Vicipaedia

October 1st, 2007 by Ross Scaife

from the CHE:

Latin Lovers Flock to Vicipaedia It’s taken only a few years for Wikipedia to become one of the world’s most translated documents: Sections of the site now appear in about 250 languages, including regional dialects like Quechua, Xhosa, Nauruan, and Kalaallisut. The translation projects, fledgling though they may be, serve real communities across the world. But what to make of Vicipaedia, a bustling site whose contributors have translated more than 15,000 Wikipedia entries into Latin? The Wall Street Journal offers an entertaining profile of Vicipaedia’s editors, who are remarkably devoted to a project that is “a slightly odd thing to do in this century,” as one translator admits. Most readers and contributors use Vicipaedia to test their language skills, not to conduct real research. So the site’s content is, well, eclectic: Entries about Roman history and mythology rub up against those on beer pong and Paris Hilton. There’s plenty of debate about neologisms — editors can’t seem to agree on the proper Latin word for “computer” — but Latin experts told The Journal that the quality of the translations is surprisingly good. –Brock Read

Mr. Rocchio’s coda: “Latin has a tradition of 2,700 years … and we don’t want that to end. Latin isn’t dead, it just smells funny.”

One Response to “Vicipaedia”

  1. Gabriel Bodard Says:

    This seems to have become a news story this week, despite edits on the site going back to 2003. It is interesting that the newsworthy thing about this story is that the Latin wikipedia isn’t just “musty articles about Roman military campaigns”, but is a Latin-language encyclopedia full of modern subject matter. I wonder if it would be too retrograde of me to try and make this relevant to classical subjects again? How many digital classical projects with good web presence are or should be listed in this site? Has the Perseus Project entry been translated, for example? The TLG?

    What is the Latin for Digital Humanities?

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