Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Indic Languages

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The WikiProject Spoken Indian Language Wikipedia is a project undertaken by Wikipedia Club Pune to give a voice to the Indian community and to create a knowledge domain of information related to India and Indian languages through audio recordings of the articles (in various native languages). Wikipedia's coverage of India-related topics, including its culture, its people and the little things that make them Indian, needs to be significantly expanded and improved. This project is a huge step forward in uplifting India to a global level through this platform – making it more noteworthy, better understood and effectively represented. The project will support these articles on the English Wikipedia, and the important ones will be translated across to selected Indian-language Wikipedias.

The aim of the project is twofold: to create articles on India and Indian languages, and to have them recorded as audio files.


Benefits of Spoken Wikipedia

Here are some of the many reasons why it is highly beneficial to create spoken recordings of India-related Wikipedia articles.

  • In India, access to the Internet is one problem and the availability of technology is another. In such a scenario, offline Wikipedia, too, has its limitations. Spoken Indian Language Wikipedia articles can be used on a mobile device, removing this barrier.
  • Spoken articles have a major accessibility dimension, making Wikipedia content available to those who can understand an Indian Language or English but cannot read it.
  • Users can listen to Wikipedia articles while they perform tasks that exclude reading but not concentration (such as running, or housework), thus making the process more fun.
  • Visually impaired users can make use of screen readers, but they may not be as accurate as a human vocal recording. This is particularly true of articles relating to science, mathematics, linguistics, and other areas commonly requiring unusual or unfamiliar pronunciation, or the use of symbols.
  • Such audio articles are a valuable learning tool for those who are learning English. If a link is given to the version of the page that was recorded, users may listen to the words while reading them.
  • Spoken articles are a valuable learning tool for auditory learners (people who learn most effectively by listening to information delivered orally).
  • Some may find it easier to concentrate on an article while listening to it, especially in an environment with distracting sounds (with the use of headphones).
  • By hearing articles read aloud, readers can catch inconsistencies, redundancies, and awkward phrases not noticed by other editors, thus improving the written version of Wikipedia.


However, the project does have some difficulties and shortcomings.

  • India-related articles are not well developed as yet. Therefore, it's essential to create and improve them first, before recording them. Presently, the primary focus is on basic health-related articles.. This area has become immensely important, especially but not only for rural communities in India, enabling many people to understand and take the right decisions about their health. Evidently, a disease, however trivial it may seem, affects not only the concerned person, but everyone around him/her. Epidemics can have a nationwide effect and recent occurrences of the spread of grave and severe contagious diseases should serve as an eye-opener. This issue will be looked into and be given due importance in this project.
  • Writing, editing and then recording articles can be time-consuming. Further, there is a chance that a recording will be abandoned or have its source text dramatically changed before the audio task is completed; that would call for an entirely new audio file altogether. This can often be hard to keep track of as well.
  • Incorrect pronunciation can greatly mislead foreign users, which can further lead to misunderstanding, miscommunication, or problems of comprehension.
  • To maintain a consistent vocal sound and to avoid the degradation in sound quality that comes from re-editing compressed audio files, edits to an existing recording should be done by the original recorder. Thus, in cases where a recording needs to be modified and the original recorder is unavailable, the recording may need to be re-recorded entirely or removed.
  • The audio file format used in Wikipedia is the open-source standard, Ogg Vorbis, which avoids proprietary formats, including DRM provisions. However, audio files encoded in Ogg Vorbis are not widely supported in many portable digital music players. For information on how to play Ogg Vorbis files on a computer, see the Ogg media help page.
  • Wikipedia articles are continually evolving. Audio versions tend to become increasingly different from the written version over time (unless the audio version is also updated). Even the most minor edits like changes in punctuation can lead to a variation in the audio file.
  • There is no way to follow or indicate links in this case. One possible solution is Audio Hyperlinks.

Possible solutions[edit]

  • Manual one-day workshops to record developed and copy-edited India-related Wikipedia articles.
  • Video tutorials on why and how people should work on Spoken Indian Language Wikipedia.
    Recording for the Spoken Wikipedia Project at Wikipedia Summit Pune 2013
  • Partnership with a media school or a recording studio for monthly workshops.


List of suggested articles[edit]

Please give your suggestions for articles, even though they may not yet be developed, on respective Indian languages and on India. If it's of high importance (like health-related), it will be developed and recorded soon.


Interested in helping online or offline by giving your voice? Please add your name below to get updates.

Online support[edit]

(Includes suggesting articles for recording, developing articles online and assisting in revaluation of recorded article.)

  1. Onkar Yellurkar
  2. Abhijeet Safai
  3. Ketaki Pole
  4. Tehniyat Shaikh
  5. Mayur Thopate
  6. Trupti Kamble
  7. Shrutuja Shirke
  8. Gaurav Yawalkar
  9. Siddharth Goenka
  10. Subhashish Panigrahi
  11. TheSpecialUser
  12. Avani Pandya
  13. Talk

Offline support[edit]

(Includes organizing/attending workshop, donating voice, creating audio file.)

  1. Abhishek Suryawanshi
  2. Abhijeet Safai
  3. Ketaki Pole
  4. Niraj Suryawanshi
  5. Tehniyat Shaikh
  6. Mayur Thopate
  7. Trupti Kamble
  8. Shrutuja Shirke
  9. Gaurav Yawalkar
  10. Siddharth Goenka
  11. Harriet Vidyasagar
  12. Avani Pandya
  13. Sanjay Balotiya
  14. Rishabh Tatiraju

See also[edit]