No article? No problem.

Generating Article Placeholders on the Welsh Wikipedia

The Welsh Language Wicipedia already punches above its weight with seventy thousand articles. That’s roughly one article for every eight Welsh speakers. But now a student in Germany has developed a new tool which can fill in the gaps on Wikipedia by borrowing data from another of Wikimedia’s projects – Wikidata.

The aim of this new feature is to increase the access to open and free knowledge in Wikipedia.  The Article Placeholder will gather data, images and sources from Wikidata and display it Wikipedia style, making it easily readable and accessible.

Currently the Article Placeholder is being trialled on a few smaller Wikipedia’s and after a consultation with the Welsh Wicipedia community it was agreed that we would activate the new extension here in Wales.

An Article Placeholder for Hobbits on the Welsh Wikipedia
An Article Placeholder for Hobbits on the Welsh Wikipedia

The most obvious advantage of this functionality is the easy access to information which has not yet been included on Wicipedia, and with 20 million items in Wikidata, it’s not short on information. This in turn should encourage editors to create new articles using the information presented in the Article Placeholder.

But perhaps the most exciting aspect of using Wikidata to generate Wikipedia content, is that Wikidata speaks hundreds of languages, including Welsh! This means that many pages it generates on the Welsh Wikipedia appear entirely in Welsh.

If the Wikidata entry being used hasn’t yet been translated into Welsh, the Placeholder will display the information in English, however it is now easier than ever to link from the Placeholder to the Wikidata item and add a Welsh translation.  And plans are underway to hold Translate-a-thons with Welsh speakers in order to translate more Wikidata items into Welsh.

Welsh can easily be added to any Wikidata label
Welsh can easily be added to any Wikidata label

It is hoped that embedding this feature into the Welsh language Wicipedia will provide Welsh speakers with a richer Wiki experience and will encourage more editors to create content and add Welsh translations to Wikidata, cementing the place of the Welsh language in the digital realm.

 

Jason Evans

Wikimedian in Residence

National Library of wales

 

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