Wikipedia:Volapük Wikipedia

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Favicon of Wikipedia Volapük Wikipedia
Logo of the Volapük Wikipedia
The main page of the Volapük Wikipedia on 12 April 2013
Web address
Slogan Sikloped Libik
Commercial? No
Type of site Internet encyclopedia
Registration Optional
Users 17,934 total accounts
183 contributors (May 2014)[1]
Content license CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0
Most text also dual-licensed under GFDL, media licensed freely according to Wikimedia Commons licenses.
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Launched February 2003 (created)
27 January 2004; 10 years ago (2004-01-27) (official)

The Volapük Wikipedia (Volapük: Vükiped Volapükik ) is the Volapük-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was created in February 2003,[2] but launched in January 2004.[3] With about 119,000 articles, it is currently the 45th-largest Wikipedia as measured by the number of articles[4] and the second-largest Wikipedia in a constructed language.[5]

The edition is most notable for raising questions about the role of bots on Wikipedia, which initiated the development of policies and alternative measures of Wikipedias' quality. Its large amount of bot-generated articles brought attention to both the Python Wikipediabot Framework[6] and the Volapük language, which often exemplifies the extent of Wikipedia's multilingualism across national, minority, dead and constructed languages alike.[7][8][9][10]


The Volapük Wikipedia was created in February 2003, alongside the Croatian, Lithuanian, Armenian, and Bihari Wikipedias.[2] The main page was created on 27 January 2004, marking the edition's official launch.[3] It underwent a redesign on 3 March 2004,[11][12] and a second one on 15 December 2006, that serves as the basis for the current layout.[13]

In January 2007, Wikipedian Sérgio Meira began to actively use a bot called SmeiraBot to create many new articles about Volapük-related topics, before massively adding stubs about cities primarily in France, Italy, and the United States. MalafayaBot was another active bot on the Volapük Wikipedia. It served primarily to greet new users, add interlanguage links,[note 1] and clean up depreciated files, but also created hundreds of stubs about years.[14]

Between June and September 2007, the Volapük Wikipedia grew very quickly with the use of bots.[15] On 7 September 2007, it became the 15th Wikipedia to reach the milestone of 100,000 articles, surpassing many editions in much larger languages including i.a. Arabic, Turkish, Indonesian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Esperanto, to become the largest Wikipedia in a constructed language. While among the largest editions, the Volapük Wikipedia received a lot of attention from the Wikipedia community,[16] bloggers,[17][18] and even some media coverage.[19][20][21][22]

In early September, Smeira's work was criticized by a few Wikipedians including Chuck Smith, founder of the Esperanto Wikipedia, who asked about his motive for favoring "quantity at the great expense of quality".[23]

In response to the criticism, Smeira wrote:

I thought I could try to get some new people interested in learning the language and contributing by doing something a little crazy -- like increasing the size of the Volapük Wikipedia as fast as I could, with Python programs for copying and pasting information onto pre-translated templates. In many Wikipedias this had already been done (I actually got the idea from the US city articles in the English Wikipedia).[24]

Soon after, on 21 September 2007, a proposal was submitted to Meta-Wiki to close the Volapük Wikipedia. It quickly generated a lot of attention, disputes, and vandalism.[25] Wikipedians were divided on the issue and the discussion was closed on 6 November 2007. The final decision was to keep the Volapük Wikipedia.[26]

On 25 December 2007, a second, "more balanced request" was created, suggesting a radical cleanup of Volapük Wikipedia with the aim of removing all bot-created articles, and transferring the remaining articles to the Wikimedia Incubator.[27][28] This proposal was also rejected, on 28 January 2008.[27] The Esperanto Wikipedia's number of articles caught up, on 23 September 2009, two years after being surpassed, and it remains the largest Wikipedia in a non-natural language to this day.[29] Since then, the number of articles has remained relatively stable on the Volapük Wikipedia, while the edition's collaborative quality has increased, as more effort is put on improving current articles than creating new ones, which led to a doubling of the depth indicator[30][note 2] since SmeiraBot made its last edit in April 2008, after a total of over 1,150,000.[31]

Following discussions about the status of the Volapük Wikipedia, several initiatives with the aim of promoting the development of quality articles throughout Wikipedia have been created. On 7 November 2007‎, Sérgio Meira introduced the List of Wikipedias by sample of articles, a ranking of Wikipedias based on the size of its articles in a predefined sample as defined by the List of articles every Wikipedia should have.[32] It was created to serve as a measure of Wikipedias' quality alternative to the list of Wikipedias by size. Two months later, on 8 January 2008, a Proposal for Policy on overuse of bots in Wikipedias was created on Meta-Wiki.‎[33] Its purpose was to address perceived problems resulting from "massive flood of additions from bots", but as of April 2013, it remains a proposal and is still in the process of gathering consensus for adoption.[33]


Origin of views (07/09 – 12/09) [1]
United States
United Kingdom

As of July 2014, the Volapük Wikipedia's 119,000 articles[4] account for approximately 35% of all the articles written in an Indo-European-based constructed language, making it the second-largest edition in the family after Esperanto, which accounts for 52%.[5] It currently has a relatively low depth indicator of 15.5, slightly below the Esperanto edition's 18.3, but higher than the Dutch, Kazakh, Cebuano, and Waray-Waray Wikipedias (which have a depth indicator of 8.7, 8.3, 3.4, and 3 respectively). As it mainly consists of "Poplar Bluff" style articles,[34] it fits the definition of a "botopedia" (Russian: ботопедия), as coined by the Russian Wikipedia.[35][note 3] Nevertheless, the Volapük Wikipedia also has 14 featured articles (Yegeds gudik), but a relatively low proportion of 0.12 featured articles per 1000 articles, on par with the Uzbek, Lithuanian, and Danish Wikipedias.[36] It features a rich collection of articles about the history of the Volapük movement that are mostly unique to the Volapük Wikipedia or have shorter, incomplete translations in other languages.[37] In fact, 8 articles on the English Wikipedia could be expanded by translating from the Volapük Wikipedia.[38]

At close to 600,000 articles per speaker, the Volapük Wikipedia has, by far, the greatest number of articles per speaker of any edition of Wikipedia.[39][40] These figures were based on a very optimistic estimate of 200 speakers of Volapük. Its editing community currently consists of 3 administrators (10.34% of all active users) and 29 active contributors, of which on average between 1 and 3 are very active every month,[note 4] and there are in total 8 users with over 1,000 edits (excluding bots).[41][42]

The Volapük Wikipedia holds no files locally, relying strictly on Wikimedia Commons for images, sound, and other media files. All of its files are freely available under a Creative Commons license and there are thereby no fair use works. It is an approach shared by several other editions lacking an Exemption Doctrine Policy,[43] including i.a. the Spanish, Swedish, Polish, Basque, Czech, Danish, and Latin Wikipedias.[4][44]

Notability within the Volapük community[edit]

As one of the largest works written in the language over the last century, it has an impact on the development of modern Volapük neologisms, particularly geographical terms.[45] On the online discussion group Volapükalised, the Volapük Wikipedia is the subject of multiple discussions about terminology and usage, being often linked to as a reference for language points.[46][47] Several prominent figures in the development of Volapük, including Arden R. Smith, link to Vükiped on their websites and it is predominantly featured on the official website of Flenef Bevünetik Volapüka ("The International Community of Friends of Volapük") maintained by Ralph Midgley and Michael Everson.[48][49]

Beyond the Internet, the Volapük Wikipedia was presented as an illustration of the Volapük community's continuance during the Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages exhibit held at the Cleveland Public Library from May through August 2008[50][51][52][53] and at the Third Language Creation Conference on 21–22 March 2009.[54][55] It was created by Donald Boozer, then a Subject Department Librarian in Literature and currently Coordinator of Ohio's statewide online reference service (KnowItNow24x7) as well as librarian and secretary of the Language Creation Society.[56]


Original logo of the Volapük Wikipedia
Original logo of the Volapük Wikipedia
Current logo of the Volapük Wikipedia since May 2013
Current logo the Volapük Wikipedia since May 2013

The word Vükiped is unique among translations of the name Wikipedia because it conveys an adaptation of the original word's connotations while being composed entirely of existent Volapük morphemes. Instead of opting for an habitual calque of the English portmanteau of wiki and encyclopedia, the Volapük Wikipedia's community preferred to devise a neologism, because a borrowing of the prefix wiki- would be inconsistent with Volapük morphology. The resulting Vükiped is composed of morphemes vü- ("inter-", "among") and kiped ("to keep", "to preserve", "to maintain"), and has an implied meaning that roughly translates as: "the effort to maintain this Wikipedia is shared among a group of folks".[57] The word was accepted in early 2004, for its autological conveyance of a central aspect of Wikipedia's nature and because it is both phonologically and orthographically similar to the original term Wikipedia.[57]

The first logo made for the Vükiped was created by User:Nohat and transfered to Wikimedia Commons on 8 June 2005. Until May 2013, the Volapük Wikipedia was the only edition with over 100,000 articles still using the first generation of Wikipedia's logo. It was among the last Wikipedias to make the switch to the second-generation logo, along with the Serbo-Croatian, Western Punjabi, Plattdüütsch, Limburgish, Gilaki, Tibetan, Komi, Zeelandic, Uyghur, Bihari, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Chechen, Tongan, Erza, Lao, Cherokee, Pontic Greek, Sindhi, Dzongkha, and Cree Wikipedias. The second-generation logo was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons on 12 June 2010, but only published on the Volapük Wikipedia almost 3 years later, after 13 May 2013,[58] because priority was given to a Wikipedia's reach, as opposed to its size.[59]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maintenance of interlanguage links on individual editions of Wikipedia is depreciated since the advent of Wikidata, where interlanguage links from all editions are centralized since 6 March 2013.
  2. ^ Depth is a rough indicator of a Wikipedia's collaborative quality showing how frequently its articles are updated. A higher depth usually indicates that articles are more often edited.
  3. ^ A botopedia, or ботопедия in Russian, is a Wikipedia whose share of articles created by bots is greater than 50%.
  4. ^ A very active user is one with 100+ edits in the main namespace of a given project over the last 30 days.


  1. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics — Tables — Contributors". Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Zachte, Erik. "Creation history / Accomplishments". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Fomam timü 20:42, 2003 setul 27id". Earliest revision of "Cifapad" (in Volapük). Vükiped. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "List of Wikipedias". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "List of Wikipedias by language group". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Manual:Pywikipediabot". MediaWiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Yates, Ben; Charles Matthews, Phoebe Ayers (23 September 2008). "15". How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It. No Starch Press. p. 410. ISBN 159327176X. "The range of languages represented by Wikipedia is very large. Wikipedias exist in constructed languages (Esperanto [eo] and Volapük [vo] with their internationalist aim) and significant dead languages (Latin [la] and Old Church Slavonic [cu]), which have no native speakers." 
  8. ^ Jörn von Lucke (9 May 2010). "Open Government — Öffnung von Staat und Verwaltung – Gutachten für die Deutsche Telekom AG zur T-City Friedrichshafen" (PDF). Gutachten für die Deutsche Telekom AG zur T-City Friedrichshafen (in German). Zeppelin University gGmbH. p. 15. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Jörn von Lucke, ed. (31 March 2012). "6 T-City Friedrichschafen — Projektfeld Lernen und Forschen". Entdeckung, Erkundung und Entwicklung 2.0 - Open Government, Open Government Data und Open Budget 2.0 (in German). epubli. p. 41. ISBN 9783844217995. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Raleigh Muns (7 November 2008). "Wikipedia Judo: Mutual Benefit by Way of Altruism" (PDF). In Baudino, Frank; Ury, Connie Jo; G. Park, Sarah. Brick and Click Libraries — An Academic Library Symposium. Northwest Missouri State University. p. 103. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Fomam dätü 02:39, 2004 mäzul 3id". Difference between revisions of "Cifapad" (in Volapük). Vükiped. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Gebanibespik:Jmb". Vükiped. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Fomam dätü 18:15, 2006 dekul 15id". Difference between revisions of "Cifapad" (in Volapük). Vükiped. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Patikos:Keblünots/MalafayaBot". Vükiped (in Volapük). Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Nicky Ringland; Joel Nothman, Tara Murphy, and James R. Curran. "Classifying articles in English and German Wikipedia" (PDF). School of Information Technologies. University of Sydney. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Volapuko kaj la Vükiped". Esperanta Vikipedio (in Esperanto). Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Why are there so many articles in the Volapuk Wikipedia?". THE ŒCUMENICAL PANHERESY. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Wimmer, Paweł (30 September 2007). "Vükiped, czyli park jurajski". Poradnik internauty (in Polish). Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Yves Nevelsteen; Chuck Smith, Toño del Barrio, Eddy Van den Bosch kaj Hèctor Alòs i Font (15 September 2007). "Volapuko jam superas Esperanton en Vikipedio" (in Esperanto). Libera Folio. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  20. ^ pl:Paweł Wimmer (1 December 2007). "Ciekawe wydarzenia w Internecie". PCWorld (in Polish). IDG Poland S.A. p. 1. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  21. ^ R.L.G. (7 March 2013). "The keenest Wikipedians". The Economist. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  22. ^ vilcxjo-me. "Volapük Gajnas!". Esperanto League for North America (in Esperanto). Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "Gebanibespik:Smeira/Ragiv01". Vükiped (in English, Spanish, and Volapük). March 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Sérgio, Meira. "Answers?". Gebanibespik:Smeira. Vükiped. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Fomam dätü 14:33, 2007 tobul 25id". Vükiped (in Volapük). Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Volapük Wikipedia". Media-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Proposals for closing projects/Radical cleanup of Volapük Wikipedia". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "The bot equivalent to the atom bomb was ignited.". [[content|comment]] Just do things and promote them later – not the other way round. Retrieved 12 April 2007. 
  29. ^ Gasper, Donald. "Vükiped". Menefe Bal Püki Bal (in Esperanto). Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Depth". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  31. ^ "Patikos:Keblünots/SmeiraBot". Vükiped (in Volapük). Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  32. ^ Smeira (7 November 2007). "List of Wikipedias by sample of articles". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "Proposal for Policy on overuse of bots in Wikipedias". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  34. ^ van Dijk, Ziko (Fall 2009). "Wikipedia and lesser-resourced languages" (PDF). Language Problems and Language Planning (John Benjamins Publishing Co.) 33 (3): 234–250. doi:10.1075/lplp.33.3.03van. ISSN 0272-2690. Retrieved 22 May 2014. "“Poplar Bluff ” style articles are like geographical stubs, created schematically by a bot, but they use more data and present it in the form of full sentences. “Poplar Bluff ” is a town in Missouri, USA." 
  35. ^ "Википедия:Ботопедия". Википедия (in Russian). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  36. ^ "Vükiped:Yegeds gudik". Vükiped (in Volapük). Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  37. ^ "Kladabim". Vükiped (in Volapük). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  38. ^ "Category:Articles needing translation from Volapük Wikipedia". Wikipedia. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  39. ^ "List of Wikipedias by speakers per article". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
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  45. ^ Morris, Robert. "Countries and languages names". Menefe Bal Püki Bal (in Volapük). Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  46. ^ van Steenbergen, Jan. "China, Chile, Czech Republic". Menefe Bal Püki Bal. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
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  49. ^ Smith, Arden R. "Vükiped: sikloped libik". Volapükayüms (in Volapük). Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
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  51. ^ Boozer, Donald. "Case 6: Esperanto & Other Auxlangs, left". Conlang Exhibit at Cleveland Public Library. Flickr. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  52. ^ "6.G. Schisms in a Perfect World". Conlang Exhibit Master File Text. Language Creation Society. pp. 40–41. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  53. ^ Michael Norman (6 June 2008). "Inventing own language, Don Boozer opened up another world". Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  54. ^ Fiat Lingua. "Review of From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages". Fiat Lingua. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
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  56. ^ "Officers & Directors". Language Creation Society. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  57. ^ a b Oliver Pereira; Jay B. "Fomam timü 14:00, 2003 febul 15id". Vükiped. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  58. ^ "wiki-vo.png". The Wayback Machine. Internet Archive. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  59. ^ "locked/English_logo". Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 

External links[edit]