A strong pitch to increase Wikipedians' tribe in Sanskrit

A strong pitch to increase Wikipedians' tribe in Sanskrit

Tech-enabling

A strong pitch to increase Wikipedians' tribe in Sanskrit
 There have been several efforts to keep Sanskrit alive in popular culture. A team of Wikipedians in the City has now joined this endeavour.

They are doing their bit for the language by working towards the expansion of Sanskrit Wikipedia. Roping in college professors and students to actively contribute to Sanskrit Wikipedia, the team is spearheading a movement for popularising Sanskrit Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wiktionary and Wikiquote.

In a first such workshop on ‘Samskrit Wiki’ organised by the Samskrit Wiki Group here on February 14 and 15, 2015, Sanskrit professors were given basic understanding about Wikipedia editing.

Professors from Rashtriya Samskrit Samsthan (Sringeri and Puri campuses), Rashtriya Samskrutha Vidyapeetham, Tirupathi, Karnataka Sanskrit University, Samskrit Academy (Hyderabad), participated in the event apart from Sanskrit lecturers from several colleges in the city. These professors will henceforth actively contribute towards enriching Sanskrit Wikipedia.

The Samskrit Wiki Group is based out of Samskrita Bharati in the City. Content development of Sanskrit wikipedia is one of the projects of Samskruta Bharati. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Shubha, co-ordinator of the Samskrit Wiki wing, Samskrita Bharati, said that they had conducted several exhibitions earlier in this connection, but this was the first such workshop being held.

“Many of the participants had not heard of Sanskrit Wikipedia. People usually associate Wikipedia with information available in English. Not many people are aware about Wikipedia in regional languages. Very few know that Wikipedia also exists in Sanskrit,” she said.

Wiki-friendly students

Now that the professors have been trained, the group will visit the educational institutions and start training students too, so that they can contribute for Sanskrit Wiki.
This would also give them an opportunity to enhance their writing skills in Sanskrit. Shubha said that several Sanskrit students were not tech-friendly and were not used to computers. This would expose them to technology.

The team was also keenly pursuing advocating inclusion of Wiki editing in BEd and MEd syllabus, apart from its inclusion in ‘Acharya,’ a Sanskrit degree equivalent to post-graduation.

‘Need more experts’

The main challenge in expansion of Sanskrit Wikipedia is that there are not many language experts available for the task. The volunteers need to find relevant Sanskrit words for several modern concepts. Unless one is an expert in the language, it is difficult to find the appropriate words.

 “It is not a mother tongue for most people. If one wants to write in their mother tongue, they need not think much. But this requires effort,” Shubha pointed out.

Sanskrit Wikipedia began in 2003. The Samskrit Wiki Group team started working towards expansion of Sanskrit Wikipedia in February, 2011. When they began, there were 4,000 articles in Sanskrit Wikipedia. “Several entries were in Hindi and we had to translate and rework on them,” Shubha told Deccan Herald.

Today there are about 11,000 articles in Wikipedia, about 8,000 books in Wikisource and about 3,000 pages of Wiki quote in Sanskrit, she said.


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