting for support. If 3 of the opposing voters changed the mind, we'd have > 75% for the proposed policy, which is enough by Wikipedia rules. The million dollar question is: is the figure of 68% enough for us, esp. considering the fact that all of the contributors knowledgeable on SC, and most of those knowledgeable in Slavic languages (except for 2), if eligible for voting within either of the proposed vote-acceptance barriers, have voted for support? --Ivan Štambuk 00:24, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Mir Harven's 2 cents[edit]

Technically, it may be right my vote doesn't count. But, to dispel a few misinfo:

This is not a linguistic, but a socio-political issue. The Croatian constitution is clear about it. If anyone tries to gamble with this, the hell will break loose in Croatian public.

The so-called pre-eminent Slavicists are dinos with no much credibility left, and are as relevant to the Croatian language issues as is Aristotelian physics to the Newtonian, not even to speak about (post)Einsteinian. English-language (South) Slavic studies are traditionally among the weakest in the field. The relevant non-Croatian language authors on Croatian, Serbian and structurally similar languages are:

Leopold Auburger: Die Kroatische Sprache und der Sebokroatismus, http://openlibrary.org/b/OL3615122M/kroatische-Sprache-und-der-Serbokroatismus

Barbara Oczkowa, Chorwaci i ich język. Z dziejów kodyfikacji normy literackiej. Lexis, Kraków 2006., http://openlibrary.org/b/OL22678754M/Chorwaci-i-ich-je%CC%A8zyk

Artur Rafailovič Bagdasarov: Horvatskij literaturnij jazyk vtoroj poloviny XX veka, Moskva, 2004., http://www.amazon.com/Khorvatskii-literaturnyi-poloviny-uchebnoe-posobie/dp/5747403060/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249669174&sr=1-3 ....

Anyway: a) the crucial authorities on Croatian language & its status are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalibor_Brozovi%C4%87, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radoslav_Kati%C4%8Di%C4%87 and other distinguished Croatian contemporary linguists- not any foreigner, who has learned (to any degree) about the subject (I won't bother to address amateurish wiki guessers), b) as I said: this- the name & the status of a language- is primarily societal/political, not a linguist issue (linguistics cannot ascertain difference between varieties of a language and similar Ausbau-languages; it simply isn't its job). Don't mess with it: Talleyrand has said that the war was too serious a business to be left to the soldiers; the same can be repeated with regard to the language and linguists. Mir Harven 18:53, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Moved from the already too-cluttered vote page. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 19:00, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Behold, the reasoning of a Croatian nationalist! "Language has nothing to do linguistics" - I mean, ROFL! :D What does it have to do with, ethnogenetic mythology perhaps? Oh and I see he added "linguists" like Auburger that are payed by the Croatian Academy of Sciences to write their cheap propaganda nonsense.
Also observe how MH initially argued that SC varieties are "at the same level" as e.g. Bulgarian and Macedonian, which is far, far from truth. Now that the linguistics argument is dropped, what we've left with is dirty politics..
Anyhow, after Ullmann's despicable attempt to defame me at the Wikimedia Board, I've send e-mails to several professional Slavists, and the responses are quite supportive (e.g. by the most prominent living Balto-Slavist Krotlandt who has SC comparative accentology - an extremely complicated field of study - in his little finger), and Wayles Browne who wrote the definite sketch of SC grammar in English, teaches the language at the uni and translates from/to it professionally). Maybe I should've added some German Slavists too, at the 98% of German unis they still teach "Serbokroatistik".. --Ivan Štambuk 19:19, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
What's the point with you & your name-calling ? Yugo-chauvinists cannot accept the fact that their pet tyranny is definitely dead- I know. I know also that there is a virtually no space for a rational discussion with Yugo-nationalists with identity issues & their irrational projections. But, for the sake of other mis/ill-informed contributors, I'll put a few words on the language problem(s). Mir Harven 20:06, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Don't you think Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks would be happier if they learned to like each other again? You should feel like a family instead of acting like a bunch of twits and trying to pretend you don't speak the same language. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
You mention the word "Yugochauvinist" once again, or any other derogatory political term, and you'll get blocked. It would be very appreciated if you could focus strictly on the linguistic issues involved. (Preferably on the WT:ASH's talkpage so that we can suggest the improvements to the proposed policy, which is just a sketch to handle the most common 99% of cases anyway) --Ivan Štambuk 20:16, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Isn't this vote purely a Wiktionary thing, it's not as though we're deciding on the actual facts, merely how it would be useful to treat things here? To do otherwise would be extremely above our place. Conrad.Irwin 19:31, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's purely "our thing", but it has gone way too far with me being portrayed as if some "genocidal Serbian nationalist" (it's as if you're accusing a Holocaust survivor of Nazi-Supremacism) to external bodies which might influence the local community decision. Testimonies from professionalls will simply bear witness that I was being maliciously defamed, and that the facts of separate ISO codes (in RU's vocabulary "international recognition") are being perverted way out of their real value.
Ideally, people should be discussing what is/(could be) wrong with the proposal, why it "couldn't work", on actual words. But everyone seems to be thinking that a link to some obscure PDF is more important than a testimony of a persons who successfully merged >4k entries.. Now we have a bunch of nationalists that appear to be simply lying on the differences between standard B/C/S, and I am afraid that somebody might actually believe them.. --Ivan Štambuk 19:57, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Striking new voters[edit]

With the recent influx of Croatian nationalists that apparently think that this has something to do with "politics" or "Yugoslavia" (WTF?), I suggest that we strike all the votes that have made 0 edits before the July 1st. OK? --Ivan Štambuk 19:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I was already thinking about it. Symbol support vote.png Support =D — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 19:14, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Kassad, Ruakh, do you agree? --Ivan Štambuk 19:20, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

No. If we are going to use voting, we must use it properly. Retroactively changing the rules is cheating. Conrad.Irwin 19:24, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, we had no rules before, and these "votes" are pointless. --Ivan Štambuk 19:38, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.png За :) -- Prince Kassad 19:48, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, getting a bit sick of all the sr/br users "magically" appearing here. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:24, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • This is getting ridiculous. What are we going to do? Ƿidsiþ 15:32, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
They probably won't stop voting even after the vote ends tomorrow at midnight, so we'll probably have to lock the page, then strike the votes that were made by users whose accounts weren't created a week before the vote, and perhaps those like Pepsi lite's who were motivated only by political/racial/bullshit opinions. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:54, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Language & all that jazz[edit]

Since I have no vote in the Wiktionary project & see that false arguments galore are presented as something crucial, I'll post a few banalities.

1. the definition of a "language" does not lie in the domain of linguistics. This is primarily a socio-political issue, and not a linguist one. Various linguistic atlases put the figure of living languages in the world between 5,000 and 18,000. There is simply no criterion for - pertinent in this case - distinguishing between varieties of a language (say, Swiss and Austrian German) and acknowledged various standard languages based on stylizations of (essentially) one dialect (Hindi and Urdu). Phonetics, graphemics, phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, stylistics, semantics,.... are not decisive in these matters. Nor are etymological dictionaries, neither often stressed - a 19th century concept- mutual intelligibility (a subjective stuff anyway).

2. Wiki is written in various standard languages. And- there is no Serbo-Croatian standard language, nor has it ever existed, neither has it been dissolved. Simply, the dominant policy in both Yugoslavias was that there is one Croato-Serbian/Serbo-Croatian language, and this was an eminently political stance. The "world" has accepted it- although with some confusion, because since 1970s SIL has, shyly, admitted that Croatian language exists: just, it clumsily designated it as both a separate language and a "variant" of "Serbo-Croatian" language. With the collapse of Yugoslavia, the illusion about the standard "Serbo-Croatian" language collapsed- with differing celerity in different social & political & linguistic communities. No language "died"- just an illusion about one standard language (I'm not counting Yugosaura, of course).

3. linguistic typology/typological linguistics tries to categorize various languages according to, basically, two criteria:

a) genetic

b) structurally-typological

This effort, while valuable, fails most evidently when languages concerned are dialect-wise close, or even more, stylizations of one or more closely related dialects: classic examples are Hindi and Urdu (or Germanic languages as High German, Low German, Yiddish and Dutch). Grammatical structure, lexicon, script,....various components of a language are here (viz. Hindi and Urdu), but the decision rests on one and simple fact of life: a language community. Speakers of Hindi and Urdu, of Bulgarian and Macedonian, of Malay and Indonesian, or Croatian and Serbian, or .... don't belong to one language community. They didn't belong to it in any point of history. In 1700s and 1800s Croatian authors like Vid Došen, Ivan Gundulić, Matija Relković,..have been translated into Serbian. After the language reform of Serbian folklorist and philologist Vuk Karadžić these languages became much closer, but still retained unmistakeable individuality- despite frequently pathetic proclamations of linguistic unity issued by numerous 19th century Croatian and Serbian writers and philologists (as an integral part of the dominant Yugoslav ideology which treated also the Slovene language as a part of the Yugoslav language goulash- back in the 1930s, the official Yugoslav certificates were issued in "serbocroatioslovenian").

During Communist Yugoslavia period (1945.-1991.) the language "problem" had always been a thorny issue. So, while publicly proclaiming a "unity, but not unicity" of the "Serbo-Croatian", in practice the two languages reality was grudgingly accepted. Numerous illustrations include Croatianization or Serbianization of, respectively, Serbian and Croatian translations of Balzac, Jung, Stefan Zweig, Stendhal, ...

3. so, the differentia specifica between pluricentric languages (German, English) and the different standard languages (Ausbau languages according to Heinz Kloss et al.) does not lie in any quantifiable amount of differences, from phonetics to stylistics (although these can be tallied for Croatian and Serbian, if it matters), but in the sense of belonging to a language community. This is what differs Croatian and Serbian, or Urdu and Hindi. And this is what keeps together varieties of English or German. Mir Harven 21:22, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

"the definition of a "language" does not lie in the domain of linguistics."
Ivan, I thought you said this guy was smart? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 21:37, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Ad hominem boils down to a confession of ignorance.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_is_a_dialect_with_an_army_and_navy Mir Harven 22:44, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Hello Harven! We are not voting here on whether B/C/S/M are "separate languages" or not (we don't care!), but on whether it makes sense to treat them commonly in a dictionary! Please see what I replied to you below. --Ivan Štambuk 22:52, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
He is, but that's what nationalism does to your mind. You imagine things that aren't real, and imagine that real things are imagined. --Ivan Štambuk 21:54, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Again, you've completely missed the point. We are not voting on whether B/C/S are "same" or "different" language (being an ethnic Croat, a native speaker, and versed in basic Slavic studies, I'd say that they doubtless are, but that's just my PoV) - the vote is on treating them at one language header, be it Serbo-Croatian, BCS or whatever. (currently the proposal says "Serbo-Croatian", but we've been working out the technical details to enable the change to "BCS(M)" or anything else user-customizable) We don't care for Gundulić, Karadžić, Communists, Vukovians etc. Please read the actual policy we're voting on: WT:ASH#Introduction

The term Serbo-Croatian on Wiktionary acts as a generic container to all 4 national varieties.

With that in mind, do you have sth to say on why exactly generic treatment wouldn't work? Standard B/C/S(/M) share identical dialectal basis (Neoštokavian), sharing a bulk of their respective grammar, and a common treatment would greatly reduce the efforts by our contributors, and not to mention a waste of time by users who'd have to look up the entries on 6 different sections (and more: 8-10, when (and if) "Montengrin language" gets codified) if we kept them separate. What exactly is "gained" by separate treatment except a general waste of time on copy/pasting, and the editors being forced to propagate every trivial change to several places, keeping a watch that they are in sync ? Per the merger, we keep the multiplication at minimum, which enhances both the editing and learning experience. --Ivan Štambuk 21:41, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Bosnian is essentially what Serbs and Croats prefer to communicate with each other in. --Danny Weir

Bahaha — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 23:11, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Languages & the rest[edit]

1. Participants is these monologues are, with perhaps a few exceptions, incompetent & biased.

2. their bias is evidently towards the exculpating the extinct Yugo-tyranny & trying to impose- one way or another, the language planning policy in accordance with the current various centers of power that had not yet given the hope of resuscitating the ex-Yu corpse (The Hague Tribunal, numerous libraries and studies-heirs to Aristotelian physics chairs in Continental Academia around 1700s). Generally, change is a phenomenon, especially in academic circles, uncomfortable to accept.

3. it's all Yugo-ideology inspired, thinly disguised as a mixture of pseudoscholium (a few dated authors) and a rhetoric against those nasty nationalists who destroyed the Communist totalitarian paradise (Yugoslavia, Tito,..).

Guess I've wasted too time already. This is a real face of the "B/C/S" charlatanism & what it actually stands for: unfreedom & repression. B/C/S is a rightful heir to this:

http://www.hercegbosna.org/download-eng/Croatian_Language_Today.pdf .......... In September 1971, a manual of Croatian Orthography , designed for primary and secondary schools, was published in Zagreb. Compiled by three eminent linguists (S. Babić - B. Finka - M. Moguš, it codified the current norm of Croatian spelling and orthography: "In all ways, from a purely language point of view, The Croatian Orthography is probably the most authoritative guide to enlightened language practice in Croatia today". Forty thousand copies of this handbook awaiting distribution were seized and destroyed on the orders of the political authorities. This auto-da-fé threw a particular light on the "cultural" policy of the Belgrade government. But one copy of the Croatian Orthography survived, was smuggled abroad and reprinted in London in 1972. This manual of Croatian Orthography, entitled "Hrvatski pravopis" , has been used in schools and on mass media since 1990, after being examined and approved by all scholarly and professional Croatian institutions (HAZU, Matica hrvatska, the University Chairs for Croatian language, Croatian Writers’ Association, etc.).

In essence, we Croats don't want to have our linguistic culture be shaped , tumbled, castrated, politically censored ...by anyone else. We don't want to be put into a herd wagon designed by pompous neo colonialists and their puppies. Neither we want our individual linguistic cultural heritage be put under umbrella terms which-history teaches us- served only as the weapons in de-Croatization, from Bačka, Boka Kotorska and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In short- we want to stylize our culture as we wish. Mir Harven 00:02, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

And what exactly does all of your boring political tirade, absolutely no one here is interested in (and which is ridden with cheap Croatian nationalist propaganda I don't even want to waste my time refuting), has anything to do with the proposal?
Have you even read what exactly are we voting on?
And please keep the "We Croats" demagogy out of here, there are some 5 Croats voting for the policy here in case you haven't noticed. Not all of us are nationalist bigots. --Ivan Štambuk 00:32, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, all of the differences between standard C&S in that brief paper by Franolić are handled within the proposed policy. Some of them are even artificial (Serbian has also standardized Ijekavian variety, words such as kašika, ugao, drum etc. are all attestable Croatian). Those suppletive-stem lexical differences constitute less then 5% of overall lexis (more like 2-3% maximally, but this is free estimate and not something measurable), and hardly merit the maintenance nightmare we would introduce by complete separation. --Ivan Štambuk 00:37, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, a bit more political context on one thing that MH mentioned, and that is symptomatic of the average Croatian nationalist bigotry. The orthography book Babić-Finka-Moguš 1971 that was forbidden by the commies is more-or-less a complete rip-off of Cipra-Krstić-Guberina orthography from 1941 which was also banned. But not by the commies! (there was no Communist Yugoslavia back then), but by the extreme-nationalist Nazi puppet-regime of the so-called Independent State of Croatia. It was also titled Hrvatski pravopis "Croatian orthography". So why did the extreme nationalists ban it? Simply because it wasn't too "un-radical" for them (it was a very good orthography though): the NDH government prescribed the so-called korijenski pravopis ("root orthography"), which is something like a mixture of etymological and morphophonological orthography, unlike the usual phonological orthography which was in use until that period, and which the Cipra-Krstić-Guberina described. The korienski pravopis was primarily introduced so that Croats could spell words as distinctly as possible from Serbs. Hence, by the twist of fate, basically exactly the same book was first banned (destroyed while in printing) by the radical Crotian-nationalist fascists, and afterward by the communists! Simply because they were considered "inappropriate" by the ruling regime. Of course, if you want to self-victimize yourself as a poor Croatian martyr, you'll only mention the second case...
And why exactly was the 1971 orthography book banned? Simply because it had "Croatian language" in the title, and this was interpreted as an act of separatism by the commies. I mean, Ijekavian Štokavian is spoken by at least 3 other nations (4 if you count "Yugoslavs", which lots of people declared themselves as back in those days, to rise above the petty nationalism), and it's absurd to claim Croatian exclusivity on sth that is not only not exclusively Croatian, but historically has very little been so (most of the Croats were "Štokavianized" in the 19th century, and the spread of what are now subliterary dialects Kajkavian and Čakavian was much greater). Also, the period of 1971 was of great nationalist turbulence (see: Croatian Spring), and communists sought to minimize the damage that could be done by unilateral declaration of "Croatian language", so they outlawed all the publications having that name (regardless of the content!)
Generally lots of modern works on "Croatian language" by most eminent native linguists evolved from earlier works on Serbo-Croatian. E.g. Težak-Babić's grammar in 1973 was published under the controversial title Pregled gramatike hrvatskoga književnog jezika ("Survey of the Grammar of the Croatian Literary Language"). The previous five editions had appeared under the title Pregled gramatike hrvatskosrpskog jezika ("Survey of the Grammar of the Croato-Serbian Language"). The eleventh edition in 1996 was published simply as Hrvatska gramatika ("Croatian Grammar") ^_^. So the insisting and the resulting change on Croatian name from the earlier Serbo-Croatian was mostly a result of political decisions (and the opportunity to make them), and not sth based on real linguistic criteria for separate languages. --Ivan Štambuk 01:51, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
And what exactly does all of your boring political tirade, absolutely no one here is interested in- de te fabula narratur (man, what a mental perversion). 1) Croatian language Wiki/Wiktionary members & editors don't want to be harassed & badgered by Yugoslav nationalists (or any socio-political clout group, or, for that matter, any group, whatever their intentions may be). 2) for any democratic society or institution this should be enough. EU Commission tried to impose a B/C/S hybrid on Croatian delegation; Croatian delegation said no, and there is a separate Croatian language translation chamber- whatever the opinion of this or that interest group in the EU Commission: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,3373888,00.html Sapienti sat. Mir Harven 09:31, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
No one here is "Yugoslav nationalists", but those Croatian-language Wiki member are pretty-obviously Croatian nationalists, including yourself, who are more interested in non-existing political dimension of the unification proposal than on its benefits. Really Mir Harven, do you have a single argument why the common treatment of standard B/C/S/M wouldn't work, or wouldn't be a good thing with respect to contributors and users? Just give me one, other than "I and some Croats who made 0 contribs here and whom you're never gonna see here again after this vote expires think so".
As for the EU Commission - wait until the B&H, Serbia and Montenegro enter EU, they'll probably follow the "BCS" line of ICTY. Actually, you can almost see that coming, with Croatian prime minister donating thousands of pages of translations English-Croatian to Serbian&Monenegrin governments! If they're all-so-separate, of what use it would be to them? ^_^--Ivan Štambuk 11:39, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Enough with this double-faced posturing. Only Yugoslav nationalists (a remnant of a tyranny) have any interest in promoting a dated & discarded concept like Serbo-Croatian "language". Since rational arguments seem to be as rare as a pig in Tehran, it remains to restate a few basic points & say goodbye to this circus: 1) wiktionary is, with this kind of "democracy", becoming a travesty of an Internet service- next time vote on cancellation of the law of gravity, 2) "B/C/S" is chimera, just like "Serbo-Croatian", and unlike Croatian and Serbian languages. There is no country in the world where this chimera is either official or "minority" acknowledged language. There is no grammar nor dictionary of this "language" - simply because even in language books with "two names" title, in practice it has always been either Croatian or Serbian language that was described or prescribed. It is impossible to write a newspaper article, an elementary or university textbook in "Serbo-Croatian"- unlike the situation with British and American coauthored books on any subject, no such thing would be (or has ever been) possible in the case of authors writing in standard Croatian and Serbian- be it medicine, biology, arts history or mathematics. 3) false & obsolete language concepts have been drummed upon incessantly by you & your backpatters- showing clearly (your Stalinist phraseology apart) you're an ignoramus about the crux of South Slavic language situation, ie. the difference between pluricentric & Ausbau languages and the shifting position of linguists themselves re South Slavic languages situation. But- politicking, name calling, Kafkaesque "voting" on the promotion of a non-entity is something mentally sane person would not bother to indulge in beyond certain limits of time spent. Life is too short to be wasted - without pay- on psychiatric cases. Mir Harven 21:20, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
> Enough with this double-faced posturing.
I agree. If you were trying to victimize poor "Croatian language" allegedly banned by the communists on the example BFM orthography, you should've at least mention that basically exactly the same orthography was banned by radical Croatian-nationalist fascists 30 years before.
>Only Yugoslav nationalists (a remnant of a tyranny) have any interest in promoting a dated & discarded concept like Serbo-Croatian "language".
Once again: We are not "promoting" anything. Please read the actual proposal. It's about treating all the 4 national standards as one language under 100% NPOV approach. We have no intention of promoting Serbian words at the expense of Croatian or vice versa. That approach should work flawlessly per the proposed policy, as all of standards are based on exactly the same dialect, have identical phonology and share 99% of inflectional and derivational morphology (the only parts of grammar we're interested in, not the syntax which you cannot handle in a dictionary). We already tried the separate approach for 4 years, and it proved to be a colossal mistake.
> There is no country in the world where this chimera is either official or "minority" acknowledged language.
And why exactly did the official Croatian census of 2001 had both hrvatsko-srpski and srpsko-hrvatski as a mother-tongue option? Even the Croatian government accepts that there is a volume of people rising above the petty nationalist designations.
> There is no grammar nor dictionary of this "language" - simply because even in language books with "two names" title, in practice it has always been either Croatian or Serbian language that was described or prescribed.
Nonsense. How about e.g. this one and this one. Care to illustrate whether that is "Croatian" or "Serbian" (you can read the first one via b.g.c freely for the most part)? You can't, because it's all of them simultaneously. Standard B/C/S are based on identically stylized Neoštokavian dialect and share 99% of grammar. I recently started writing w:Serbo-Croatian grammar, which should replace all the individual articles on B/C/S grammar.
Yeah I'm "ignoramus", "Stalinistist" blah-blah. Your comrades from croatopedia have been sending me e-mails calling me anti-Croat, threatening to beat me...what is the problem MH, the truth hurts? :) I'm still waiting that you enlighten me with a showstopper, if these standard languages are soooo different, why would it be impossible to treat them all collectively at a dictionary? The Morton-Benson approach works perfectly fine as far as I can tell. --Ivan Štambuk 21:54, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Get a shrink, vox populi has stripped you bare: http://www.forum.hr/showthread.php?t=470322 Mir Harven 23:09, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I've joined that lovely thread. --Ivan Štambuk 02:02, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Sad sad sad[edit]

Regardless of whatever the outcome could have been, at this point I don't think the vote count even matters. Half (=exaggerating) the votes come from outside the active wiktionary community, anyway. It's clear that someone (probably Robert Ullmann - my opinion based on the Swahili-speakers' votes and his ridiulous (=imo) message provided by Ivan above) has been canvassing/recruiting people who this vote would have zero affect on to manipulate its outcome. The entire vote should be stricken until people stop being so disgusting. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 13:13, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This vote will be frozen when it expires (or we should do it now?), and after we settle on the eligibility barrier it will be closed (or reiterated, but with date limit still set to July 1st to cancel the votes of Ullmann's meatpuppets and alike). See my analysis above: so far 68% of eligible voters are in favor, and almost all of those who have any kind of proficiency in Slavic languages. I also personally hope that these absurd political "arguments" put forth by Croatian nationalists will cause some of the opposing regulars to switch sides, unless they also think that "language has nothing to do with linguistics". --Ivan Štambuk 13:26, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree, Ullmann’s actions have probably irreparably tainted this process and we will have to throw the votes out and start over again. Since we have already discussed it exhaustively, a new vote should not require more than a week from start to finish. —Stephen 18:34, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

It is very sad that some of the people doesn't see that various languages are welth of this world, and it is also sad that those people even live on this world. I don't even belive that this creature called Ivan Stambuk is beneficient.

Desist. Stop talking about people. Cease speaking about Ivan Štambuk. We are not here to vote on whether Ivan Štambuk is okay or not. --Dan Polansky 12:11, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Not OK[edit]

I disagree with this [8](08:46, 28 February 2009). Kubura 10:08, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Can you be more explicit on what exactly do you disagree with? At that moment (February 28th) we (the SC contributors) decided to format them on one L2 header, and there were no draft policies on Croatian (Wiktionary:About Croatian) or Bosnian (Wiktionary:About Bosnian) written, only on Serbian, which I redirected to WT:ASH and rewrote from scratch (as you can see in the edit history). --Ivan Štambuk 10:26, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

"we (the SC contributors) decided ...". Does Wikipedia forms its articles on the scientific facts or on the wishes and personal points of view of certain users? Kubura 11:10, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I wrote this before Ivan's message above.
I know that we should be oriented on the content, not on the user, but since the proposer of this voting has named me several times on the vote page, here's my reaction.
I don't want to congest the voting page with my comments, so I give some of them here.
Ivan Štambuk wrote here: ˇAlso Kubura, you're the last person to preach me on etiquetting... ". Etc.
I've warned him on 04:53, 6 August 2009 on WP in Croatian [9] that he has deleted the entries on his talkpage. These entries were explicit warnings on his unallowed behaviour and administrator's information about blocking him. Ivan Štambuk hasn't archived them, but deleted them.
Few days before (16:18, 4 August 2009), he was warned and informed by another user (Ex13) that users must not delete talkpages (unless being vandalised or contained personal attacks), but they can archive them.
This is the text that Ivan Štambuk has deleted [10] (15:07, 1 August 2009).
The message contained remarks against Štambuk's action. First, he has changed the message header, created by another user - me (from much pure Croatian form "šport" to more "internationalist" form "sport"). Obvious provocation. Under section 2, I've explicitly asked him - what was the purpose of his message. To provoke my reaction? Under 3 there's my tirade about Ivan's lack of knowledge on the matter. Section 3 contains my question to him: Why is he so orgasmically expressing his prognosis in which he claims that some Croatian dialects 'll be extinct (there similar Ivan's messages on en. Wiktionary. Imagine the reaction of a speaker whose mother tongue currently has decreasing use. How would he/she feel if you tell him: "You're language is doomed! You're gonna die!"). That's provocation and mocking to someone's situation. Even if that fact about extinction 'd most likely be the true, I'd never say/write that to the affected person (that's the matter of decent behaviour, as well as of the rule WP:Wikipedia is not a crystal ball). One more note: I've asked Ivan: Where does he get that masochist wish to diminuate the living use of Ikavian speech (Štambuk originates from that community, at least according to his username-surname)? Further I've warned him on the definition of the w:internet troll (BTW, why does he has to react on almost every users' vote on this votepage, especially if it is opposing vote? Someone opposed, OK. No need to etiquette someone as troll or to perpetuate the discussion and congest the votepage), rules WP:No personal attacks, WP:Harassment (wikihounding), WP:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point...
Ivan's reaction was this one [11] "Imaš li ti pametnijih stvari za radit u životu osim kopat po nekim bogovetnim arhivama kojih se ni ja više ne sjećam" (05:06, 6 August 2009) - "Do you have anything smarter to do than to dig on the archives that I don't remember". Ivan Štambuk "doesn't remember" what has he done 5 days ago? On his talkpage?? And he hasn't restored the deleted section.
Sorry for taking your time, but since I was etiquetted by him several times on this project, I had to draw your attention to this. Kubura 11:10, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

You were blocked for one week for trolling. If you have any desire at all to comment on the proposal itself, or contribute in any other constructive way, please let me know and I'll lift the block. Otherwise - begone. --Ivan Štambuk 11:39, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Also a remark on one valid question raised by Kubura:
> Does Wikipedia forms its articles on the scientific facts or on the wishes and personal points of view of certain users?
There is absolutely no scientific way to decide whether the 2 natural languages are "different" or not (it's moreover algorithmically undecidable). What we've decided to do is simply to change the formatting convention for B/C/S, after 4 years of separate treatment that in the end proved to be extremely wasteful time- and space-wise. I've elaborated on this countless times, please read the proposed rationale and the respective talkpages. Doutbtless scientific fact that we all very-well do know is that standard B/C/S are all based on the same dialect (the Neoštokavian idiom), have the same phonology (same phonemic inventory), same accentual system (2-way with post-tonic lengths), have 99% shared inflection (with some Croatian- or Serbian-specific details easily handled within the templates - again please read the proposal), and that's just about everything a dictionary is interested in. Pronunciations, meanings, inflection - the the 3 primary things we focus on, and these are largely shared.
The other thing to have in mind are the benefits for the end-user; as you very well know it makes lots of sense for an English-language speaker, if he is intent on wasting so much time learning such a relatively "difficult" language, to waste some 5% extra more effort to simultaneously gain proficiency in all the 3 standard varieties. Most foreign universities teach those 3 in package, for a very good reason. Those folks are our primary target. All the other ones - e.g. focused on a particular standard, simply ignore everything tagged with context labels for the other 2 standards. It's a win-win situation ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 11:55, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Ivan, you have blocked Kubura, which you are able to do because you are an admin here. Kindly unblock Kubura. You should avoid blocking a person who has just brought sourced charges against you. The so called trolling, meaning slightly irrelevant posting to the discussion page of the vote, is not a valid reason for blocking, IMHO. I unappreciate your "^_^" smileys written in an answer to a person whom you have just blocked and who cannot even respond to your typically overlong response. --Dan Polansky 14:10, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
These "charges" are half-baked filthy lies, which I have no intentions of wasting my time refuting here, and which are completely irrelevant to this vote or the associated discussion. Kubura has been warned for trolling here twice already, and he fulfilled the granted bonus of tolerance by his last edit. BTW; why are you so interested in every pathetic little attempt to spill some dirt over me? --Ivan Štambuk 14:19, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I have verified that you have deleted some postings from your talk page at hr.wikipedia, postings that accused you of insulting other users[12]. So this piece is not a filthy lie; it is a verifiable fact. What is the definition of "trolling" that you are using for classifying Kubura's behavior as trolling? Also, you have an obvious conflict of interest, so some other admin should block Kubura if needed, not you. --Dan Polansky 14:36, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
FYI, I have not "deleted" anything: everything is left at the page history (it's a wiki, after all). At that moment I was unaware that the so-called "archiving" was mandatory (on en WP it isn't, you can delete whatever you want to from your talkpage), and which I later asked another admin to clarify me as the official guideline page on archiving was (and still is) ambiguous on whether it is something you must do, or should do merely as a token of courtesy to your interlocutors. Afterward, I archived my talkpage but without the discussion that I blanked 5 day before. Apparently, Kubura was reading my talkpage archives at hr wiki at 5AM that day accusing me of "hiding" sth, by not restoring the blanked discussion to the archive (which I simply forgot of), on which I responded him with cynical "Really Kubura, do you have some better things to do now than digging some godforsaken archives of mine?", upon which administrator Roberta. F. blocked me for "attacking behavior" (that's the usual modus operandi of the hive-mind admin clique at Croatian Wikipedia, Kubura comes along and provokes you, and they block you for trivial reasons).
As for the trolling: ad hominem attacks against me completely irrelevant to the discussion. You see, Kubura has abs. nothing to say on this vote's matter, because my arguments are undeniable: all that he's left with are the attempts to attack me in person, by using "arguments" from external projects (on which we don't care), hoping that it would somehow "invalidate" the merger proposal itself. Another person already tried that, and we all saw how it ended. --Ivan Štambuk 14:50, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Mother tongue in Absurdistan[edit]

Imam potrebu izreći ovo na materinjem jeziku; već danima čitam raspravu oko ovog glasanja s apsolutnom fascinacijom: Hrvati i Srbi svađaju se oko srpskohrvatskog jeika na engleskome. Potpuno nadrealistički... Dojavila sam svom poznaniku, dramatičaru, jer ovo se naprosto mora literarno ovjekovječiti. Maria Sieglinda von Nudeldorf 08:17, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Translation from SC: "I have a need to say this in my mother tongue; I've been reading the voting debate for days with complete fascination: Croats and Serbs argue on Serbo-Croatian language in English. Completely surreal...
I've notified an acquaintance of mine, a playwright, because this simply has to be literary immortalized." --Ivan Štambuk 09:04, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

No vote[edit]

I don’t want to be a part of this political provocation. I just hope that people who support this rubbish, people who even don’t know where Bosnia or Croatia or Serbia are, will give just a small apology when they realize the political background of this and attempt to ignore not just language of this countries than countries itself. --Dtom 08:41, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Please resolve your frustrations elsewhere. Thanks. --Ivan Štambuk 12:58, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Differences between Serbian and Croatian[edit]

There are many differences between Serbian and Croatian. Please see [13]. I also recommend the book of Vladimir Brodnjak Rječnik razlika između hrvatskoga i srpskoga jezika, Zagreb 1992. The book has 637 pages!!! --Flopy 16:49, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I've retorted you to Croatian Wikipedia discussion board [14]. We can discuss it here if you want though (actually I should've replied to you here in English, but I saw your message on hr WP first). --Ivan Štambuk 17:44, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
OK. It's better so, then I undesteand English, but I don't know it very well to discuss. On hr.wiki is better. --Flopy 18:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

In the newspapers[edit]

High-profile Croatian daily Večernji list has published an article Wikipedija na mala vrata uvodi srpsko-hrvatski jezik ("Wikipedia introduces Serbo-Croatian language by backdoor"). Tomorrow it will come out in paper edition.

This is the original text:

Hoće li hrvatski jezik izgubiti posebnost na projektu Wikipedijine zaklade koji se zove Wiktionary i namijenjen je govornicima engleskog jezika? Do danas, 12. kolovoza, traje glasovanje o kojem bruje internetski forumi, a koje je inicirao Ivan Štambuk, administrator na projektu Wiktionary te suradnik sveprisutne Wikipedije na hrvatskom i engleskom jeziku.

Glasovanje izjednačeno
Štambuk predlaže uvođenje jedinstvenog srpsko-hrvatskog jezika na projektu Wiktionary koji je sestrinski projekt Wikipedije, tj. besplatan višejezični rječnik koji još ima zasebne verzije na hrvatskom, srpskom i bosanskom jeziku. Rezultati glasovanja zasad su izjednačeni, a glasovati mogu Wikipedijini suradnici. Prvotno je glasovanje trebalo trajati do 5. kolovoza (da li slučajno do Dana domovinske zahvalnosti), a onda je produljeno do danas i izazvalo burne polemike, što je čest slučaj kada je o hrvatskom jeziku riječ.

“Haaški” i crnogorski
– Štambuk želi na mala vrata uvesti srpskohrvatski ili “haaški” B/S/C uz dodatak crnogorskog, istovremeno izbacujući svako spominjanje hrvatskoga, bošnjačkoga ili srpskoga jezika kao da uopće ne postoje. Na Wikipediji na hrvatskom jeziku trudimo se slijediti preporuke Vijeća za normu hrvatskoga standardnog jezika i s mnogim hrvatskim institucijama imamo odličnu suradnju, poput Instituta za hrvatski jezik i jezikoslovlje ili HAZU, ali sve počiva na našem dobrovoljnom radu – kaže nam Roberta, administratorica Wikipedije na hrvatskom jeziku.

Ujedno ističe da aktivni suradnici Wikipedije na hrvatskome jeziku mogu samo glasovati i nemaju nikakve ovlasti kojima bi se mogli suprotstaviti peticiji koju njeni pobornici nazivaju tek pragmatičnom i tvrde da nema političkih konotacija.

– Protiv jezičnog “ujedinjenja” su uglavnom suradnici Wikipedije na hrvatskom jeziku te aktivni suradnici srpske Wikipedije. Administratori Wikipedije na bošnjačkom jeziku izjasnili su se za ujedinjavanje, a kako Wikipedia na crnogorskom još nije pokrenuta, nije ni moglo biti njenih službenih glasova. Kako ovo ujedinjavanje jezika, odnosno B/S/C spoj nakon Haaga očito ima sve više pobornika, mislim da svaku mogućnost nasilnog ujedinjavanja jezika valja spriječiti i svaku takvu ideju suzbiti u začecima – tvrdi Roberta.

Translation to English:

Will Croatian language loose its separateness on the Wikipedia Foundation project called Wiktionary, which is intended for the speakers of English language? Until today, August 12th, a vote is in progress on which Internet fora buzz about, initiated by Ivan štambuk, administrator on Wiktionary project and a collaborator of omnipresent Wikipedia in both Croatian and English language.

Štambuk suggests the introduction of unique Serbo-Croatian language on Wiktionary, which is a sister project of Wikipedia, i.e. free mutlilingual dictionary with separate versions in Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian language. Vote results are currently balanced, and any Wikipedia contributor is allowed to vote. Initially the vote should've lasted to August 5th (is it by chance on the Homeland Thanksgiving Day?), but has been prolonged until today ,stirring numerous discussions, which is often the case when we're dealing with Croatian language.

–Štambuk wants to introduce Serbo-Croatian or "Hague" B/C/S to the addition of Montenegrin, simultaneously expelling every mention of Croatian, Bosnian or Serbian language, as if they don't exist at all. On Croatian Wikipedia we strive to follow the recommendations of the Council for Standard Croatian Language Norm, and we have great cooperation with many Croatian instutions, such as the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics or HAZU, but it's all based on our voluntary work - We are told by Roberta, one of the administrators on Croatian-language Wikipedia.

At the same time she emphasizes that active contributors of Croatian Wikipedia can only vote, and have no authority on those which might confront the petition that is called merely pragmatical by its advocates, and claimed to have no political connotations.

–Against linguistic "unification" are mostly the contributors of Croatian-language Wikipedia, and active contributors of Serbian Wikipedia. Administrators of Bosnian-language Wikipedia are in favor of unification, and since Montenegrin-language Wikipedia has not yet been initiated, there couldn't have been no official votes. As this unification of languages, i.e. the B/C/S combination, has much more new advocates after the Hague, I think that every possibility of violent unification needs to be prevented and such idea suppressed at its outset.–claims Roberta.

I hope they make a movie about us. I wanna be played by Tom Hanks. --Vahagn Petrosyan 20:47, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
What an impudent and frenetic denigration... And they do not mention any linguistic considerations either, dozens of which were quoted here in order to justify the proposed policy. Instead, just some pathetic reminiscence of a national holiday (Dan domovinske zahvalnosti). Meseems that the voting page is bound to seethe to-morrow... The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:09, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
The article was ordered by Croatian Wikipedia administrators SpeedyGonsales and Roberta F., who have acquaintances among the journalists of Večernji list (which is, BTW, mildly right-wing type of publication), and who have already published some articles on Croatian Wikipedia clique (with the pictures of "big happy Wikipedia family"). I'm being shamelessly portrayed as some kind of bigoted anti-Croat, who wants to "destroy Croatian name" and reintroduce the "Serbo-Croatian of Yugoslavia". PS: Ruakh did I mention I was going to kill you? --Ivan Štambuk 21:16, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


Please, translate this: Možda si zaboravio, ali oboma vam znam imena i prezimena, a ovo gore je utuživ poziv na linč. --Ivan Štambuk (razgovor) 01:47, 12. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)--Dtom 08:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Translation: "Perhaps you've forgot - But I know names of both of you [SpeedeyGonsales and Roberta F.], and this [newspaper article] is an actionable public lynch-invitation [against me]" - This I retorted to SG (one of those who ordered the article) after he posted a link to the above article in Večernji List to the Croatian Wikipedia central discussion board. --Ivan Štambuk 08:45, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

to inform this respectable community user Štambuk was blocked on hr:Wikipedia:

(::end this:)

(Evidencija blokiranja); 09:31 . . Dtom (Razgovor | doprinosi | blokiraj) Blokiran je "Ivan Štambuk (Razgovor | doprinosi)" na rok neograničeno (Onemogućeno otvaranje suradničkog računa) (Osobni napadi (ili napadačko ponašanje): ometanje rada zajednice, prijetnje (znam ja vama imena), vrijeđanja, bahatost, omalovažavanje...)--Dtom 08:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The nationalist bigots on Croatian Wikipedia have apparently "voted" on indefinitely blocking me (Note that I haven't broken _any_ of the rules, have been 100% civil and tolerant on the related discussion board, despite heavy intolerant insults that were targeted against me, and which where completely unsanctioned, as anyone proficient in the language can convince himself of). That's how their little chauvinist "community" solves things. The blocking rationale provided by Dtom says "personal attacks (or attacking behavior), threats (I know your names), insults, arrogance, disrespect", which is, obviously, a bunch of imaginary lies. Croatian ustashipedia at it's best! --Ivan Štambuk 08:45, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I asked for Translatation, not for your comment, however that is your style, put some comment and discharge a truth. Only your opinion is correct and all of as are nationalist bigots. Ok.--Dtom 09:11, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't care what you "asked for", this is a free-to-discuss talkpage. That template is not intended to use on the talkpage discussions, and we are not Wikipedia. If you have any kind of specific questions you are free to articulate them prosaically: plainly dumping that template in the middle of discussion as unsigned is pointless. --Ivan Štambuk 10:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Could you, please, translate (and comment) this ustašoidni result, too:

Predlažem da se hr-wikipedija zaštiti od daljnjih provokacija Štambuka. A to je izgleda moguće samo blokadom. --Zeljko (razgovor) --Zeljko (razgovor) 22:34, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)

  1. Symbol support vote.svg--Roberta F. 21:55, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Dosta maltretiranja. --Flopy (razgovor) 21:57, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg--Saxum55px 21:57, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg--Basketball ball light.svg Neno K Basketball.png 22:03, 11. kolovoz 2009. (CEST)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg-- Treba ga politi katranom i posuti perjem. Maria Sieglinda von Nudeldorf (razgovor) 22:02, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg--SveroH (Talk To Me) 22:05, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  7. Symbol support vote.svg--Uskboy 22:12, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg--Croq (razgovor) 22:27, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  9. Symbol support vote.svg--Soccer ball.svg Toca Basketball ball.svg 22:28, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  10. Symbol support vote.svg--Sokac121 (razgovor) 23:50, 11. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  11. Symbol support vote.svg--Dosta je šupljih priča. Kome i čemu ova vaša kultura? Braco (razgovor) 02:40, 12. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  12. Symbol support vote.svg Iconda (razgovor) 08:23, 12. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  13. Symbol support vote.svg --frk@ 09:56, 12. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  14. Symbol support vote.svg --Radi se o ometanju rada Wikipedije--Niks (razgovor) 09:59, 12. kolovoza 2009. (CEST)
  15. Symbol support vote.svg, iako sa zakašnjenjem :-( --Jure Grm, 12. dana mjeseca kolovoz, godine Gospodnje dvijetisućedevete u 11:57.

Btw. we all are ustaše, and you are democratic --Jure Grm, 12. day of August in Year of Our Lord Twotousandandnine, at 10:42 o'clock.

The page was protected in the anticipation of trolls after this vote was mentioned by the article in Večernji list. For more than one month it was unprotected. This is not a "democracy", how many times do I have to repeat that?
The above unanimous witch-hunt against me on the alleged "community harassment", without a single piece of evidence proving it (as you are unable to engage me in a productive discussion, me being 100% correct all the time), simply proves that Croatian commiepedia is governed by narrow-minded bigots, who imagine that their hive-mind aptitude for "strenght via unity" actually, eh, means something, other than being a symptom of intellectual feebleness and paranoia.
Why don't you Jure actually comment on the policy itself? Do you also think that Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian are completely different languages, comparable in differences to Italian and French? Do you share Flopy's imagination that the word nosilac belongs to "different language", despite the fact that it has tens of thousands of google hits on .hr and Croatian WikiSource, and that the proper "Croatian word" is nositelj ? Please, give us some food for thoughts, I'm sure you can synthesize a valid linguistic equivalent disproving all that "nonsense" I allegedly molested the hr WP with :-) --Ivan Štambuk 10:57, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Please all, stop this. All, including Dtom, Jure Grm, and Ivan Štambuk, should desist from arguing ad hominem and making personal attacks. Personal characteristics of Ivan Štambuk, including his hairstyle, his style of speech, and the length of blocks on other wikiprojects, have no logical bearing to (are irrelevant to) the usefulness, appropriateness, fitness, morality, justice, goodness and value of the proposal that is being voted on. The only thing relevant to voting in support or in oppositon of the proposal are the consequences of accepting and the consequences of rejecting this proposal. Thus, let us all stop talking about other people and calling people names such as "moron" and "bigot". This appeal applies not only to Ivan Štambuk but above all to the wiki users of Croatian wiki projects who are trying to prove that Ivan Štambuk is not okay in some regard. Again, the personality of the proposing person is irrelevant to the acceptability of the proposal. --Dan Polansky 11:09, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Dude, for all intents and purposes, this vote has already been over for a long time. It's long degenerated into a ridiculous shitfest. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 11:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The term "shitfest" is a term of abuse, I estimate. I admit that it may be hard to resist the temptation, as big as it is, and avoid adding the fuel to the fire. --Dan Polansky 12:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the vote will mind me being a bully to it. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 12:07, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
It is up to you to decide whether you contribute to inflaming the situation or not. So far, you have been having your share in the inflammatory atmosphere, calling people "morons", which really does not help anything. --Dan Polansky 12:15, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
For the most part, I keep my abuse general, rather than saying "You, you're a moron. Die." Except of course in Ullmann's case... — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 12:33, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Everyone who starts trolling and making irrelevant personal attacks from now on will get warning->block (me including). An aside: The ad hominems against me are merely a confirmation of their inability to cope with the undisputed merits of the merger proposal itself, which is sth I find quite gratifying! --Ivan Štambuk 11:20, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Obviously you don't agree. You have just posted the following completely useless set of insults, which only brings more fuel to the fire:
"..., simply proves that Croatian commiepedia is governed by narrow-minded bigots, who imagine that their hive-mind aptitude for "strenght via unity" actually, eh, means something, other than being a symptom of intellectual feebleness and paranoia."
In particular, "commiepedia", "bigot", "narrow-minded", "hive-mind", "intellectual feebleness" and "paranoia" are terms of abuse.
Also, stop threatening other people with blocking them for their insults, and consider that you yourself have not been blocked despite the volume of insults that you have produced; start behaving yourself instead.--Dan Polansky 11:36, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
That was posted before your comment, hello? --Ivan Štambuk 11:41, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
But, Dan, Ivan is simly trying to cope with the influx of impertinent users whose only contribution is not only voting here, but denigrating the supporters of this vote as well. He is struggling to develop Wiktionary and has devoted innumerable hours and days to it and in this vote intervenes out of the blue a horde which are at odds with him on hr Wikipedia and have even blocked him because of their inimical stance towards him and are acting disruptively and disrespectfully here. Why should their affronts stay untouched and without any reaction? There are two possibilities in responding to an argumentum ad hominem - either erase it or express indignation. I cannot comprehend your lenience towards them. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 12:24, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Calling people names and sending them insults contributes nothing to Ivan's furthering his case.
Re "There are two possibilities in responding to an argumentum ad hominem - either erase it or express indignation." This is a fallacy of false dichotomy: you may also (c) ignore ad hominem and insults, and (d) point out that they are ad hominems without responding to insults and ad honimens with insults and ad hominem, and (e) do something novel that I have not thought of. --Dan Polansky 12:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
c) Reticence can always be interpreted as consent, so this is not an option. d) this is included in the second option (indignant response), belike not overtly indignant, but some sort of retort anyway. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 12:47, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
reticence--the avoidance of saying too much--is not consent. Most of the regular Wiktionary contributors write nothing in response to troublemakers, and yet they disagree. And retort--a sharp or witty reply, or one which turns an argument against its originator--is also undeeded; a polite response should suffice. --Dan Polansky 12:51, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


That's 60% in favor per Kassad's criteria, ~65% in favor if we increase the limit to 50 or 300 edits one week prior to the vote's inception. --Ivan Štambuk 02:43, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Or ~5% if we include only native B or C or M or S speakers who understand The Point!
Or ~0% if we, besides that, exclude native not-existing/politicaly-forced-SH(SC) speakers!

And about:

...this has abs. nothing to do with Serbo-Croatian of SFRJ... --Ivan Štambuk 16:20, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

here is The Answer:

... (B, C, S and now M are...) "so-called" languages, fictitious in the 90s... --Ivan Štambuk 18:19, 8 August 2009 (UTC)...

Čestitam! --Jure Grm, 13. day of August in Year of Our Lord Twotousandandnine, at 16:40 o'clock.

What exactly is your "point" Jure? Did I write anything wrong? This is your last warning for trolling. --Ivan Štambuk 16:49, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Replies to replies to my vote (Carolina wren)[edit]

Since the vote is closed, I'm going to reply here rather than there.

Opiaterein, whether certain users are morons or not is beside the matter. The fact is that there are those who have highly charged opinions on this subject. To disregard their views only because they don't share your view on the subject is definitely NPOV.

Ivan Štambuk, I think it is safe to say that anyone who would make use of this dictionary for BCMS is aware of the name dispute. I don't see there being an objective way of solving it. If there were, we'd either be using a single header for Dano-Norwegian (i.e., consistently unify mutually intelligible languages as dialects of the same language) or we'd have separate headers for American and British. The primary difference is that in the case of Dano-Norwegian, the natives are largely united behind treating Danish and Norwegian as separate languages while in the case of American and British, the natives are largely united behind treating. There is no such unity obtainable on this issue at present.

That is why I'd rather accommodate user preferences on the subject. Since that is likely to not be obtainable, rather than impose one viewpoint or the other, I chose neutrality, especially since I know I'll never be editing any of these entries anyway. — Carolina wren discussió 01:13, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

There's a difference between being almost a hundred percent identical and being mutually intelligible. Norwegian and Danish aren't inflected a quarter as much as the Serbo-Croatian languages. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 01:27, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
As I've indicated, my primary concern is what do the people who use the language(s) on a daily basis consider it/them to be. All other concerns are secondary, regardless of the relative merits of the various concerns. — Carolina wren discussió 01:49, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Carolina, natives do not define "languages". One of the popular linguicidal myths here in Croatia is that "every nation has a right to its own language, and to call that language whatever it wants to" (every kroatist has that absurd credo engraved in his subconsciousness, resonating in his mind like a papal dogma). As if the language is something that you can proclaim "sovereignty" of. It's not! Serbo-Croatian is not an exclusive property of either Serbs or Croats, because it's spoken by at least 4 different nations in 4 different countries. It's completely pointless to apply any kind of exclusive ethnic appellation, and especially in Croatian case because historically it's the dialect that has been the least spoken by Croats (by the middle of the 19th century ~80% Croats spoke Kajkavian, Čakavian and Ikavian Štokavian). We can, out of political correctness and courtesy, provide different title such as "BCS" or some other silly abbreviation that would satisfy their nationalistic appetites, but that's the best we should do. The rest of the world does not live in the Balkanic fairy tales of the 18th century nation-states-languages. --Ivan Štambuk 02:09, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Correct. B/C/S have identical phonemic inventory, identical accentuation system (and an extremely elaborate one), and 99% identical inflection (the 1% differences is in different spelling of what is pronounced exactly the same way). Why these completely inapplicable analogies with Scandinavian languages keep popping up again and again? Standard B/C/S are not different languages - they're not even different dialects, they're different literary variants of one and the same dialect - the Neoštokavian. Mutual intelligibility is 100%, is and always will be. --Ivan Štambuk 02:09, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Samogitian is said by some to be a dialect of Lithuanian. I've spoken to Aukštaitian Lithuanians before (note that Aukštaitian is standard Lithuanian spoken in most of the country) who can't make head or tail of what Samogitians are talking about.
Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are rather similar in their written forms, especially Norwegian and Danish. However, spoken Danish and Norwegian vary to the point that training is needed to understand each language by a native of the other.
Moldavian is the same language as Romanian, period. There are dialectal differences between Moldovo-Romanian, Ostetian, Transilvanian, etc, comparable to differences between, say, French as spoken in Paris and rural regions.
Samogitian/Lithuanian comprehension requires training. Danish/Norwegian comprehension requires training, though probably not as much. Romanian/Moldavian requires no training, though the vocabulary differences can be compared to those of US and UK English, like flashlight versus torch. Out of the languages I've mentioned, Romanian, Danish and Norwegian are rather lightly inflected, where Samogitian and Lithuanian are heavily inflected. Compare the entries vyras#Lithuanian and vīrs#Samogitian. Now compare this one example to every Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian entry. And Samogitian is supposed to be a dialect? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 13:02, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I thought I'd made my reasoning clear, but your continued efforts to sway me by appeals to objective facts suggest that I need to be more blunt. It does not matter how similar the dialects/languages are when determining whether there is one language or multiple languages here. If they be 100% similar and Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, and Montenegrins each think they are four separate languages, then they are four languages. If they were only 10% similar (on whatever scale you measure similarity) but the four national groups thought they were speaking a unified Naš jezik, then there would be one language. The dividing line between language and dialect is not determined via objective criteria, but rather via subjective criteria. In this case, there are two strongly held subjective positions. — Carolina wren discussió 18:31, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

And, what happens when not everyone agrees? There are still Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs who think that Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are one language. Do you think these are just stupid people, deceived by objective reality, and their opinions don't count because they're not subjective enough? Similarly, what of Chinese? Many or most Mandarin speakers think they speak the same language as everyone else in China, but many or most people in Shanghai do not think they speak the same language as Mandarin speakers. In figuring out how to handle this, are we to completely disregard objective reality? —RuakhTALK 19:32, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Please don't generalize your conclusions to all the Croats, Bosniaks, Serbs, and Montenegrins. As you can see from the vote page, there are enough of us that that do not live in the world of nationalist fairy tales, and consider the notion of B/C/S as if "different languages" as something completely ridiculous, if not outright insulting to human intelligence. Also you should read the article Ausbausprache, Abstandsprache and Dachsprache - they can only be considered "languages" in political (socolinguistic, "Ausbau") sense, and not in real linguistical sense.
Your statement: The dividing line between language and dialect is not determined via objective criteria, but rather via subjective criteria is rather absurd. I assure you that there are no subjective criteria in real-world dialectology (Incidentally, it is the dialectologists themselves that the most firmly still push the notion of indivisible Serbo-Croatian dialect continuum). The division of standard languages vis-a-vis dialects can indeed be completely orthogonal, so you cat standard B/C/S all being based on one and the same dialect, thus being genetically undoubtedly one language, and "Croatian" and "Serbian" in the broader dialectological sense also encompassing some of the (sub)dialects that are not only non-standard, and sub-literary, but are spoken by Croats and Serbs exclusively (e.g. Kajkavian, Čakavian, Torlakian - all of them dying out, thank god!). Thus you get the bizarre scenario that the Čakavian speaker from Krk and the Kajkavian speaker from Bednja cannot understand a single word of one another, and yet both speak "Croatian", and the Croat, Bosniak and Serb Štokavian speaker from Zagreb, Sarajevo and Banja Luka perfectly understand each other, and yet might claim to speak "different languages". In fact, those proud Croat nationalists that voted for oppose would probably be very much insulted if it were suggested to them that we should separate Čakavian and Kajkavian to different headers, because they're so different from the standard dialect in absolutely every aspect of the grammar (phonology, accentuation, inflection..), that it would be insane to treat them all commonly (it's e.g. like treating Russian and Polish as one language).
What is important to have in mind are the 1) goals of this project 2) means that are available to us to achieve that goal. Do we target native speakers who see Communist boogeymen in everyone who tries (or appears to try) to invalidate their nationalinguistic credo? Or do we target English-speakers who'd "learn three languages at the price of one", as is the motto with which they've seductively try to allure you to enroll to BCS studies program at the University of Kansas [15]. Please think about it dear Carolina. --Ivan Štambuk 19:41, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
We target everyone, that's who we target. If that means inconveniencing editors with largely redundant sections for Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian, so be it. — Carolina wren discussió 00:41, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Tell me, what is the first thing that springs to your mind when you see entries such as govor ? --Ivan Štambuk 00:45, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Well my, Carolina, aren't you lucky there aren't 4 groups of Catalonians who insist they all speak different languages. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 13:12, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Balkan Wars[edit]

Recent surge of natioanalistic activity is turning this farce into a small-scale Balkan War.

Croatian contributor Elephantus (talkcontribs) started cloning existing Serbo-Croatian entries to ==Croatian==. He claims that he can only speak "Croatian", and is not confident enough to clone to other Serbo-Croatian varieties' sections. Since Dijan and I have always strived to maintain the balance of the treatment (as Serbo-Croatian words are no more "Croatian", than they are "Serbian", "Bosnian" or "Montenegrin"), I am thus forced to waste my time copy-pasting his cloned ==Croatian== entries to ==Bosnian== and ==Serbian==.

How ridiculously pointless this effort looks like in the end, you can see for yourself on the entry [[govor]]. The same etymology, the same pronunciation, the same inflection, the same derived terms....but "different languages".

Now, anybody reasonable and incidentally ignorant in Slavic languages would upon seeing that very page think of something like....."What the f***?!".

Someone who has more than casual interest in this project, and is intent on actually learn Serbo-Croatian words, would be not so fortunate. He'd actually have to painstakingly compare every single entry, to see for himself whether there is some hardly noticeable difference in the definition lines, pronunciation, inflection...perhaps some of the derived terms is accented differently...who knows.

It is such persons that all of you who voted against the proposal make it much more difficult to use Wiktionary.

Another recent surge activity is by SpeedyGonsales (talkcontribs). He started adding mostly some neo-Croatian (novohrvatski - a term of mockery nowadays) words, and some words that are today by common people perceived as only "Croatian", as opposed to words that are only "Serbian". He was apparently quite shocked to realize that the word mrkva (carrot), native, inherited Slavic word - was also very much used all over Serbia. "But they don't know what mrkva is, I asked in the restaurant!", screams Speedy. For once, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić knew it very-well when he compiled the first Serbian dictionary in 1818, exclusively based on the corpus of people's oral poetry and tales he collected. It's listed right there on the page 419.

Before the Croatian nationalists invented the so-called "Croatian language" in the 1990s (prior to which they have been celebrating Serbo-Croatian it as "one and single language of our brotherly nations" for a century and a half), there was only a slight polarization in the lexical perceptions. Some words were more of Western provenience, and some were more of Eastern provenience, but the people knew and used both. Even today, 90% of "Serbianisms" are understood by any Croat, and vice versa. Even much before the period of Communist Yugoslavia, when you turn at the beginning of the century, you'll see even a bigger paradox: the most important Croatian writers such as Miroslav Krleža and Antun Gustav Matoš used hundreds of what are today perceived as outright "Serbianisms". And also vice versa! Here you can read my analysis of the 1920 Serbian-English and English-Serbian dictionary, written by British author. It's ridden with "Croatian words". Read it!

(Un)fortunately, the immanent dialectical nature of the Universe has not been broken this time, and in order to make things even more fun, we've had a few new Serbian-oriented contributors.

Our well-known friend Pepsi Lite (talkcontribs) is apparently not that much of "bad guy" is we all thought. He primarily adds new entries on new pages. Native speaker but from diaspora (but apparently not 100%-literate - he makes a small mistakes here and there), but is overall a positive force, and is contributing in good intent new content.

Nikola Smolenski (talkcontribs) primarly adds Serbian translations, but - only in Cyrillic script. Cyrillic script is kind of badge of "Serbdom" (srpstvo); being devised by Vuk to perfectly reflect Serbo-Croatian phonemic inventory; it is still celebrated as one of the pinnacles of Serbian cultural achievements. Many a Serb would say "the most perfect alphabet in the world" (Just try Googling that term alone in Serbo-Croatian "najsavršenije pismo na svetu" :))

But what is the problem with that? To put it plainly, in the words of the author of a recent article in the popular Serbian daily Večernje novosti, "Serbian Cyrillic is at its last breath".[16] A week before (04/07/2009), the same author wrote another article dealing with the problem of slow but steady extinction of Serbian Cyrillic in the last 20 years, stating: "From cultural and national hallmark, Cyrillic today became an endangered species, being threatened to become completely extinct".[17]

How and why is that so is not of particular importance right now (those who know Serbo-Croatian can read the articles), but the practical concerns for this project are immense, if we are to focus only on Cyrillic script as "proper Serbian", as Nikola has been doing, or renaming or Cyrillic-script based ==Serbo-Croatian== entries to ==Serbian==, as Robert Ullmann has proposed.

I remember reading somewhere (don't remember where exactly, so I cannot confirm the exact number) that 90% of all diaspora Serbs cannot read Cyrillic at all, or cannot read it fluently. Hence, by insisting on only "proper Serbian Cyrillic", out of whatever motivations (nationalistic, or practical), we are in fact making the job harder for our most likely userbase of Serbian entries.

To sum it all up: so what exactly have we achieved by not passing this vote? We've introduced more and more of an immense amount of completely absurd and ridiculous redundancy, by drawing "contributors" such as Elephantus whose sole interest is to clone existing ==Serbo-Croatian== sections into ==Croatian==. We've drawn at least one good-faith contributor (Pepsi Lite), and a few of those that are more interested in proving the "separateness" of their beloved national language from the other 3 (4).

This last enterprise is pretty much pointless, unless Croatian language planners (I prefer the term chauvinists) manage to change the conjugation of the basic verbs such as "to be", "to have" or "to give", or e.g. invent different endings in genitive singular o-stems. And that is, of course, impossible. In fact, this whole surge of activity aiming to disprove the oneness of Serbo-Croatian has turned to tragicomic senselessness, epitomized in the entries such as govor.

At least there is one good thing to all that - the sooner we add all those words which are exclusive to either of the variants (some 4-5000, at best), the more time we'll have on adding 200 000 remaining words which are shared ^_^

And now excuse me while I waste more of my time bringing back the balance to the Force. --Ivan Štambuk 16:44, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

You forgot to mention an important fact: you yourself created most Croatian word entries (which I thank you for) and then, in a fit of something I don't really understand ( :-) ), deleted them and put Serbo-Croatian instead (which I don't care for). Now, I'd prefer to do other things in Wiktionary, but as a start, I feel that the 2000+ deleted Croatian entries should be restored (it's my mother tongue, I kinda like it and use it every day :-)). I can understand Bosnian and Serbian pretty well, but I'd be hard pressed to put together more than a few sentences in what I'd term proper Bosnian or Serbian, and I'm certainly not a native speaker of those languages, lacking the nuanced knowledge that comes with being one.
Regarding your example word [[govor]], well, actually, 'govor/hovor' is pretty similar in almost all Slavic languages with similar meanings etc. Slavic languages haven't diverged as much as Germanic. --Elephantus 18:25, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I didn't "delete" them, I merely reformatted them as ==Serbo-Croatian==, as they're equall valid Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin etc. Before we chose to pursue the Serbo-Croatian unification paths, Dijan usually copied the ==Croatian== entries I created to Bosnian and Serbian, and also in Cyrillic script (which prior to the unified approach I didn't create at all).
I really don't like the abusive language of "deletion" you use (It reminds me of RU's mode of discussing). No content was "deleted". Instead, it was merely reformatted and retagged as "this word is also valid Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin".
Your comment on the ability to only speak/write "Croatian" is absurd. Perhaps you might convince some casual reader ignorant on the issue, but anyone seeing tens of thousands of words having identical inflection, pronunciatino and meanings should be sooner or later convinced otherwise.
Yeah, the reflex of Common Slavic * govorъ is similar in all the other Slavic languages. The thing is that all the other ones have different pronunciation, different inflection, different derived terms...of the inherited word. In B/C/S/SC it's all the same, as it is one and the same language. There is absolutely no valid comparison. --Ivan Štambuk 19:03, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I oppose merged Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian words into one unified Serbo-Croatian as I want one day for Wiktionary to be a base for hunspell/myspell/aspell word lists as the current /usr/share/myspell/dicts/sr_RS.dic sadly lacks more complex words. I mainly translate english wikipedia articles to serbian and would like to use spell checker dictionary entries that do not contain orthographically incorrect Croatian words in a serbian article (tko, zrakomlat, gledatelj, etc.). With your proposal it makes language separation very difficult. If you are bothered wasting your time writing Croatian entries knowing that they are used in Bosnian/Serbian, then you shouldn't be as a bot can easily be written to take whatever common B/C/S words exist and create duplicates itself.--Pepsi Lite 22:41, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
The wordlist for Serbian (either Ekavian or Ijekavian) could easily be extracted from the SC entries that abide by the proposed policy. Exclusively Croatian words such as the ones you mentioned (zrakomlat is BTW neologism absolutely nobody uses, except out of mockery) should all be marked as (Croatian) in the definition lines, and they would be excluded while generating Serbian- or Bosnian-only wordlist from the database dump. It's fairly trivial to do that.
BTW, I also think that using Wiktionary solely as a basis for orthographically correct modern standard Serbian words is a very much inappropriate, because we also add what would be from the perspective of modern literary language perceived as "incorrect spellings", if they are used by enough of people. We don't focus exclusively on the ideal norm of the literary language, but on the actual usage, supported by citations (see WT:CFI). Similarly for words that are today rarely used - you'd probably wouldn't want to see the word tisuća in your Serbian wordlist, despite the fact that it has centuries of attested usage in Serbian literary monuments (attested in e.g. 14th-century Dušanov zakonik).
As for your remark on bot-syncing: we are not creating entries for all the eternity. It's easy for e.g. Elephantus to simply copy/paste existing expanded ==Serbo-Croatian== entries as ==Croatian== - but these were not created at once, and resulted from gradual improvement over the years, with many a painful hour wasted. Every entry might as well reach 20K of content, if every section allowed by ELE would be added. And exactly in this "gradual improvement" type of editing - which is 99.9% of all wiki-activtiy, is where the separate treatment completely breaks. If we allowed for all of the B/C/S/M/SC entries in all of the allowed scripts, that would be 8 (in the best case, jat varieties excluded) more-or-less identical entries to waste tome syncing manually. You add pronunciation to one entry - you need to copy/paste it to 7 other entries, at least one of which is on different page (in the other script). Syncing 2 Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic & Latin entries is a nightmare itself, let alone the total of 8 of them. (And rest assured that the "Montengerin language" is steadily but unstoppably coming, and when it finally gets ISO code (according to my sources, this fall), then we'll have a complete circus, as soon as some proud Montenegrin starts copy/pasting thousands of entries as ==Montenegrin==, in 2 scripts.) --Ivan Štambuk 23:48, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
But there still remains a problem with contributions. I don't speak Croatian and don't follow ye newly added vocabulary. How am I supposed to know if some word is Croatian or not. Ye Croats are always adding new words (or using some archaic serbian words) to make your language as different from contemporary serbian as possible. Ye Croats also break into sweat on the merest mention of ekavian and cyrillic entries. We serbs have our own well defined orthography and would not like it to be polluted with newly minted Croatian crap. Also štokavian is not a Croatian dialect. Kajkavian and Čakavian are Croatian. You guys willingly abandoned Kajkavian & Čakavian and now serve us insults that we serbs are practicing linguistic genocide because ye guys decided on your own accord in 1850 to take up serbian štokavian dialect. It is better to keep them separate as not every body knows all 3 languages.--Pepsi Lite 01:32, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, dear lord :D
So essentially, the only objection that you have against the proposal is "not to pollute Serbian language" ? --Ivan Štambuk 01:40, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Pepsi Lite, please choose your words. "newly minted Croatian crap". This expression is an insult on national basis.
"Also štokavian is not a Croatian dialect. Kajkavian and Čakavian are Croatian. You guys willingly abandoned Kajkavian & Čakavian..." These sentences belong to greaterserbianist texts ("that's not their dialect, but our, so we have right to annex their land"), not to a serious encyclopedian project.
Wiktionary is not a forum. Kubura 01:49, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

You Croats started this "linguistic genocide" insults. I don't have a problem having entries in "hsb" macrolanguage, since "Serbo-Croatian" doesn't bother me, but it greatly bothers you guys (Bosniacs aren't too fussed either from looking at the voting).--Pepsi Lite 02:02, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Do I need to block you for inciting racial/national tensions? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 02:10, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually Robert Ullmann starting the abusive "linguistic genocide" rhetoric outside the wiki. He is not a Croat, and he certainly does not represent Croats. These regulars from Croatian Wikipedia are mostly right-wing extremists, and I assure you that you the common people do not think that way. As for the judging from the votes: in case you haven't noticed, some 4-5 Croats voted for the proposal, including its main initiator (myself). --Ivan Štambuk
If you want my approval for this merging, the the best course is to call it "Serbo-Croatian macrolanguage" with "hbs" tag, and only include those words that are truly identical, excluding words such as (tko, gledatelj, etc.).--Pepsi Lite 02:35, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I like that idea. Except for the "macrolanguage" part, which is I see little point including ("macrolanguage" is generally completely obscure term; it's more like SIL's technical jargon than a term used in general linguistics). Also, it would be very difficult to decide what is the "identical word" and what is not: tko spelling has been used historically by Serbian writers (ko descends from earlier tko), and ko is also very much used by Croats colloquially, and has abundant literary usage by Croatian writers, even modern ones (c.f. Wikisource search results). I'd rather see it all treated as ==Serbo-Croatian==, except for some words that are really different (e.g. some Croatian-only neologisms, but not trivially different words such as by jat reflex, kemija : hemija, sol : so, suh : suv etc.)--Ivan Štambuk 02:47, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I oppose omitting the word macrolanguage, since "Serbo-Croatian language" is dead since 1991, used basically in Sarajevo 1945-1991.--Pepsi Lite 02:55, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
No, macrolanguage would make it look too obscure (and cumbersome, who'd wanna type Serbo-Croatian macrolanguage all the time). What do you think of the terms Bosian/Croatian/Serbian, BCS, B/C/S, ? --Ivan Štambuk 11:29, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I hate B/C/S even more + w:ISO 639 macrolanguage does not use B/C/S name. B/C/S has very negative political connotations and hardly anybody would accept the name. Serbo-Croatian macrolanguage is the best name to use to distinguish it from the historical Serbo-Croatian language. The other name would be "štokavian derived languages". I say this because wiktionary should include historical languages and this would simply confuse things. How is arabic macrolanguage handled anyway (differences between egyptian, saudi, etc)?--Pepsi Lite 12:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
The differences between Egyptian Arabic and Iraqi Arabic are a lot more pronounced than those between the Serbo-Croatian languages. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 12:59, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) We use simply ==Arabic== as synonymous with Modern Standard Arabic. Regional Arabic varieties can have their own L2 (e.g. ==Egyptian Arabic==), but their creation is strongly discouraged except in words in which they differ from MSA. I don't know much of Arabic dialects, but I suppose that regional variation in pronunciation of terms is fairly regular, and could be handled in the main entry, within the ===Pronunciation=== header, as we currently handle varieties of English (primarily British and American).

Yeah I know that "BCS" has negative political connotations in ex-YU countries, primarily because it was introduced by ICTY. However, that is the only English-language term beside Serbo-Croatian that has any usage at all, and is endorsed by several recent university-level English manuals and handbooks.

Millosh also suggested ==Neoshtokavian==, but that is extremely obscure term used only in dialectology books. Plus, we're not focusing only on Neoštokavian dialects (we cover both the standard languages and substandard dialects). I would hate to exclude rich dialectal data. --Ivan Štambuk 13:16, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Some outer sources[edit]

Professor emeritus Josip Silić Josip Silić Scientist details wrote in the scientific magazine Lahor [18] LAHOR: journal for Croatian as mother, second and foreign lanugage, Vol. 1. No. 1., Sep 2006
[19] Josip Silić and participants of HIDIS (HIDIS - znanstveni skup o hrvatskome kao drugome i stranome jeziku)
Ime hrvatskoga jezika u svijetu - proglas Ime hrvatskoga jezika u svijetu - proglas/Name of Croatian language in the World - Declaration
"Uz to: ni u kojemu se slučaju spomenuti jezici ne smiju voditi pod jednim (općim) imenom (srpskohrvatskim). Oni se i na tuzemnim i na inozemnim sveuˇciliˇstima moraju voditi kao samostalni slavenski jezici.".
Translation: We must not put above mentioned languages (Croatian language, Serbian language, Montenegrin language and Bosniac language) under the same (general) name (Serbo-Croatian). In no case. These languages must be considered as independent Slavic languages on domestic and foreign universities.
Josip Silić is University professor, Ivane. And what are you? Kubura 16:09, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

What are you? An editor from another branch of Wikimedia with no standing in our community who thinks they can talk to our long-time editors however they want. I don't want to have to warn you again.
Mr. Silić, in your quote, has given no reason why they should be separate. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and follow your little link and try to find an actual reason, but I don't think there will be one. At least not a good one. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 16:17, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
There is no reason. They simply proclaim separate "Croatian language", and imagine that the rest of the world has to follow illusion that what was for 150 years (since the time of first codification) treated as one language, Serbo-Croatian, are now suddenly 4 "different languages". --Ivan Štambuk 16:31, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Silić is paid to write that nationalist crap. who is he compared to e.g. Wayles Browne, Kenneth Naylor, Vladimir Dybo, Frederik Kortlandt, Jay Jasanoff and hundreds of others world's top linguists that use the term Serbo-Croatian? Nobody. --Ivan Štambuk 16:30, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me, Opiaterein, but neither Wiktionary nore WMF support hierarchy. We support a trust-based community, open and welcoming to new contributors. I would prefer if you did not attack new contributors, and behaved more appropriately. - Amgine/talk 16:38, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Haste makes waste. Forgive me for not being particularly invested in catering to your preferences. I've been warning Kubura and numerous other users about their behaviour. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 16:44, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, haste does make waste. But you *have* the trust of the community. You have nothing to prove in that regard, except that you can encourage appropriate behaviour rather than mimic misbehaviour. - Amgine/talk 16:53, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you suppose that asking these people nicely is going to change their ways? Not likely. Asking them impolitely probably won't, either. But they can't say they weren't warned, if they don't stop and I get tired enough of their shit to hand out blocks. I think Ivan already has enough to do without worrying about handling their nonsense, and I personally don't have the patience or desire to word all my warnings with sugar and delicacy. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:46, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
In what way does being non-offensive - I'm not suggesting polite - cost you anything? That is, is it more effort to be non-offensive than to be offensive? Gratuitous insult may be described as disruption to the community/project goals. To paraphrase your own statement: "An editor from Wiktionary with standing in our community who thinks xe can talk to our new and future editors however they want." New contributors - even those with a proven POVior history on other projects - can provide valuable content. - Amgine/talk 19:59, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anything in my original post that I would consider offensive or insulting. Whether they can provide valuable content is largely irrelevant. Thousands of people could provide valuable content. My concern is more logical in nature. That is, I strongly prefer editors who use facts, knowledge, logic and reason than their national bigotry in their decision-making process. I have no problem biting the newbies if they strike me as having prejudices, such as those displayed by Kubura, who attempts to belittle Ivan because he has a different point of view. On top of that, he tries to provide a source that doesn't even back itself up with reasons. Simply "this must not be done!" That I find insulting. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 21:18, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Very well, if you cannot see anything offensive or insulting, allow me to be more blunt. You are only a member of the community who thinks you can speak to other members of the community any way you want. I don't want to have to warn you again. (implied threat of blocking is real.) - Amgine/talk 21:39, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Kubura is hardly a member of the community. There are only certain members I am distinctly unpleasant to, and for the most part I avoid them well. However, if you think that blocking me over what I said earlier to Kubura is really prudent, perhaps I should add you to the least of people I'd rather avoid. One administrator banning another over the way one administrator gives warnings - I'm afraid if you really do intend to ban me, I'm going to need a more specific reason, with some examples of my bad behaviour in context.— [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 21:57, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Amgine, if you cannot see anything cunningly offensive to common sense in the way Kubura has been discussing, you're not the right person to warn anyone of being offensive to him. This whole thread started as a pathetic attempt to discredit me, as who am I to voice my opinion against the big-shot uni professor Silić, by linking to PDF which is a nationalistic proclamation to political action in the "defense" of Croatian language name (as if the change of signifier has an impact on real-world referent). He uses the same mode of discussion at WP, "who are you to be against the professor Brozović" (former communist apparatchik who sang praise of common Serbo-Croatian standard), "who are you to be against the XYZ", despite the fact that I have been providing not my opinion as evidence, but the evidence of external sources. So far most of Kubura's edits here are either very contentious or very disruptive, and any kind of offensive action against him is hardly overreacting. --Ivan Štambuk 23:00, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and why don't you say exactly the same thing to Kubura? How do you interpret "Josip Silić is University professor, Ivane. And what are you?" if not direct attack and segregation on the basis of external trust? --Ivan Štambuk 16:41, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I would interpret that as an outsider, who has little or no understanding of the Wiktionary community. How did you interpret it? - Amgine/talk 16:53, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I would interpret it as a direct attack, and an attempt to diminish my irrefutable arguments by committing logical fallacies such as argument from authority. Kubura is well-versed in this type of discussing, judging from my experience with him on several other wikiprojects. --Ivan Štambuk 16:58, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
And how should an administrator respond to that? - Amgine/talk 17:00, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
No different than a non-administrator: retort and refute (see below). --Ivan Štambuk 18:41, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
"Fuck you you ignorant johnny-come-lately" is a retort, and one I can reasonably make in this discussion by your logic. Everything may be refuted, even irrefutably (note the elegant math proofs of the Flat Earth Society.) However, an administrator is held responsible for xyr actions as to whether they support or harm the project/community. It is assumed an administrator will avoid giving offense within reason. In short, the positions presented on this page are moot and irrelevant, appear to be irreconcilable, and so should be ignored. This page, in fact, serves as a honey pot - a tool for admins to identify intransigent users who should be targeted for extra examination of edits.
But instead you are engaging in verbal warfare. - Amgine/talk 18:54, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Honeypot ^_^ I track all the SC entries in my watchlist (28,281 pages and still counting). This talkpage should be reserved for discussions on certain issues pertaining to the proposed policy. In particular, Kubura raised the notion of the need to promote the Croatian language name, citing a certain PDF, and explicitly calling me ("Silić says so-and-so, and who are you Ivan to suggest otherwise"). It was of utmost importance for me to engage in "verbal warfare", as you call it, to refute the necessity and practice of using the term Serbo-Croatian, from the very PDF Kubura used as an argument. In that case, both myself and the goals promoted by the draft policy (the oneness of Serbo-Croatian, and the practical concerns to retain it, despite the political pressures from Croatian nationalists) were defended, in quite civilized and decent tones if I might add. I didn't use the f-word, or called anybody "ignorant".
In general, I very much approve the positive aspects recent surge of nationalist-driven but ultimately futile activity aiming to disprove the oneness of SC. We are getting a lot of Croatian-only entries, for once. Their number is limited, and the sooner we add all of them, the more time we have left to focus on shared terms. If you look from the strictly utilitarian perspective, this vote drew thousands of new quality edits in a few months that wouldn't have otherwise been made in a few years. So despite the harsh words exchanged from time to time, it's very much a positive force in the universe overall. Even if we never settle the issue, the process of settling itself will be beneficent content-wise. --Ivan Štambuk 20:57, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
(Undenting partially) This is the talk page for a failed proposal. There is nothing here to be defended. Nor is there anything requiring attack. I personally do not see that you have any need to engage in verbal warfare, though clearly you feel differently. I agree the proposal has engendered valuable activity, which will eventually be modified far beyond any original contributor's expectations, and probably in manners they would disapprove of. Including, of course, your own contributions. - Amgine/talk 21:39, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
In case you haven't noticed, the stuff discussed in 250K of this talkpage reaches far beyond the original policy. Since the policy itself will be reiterated when the time comes, this page might as well suit the purpose or providing a place to discuss things related to all Wiktionary-related Serbo-Croatian language business. I see absolutely no problem with that.
As for the modification beyond expectations - common Serbo-Croatian treatment will "win" in the long run, either in exclusive or inclusive form of treatment, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Entries such as govor are living monuments of petty Balkanic nationalism. And there'll be thousands of these. Tens of thousands. Sooner or later nationalists will get discouraged by the futility of their efforts to separate the indivisible. In the meantime, their engagement would be very much appreciated ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 23:00, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I won't comment on the content of this talk page - there's no discussion, just multiple position statements sfaics. The assumption that one or another of those positions will "win ... in the long run" is, likewise imo, specious. Most everything here will be recorded eidetically in perpetuity, and how it will appear in fifty years, a thousand, is not something I'm willing to speculate upon.
All I can say is there's a fairly famous piece of poetry which, since the 1950s, has divided a nation by an insertion of one small phrase: One nation indivisible became One nation, under God, indivisble. - Amgine/talk 00:03, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Which reminds of an aphorism made by my favorite Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža: "Croats and Serbs are two people divided by one god and one language." sounds a bit more powerful in its native SC phrasing, then in English translation --Ivan Štambuk 01:09, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
This is a wise quote. Could you please quote it in the original SC for the users learning it? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 05:51, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Dva naroda koje dijeli jedan jezik i jedan bog or Dva naroda podijeljena jednim jezikom i jednim bogom (not sure which one exactly) --Ivan Štambuk 05:59, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

My translation of the first few sentences of the paper Kubura provided a link to:

At the first scientific [?] conference dedicated to Croatian language as the second, and Croatian a foreign language, we found out that Croatian language is still treated on some [I'd say most] universities (and not only universities) under the name Serbo-Croatian. For example, on some Italian universities; members of the conference from Italy told us that that name is pretty much standard in Italy and that it will, so they say, continued to be used.

LoL ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 16:39, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

An external opinion, by User:Zocky[edit]

I'm not active on Wiktionary, so I don't presume that my voice means anything here apart from the content of my posts. That is as it should be. OTOH, I have years of experience with (and observation of) dealing with this issue, so my perspective may be useful. If you can use it as a skeleton for structured discussion, or at least as starting points, I'll be happy with my contribution.

There are three issues involved:

  1. is there such a thing as "Serbo-Croatian language", or are there 3 (now 4) separate languages?
  2. if there is such a thing, what should it be called?
  3. if there is such a thing, how should it be treated in a dictionary?

Is there such a thing?[edit]

(1) is a never-ending source of confusion, POV-pusing and general enmity. There are several ways to answer the question:

1a) define "language" as Ausbausprache - in this case, there are clearly 4 separate languages
1b) define "language" as "language standard" - in this case, there are also clearly 4 separate languages
1c) define "language" in genetic terms, as "a vernacular dialect" - in this case there are also 4 separate languages, but they're Shtokavian, Kajkavian, Chakavian and Torlakian
1d) define "language" as "vernacular dialect used as standard language" - in this case, there is only one language, Shtokavian, or as countless sources in many languages call it, "Serbo-Croatian".

The usual enmity comes from (sometimes wilful) failure to agree which definition should apply to a discussion.

But for our purposes at this moment, it suffices to prove that (1d) is a case in which "Serbo-Croatian" is a valid linguistic concept. This is entirely straight-forward to do - regardless of the politics that were involved in the standardization of the vernacular among Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Montenegrins, and regardless of common or diverse genetic origins of the vernacular, there remains the simple fact that they intentionally standardized on the same sub-dialect and the same orthography. That same sub-dialect, together with the identical orthography, clearly comprises some sort of linguistic entity that can be described and studied. (This does not automatically mean that it should apply in Wiktionary, so read on.)

What should it be called?[edit]

So if we agree that the linguistic entity exists, we should decide what to call it. Here are some of the options

2a) BCMSxyz (Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian/whateverian) - my personal favourite, but it's unlikely to gain general currency.
2b) B/C/S, B/C/M/S and other variants - One problem with these is that they're not really names, but rather acronyms. They are impossible to use in a conversation, or even in text in expanded form with a straight face.
2c) Shtokavian or Neo-Shtokavian - makes most sense, but has near-0 usage for the meaning.
2d) Serbo-Croatian/Croato-Serbian - is inaccurate, and some people find it offensive, but is overwhelmingly the most commonly used term.

I personally dislike the term Serbo-Croatian from the logical POV. If nothing else, it excludes Montenegrins and Bosniaks. So my serious personal preference is for "Shtokavian".

Unfortunately, the case for supplanting "Serbo-Croatian" with a different term is doomed to failure, both in face of overwhelming usage and since the logical arguments against it can be dismissed with a slew of counter-examples where completely analogous terms are used without anyone batting an eyelid.

So, for better or for worse, we're stuck with the name "Serbo-Croatian" for the linguistic entity comprised of the common grammar and orthography used by the standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian languages. It would be infinitely valuable if everyone involved could bring themselves to concede the above points, without prejudicing the answer to the third question.

How to treat it in a dictionary[edit]

This brings us to (3) - how should this be treated in a dictionary. Should this "Serbo-Croatian" entity have some sort of presence in a dictionary, or not? Specifically, how should it be treated in a multi-lingual dictionary?

There are two possible approaches: (a) keep them separate, like other mutually intelligible languages with separate standards, e.g. Bulgarian and Macedonian. (b) combine them, like other languages with varying standards based on the same dialect, e.g. German or English.

Ausbausprache names, common usage in current media, etc. point to (a) being the correct logical approach. There is also the not-so small argument that though all the standards share grammar, core vocabulary and orthography (and are therefore linguistically a single language by any reasonable definition), dictionaries are about vocabulary, and the vocabulary in each of the standards differs in varying degrees.

Practicality points to (b). Comparison with the practice for German and English shows that dictionaries can successfully represent varying closely related standards as a single language. What's more, such dictionaries are more useful than would be dictionaries of German that excluded all the words that are not commonly used in Germany.

There are other issues that pertain specifically to Wiktionary. What looks better on wiki pages? Does ease of use for users of paper dictionaries translate into ease of use for users of Wiktionary, and to what degree? What's easier for the contributors? Which representation of linguistic data is better normalized, and thus likely to lead to faster achievement of The Goal with least wasted effort? Can some issues be resolved (semi)automatically, with templates and/or bots? Does the wording of headings have to follow common usage of language names? Etc. Etc.

I won't presume to have answers to these questions, being a humble chance visitor. But I do hope that you, the authors of Wiktionary, can get over the first two issues and concentrate on coming up with a consensus or at least a tolerable compromise for the third issue.

Kind regards, Zocky 20:08, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, Zocky!
Yes, the existence of separate dictionaries is as valid argument for "different languages", as is the existence of separate dictionaries for e.g. German, Swiss and Austrian German, Brazillian and European Portuguese, or e.g. British, American and Canadian English (OED).
As it turns out, unfortunately, people are likely to succumb to FUD promulgated by nationalists, then to their own common sense. Here we have every day the type of discussions of how certain words or phrases mean different things in American, Canadian, British and Australian English, but for SC - people are more eager to "prove" that the trivial semantic shifts are somehow god-given evidence for the inherent language "separateness". And it's always Croats trying to "prove" these things, playing on the old card of Communist self-victimization, apparently "forgetting" (= deliberately lying) that SC standardization preceded Communist Yugoslavia by a century.
Yes, we focus primarily on the Neoštokavian, i.e. the standard idiom. Čakavian/Kajkavian/Torlaian are only of minimal interest, and if necessary, we may allocate them different languages headers altogether. All of them are en route to extinction, thank god. --Ivan Štambuk 20:39, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Ivan. Your primary problem in this discussion is lack of tact, and the tendency to repeat arguments that everybody has already heard. I'll offer you two advices, do with them what you may: (1) replies to statements of opinion should be shorter than the original statements, otherwise the debate will tend to turn into a flamewar, (2) since the audience for these comments is the readership of the page (and not the person to whose comment you're replying), it's in most circumstances best to avoid using the second person in them. Friendly (and short) messeges like this one, which hopefully stand very little chance of being misconstrued as flaming, are an obvious exception.
For starters, this discussion should be re-framed from nationalists vs. language-killers into splitters vs. lumpers. The arguments for each side should then be presented using appropriate linguistic terms, and evaluated as per their usefulness for achieving The Goal of the project.
If both sides can do that, they will help the uninvolved neutrals form an informed opinion, and who knows, may even persuade each other into changing minds or at least compromising. Zocky 20:55, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I've presented my arguments many times, and how they relate as useful to both the contributors and the Wiktionary target audience. Essentially these are:
  1. It's easier to maintain 2 than 8 identical (or basically identical) language sections. Entries such as govor are utterly ridiculous, (and missing one ==Montenegrin== section, and Cyrillic spelling говор with both ==Serbian==, ==Serbo-Croatian== and ==Montenegrin==, and also optionally ==Bosnian==). Wiki-activity is 99% gradual improvement effort, and gradually improving 2 sections (which can be automated) is easier than gradually improving 8 sections spread on possibly more than 2 pages.
  2. It's impossible to learn "Croatian" and not "Bosnian" or "Serbian", and these are in 99% of cases with English-language audience (e..g uni courses) always taught together as one language with regional variation, hence the end-users who'd find Wiktionary interface more resembling to that of professional SC dictionaries such as Morton-Benson would be much more satisfied, rather than waste time chasing trivial differences when they occur among different sections, often spread out on various pages do would not link to each other.
  3. All Serbo-Croatian national varieties have 99% identical grammar (same phonology, accentual system, inflection), strictly linguistically they're one undoubtedly language, and it makes sense to treat them similar to how we treat other pluricentric languages with national variants (e.g. German, English, Portuguese).
  4. The strict modern "standard languages" which were invented in the 1990s perspective is not compatible with our rather loose criteria for inclusion. 98% of what are today perceived as kroatizmi can be attested in usage by Serbs and Bosniaks, and the same can be said for srbizmi and Croatian writers (if you've read any early 20th century works, and earlier, you know that very well). Hence, the overlap would be much greater, beyond the wildest dreams of any nationalist.
The other side has presented exactly nothing, other than "you are anti-Croat Greater Serbian genocidal Yugonostalgic war crime killers", and similar disgusting gibberish. So you can imagine my periodical frustration when dealing which such folks (many of whom cannot even speak the language) --Ivan Štambuk 21:39, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
These sound reasonable enough (though I'd still prefer if you simply walked away from the shouting match, instead of refering to it and thus perpetuating it).
It would be helpful if someone could also draw up a list of arguments for the opposing view and argued for them in good faith. It would be useful for your own understanding of the problem if you tried to do that yourself. Zocky 22:15, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if I can make a comparison with standard Chinese Mandarin in PRC/Taiwan again. Native speakers call them differently in China and Taiwan Putonghua / Guoyu but in English, both variants are conveniently called Mandarin. The dictionaries treat them as one language despite script and vocabulary differences. There is an issue is with the name "Serbo-Croatian", which antagonises some nationalists. Anatoli 11:07, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Not really. Here's the story from the Croatian perspective:

1: Before 1918[edit]

In the mid-to-late 19th century, two language communities, Croatian and Serbian, almost independently of each other, adopted similar Shtokavian dialects (some would say two variants of a single dialect) as their standard languages, but disagreed on several details (Croats preferred Ijekavian dialect which to them was the language of refined Dubrovnik poetry, Serbs in Serbia chose Ekavian, as Ijekavian was to them a low-prestige, peasant speech). Further development of the two standard languages (registers, many syntax points and non-basic vocabulary) was also done rather independently, without much communication or coordination, so that by 1918, when the two standards were pretty much complete, they were so different as to make it impossible to write almost any sentence of appreciable length without at least one (and often more) differences clearly marking it as Croatian or Serbian. This, in my opinion, makes the differences not insignificantly larger than those between English, German or Spanish variants, but smaller than, say, between written Czech and Slovak. At the same time, differences didn't present an obstacle to mutual intelligibility on a basic level. They were multi-faceted, i.e. lexical, grammatical, orthographical etc.

Croats called their language Croatian, and Croatian publishing companies printed a number of dictionaries, grammars, orthography manuals etc. (e.g. the first English-Croatian dictionary by Šandor Lochmer, printed in Senj in 1906, 1112 pages, very good work, now in PD, available on-line). Serbs did the same for Serbian, and at the time they wrote it exclusively in Cyrillic script.

2: The First Yugoslavia and WWII[edit]

Then, of course, came the founding of the Yugoslav state, which was at first enthusiastically greeted by all parties (Croatia was previously an autonomous part of Austria-Hungary, Serbia saw this as an expansion of its territory), but soon the Croatian enthusiasm waned as the Serbs seeked to exploit their numerical superiority to outvote Croats on a large number of issues. This was mirrored in language politics, as Serbs didn't much care for Croatian language, which they mostly saw as a regional dialect. Croats didn't much care for Serbian either, and saw it as peculiar and somewhat barbaric, but the seat of government was in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and with Serbian majorities in parliaments, it's rather clear which side was favored by the government.

Soon it was official policy that there is only one language, and that it should be "unified" as much as possible, mainly by removing Croatian words and promoting hitherto Serbian ones to "general". Using Croatian, and expressing any overt pro-Croatian sentiments in general was liable to get one fired from government-controlled jobs, such as education, administration, police etc. Croats, of course, didn't like the new policy much, and tried to maintain their language. In 1939, the Yugoslav government relented and gave Croatia a measure of autonomy, which was promptly used to reintroduce Croatian language as it was in 1918.

During the Second World War (which in Yugoslavia didn't begin until 1941), the Nazis installed puppet Fascist governments in Croatia and Serbia. The Croatian fascists tried to change Croatian to make it even more different from Serbian, but the attempt didn't succeed, with most Croats preferring a slightly modified 1918 (and 1939) Croatian to the 1942 release.

3: The Second Yugoslavia[edit]

In the Communist-controlled Yugoslavia founded in 1945, at first, it was all fairness and respect in regard to what was by now becoming "the language question", with four official languages: Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian and Macedonian. But, by 1954, the centralising forces gained ground (probably as a result of increased external threat from Stalin's Soviet Union, with any displays of disunity being seen as weakening the country), and the result was the signing of "Novi Sad agreement" by a number of Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosnian and Croatian linguists proclaiming a single language, an effort predictably initiated by Serbian Matica (central cultural-scientific institution from the 19th century), but with the official approval from the Communist party (which also meant that opposing it publicly wasn't very helpful to one's career prospects). This was followed by the compilation of a unified orthography handbook, and later an attempted dictionary, but the effort failed when the Croats noticed that the agreement was being used as an excuse by many federal institutions (seated in Belgrade again, in a repeated nightmare) to switch exclusively to Serbian written in Latin script, and dump Croatian altogether.

So, in 1967 a large number of prominent Croatian linguists and writers tried to counter the agreement with the "Declaration on the name and status of the Croatian literary language", demanding the reversal of the one-language policy. The Communist party publicly condemned this as a nationalist outburst but silently conceded the point and from that time on all federal institutions had to communicate with the public in Croatian, too. For a short period of time, Croats were free to use whatever they wanted and name it as they liked, and predictably they reverted to the 1918, 1939, 1945-1954 Croatian language. But all this came to a halt in 1971 when the Yugoslav government cracked down on what it perceived as "out-of-control Croatian nationalism". In the process, a complete print run of a Croatian orthography handbook "Hrvatski pravopis" was seized by the police and destroyed, save for a few copies which were smuggled to London and printed there. Again, people who were too openly Croatian during the 1967-1971 period were imprisoned, fired from their jobs or demoted. The party imposed a freeze, a sort of status-quo on the language question, and the language in Croatia had to be officially called "Croatian or Serbian", which didn't prevent the whole population from calling it Croatian and maintaining the language with all its peculiarities.

4: After 1991[edit]

By now it's clear why, when Yugoslavia came apart in 1991, the situation basically reverted to the pre-1918 one with two languages existing side-by-side, speakers of both happily ignoring the other. But the efforts by the early independent Croatian governments to "purify" the language further also mostly failed, with people preferring the Croatian they already knew. It's also clear why Croats have a problem with their language being called Serbo-Croatian, or being lumped together with Serbian. Serbs, on the other hand, were much more receptive to the idea of a common language, but mostly on the lip-service level, and were as unwilling as Croats, save for a few minor exceptions, to relinquish their own specific words, spellings and grammar forms. So the standard language most Serbs used and found prestigious from 1918 to 1991 was the standard Serbian written in Belgrade, but renamed Serbo-Croatian. One important difference between the Serbian in 1918 and today is the use of Latin (Roman) script, which is now used in parallel with Cyrillic. A sort of "contextual digraphia" exists in Serbia today, akin to the one existing in Germany before WWII, with Cyrillic being used in certain "high" ("national") contexts, and Latin in "low" contexts, such as commercials, business, science etc.

Bosnian Muslims, now known as Bosniaks, codified the written language used in Bosnia since 1945 as Bosnian language. This was a "middle road" between Serbian used in Serbia and Croatian, with the vocabulary and grammar mostly Serbian, but using Ijekavian dialect and written in Latin. The situation was made a bit more complex by Bosnian Serbs, who also use Ijekavian, but with a stronger admixture of Serbian words, write it in Cyrillic and call it Serbian language (difference from Serbian in Serbia being mostly in Ijekavian and the stronger use of Cyrillic). The future Montenegrin is likely to be mostly similar to Bosnian, with Ijekavian, Serbian vocabulary and grammar and Latin script, with lip-service possibly being paid to Cyrillic.

--Elephantus 11:53, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Elephantus is, essentially, lying in a manner of most Croatian linguist-historical revisionists. I'll simply disregard the self-victimizing political perspective, and focus on linguistical:
In the mid-to-late 19th century, two language communities, Croatian and Serbian, almost independently of each other, adopted similar Shtokavian dialects - Completely and utterly untrue. They cooperated and synced they efforts from from the very start, starting with Vienna Literary Agreement in 1850, to choose Neoštokavian dialect as they primary literary language. At that period Ijekavian Neoštokavian was virtually dead in Croatia as a literary language, and only a really tiny minority of Croats actually spoke it (less then 20%). Most speakers of Neoštokavian at the territory of present-day Croatia were, in fact, Serbs. At that time Croatian intellectuals operated within the Illyrian movement which aimed promoting a common language of all South Slavs, publishing works in a kind of "neutral idiom" (e.g. they used <ě> symbol to abstract away jat reflex). Ljudevit gaj Created gajica mapping in Roman script exactly what Vuk Karadžić did for Serbian with Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.
but disagreed on several details (Croats preferred Ijekavian dialect which to them was the language of refined Dubrovnik poetry, Serbs in Serbia chose Ekavian, as Ijekavian was to them a low-prestige, peasant speech). - actually they both agreed on Ijekavian, which was Karadžić's mother tongue. Only later in 1868, when Karadžić's reform was finally accepted in "Serbia proper", if was agreed to use Ekavian for Serbian. Ijekavian Serbian remained in parallel use for Serbs in Western Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the territory of Croatia (in which back then Serbs constituted a significant minority, chiefly at the territory of former Krajina, and all spoke Ijekavian štokavian).
Further development of the two standard languages (registers, many syntax points and non-basic vocabulary) was also done rather independently, without much communication or coordination, so that by 1918, when the two standards were pretty much complete, - Sorry but what on earth are you talking about? Common grammars and dictionaries were published on common orthography (gajica and latinica mapping 1:1), tens of thousands of newly-coined terms for moderns concepts were synced. Croatian literary language was by the 1930s by the efforts of so-called Croatian Vukovians- Croatian followers of Vuk Karadžić developed completely in sync with Serbian. E.g. Tomislav Maretić, the greatest Croatian philologist of the period, wrote Gramatika i stilistika hrvatskoga ili srpskoga književnog jezika in 1899 ("Grammar and stylistics of Croatian or Serbian literary language"), which was by Ivo Pranjković proclaimed "the greatest Croatian grammar ever", and Ivan Broz and Franjo Iveković compiled Rječnik hrvatskoga jezika. "Dictionary of Croatian language" in 1905 - all in Vukovian language tradition. Broz-Iveković's dictionary is the single most influental dictionary for the formation of Croatian literary variety of Serbo-Croatian. And guess what? Some 80% of it was compiled on the corpus of Serbian folk poems and other material collected by Karadžić. So the standardization was convergent, rather than "parallel", what Croatian side often imagines it to be. I'll just quote from that Rječnik hrvatskog jezika from 1905:

Ovo djelo moglo bi se zvati i rječnik Srpskoga jezika, i da su ga napisali Serbi, jamačno bi se tako zvalo; ali mu je po jednakom pravu i po samim načelima Srbalja Vuka Karadžića i Gjura Daničića ime rječnik Hrvavtskoga jezika jer su ga napisali i na svijet izdali Hrvati.[20]

which is in translation:

This work could've been called Dictionary of Serbian language, and if it was written by Serbs, it surely would've been; but according to the same right and the same principles of the Serbs Vuk Karadžić and Gjuro Daničić it carries the names Dictionary of Croatian language, because it was compiled by Croats.

So essentially Croatian meant "compiled by Croats", and not "of Croatian language" as the Croatian language fabricators like to imagine. They treated it as a one language in 2 names, and they explicitly said so in numerous instances. Oh, and just to illustrate how important Broz-Iveković's dictionary is - the greatest (living) Croatian linguists Ranko Matasović used it exclusively to cite Croatian lemmata in his Comparative grammar of Croatian language (hence, it's equally valid Comparative grammar of Serbian, Bosnian and Motentenegrin - comparative grammar of Neoštokavian essentially).
Elephantus' essay is a political tractate not by a chance - the only way Croats can claim some kind of "Croatian language" is by politics. If you disregard absolutely everything that happened in the past, and focus exclusively on contemporary, synchronic perspective you get this:
  1. Modern standard Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are all based on the same dialect. Not even the same dialect, but the same subdialect (there are other Štokavian dialects, some quite divergent).
  2. All 3 standards share at least 90% of basic words, and ~ 98% of all lexical differences among the standards are phonologically completely trivial (comparable to e.g. rhotic and non-rhotic pronunciation of English), and intuitively understandable by all the speakers. All the 3 are 100% mutually intelligible.
  3. All 3 standards have 99% identical grammar. They have identical phonemic inventory (fixed by the phonological alphabet), the same inflectional endings for nouns adjectives and verbs in 2 genders, 3 persons, 7 cases, and 3 synthetic tenses. They have the same accentual system with 2-way pitch accent, extremely elaborate one (accent is both free - phonologically unpredictable, and movable - can alternate in inflection; similar to Russian, Lithuanian and Slovenian, but more complex of either).
It is impossible that this kind of overlap occured by independent parallel development - it was convergent, common development, Serbs and Croats choosing 1 dialect and strictly adhering their alphabets and grammars to it. The contemporary purist efforts were in fact to purge the words that were not spoken by the Serbs!!!! E.g. in the 1908 Barbarizmi u hrvatskome jeziku ("Barbarisms in Croatian language") by Vatroslav Rožić words such as kolodvor, lisnica and oporba - nowadays markedly "Croatian", where in fact criticized and synonyms were suggested that were spoken also by Serbs (glavna stanica/postaja, novčanik, opozicija). Read this once again: 1908 book on "barbarisms in Croatian language" advocates Serbo-Croatian language purism, expelling words that are not spoken by Croats eastern brethren!!
To sum it all up: essentially Elephanuts said exactly nothing on what Zocky asked for - why should we treat B/C/S(/M) separately, and instead provided long political essay ridden with deceptive inaccuracies. It would be much more appreciated if he actually addressed the beneficial points I raised above, during the break from his copy/pastings of entire ==Serbo-Croatian== sections to ==Croatian== (the only changes being lang=sh -> lang=hr, and {infl|sh}/{sh-Pos} -> {infl|hr} - I'd say that this says pretty much everything on the separateness of "Croatian language", but that's just me) --Ivan Štambuk 18:57, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Elephantus, most of your arguments are useful for my point (1a) above, i.e. which Ausbausprachen exist in the ex-Yugoslavia minus Slovenia and Macedonia. But that matter is settled. Nobody claims that Croats don't speak and write Croatian, or that they should start calling their language Serbo-Croatian. So, whether Croats in the first Yugoslavia were oppressed by the Serbian king, and whether Serbs in the second Yugoslavia were oppressed by the Croatian president and almost exclusively Croatian prime ministers (as some people in Serbia claim) is completely beside the point. It also doesn't matter whether the government was Imperial, Royal, or Communist.

What we're talking about is whether standard Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin can be classified as subtypes of a common wider entity smaller than "Western group of South Slavic languages" and whether that entity is a useful category for a dictionary.

Nobody sane is going to claim that Croatian is as different from Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin as from Slovenian, so it's obvious that the common wider entity exists. The choice of the name that we use to refer to it is the least important question here. The most common term in English and other sources is Serbo-Croatian, but it wouldn't matter for the rest of the discussion if it was called Shtokavian, or BCS, or BCMSxyz, or Balkanian, or Naški, or South Luxembourgese.

So can you please skip political arguments, and give me simple answers to these questions:

  1. Can you agree that modern standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian have similar grammar, core vocabulary, and orthography (regardless of how that happened)?
  2. Can you agree that differences between modern standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian are negligible when compared to the next most closely related standard language, i.e. Slovenian?
  3. Can you agree that it's impossible to be a proficient speaker of e.g. standard Bosnian without being a proficient speaker of e.g. standard Serbian? By "proficient speaker" I mean being able to effectively communicate with native speakers without a need for a translator or a dictionary, not necessarily being able to write 100% correct text.
  4. Can you live with the name "Serbo-Croatian" to describe the common grammar, core vocabulary and orthography of modern standard Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian? What term would you prefer?
  5. What advantage to the project, in your opinion, is gained by having 4 separate near-identical entries for these 4 standard languages? How about when they are exactly identical?

Zocky 20:33, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I apologize if the long-windedness of the answer to Anatoli's question has put you off, but then I'd expect you'd already be aware of the Croatian viewpoint on this (that is, if you are w:User:Zocky). I answered most of your questions in that longish text, in the first and the last section. I have already answered other questions in my previous posts, but they got buried elsewhere, so I'll repost them here, with minor changes:
I don't see much of a problem with duplication. I'd expect that a large proportion of those using Wiktionary to look up Croatian words would be those with a link to Croatian language (not B, S, M...), Croatia and its culture (e.g. children of emmigrants, potential and real tourists, etc...). I'd expect them not to be overly concerned with Serbo-Croatian, history, Cyrillic, Bosnia, Serbia, Yugoslavia, war, peace or similar things. "Merging" would add a layer of complication and uncertainty for those users. The header "Croatian" is a sure marker that what they're getting is proper Croatian meaning, usage, etc, regardless of whether there is a same or similar word in other languages. The same holds true for Bosnian, Serbian, etc. I personally don't see much need for Serbo-Croatian (IMHO, for almost all practical intents and purposes it's a dead language), but apparently there are still people who like the name, and if that is so, then it wouldn't add too much to the volume of Wiktionary to add that entry. Not all users of Wiktionary are linguists or linguistic buffs. I'd expect that a large majority of them want simplicity and certainty, not long-winded stories of times past.
The key criteria is what the langugage communities themselves consider their language to be. So if the Norwegians decide to have a language with two quite different written standards, the dominant one being basically a couple of spelling reforms away from Danish, and several spoken standards, with the high-prestige ones also pretty close to the speech of their neighbours, who are we to second-guess them and force things down people's throats? Of course that commercial paper-based dictionary publishers might want to devise ways to save space and reach the largest possible audiences by combining the languages, and university courses might group Central South Slavic languages (as they might rightfully group East Scandinavian languages) together, but in the Wiktionary environment where space isn't really a concern and the motives are decidedly non-commercial it makes very little sense to do so. The leading German bilingual-dictionary publishing company Langenscheidt now publishes separate Croatian and Serbian dictionaries, both in English and German, and e.g. the Swedish language council has separate Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian dictionaries.
Now, in what seems to be a rather charged issue like this one, I think that live and let live would be the best policy. Just add content (which is, after all, rather easily verifiable), don't delete and don't prevent others from adding easily verifiable content. --Elephantus 10:05, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

"Merging" would add a layer of complication and uncertainty for those users. The header "Croatian" is a sure marker that what they're getting is proper Croatian meaning, usage, etc, regardless of whether there is a same or similar word in other languages. - And that you say after last several hundreds of your edits are plain copy/pastes of common ==Serbo-Croatian== to exclusive ==Croatian== ? How many of them you exactly had to change the definition lines to fit "proper Croatian meaning" ? 1 out of 100 ? Please...
You also claim IMHO, for almost all practical intents and purposes it's a dead language - for all practical purposes it's still very much alive, disguised under silly politically correct acronyms such as BCS! What we are trying to do here is not to revive the Serbo-Croatian standard of 2 varieties of Yugoslavia, but to treat all 3 (or 4) modern standards under one header name, which makes sense for the abovementioned reasons (they're usually taught commonly, it would ease maintenance etc.). Market for people intent on "learning 3 languages at the price of one" obviously exists, otherwise we wouldn't have superb "common" grammars/textbooks published today (e.g. this one, this one, this one ..) The target audience obviously exist, and their needs would not be met by exclusive separate treatment.
You also somehow managed to reignore the rest 4 out of 5 Zocky's questions... ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 10:57, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
A couple of thousand perfectly valid Croatian entries were deleted between April and now (and you're still apparently deleting them, despite several kind requests not to do it). It seems to me that my first priority should be restoring those entries before I turn to anything else. If there is a bombardment and a place is leveled, it seems right to rebuild infrastructure and housing first before turning to parks and museums, doesn't it?
As for dictionaries, grammars etc: there are numerous English-Croatian-English, English-Serbian-English dictionaries, Serbian grammars, textbooks for learning Croatian, Bosnian etc. on the market and the editors and writers of those books don't seem to mind the fact that their efforts are duplicated with other editors and writers. I don't think that Morton Benson is sending angry missives to Langenscheidt to cease and desist producing English-Serbian dictionaries and switch to Serbo-Croatian. It's very simple actually. Do what you prefer and let others do what they prefer. It's not a zero-sum game. --Elephantus 13:45, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Elephantus is deliberately ignoring all the direct questions the has was asked, and the issues raised by his entry cloning. Now you see Zocky why it's pointless to even try to engage into a productive discussion with people like him. Elephantus will be happy to clone 99% of ==Serbo-Croatian== entries to ==Croatian== (simply by changing lang=sh to lang=hr), but he'll never admit that percentage - it would be "similar languages" and would compare the situation with faulty analogy with Scandinavian languages (who differ much, much more). In Serbo-Croatian we'd say praviti se lud for such behavior. --Ivan Štambuk 14:37, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
And I'm really annoyed by this "deletion of Croatian entries" phrasing that keeps being repeted again and again and again (originally by Robert Ullmann and Lmaltier/DCDuring, but now by you). Wow Elephantus, do you really think that changing ==Croatian== to ==Serbo-Croatian== was any kind of content loss? (actually, I've moreover greatly expanded almost all of the merged entries - it's easier to do it in a single place than at 4-6 different places). Not it wasn't - it was basically as restating "this word is also modern standard Bosnian, Serbian and Motenegrin; it has the same meanings, inflection, etymology, pronunciation etc.". On the other hand, what you are doing now, mostly plainly copy/pasting entire existing ==Serbo-Croatian== sections to ==Croatian== with switching language codes sh to hr, is actually contributing no really content at all, as everything of interest is already contained in the merged entry. Moreover, because of your introduction of imbalance by applying ethnic designation Croatian to the word which is by no means nothing sort of inherently "Croatian" (and Croats constitute less then 30% of its speakers), I'll be forced to track down all of your edits and also recopy/paste ==Bosnian==, ==Serbian== (and ==Montenegrin==) to maintain ethnic balance of the treatment of one and the same language. That annoys me the most.
While I understand that it would be very difficult for you to actually answer yes/no to the questions raised by Zocky above, it's annoying that you furthermore seem to trivialize the whole issue, by repeating irrelevant political issues and faulted analogies "key criteria is what the language communities themselves consider their language to be" - not it's not, there is no such thing as a right to "linguistic self-determination" - a common myth in Croatia. You don't own the language you speak. There is no UN/UNHCR declaration enabling you to declare "linguistic sovereignty". "there are numerous English-Croatian-English, English-Serbian-English dictionaries, Serbian grammars, textbooks for learning Croatian, Bosnian etc. on the market" - there are also separate dictionaries and grammars of Austrian/Swiss/Germany German, USA/British/Canadian English, Latin American and European Spanish and Portuguese..yet we all treat them commonly because it's the most convenient thing to do, to treat pluricentric languages as linguistically one entities with several standard varieties, which primarily differ lexically. And at the lexical level the differences between regional varieties of e.g. Spanish are much greater than between B/C/S, and sticking a dozen regional context labels in one translation box often looks very ugly - but there simply no other reasonable alternative.
We're running in circles again... --Ivan Štambuk 15:04, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok, so let's see if I get Elephantus's arguments right:

  1. a large proportion of those using Wiktionary to look up Croatian words would be those with a link to Croatian language (not B, S, M...), Croatia and its culture
  2. people looking for Croatian would have to look in an unexpected place
  3. Serbo-Croatian is for almost all practical intents and purposes a dead language
  4. the key criteria is what the langugage communities themselves consider their language to be
  5. paper-based dictionary publishers might want to save space and reach the largest possible audiences by combining the languages, but in Wiktionary it makes little sense to do so
  6. university courses might group Central South Slavic languages (as they might group East Scandinavian languages), but in Wiktionary it makes little sense to do so
  7. dictionary publishing companies publish separate Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian dictionaries
  8. don't delete and don't prevent others from adding easily verifiable content

Here are my comments on those arguments:

  1. We don't and can't know that. There are plenty of scenarios where the opposite would hold, e.g. Serbian or Bosnian speakers looking up an unknown word they found in a Croatian text. Arguments of this sort aren't likely to be useful for either side.
  2. This is a valid concern. A person looking for Croatian or Bosnian words on pages with lots of similar Slavic entries (for pan-Slavic words), or lots of similar various entries (for internationalisms) might indeed have trouble finding the right entry.
  3. We're still talking past each other on this one. The "Serbo-Croatian" you're talking about is the defunct common standard. The "Serbo-Croatian" that Ivan is talking about is the common grammar, vocabulary and orthography shared by standard Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, which is certainly alive and well.
  4. That can be one of the criteria, but we have examples where it's impractical, and in some cases impossible, to apply that criterion. One example mentioned above was Mandarin vs. Cantonese. Another could be standard German and Plattdeutsch, where all the speakers would say they speak German, and would say that they all speak the same language, but having a single dictionary for both would be useless.
  5. Indeed, Wiktionary doesn't need to save space, and if anyone used saving space as an argument, it was a bad one. Reaching larger audiences is one of the goals of all Wikimedia projects, so that part is a bad argument from your side.
  6. You're making a false comparison here. East Scandinavian standard languages have separate orthography, grammar and at least spelling of large swaths of core vocabulary. This isn't true for B, C, M and S. A more appropriate comparison would be English or German, which also have multiple standards that share orthography, grammar and core vocabulary.
  7. This isn't much of an argument for anything. They also publish dictionaries of American English, and dictionaries of electrical engineering. That's not in itself an argument that it wouldn't make sense for them to publish English dictionaries, or that electrical engineering jargon is a separate language.
  8. That's an argument appropriate for Wikipedia, not necessarily for Wiktionary. And even on Wikipedia, content is routinely regrouped to avoid duplication.

Let me add some of my own arguments for the splitter position (that weren't spelt out in the immediate discussion):

  1. It's difficult to find a name that will be understandable, and that a substantial share of native speakers won't object to for political and emotional reasons. Political correctness should not be a concern for deciding project issues, but not causing unnecessary offence should be.
  2. A substantial share of native speakers might object to the mere fact of grouping them, again for political and emotional reasons.
  3. Combined entries would make machine extraction of data harder.
  4. Search for "Bosnian govor" or "Bosnian noun" would not find anything at govor.

Let me also add some of my own arguments for the lumper position:

  1. Croatian journalistic and literary texts often use distinctly Serbian words (and vice versa), for whatever effect, so a Croatian dictionary that includes those words is more useful than one that doesn't. (Note that this isn't the same as any other foreign word - other foreign words are more obviously foreign in many ways, and it's easier to tell that you need to look in another dictionary).
  2. Combined entries would provide additional useful value for students of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, as well as for native speakers who are e.g. checking their text for correctness in the chosen standard. It's much easier to learn the differences by looking at a single entry than by comparing several separate entries and trying to spot the differences.

I think we now have all substantial arguments, so I'll start a new section for recapitulation. Zocky 19:50, 24 August 2009 (UTC)


I'll spell out both proposed solutions and comment on their weaknesses.

Splitter solution
There should be separate headers for Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and eventually Montenegrin, and if a word is used in all of them, content should be duplicated, as is done for e.g. Bulgarian and Macedonian.
Splitter weaknesses
  • Separate headers are harder to create and maintain.
    In addition to a classical bot solution to this problem, there are other possible ways to get around this. E.g., there could be a hidden template that defines words that are identical for all 3/4 languages, and then a bot would construct appropriate headers out of that template. While this is certainly feasible, it does require external human resources (i.e. bot programmers and maintainers) and thus introduces a measure of uncertainty.
  • The amount of duplication is so large that almost all entries will have identical or near-identical headers for each language, which will make pages look silly.
    This argument is impossible to discount, but its importance is questionable.
  • Separate headers make comparison and studying of differences between various standard harder.
    This is IMO the major weakness of the splitter approach.
Lumper solution
There should be a unified header for Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and eventually Montenegrin, and if a word is used differently (or not used at all) in some of the standards, this should be pointed out in the entry, as is done for e.g. British English and American English
Lumper weaknesses
  • A header called "Serbo-Croatian" doesn't follow the Ausbausprache naming convention, which in the context of the Balkans can cause offence.
    This is definitely true to some extent, but if it's judged to be important enough, it can be easily rectified by using "Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian" for the header.
  • The mere fact of lumping can cause offence.
    This is also definitely true, but the reasons for offence are completely subjective. Lumping or splitting of languages in a dictionary isn't offensive in itself, and there could be a disclaimer to that effect. All the same, even unintended offence can't be simply ignored if it's likely to occur.
  • Makes navigation harder for most users, for the same reason.
    This is the major weakness of the lumper approach. While it's true that a regular user won't have any problems, a chance visitor is likely to search for Croatian under "C" and for Serbian under "S".
  • Makes machine extraction harder
    This is a minor weakness, since it can be rectified by judicious use of templates and html markup.
  • Makes searching for words harder
    This is also a minor weakness, since it can be rectified in various ways, e.g. by using "Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian" for the header, or by including all the language names in hidden text

To re-recapitulate, we're left with what seem to be genuine advantages of both approaches. Unless somebody comes up with an inventive way to solve some of the above problems, these should be weighed against each other to decide which solution is the most appropriate:

Splitter advantages
  • makes navigation easier for readers
  • avoids political and emotional responses to lumping the languages together
Lumper advantages
  • makes creation and maintenance somewhat easier for writers, without depending on external human resources
  • makes comparison of the various standards much easier for readers
  • makes less cluttered pages

IMHO, it would be helpful if we can steer the debate towards discussing relative importance of these advantages, instead of engaging in useless political and historical arguments.

Much obliged, Zocky 19:50, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

In theory, the 3 separate B/C/S headers could be relatively easily generated from the properly merged ==Serbo-Croatian== header at the presentation-time (i.e. at the moment the user visits the webpage). At least so I was told by Conrad. I am willing to provide algorithm if some one is willing to implement it (basically a bunch of string search and filter; I unfortunately know very little of js/HTML). This would take advantage #1 from the splitter approach. We could have single header internally, but 4 sections externally. --Ivan Štambuk 20:09, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
So basically, the only Splitter disadvantage is that a bot will make too many changes. I don't see that of being a problem. We have wikipedia articles that have hundreds of changes made by a bot and people have accepted the clutter. Not only that, we avoid wasting time in further political discussions instead of doing useful work. It also avoids confusing foreigners when there are differences such as (glasovanje, gledatelj, žlica, sveštenik, skupština). Also foreigners would want to avoid learning any serbian words since they can avoid any unpleasantness when taking a holiday in Croatia.--Pepsi Lite 00:02, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Every edit generated by a bot will have to be verified by a human, which makes the botting process itself completely pointless (you might as well c/p manually). I would never allow a bot to generate any other entries other than stubs from translation tables (and even those are often erroneous). And that's just the creation-time: as I said, most of the wiki-activity is continuous build-up of the entries. If you have 8 sections, you must update 8 sections independently, which is a glorious waste of time. And as for the foreigners: I assure you that you'd get abs. no unpleasantness if you used glasanje, gledalac, kašika (all 3 actively used throughout Croatia), sveštenik or skupština when speaking in Croatia. You seem to still live in the ages of 1990s - those days of linguo-chauvinism are long gone by. You also seem to ignore the fact that vast majority of users would actually be intent on learning B/C/S simultaneously, which is the way these languages are still learned on 99% of world universities (excepting the ex-yu countries, of course). --Ivan Štambuk 00:15, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
What exactly would need to be verified by a human? You keep mentioning that Serbian and Croatian are 99% identical. We have word lists published on many croatian nationalist websites that specify differences which we can feed the bot to avoid making any changes in those entries.--Pepsi Lite 00:33, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Those "lists of differences" are all faulted, full of errors or imaginary words. Even in the example words you mention: in Croatian both glasanje and glasovanje are heavily used (and _both_ are valid, despite some absurd purist claims, trust me), kašika is heavily used regionally (in Dalmatia, Slavonia and Herzegovina) as opposed the literary form žlica, both the nouns on -lac and -telj are used (despite the latter being given strong preference, but we focus on usage not on some abstract ideal of language; on Croatian Wikipedia Flopy tried to convince me that the word nosilac is "not Croatian", that it is of "another language", and the proper Croatian translation is nositelj, despite tens of thousands of hits it gets on .hr :). sveštenik is valid Croatian, it's just that means specifically "Orthodox priest", as opposed to svećenik (which is not a Church Slavonicism but an inherited word) which denotes a general priest. skupština is still heavily used and is not even a marked srbizam. So if we were to mark all of these word as only ==Serbian== or ==Bosnian==, and not ==Croatian==, we would be artificially dividing B/C/S in a way not reflecting actual usage (and that's what our CFI are all about).
Also you mention your satisfaction of Serbian not being "infected" with Croatian neologistic coinages: FYI words such as sažetak, parobrod, zločin, sladoled, jezikoslovac, and even pozorište (which is today perceived as "Serbianism") have penetrated literary Serbian from Croatian authors :D
My point: actual usage that we focus on is not subject to some prescriptive piece of paper saying that word X is "Croatian" and word Y is "Serbian" 2) both literary circles are way too close and intermingled (esp. in Bosnia) so that all of purist and anti-purist efforts will sooner or later prove to be pointless. Here a nice article for you ;) --Ivan Štambuk 11:10, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Example sentence: Sigurno je, da je Boris sa svojim narodom primio krst od vizantijskijeh sveštenika. - this would be by anyone today recongized as "Serbian" (or even "Montenegrin"). In modern literary Croatian it's križ not krst, it's bizantijski not vizantijski, it's svećenik and not sveštenik. But this sentence was, in fact, from a Croatian author, Tomislav Maretić, his 1899 book on the history of the Slavs. It wouldn't really be much of a problem to dig 2 more citations for either of those 3 words from other Croatian authors, and that's absolutely everything it takes per our CFI to mark a word as ==Croatian==. Of course, we primarily focus on the modern literary language, but we cannot simply "ignore" everything that was written before the 1990s, and if we don't ignore it, great many of "Serbian" words would come to be added as ==Croatian==. This is another reason why the separation from modern-day perspective of "standards" is infeasible - our CFI would is not compatible with it. --Ivan Štambuk 11:25, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
It does not matter to me if those list of words on croatian nationalist websites are faulty. You Croats can choose yourself which words are valid or not. Wiktionary should be able to mark literary words. For instance, the Chinese government introduced w:Standard Mandarin which is different from w:Mandarin Chinese and omits many words that were in historical usage, to simplify their language. A spell checker should be able to warn the user which words are archaic or slang. You croats might want to mark krst as archaic. We serbs might want to mark križ as slang. This should be able to be supported just like Standard Mandarin.--Pepsi Lite 11:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes but that has to be done manually, that's the point. Also, we don't "choose valid words", no one can make that choice: the only and the ultimate arbiter is the usage (upotrebna norma) itself, reflected in permanently stored written/recorded media that can be used to pass our CFI, and for further analysis. There is no dictionary of "standard Croatian" that I'm aware of (allegedly one is being compiled and should be finished in some 2-3 years[21]). So far I've been marking all the sub-standard terms that are still in use as such in the merged entries: c.f. kašika. But that was not the point, the point was that there would be much more overlap than from the perspective of some "modern standard language", and accordingly much more duplication, and it's much easier to treat it all in one central place. All the Croatian-only words in ==Serbo-Croatian== entries are marked with context label (Croatian), all the Serbian-only words are marked with (Serbian) and so on for Bosnian and Motenegrin. The same way we do it for regional varieties of English, German, Spanish etc, by labels in definition lines and usage notes if necessary. There is little doubt that the editor could be confused or misguided into learning the "wrong word". --Ivan Štambuk 12:15, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
What has to be done manually? You keep mentioning that Serbian and Croatian are 99% identical. Those 1% of words (which you yourself believe is the difference) can be done manually, and the rest with a bot. Hence I don't see what is the disadvantage of using a bot to sync entries (apart from a very small amount of clutter which does not bother me).--Pepsi Lite 12:37, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
The disadvantage is that we don't have such a bot, so your entire argument is based on faulty assumption. If you want, you can write such a bot, and then I can tell you what's wrong with it and why it's unacceptable; but that'll be a lot of wasted effort on your part. (For example: suppose you write your bot such that, after the initial copying of (e.g.) Serbian to Croatian, later edits don't get synched between them. That is unacceptable; it means that any improvements have to be made manually to all sections, and it runs the risk of sections falling out of synch. Alternatively, suppose you write your bot such that, whenever one of the sections is edited, the bot edits the other ones accordingly. That is unacceptable; it means that a human can never actually add those labels such as {{archaic}} to one, without it automatically getting synched to the rest.) —RuakhTALK 14:32, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Or we could have a template that would act to signal to the Yugobot (or whatever it gets named) that it should not synchronize (or that it should synchronize if opt-in is preferred over opt-out) the sections and which would be well documented in its usage. Indeed, if a synchronization solution is employed it should probably work something like this:
  1. If there is a Serbo-Croatian section, then it adds the relevant related entries if they do not already exist unless a template in the S-C section tells it to not do so for one or more of the national varieties.
  2. If there is a difference between the S-C section and an existing B, C, M, or S section that no template in the S-C section or in the relevant national section tells to prevent syncing, then if the S-C section is the one that is out of sync, assume that it has been updated and copy to the B, C, M, and S sections, else if one of the national sections is out of sync, mark for human attention by placing in a maintenance category.
  3. If there is a B, C, M, or S section with no S-C section, then unless directed otherwise by a template, a maintenance category is added to get a human to look at it to see if it suitable for making into a general entry for all or not.
In addition, if the national standards could have entries that are simplified and/or different from the S-C overentry in a regular fashion, this could be handled via templates for the Central South Slavic tongues that use uniform arguments, but with the template names being of the form sh-*, bs-*, hr-*, me-*, and sr-* for the respective entries to make it easy for the bot to see where regular similarities exist, yet for differences in the entries. (Yes I know there is no ISO 639-1 code for Montenegrin, but there is also no ISO 639-2 code, and if I remember correctly, the rules only prohibit assigning an ISO 639-1 code if there is an existing ISO 639-2 code, not jointly assigning both an -1 and a -2 code at the same time. Both me and cg are available and reasonable -1 codes for Montenegrin but .me is Montenegro's Internet domain, so if Montenegrin does get a -1, it probably will be me. Finally, I used me for demonstrative purposes, not to indicate that I am taking any stance on whether Montenegrin should get a -1 code, just -2 code, or even no code at all.) — Carolina wren discussió 23:07, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
And what exactly problem does that all solve? (I can tell you which one it doesn't, and what additional issues it introduces, see krst, sveštenik and kašika discussion above. BTW, I'd never allow a bot "live updating" the entries). --Ivan Štambuk 00:11, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
It solves these problems:
  • Not everybody knows all 3 languages. Hence we will be pushing away contributors who don't know how a word is used in the other language.
  • We should be able to produce hunspell/myspell/aspell dictionaries that contain literary words, and exclude slang/archaic ones.
  • A bot should be produced anyway to keep Serbian latin and cyrillic entries synced, which can be expanded to do other things.--Pepsi Lite 00:38, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
  • All the 3 (or 4, with newly-rising Montengrin :P) "languages" are 100% mutually intelligible, and all the Croatian speakers know very-well 90% of "Serbianisms" and vice versa. Esp. the purists (Croatian purists can smell "Serbian words" in a mile, and instantly offer "proper Croatian" replacement :P), and the "national-aware" (nacionalno osv(ij)ešteni) speakers. Hence, your claim is absurd and misleading, and it would be much appreciated if you refrain from repeating such FUD. Also, as I've repeated to you several times already, and which is abundantly dealt with in the proposed WT:ASH policy (please, read it): all the words which are confined to a certain national standard are marked with an appropriate context label, and there is little doubt left that one intent on learning only e.g. modern standard literary Serbian would end up picking up "Croatisms" or "Bosnianisms" in SC entries abiding by that policy. In some ~5% of words he'll notice various context labels, and I'm sure everyone intelligent can deal with them (in this case, he would need to ignore them).
  • I've told you, we also include misspellings, dialectalisms and sub-standard words etc. - all of which you wouldn't wanna even see lumped together in some spell-checking list. I've also told you that producing a list of e.g. "modern literary Serbian" words from merged ==Serbo-Croatian== entries wouldn't be much of problem either, if all of the merged entries complied to the proposed policy: you'd only need to need to exclude from the list of the SC words those ones which have either (Bosnian) or (Croatian), but not (Serbian), context label in the definition lines. That's some 10 lines of code max (granted you have the code which parses the Wiktionary XML database for ==Serbo-Croatian== sections already). This can hardly be a serious argument.
  • Bot should be produced to keep plethora of languages we have that are written in 2 or even 3 scripts in sync. Actually, I'd like one for ==Serbo-Croatian== too :P (But it's not that much of a problem for me, I manually create/edit only SC entries in Roman script, copy the entire entry to clipboard and the program I wrote "converts" it on-the-fly to the corresponding Cyrillic entry. I wouldn't wanna bot do any kind of entry-updating, esp. not in a delicate scenarios such as this one). --Ivan Štambuk 01:14, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
As I propose it, Ivan, the only live updating that would be done automatically by the bot is that changes in the S-C entry are automatically copied to the B, C, M, and S entries unless directed otherwise, which would be exactly the effect if we had a unified S-C entries with no B, C, M, or S entries allowed. Everything else requires human intervention, with the bot serving to bring things to the attention of human editors, and helping to manage the process. While it would make things easier for editors to do it just with a unified S-C entry, since the decision as to whether a tongue is a language or a dialect is political and not scientific, the neutral point of view policy means that is not going to happen unless NPOV is abandoned. — Carolina wren discussió 02:05, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
What you are proposing is a kind of hypothetical semi-automation of what we've been doing manually for the last 3 years. It wouldn't work. Why? First and foremost because every single such bot-edit would have to be supervised, as I (and I assure you the other editors) have no intention of letting some primitive computer program to assess whether the word/spelling/meaning is shared among some varieties or not, and what's it "standardness" status. Suppose if forgot to mark that a word is allowed in Bosnian and Croatian standard but not in Serbian? No way. (and I'm sure that I've missed some context labels so far, which I hope others will provide). And what about words like kašika, which are still abundantly regionally used in Croatia, but are "kind of" substandard? And as I've said below, 99% of what are today perceived as "Serbian words" have historically been used by Bosnian and Serbian writers, and you can relatively easy dig CFI-passing quotations for them. In the merger scheme these are handled trivially: not marked as Croatian at all (only as Bosnian and Serbian): and if someone actually manages to look up those words while reading e.g. some mid 20th century Croatian text, it could still find them. If we try add these words separately - thousands of them - you'll have to manually tag all of these words (skupština, krst and sveštenik, mentioned above) as "obsolete" or "substandard". In the merger scheme we ignore the issue altogether - it's substandard today, regardless however it was used or is still used. And same is valid for Serbian (many "modern standard Croatian" words are archaic/obsolete Serbian).
Your bot-syncing approach would ultimately simply put even more effort on SC contributors then it would had we stick to the separate treatment only, without the merged SC section at all. It would provide more maintenance nightmare, it would provide absolutely no useful content at all (pointless content duplication, zero new information), it would provide more cloned entries that would have to be analyzed, compared and tagged, i.e. waste time on sth completely unproductive and which should be spend more usefully otherwise.
"since the decision as to whether a tongue is a language or a dialect is political and not scientific," - I've told you already that that is an urban myth. There are well-defined criteria for separating among dialects and among languages, even strict mathematical ones (percentage of shared lexis, and grammatical structure). B/C/S varieties pass every single one of them. In fact, all of the native linguists agree that they are all one dialect (Neoštokavian), from the perspective of dialectology and genetic linguistics. That it an irrefutable fact. Now, how exactly can 3 (or 4) entities which are one dialect be "different languages" remains a mystery to common sense, i.e. a question of politics. NPOV can be achieved in 2 ways: either all 3 (4) are kept separate, are all 3 (4) are treated equally in one merged entry (i.e. none is given prominence of). The proposed policy is 100% NPOV with respect to individual languages. The issue whether these entities themselves, which are treated commonly inside a single header, are "different languages" or not, however you define "language", is of no concern to us. We might argue of the extent on which these entities might differ, so as to whether the common treatment would be feasible or not, but I hope that by now abs. everyone is convinced that the differences are in most cases trivial in nature and limited in extent, so that the common treatment is not only justified, but preferred, if we had Wiktionary in mind primarily as an educational device for its users, and not merely to satisfy NPOV appetites of an insignificant minority of its contributors. --Ivan Štambuk 03:06, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Common treatment has simply no alternative, from the perspective of both contributors and the users. --Ivan Štambuk 03:06, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
In grammar there is 99% of overlap, in modern standard lexis specifically between Ijekavian Serbian and Croatian at least 95% (even more for e.g. Croatian and Bosnian, and Montenegrin and Ijekavian Serbian). That fact that the agreement is huge does not mean that it's easily automatible - for lots of these words that do overlap, for much more than in those 5-10% that are somehow differently spelled, you'd have to tag them and explain it in usage notes. Words such as krst and križ that you mention above are outside that overlap of standards (they're the overlap of substandard - but used one, and another standard). If we add all the words passing CFI outside the standards themselves (as we do, and I do with delight citing Serbian sources for "Croatian words" and Croatian sources for "Serbian words" :P), there'll probably be 99% of overlap in lexis too, but the percentage of words that would have to be marked as substandard would be increased! In common treatment this is solved trivially: we mark both križ and krst as ==Serbo-Croatian==, tag in the definition line that the former is preferred in Croatian and the latter in Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin and that's it. But, if we split all of them, we'd have to be making extra notes on the status of krst in Croatian, and križ in Bosnian/Serbian/Montengrin. We'd have 4 conveniently-managed sections in the former case, but in the latter 12, 6 of which would be substandard requiring manual tagging (if being bot-generated, c/p or sth). --Ivan Štambuk 15:57, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
The situation here seems to call for a solution similar to what Tbot does when creating entries from translations, namely including a note that the entry has been bot-created, and placing it in a maintenance category until a human looks at it. The usage note problem could be handled via a template or two that would mark text to be excluded from bot-synchronization between the versions. — Carolina wren discussió 23:07, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
That bot would generate ~30 000 entries out of currently common ~5000 SC entries, and which I presume you are not the one that would help out with cleaning up with? :)
Carolina, the whole issue with the merger is to ease the creation, maintenance and usage of B/C/S words by reducing unnecessary duplication. You still seem to be more concerned whether someone will be "insulted" with seeing their national standard treated commonly (it's standard, all there is - it's not a different language, it's standardized variety of one pluricentric language called Serbo-Croatian) with other national standards, than with everything else. If there is anything that should be machine-generated, it's at the presentation-time by javascript, not touching the wikicode back-end.
Machine-generation and synchronization resolves nothing of the issues that are solved by common treatment. It moreover introduces numerous new ones (see the discussion on "Serbian words" in Croatian and vice versa below - that is completely transparently solved in the merged treatment). --Ivan Štambuk 00:04, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
The merged treatment does not respect the fundamental NPOV policy. It does not matter whether the proponents of there being more than one language in the Central South Slavic diasystem are howling anti-scientific chauvinistic lunatics or not. What matters is that there is ample evidence that a significant proportion of people, including native speakers, consider Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian to be distinct languages, not dialects of a common language, a proportion that is large enough that such a viewpoint cannot be dismissed as a fringe viewpoint. As such, Wiktionary's goal of all words in all languages, requires that they be represented. There is also a large enough proportion behind the proposition that the diasystem is a single language, so Serbo-Croatian entries should also be included. The two propositions used fundamentally different reasons to back their claims of what is a language, but they both use valid reasons. Hence the question to be solved is not "how do we place these words into single entries?" Rather it is "how can we make the management of a set of closely related entries easier?" — Carolina wren discussió 02:05, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
there is ample evidence that a significant proportion of people... - there is ample evidence that a signicifant proportion of people believe in flat Earth, intelligent design, celestial deities, personifications of certain ancient paganic rituals that have managed to find their way into certain modern religions (which we shall not name)...their opinions and convictions are scientifically worthless and irrelevant. We have our own target audience, and 99% of it is not bothered with petty Balkanic nationalist fairy tales, according to which your next-door neighbor whom you knew all your life speaks "different language" just because he says sedmica and not tjedan, or hiljada and not tisuća.
Find me a single Western Slavist and/or SC specialist that claims that B/C/S/M are linguistically different languages, and not merely standardized nationial varieties of one common underlying pluricentric Serbo-Croatian, and we can talk.
Again: handling all the varieties at common header per the proposed policy is 100% NPOV (we're not "Serbifying Croatian", as some of the Croatian nationalists from hr. WP have been imagining). We're not dealing with "closely related entries" but entries which would be in some 90% of cases identical, and in the rest "only" between 2 or 3 standards. The concept of "Central South Slavic Diasystem" (where on earth did you heard that term? :) It's completely unused in English; being coined by Croatian national-linguists to unsuccessfully replace the term Serbo-Croatian) is obsolete and has been disproved in the last decade, by Croatian linguists no less. We are not dealing with "diasystem" but primarily with modern standard languages, which are linguistically undoubtedly one entity. I personally wouldn't have nothing against having separate headers for other dialects (e.g. ==Chakavian==, ==Kajkavian== and ==Torlakian==), which are very divergent and often not even mutually intelligible. --Ivan Štambuk 03:25, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Here is a top Croatian specialist that claims that B/C/S/M are linguistically different languages: flattener Dunja Brozović Rončević. How would the word entry "ravnatelj" look like with your plan.--Pepsi Lite 04:23, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
She is payed by Croatian Ministry of Education to write that. If she wrote anything else she'd be fired and her career would be as good as dead. Can you find any foreign, Western Slavist? I think not. --Ivan Štambuk 12:15, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Bosnian and Croatian don't have "Ekavian variants" or "Cyrillic spellings". They have single standard and only one Roman spelling. So all the current "Serbo-Croatian" entries purporting to represent Bosnian and Croatian are actually misleading. And the one possible solution - to replace the current "Ekavian variant" with "Serbian Ekavian variant" and "Cyrillic spelling" with "Montenegrin and Serbian Cyrillic spelling" would probably be worse than the problem, front loading an entry on "Serbo-Croatian" with remarks about Montenegrin and Serbian. It would make sense to group Bosnian and Croatian together in one entry with two L2 headers in casees where the words are the same and there are no intervening languages (which would be most pages), and Montenegrin and Serbian together in the same manner. It would be easy to create joint templates for Bosnian and Croatian (using, say, 'hb' code which is free and will probably remain so), and similar templates for Montengrin and Serbian. And keeping two entries synchronized wouldn't be too much of a hassle, even manually. --Elephantus 19:30, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Actually Bosnian can officially be written in both Cyrillic and Roman script (tho in practice prevalently in Roman), and Croatian has been historically also written in bosančica. Furhtermore, Ekavian jat reflex in Croatia is in most of the Kajkavian and some Čakavian dialects (Northern Čakavian Buzet dialect). I've even added some "Ekavian Croatian" words for fun (c.f. Citations:mesto). Kajkavian and Čakavian are today still used as kind of substandard literary languages, have writers specializing in them (mostly poetry - c.f. Croatia rediviva), their own dictionaries, and even specialized publishers (e.g. Čakavski sabor). It's absolutely no problem to find citations for 99% of inherited Proto-Slavic words with Ekavian reflex of jat in Croatian dialects, trust me :P --Ivan Štambuk 19:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm talking about standard languages here. Standard, remember? --Elephantus 19:54, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

We're not adding exclusively standard idiom. We also add other dialects, and Čakavian and Kajkavian have a place since they were the backbone of Croatian literary tradition for centuries. You claimed that Croatian doesn't have "Ekavian variants", which is untrue - it does have, and they're still being used and painstakingly cherished as literary languages. As I said, with dialects and historically attested usages of words in mind, on which our CFI is based on, it's completely and utterly pointless to separate B/C/S.
What about the other points raised in the discussions above. When exactly will you be willing to answer Zocky's questions, without needless political clouding? --Ivan Štambuk 20:22, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

As I said, standard Bosnian and Croatian don't have Ekavian variants or Cyrillic spelling. The usefulness of Standard Bosnian and Croatian vastly outweighs the usefulness of any non-standard Bosnian and Croatian idioms for almost anyone imaginably using Wiktionary. Combining Bosnian and Croatian in one entry with two L2 headers on all pages where that is possible, and combining Montenegrin and Serbian in a similar way is an almost ideal solution to as many of the problems mentioned by Zocky as possible. --Elephantus 21:16, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Read again: Modern standard Bosnian is also written in Cyrillic. From bs:Bosanski jezik: U bosanskom jeziku se koriste dva ravnopravna pisma: latinica i ćirilica.. It's mentioned in the orthography books too (e.g. in Halilović's IIRC). Modern standard Bosnian is by no means exclusive Roman. In most of the usages, it's written only in Romans script, but Cyrillic could also be equally used (we don't used it, and though Dijan did mention me an idea of using Cyrillic for Bosnian once, but it kind of didn't made much sense when we already had ==Serbian== being used for Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic spelling, plus we were actively migrating to ==Serbo-Croatian==).
Also, I see absolutely no point in grouping only Croatian and Bosnian. While we're at it, why not also add Ijekavian Serbian and Montenegrin (Ijekavian-only) too? They also share a great deal of lexis with these first two. It would be absurd to force some kind of ==Bosnian-Croatian==, and have separate ==Serbian== and ==Montenegrin==. I don't know if you've read the recently published Montenegrin orthography - I have, and it's full of dublete, even more than Bosnian. It allows both adjectives -ioni and -jski, nouns ending with weird consonant clusters in both variants (e.g. -kat : -kt, -nat : -nt etc.), agentive nouns in both variants (-ist : -ista, -at : -ata, -et : -eta etc.), often even dual forms in -irati and -isati/-ovati (where Bosnian is almost fully inclusive for either forms). Even chemical elements are sometimes Croatian-like, without the final -um. There is little point lumping Bosnian and Croatian together, without lumping also Montenegrin and Ijekavian Serbian (one of the two standard varieties of Serbian language, let's not forget), both of which can be written in both of the script - Cyrillic and Roman.
As I said, we should focus on the standard idiom, but not exclusively on it: every single word passing our CFI is allowed (and moreover, welcome!). I've added many old Croatian words from dialects and even from modern dialect (Štokavian) which have long been forgotten, which would hardly be considered "modern standard", but are beautiful and have abundant historical attestation. Do you know what does e.g. zatočnik mean? :D Wiktionary is quite liberal when it comes to word-inclusion, in case you haven't noticed, its motto is "all words in all languages". Hence, if we argue on Croatian words (words spoken/written by Croats), and their overlap with that of other Serbo-Croatian varieties, dialects should also be had in mind, since their words merit inclusion on the same criteria as non-standard ones.
Also you still haven't answered Zocky's questions :) They are all yes/no...it is as if you're deliberately ignoring them :) You wasted 8K of space to give a historically inaccurate political account of "Croatian language", and it's hard for you to end it with putting a "yes" mark on "B/C/S/M have 99% identical grammar, and the difference among them all would fit on 1-2 pages of texts?" ? :) --Ivan Štambuk 21:52, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Elephantus, it doesn't matter whether non-standard language is "useful" to our readers: if it exists, we include it, period, end of story. If we separate ==Bosnian== from ==Serbian==, then we'll have a separate ==Bosnian== section for many "Serbian" words that aren't standard Bosnian — the only reason not to do so would be if we not only wanted to take the POV that these are separate languages, but also wanted to actively suppress any evidence to the contrary. And I'll state right now, for the record, that I would very happily block anyone who removed such sections (and perma-block them if they persisted). —RuakhTALK 22:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Social or Science Construct?[edit]

Ivan, there are two approaches to defining language, one is a scientific based one, the other treats language as a social construct. In the vast majority of cases, the two methods reach the same conclusion, but in this case they don't, and both approaches have validity. Perhaps if you'd be willing to step back from your fanaticism on this subject, Ivan, <gratuitous Star Wars quote>you will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view</gratuitous Star Wars quote>. You are insisting on treating language as if your viewpoint is the only correct one, and that by having Wiktionary treat it as the only viewpoint, you will educate people as to its correctness. However, it is not part of Wiktionary's mandate to settle the dispute, nor even to take sides on it. It is of course your privilege to decide whether to undertake the extra effort that maintaining consistency between the extra entries that will result from not taking sides will require. — Carolina wren discussió 05:31, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

From everything that I've read above, I'm quite surprised at the way that everyone is ganging up on Ivan. Yes, Ivan does have a view point which he believes is correct, just as much as you do. He has a right to state his view and to "educate" whomever he pleases and whoever is willing to listen. Along with it he also supplies valid and ample information to support it, in order to better our community. You on the other hand have a view point which you believe is correct but you try so hard to ignore every useful piece of information he has been posting here for the last few months and have been avoiding the real problems with either having BCSM or Serbo-Croatian!!!!! I'm surprised at everyone that is fighting against Ivan and this proposal as almost no one is even taking a minute to read what Ivan actually posts. It is quite ridiculous and embarassing that very few people are addressing the real issues! I have a very low tolerance level for stupidity and ignorance and so far that's mostly what I've seen. I've seen Ivan repeat and repeat the same things over and over and over, and no one is reading his sources. No one is listening to what he has to say. It's really annoying. Please, before your next post anywhere on Wiktionary, go back and read everything he has posted. Read about what we are trying to do. Then think about it, come up with a better solution, come back and discuss it. --Dijan 06:56, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
It's simple Mr. Dijan:
  1. Mr. Štambuk is going against the explicit wishes of 90% of his countrymen.
  2. Mr. Štambuk is playing political games in which Croats would end up completely unscathed, but us Serbs will yet again have to pick up the tab. Here are examples: 1918, 1945, 2009.--Pepsi Lite 08:49, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
 ? I thought you might reply with something better than that, clearly I thought wrong. How exactly do you know what "his countrymen" wish?? It seems that you are the one playing political games here. Apparently, you speak the Croatian language (as the link below would suggest), but you also twist the meaning to suit your own agenda of victimizing the Serbs. You can stop that game. This has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with politics nor with "linguistic genocide". --Dijan 13:36, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
  1. 90% ??? And were exactly did you get that number? I'd say that I'm going along the wishes of 90% of my countrymen. People like Kubura that came from Croatian Wikipedia are a tiny fundamentalist minority of the general population. Croatian Wikipedia is populated by nationalist extremist whose views are not shared by the general population of Croatia. Many of them are seriously mentally ill. Croatian Wikipedia clique has managed to push away almost all of the sane-minded, liberal contributors that it attracted over the years. Please don't generalize the state of Serbophobia in Croatian collective psyche on the basis of their "testimonies".
  2. This has absolutely nothing to do with "political games", I assure you. That link you provided was not written and influenced by me, and the right person to complain of it is Robert Ullmann. In case you haven't noticed, I myself have been portrayed in it as some kind of "Greater Serbian fundamentalist" (so much for being unscathed). While it is true that on the West there is among less educated people a perception of the Serbs as some kind of "Balkan villains", chiefly promulgated by CNN and Hollywood - there's abs. nothing that I can do about it. That is an external issue that has abs. nothing to do with this project. --Ivan Štambuk 11:39, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Carolina, I do not compromise with Stupidity. The only issue that is at stake here is:
  1. How the separation/common treatment deals with the project of recording of all the Serbo-Croatian (B/C/S/M) words in this dictionary, with respect to its target audience and its contributors?
And absolutely nothing else. Languages are not "social constructs", they're exactly-definable communication codes. Their grammars can even be explained by means of pure mathematics. Often their spread and evolving is influenced by external, non-linguistic factors, but the definition of a "language" itself is not socially definable. Mir Harven (more or less the only linguistically competent person canvassed from Croatian Wikipedia) said it explicitely "languages have nothing to do with linguistics" - and why did he said that? Simply because that is the only way they can have 4 "separate languages". From modern linguistic perspective, Serbo-Croatian is one pluricentric language with several codified, national standards. In pretty much the same way as English, German, Portuguese, Spanish...and they're even more similar than their respective varieties. Lots of linguists have been arguing for its treatment as one pluricentric language (even some Croatian, e.g. Snježana Kordić).
No it's not our mandate to settle the dispute on whether B/C/S/M are separate languages or not, in the view of some arbitrary politically-defined notion of "language". We don't care at all. Does the fact that we treat all 4 national standards at one Wiktionary header means we're taking the side on the issue whether they are separate languages or not? Absolutely not. We don't care at all. I, for once, think that there is little doubt that they are linguistically one language, but that's just my personal opinion. We are neither taking sides in the treatment, like it was done in the Serbo-Croatian of Yugoslavia, when some old Croatian word were often politically "suppressed" - we are purely descriptive of modern standards, 100% NPOV. The only issue that you are fighting against here is the issue of the perception of some of the natives that their "right to linguistic self-determination" (which is imaginary and doesn't exist anyway) is somehow being invalidated, which is not. You're dealing with this problem in a way that the only reasonable solution is to treat B/C/S/M completely separately, to satisfy desires of such nationalists, and then deal with additional problems that that solution gives. Perhaps if you'd be the one actually dealing with these problems you'd prob. be much more receptive for arguments I've been repeating over and over again, but you're not so it's easy for you to say "hey Ivan, you're just going to have to clean up 30k bot-generated entries, for 5k of which you'd need to do research whether they're archaic/obsolete Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian, and for every single edit anyone makes at any separate B/C/S/M entry ever, you'd need to monitor the changes propagated by Yugobot on your watchlist". So excuse me if I'm not all that thrilled at your suggestions, which would force me to waste countless unproductive hours on things trivially solved by the merger proposal. --Ivan Štambuk 12:08, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Croatia and the European Union[edit]

Mr Štambuk, you're going along the wishes of 90% of your countrymen?! Ha-ha! What kind of communist cafes have you been going to? Then what about stories like this:

The European Union disagrees with you, and do so many Croatian commenters whenever I glance at Croatian media.--Pepsi Lite 12:54, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Not "Croats", but "Croatian politicians". Here's what the link actually says:

Na dvodnevnoj briselskoj konferenciji o europskoj perspektivi zemalja jugoistočne Europe na kojoj su sudjelovali predsjednici gotovo svih parlamenata u regiji (Hrvatske, Srbije, Bosne i Hercegovine, Crne Gore, Kosova), glavno tajništvo Europskog parlamenta pokušalo je da prijevod za goste iz regije funkcionira kao i u Haaškom sudu, dakle da postoji samo jedna kabina za prijevod. Tome su se protivili predstavnici Hrvatske i na intervenciju Doris Pack i Hannesa Swobode hrvatski tumači i prevoditelji dobili su svoju zasebnu kabinu, a predstavnici Srbije, Crne Gore te Bosne i Hercegovine jednu zajedničku.

in translation:

On a two-day Brussels conference on the European perspectives of the Southeast European countries on which the presidents of almost all of the parliaments of the region participated on (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo), the central secretariat of the European Parliament tried to made the translation for the guests function the same way as it does in the ICTY, i.e. that there was only one cabin for the translation. This was objected by the Croatian representatives an by the intervention of Doris Pack and Hannes Swoboda Croatian interpreters and translators were given their own cabin, and the representatives of Serbia, Monte Negro and Bosnia and Herzegovina one common separate cabin.

So quite the contrary to what you've been trying to put it: EU thinks quite the opposite: they're one and the same language for all the practical purposes, and EU has no intention of actually wasting money on simultaneous translation/interpretation to "4 languages". If Croats want to pay their own interpreters/translators to translate to "proper Croatian" - let them be. The notion of Croatian speakers receiving "interpretation" from Serbian/Bosnian/Montenegrin speakers is completely ridiculous. It's like "translating" British to American English, or Brazilian to European Portuguese (actually it's even easier). I can see you had no problems understanding the abovelinked article, which was written in a separate "Croatian language", according to you.
It's money and politics, nothing else. --Ivan Štambuk 13:15, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian studies in North America[edit]

To those who insist on separating the Serbo-Croatian variants into genetically distinct languages, keep in mind that a simple brush-off of Western (especially North American) scholarship is foolish and ignores how these scholars conduct their business outside an academic environment that is dominated by nationalistic fossils (although the emergence of Matasovic does give a little hope).

A scanning of the North American universities which offer courses in BCS/Serbo-Croatian shows that the vast majority of them teaches and administers matters as one language by calling the courses "Serbo-Croatian", "Croatian/Serbian", "Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian" or even "Bosnian-Serbo-Croatian". However there are a few interesting exceptions because of sociolinguistic or political views of the emigrés who have some clout in determining the universities' policy.

The University of Illinois in Chicago offers only a program in Serbian Studies with no mentioning of Bosnian, Croatian or Serbo-Croatian. Knowing that Chicago conains a sizeable and vocal Serbian emigré community this support for a Serbian-only faculty outside the Balkans isn't surprising. The University of Waterloo in Canada offers a program in Croatian Studies with no acknowledgment of Bosnian, Serbian or Serbo-Croatian. The case of the University of Waterloo isn't surprising when we find out that Waterloo's Croatian Studies program came into being because of substantial support from Tudjman's "pizza man", Gojko Susak while Susak was still living in Canada raising money for the HDZ and other causes dear to Croatian nationalists.

A particularly interesting case involves the University of Toronto which offers separate language courses for Croatian and Serbian even though they all fall under the purview of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. I got a hold a friend who had taught at the Slavic department at the University of Toronto and asked her about this apparent oddity given how other North American universities teach common classes for BCS/Serbo-Croatian. She explained to me that financial support for these academic programs in "ethnic studies" (for lack of a better word) in Canada depends heavily on donations from emigrés or even the national government of the relevant country (she told me about the example of the Chair of Finnish Studies at the University of Toronto being presently funded by the university's treasury as well as by a grant from the government of Finland). In the case of Toronto, the Croats in Toronto feel strongly enough that the Serbian and Croatian language courses ought to be separated even though it creates duplication and arguably gives to the students a skewed picture of modern standard Croatian by ignoring the links to standard Bosnian and Serbian seeing that all of the standard languages are all based on Neostokavian. In any case for the academic year just past, the class in Beginner's Croatian was taught by Prof. Ralph Bogert who had taught in the previous year the Serbian classes (!). Go figure. My friend also hinted to me that the local Croats would have withheld their donations if the Croatian and Serbian language classes at the University of Toronto had been merged into common ones. Unfortunately I couldn't tell from her if the local Serbs had felt the same way as the Croats by also insisting on splitting the language courses, but judging by my experience with chauvinism/national pride inherent in emigré communities, I wouldn't be surprised if the Serbian emigrés in Toronto had been as obstinate as these Croatian emigrés.

I thought that people here would find this last bit of information interesting even though it doesn't take away from the point that it's often deemed in North America as normal (and linguistically valid) to treat BCS as one language with the relevant teaching administration conforming to this approach. Vput 15:41, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your most interesting account. It appears that most of this separatist extremism comes from diaspora nationalists who feel obliged to "prove" their nationalist sentiments to the outside world (Šušak would now be on trial for war crimes in ICTY did he not die prematurely, just like his friend Tuđman). It is no wonder that User:Pepsi Lite is Serbian diaspora. The political pressure of nationalist circles on academia in terms of dictating curricula or terminology used is something completely pathetic, and furthermore very indicative that in fact it takes more time and money to separate the inseparable, than it would take by common approach. If the so-called "Croatian language" was indeed completely separate entity from the other 3, it certainly wouldn't need backing up by financial blackmailing. It would simply be naturally treated separately. But it isn't so it doesn't. --Ivan Štambuk 18:20, 26 August 2009 (UTC)