Submissions/Why English Isn't Enough

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Why English Isn't Enough

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission
Siebrand Mazeland
E-mail address
Country of origin
The Netherlands
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.), Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Kindof profile page,
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The universe as we know it holds 7.3 billion people. About 430 million of these people speak English as their first language. English is the third largest language by number of native speakers, after Mandarin and Spanish.. Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly, from roughly 1 to 1.5 billion.

Despite this obvious lack of actual world dominance, English is currently the de facto standard language in many, if not most, multinational organisations, including the Wikimedia movement.

As we are reading this, we may often not realise the advantaged position we are in. We are able to read this. Maar als het in een andere taal geschreven zou zijn, die je niet kent, dan wordt het direct een stuk lastiger.

Wikimedia can and should communicate more in multiple languages. All of our software should be available in as many languages as posssible, and not having the possibility of translating interfaces, newsletters, reports, and other standard types of communication should lead to replacing the software, tools, and methods these communications were created with by tools that actually do take multilingualism for granted.

In this presentation the speaker will try to present an overview of the former, try to point out where we succeed, and where we fail, and how the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Chapters, other movement stakeholders and you can help to improve the situation, so that we can include more people into our movement and spread free knowledge to ever more people than we currently do.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

Not yet available.

Special requests
  • Need a video projector for slides.

Interested attendees

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  1. Pginer-WMF (talk) 08:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. warad ned bled wãun des amåi ãugsprochn wuatad Man77 (talk) 16:14, 18 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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