From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Belarusian Language[edit]

- Shame on SIL for assigning "RUW" as the code for Belarusian language! -- rydel 17:15, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Belarusian code is now "BEL" in 15th edition of Ethnologue.

SIL POV[edit]

I think the passage I added definetly belongs in the intro. This is a question of SIL going against not just the rest of the linguistic community, but the majority of the speakers as well. The classification of Flemish seems to be an especially bad call, since the Flemish themselves seem not to be comfortable at all with the description of their variant of Dutch as a separate language.

SIL's classification of Scandinavian languages contains even more oddities. Norwegian has been doubly classified due to its two written standards bokmål (much influenced by written Danish) and nynorsk (more true to Norwegian and in particular Western Norwegian dialects) as separate languages, which is a very strange thing to do to a language. The Norwegians don't consider these to be separate languages, and they are not consistently used to write just one type of dialect.

Three dialects of Swedish have been separately classified as languages; Jamska, "Dalecarlian" and Scanian. The two former, and especially älvdalsmål or älvdalska are fairly reasonable, though still have no official recognition, but Scanian is a very strange bird indeed. It's certainly not unintelligible from Standard Swedish. Scanian doesn't differ more from the standard language than Australian English, especially not considering that speaking Standard Swedish with a regional flavor is fully acceptable. The entries also tend to contain factual errors. "Dalecarlian" is an incredibly poor choice for a name, since it seems to include the entire province of Dalarna, where people speak their own dialect of Central Swedish (dalmål) which is not difficult at all to understand, eventhough that "Dalecarlian" is limited to people who live in Älvdalen.

To top it off, SIL has decided that East/West Scandinavian isn't enough, but has also created their own concept of a "Danish-Swedish" sub-branch of East Scandinavian, which is given no explanation and is used by no one but SIL.

To call this POV would be true I guess, except that the POV is SIL's. As far as I can tell, they seem to give in to the fringe ideas among certain regionalist groups when handing out language codes. Eventhough only a small minority of the Scanian regionalists seem to actually be supporting the idea of a Scanian minority language in need of official recognition and protection, SIL seems to have taken these groups seriously and, frankly, taken a political rather than linguistic decision.

For these reasons I'm moving the passage back into the intro.

Peter Isotalo 06:59, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Another very blatant sample is the classification of Alemannic German: It might be arguable that the whole of Alemannic may be an independent language—though I as a speaker of Alemannic very definitly would not take that POV—, but I see no point in detaching the dialects of the Walser from the rest of Alemannic, especially not while affirming that the Wallis dialects belong together with Alemannic [1]. ― j. 'mach' wust | 10:46, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Missionary activity[edit]

The criticism of SIL's missionary activities has been completely removed or neutered.

At least one of the responsible "contributors", DanielVonFange, seems to have been a JAARS volunteer for several months in 2003 (see JAARS Prayerline Archives July 22th and Von Fange's blog archives). JAARS provides technical support to SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators.

These removals of criticism without any discussion and without giving any alternative sources are unacceptable and I'll re-insert those parts.

I also think that the replacement of "evangelical" by "faith-based" is misleading. SIL is not a Jewish, Islamic or Buddhist organisation, but clearly an evangelical Christian one. — Babelfisch 08:11, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I volunteer at JAARS. If I had wanted to do something in secret, I certainly would not have made edits under my real name. ;) I was wrong to make such edits without posting on discussion. Blame it on wikipedia newness. I'm still disagreeing with you, but lets discuss it.
Does something starts with "Rumors abounded...", have a place on a wikipedia article?
"Throughout Huaorani territory, SIL airdropped false-bottomed food baskets containing tiny radio transmitters; receivers at highly sophisticated communications stations, manned by U.S. military personnel at the army base in Shell, tuned into these transmitters. Whenever a member of the tribe was bitten by a poisonous snake or became seriously ill, an SIL representative arrived with antivenom or the proper medicines - often in oil company helicopters."
This doesn't even sound credible.
"[The president of Ecuador, Jaime Roldós,] openly accused the Summer Institute of Linguistics of colluding with the oil companies, and then, in an extremely bold - perhaps reckless - move, he ordered SIL out of the country. [...] He died in a fiery helicopter crash on May 24, 1981. [...] Osvaldo Hurtado took over as Ecuadors president. He reinstated the Summer Institute of Linguistics and their oil company sponsors. (op. cit. p.156f.)"
This strongly implies that SIL killed the president of Ecuador. Did they? Does a slant-wise allegation like this belong on wikipedia?
DanielVonFange 08:11, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I suggest you read some of the sources given under References in the article. Colby/Dennet and Perkins are very easy to find, apart from the articles on the Internet, of course.
I've added quotation marks to more clearly mark the quotes from Perkins' book. These are very strong allegations indeed, but Perkins is not the only one who makes them, and SIL didn't sue him, either. There are enough sources available (and listed in the article) to make these accusations credible. — Babelfisch 02:20, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree that much of the Controversy section should be removed, especially from the Missionary Activities section. It needs to be completely rewritten or removed all together. Just because SIL didn't sue him doesn't mean Perkins should be accepted as credible. Also, there are critics of every organization but this article makes it seem that SIL is engulfed in controversy which it most certainly isn't. SIL is respected world wide for both it's academic and humanitarian work. I'm not saying the article can't be critical of SIL, but the criticism here should be at least some what proportional to that which the organization actually receives. --Thesparrows 06:29, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

As I've said, Perkins is not the only one. Have a look at the other references and the external links. It's good to see that SIL actually reacted to Perkins' allegations (although their statement is a bit bland) - it took them exactly one year, but I find it wonderful that a link to their statement was immediately added to the article.
It would be even better, of course, to find sources independent from SIL that defend the organisation against these accusations.
The criticism of SIL shouldn't be censored. If you think it has undue weight, please help us to expand the other sections in this article. (I couldn't do that without elaborating on the missionary activities of SIL, which their scientific achievements are inextricably linked with.) — Babelfisch 01:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Right. I did have a look at the other references. I'm not too impressed. Seems like a bunch of unfounded rumors. Again, I'm not saying that criticism of SIL should be censored, but it needs to be within reason. So I'm removing a large section of the Perkins' quote as well as the links that are either irrelevent or just a Perkins book review. --Thesparrows 15:34, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

The truncated quote doesn't make sense any more, because all the substance of the criticism was removed - but I guess that was the intention here. I've restored the deleted sections. These are serious and documented allegations. Unless there is a more serious and detailed refutation than "I'm not impressed", they should stay.
About the two links you deleted: Neither On The CIA And Christian Missionaries by Cedric Muhammad nor Evangelicals in Venezuela by Nikolas Kozloff are reviews of Perkins' book! Neither article even mentions Perkins or his book! Where's your point? I've restored both links. —Babelfisch 02:12, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
This is ridiculous. That quote is just too long. And the allegations made by it are completely unfounded! I don't think it should be there at all but I'm certainly not going to let the whole thing stay. I don't know what you personally have against SIL but you can't try and pass that article off as unbiased.
As for the websites, I didn't say they were both reviews of Perkins' book. I said they were reviews of books or irrelevent. And the two articles were definitely one of those two. The article is mostly quotes from Thy Will be Done. The article is about something else and only mentions SIL briefly. I'm removing them both again. And the last part of the quote. Again. The long quote as it is now doesn't makle any sense. If you want to edit it to your liking that's fine. But the whole thing doesn't need to be there.
I'm trying to make this article at least a little fair. There's still enough criticism to make you happy I should think. Thank you for being reasonable. -- 17:51, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Forgot to sign in.--Thesparrows 17:59, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
You said the two external links you wanted to censor were "either irrelevent or just a Perkins book review". Now you say they were "reviews of books or irrelevent" - that's a difference, and it makes me wonder if you read these two articles at all when you deleted them. What would be a "fair" article about SIL? One that doesn't mention their crimes? Once again: These allegations are backed up by a long list of printed articles and books listed as references, but I guess you didn't bother to consult any of those. Your only contribution to Wikipedia so far has been to delete parts of this article. That's not very constructive. What about expanding sections on SIL's history and merits? —Babelfisch 01:46, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I read all the articles that have links. I've read some of the printed books and articles. I've familiarized myself with most of the others. And for the third time, I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any criticism in this article! I'm saying, that as it is now, the article comes no where close to npov! Thanks for your concern but I haven't made many contributions because I only recently got a user name and began to sign in. Before that I just made minor edits. I still often forget to sign in. I was just trying to make this article a little balanced. I don't know much about editing or adding or anything which is why I first brought my concerns here. There's no need to be so hostile. --Thesparrows 04:12, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Five speared[edit]

I've removed the sentence, "As early as 1956, the Huaorani fought back and speared five SIL missionaries.".

The Wikipedia page for Nate_Saint was with Mission_Aviation_Fellowship.

-- DanielVonFange 15:41, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming were with Christian Missions in Many Lands.

Roger Youderian was from Gospel Missionary Union (Now know as Avant). ( : Page 7)

DanielVonFange 16:28, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

There are several sources that say that they were led by SIL - see the references in the article. — Babelfisch 01:40, 28 October 2005 (UTC)


As a complete novice to the study of languages (original training in medicine) I find myself somewhat disconcerted by the entry in Wikipedia on SIL. I was unaware that such an impressive collation of world languages existed while reading the parent article but upon reading the full entry on SIL, find myself unsure as to whether or not the political activities of the organisation (alleged or otherwise) have had a impact on the scholarship of its work. I request some clarity with regards SIL's scholarship integrity. Thank you. Anjum Madani (Dublin, Ireland) 12:04, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

<sorry, can't remember my blasted password; this shouldn't be a particularly controversial addition ;-)>

I can't remember the Wikipedia policy on external links, but just for the edification of people like M Anjum Madani above, I found this link (at the New York Times) to an article reporting on the scholarly value of SIL's work: How Linguists and Missionaries Share a Bible of 6,912 Languages . I couldn't tell you if it's npov or not, but it does seem "fair and balanced" (whatever that means).