Ambitious plan: let’s increase Estonian Wikipedia to one million articles!

On today’s Mother Language Day, the comprehensive Wikipedia development project Million+ is launched, in which everyone who wants to contribute to the future of the Estonian language and culture can join.

Million+ is a collective initiative aiming to increase the textual content of the Estonian Wikipedia to one million articles and thereby create a substantial encyclopaedia for all Estonians. Wikipedia or free encyclopaedia is the most widely used source of general information, with encyclopaedic content created by volunteers. Although the need for a good and comprehensive encyclopaedia in Estonian is enormous, the current environment is still incomplete and in need for further development. Today the Estonian Wikipedia contains 155,000 articles and a great deal of this content has been created by just a few dozen people. In order to increase the number of wiki articles to more than a million, the University of Tartu and MTÜ Wikimedia Eesti invite all active people to create more articles to the web encyclopaedia and supplement the existing ones.

Sirli Zupping, lecturer in Estonian language of the University of Tartu, says it is important that all members of the society contribute to the development of the e-society, “In some respects, Million+ is like the web-based version of the “Let’s do it!” campaign, meant to tidy up information in the Estonian language. All Estonian universities should set the target that each student compile at least one wiki article during their studies. This would be a direct contribution to the society and clearly support the survival and further development of the Estonian science language.”

According to one of the initiators of this project, UT vice rector for academic affairs Mart Noorma, Million+ is an excellent undertaking aiming to involve the whole Estonian society and supplement the free web encyclopaedia. “Wikipedia is of particular importance in shaping the judgments of young people - if they cannot find an Estonian equivalent using the Google search and only the English Wikipedia offers solutions, it affects their opinion of the importance of their mother tongue,” said Noorma about the importance of the encyclopaedia in Estonian. “The terminology and considerable knowledge base of several disciplines has been gathered into universities and can be shared with Wikipedia with the help of students, lecturers and researchers. Also enterprises, organisations, institutions and schools have collected valuable professional and local historical information, which is worth adding to the web encyclopaedia,” says Noorma, inviting everyone to contribute to the project.

Million+ is a contribution to the future of the Estonian language and a gift to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. As one of the first initiatives within the project, the digital education competition, which goes on until 1 June, has been launched to encourage the improvement of economy-related articles. Currently, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Swedbank and the Ministry of Education and Research participate in the project activities, but everyone who feels responsible for the preservation of the Estonian language is welcome to contribute.

The website of the programme can be found at www.miljonpluss.ut.ee.

Additional information: Sirli Zupping, UT Lecturer in Estonian Language, 737 6127, sirli.zupping@ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp@ut.ee
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