Madurai

Tamil Wikipedia invites articles

Volunteers explaining how Tamil Wikipedia works to visitors at the Book Fair in Madurai.— Photo: R. Ashok

Volunteers explaining how Tamil Wikipedia works to visitors at the Book Fair in Madurai.— Photo: R. Ashok  

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Curious book lovers and visitors queued up at the Tamil Wikipedia stall at the Book Fair, which was calling for volunteers to contribute to their online database of articles.

Functioning along the same lines as the English version of Wikipedia, which has millions of articles on varied topics contributed by volunteers from across the world, Wikipedia Foundation, which manages Wikipedia, is seeking to broaden the scope of Tamil Wikipedia.

The Tamil Wikipedia has over 60,000 articles on various subjects contributed by volunteers proficient in Tamil from across the world. “We get at least 300 articles every month from volunteers based in Madurai, who sign up for writing articles on various subjects. Tamil Wikipedia is being increasingly sought out by students who want to research on topics related to art, history, literature and culture of the State as they feel that there is more relevant information here, and in a language easier to understand,” said A. Ravishankar, Programme Director, Wikipedia India.

He, however, said that among the roadblocks they faced, many were still unaware of the existence of a Wikipedia in Tamil.

“Another issue is the fact that many are unable to type in Tamil and contribute articles,” he added.

A glance at the Tamil Wikipedia topics which have received the ‘Top Hits’ or maximum views recently include articles on A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and S. Radhakrishnan, on account of Teachers’ Day celebrated on September 5.

“If more articles are added, it can be a great reference point for students of Tamil in schools and colleges. It will throw open access for many people who wish to browse through a comprehensive encyclopaedia in Tamil,” a volunteer said. S. Sundaram, a senior citizen and a city resident, who made enquiries at the stall said that he would be interested in contributing to the Tamil Wikipedia.

“I have a keen interest in Tamil literature and read extensively. It will help me write articles introducing famous books and plays,” he said.

Apart from the Tamil Wikipedia, two other projects in Tamil by the Wikipedia Foundation in the pipeline are wikitionary, an online Tamil dictionary, and Wikisource, an online platform to curate Tamil literary works.



“We get at least 300 articles every month from volunteers based in Madurai, who sign up for writing articles on various subjects”



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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 1:30:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/tamil-wikipedia-invites-articles/article7627180.ece

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