Tamil Wikipedia Turns 10; More Power to Local Languages

Tamil Wikipedia LogoWhile the Internet celebrates Google’s 15th anniversary, there is a relatively smaller development we must remember– the Tamil Wikipedia has turned 10 year old this year! Contributors to the local language wikipedia will meet in Chennai on September 29 to celebrate 10 years of Tamil Wikipedia.

Until now, the Tamil Wikipedia has had 935 contributors who’ve added 55,745 articles with over 2 crore words, folks at Wikipedia said. It is one of the largest online collaboration project in Tamil.

The Tamil Wikipedia gets about 175,000 page views daily. The Tamil Wiktionary is the biggest in India with 2,83,000 words and ranks 16th among global wiktionaries, according to the Tamil Wikipedia.

Tamil wikipedians are also launching an essay contest with prizes worth Rs 30,000 to be won. The Dravidian language Tamil, with over 70 million native speakers, is one of the oldest and longest surviving classical languages.

The Wikimedia foundation supports various language editions of the online encyclopedia. Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali and others are quite prominent. The Malayalam Wikipedia turned 10 last year in December.

Rise of Local Languages on the Web

Local language content on the web will be key to bringing on the next few millions of Indian Internet users on board. However, content creation and discovery are still a challenge for local languages.

With smartphones and newer input methods, content creation is slowly improving. We’ve observed some key trends in the last few months.  Few weeks ago,  Samsung partnered with Reverie to launch interface in 9 Indian languages. Plustxt, focused on local language messaging was acquired by One97. The local language news app NewsHunt served 10 billion views and GupShup launched its app in different languages. The local language revolution that never happened on the web might be well underway.