Wiki wed learning portuguese the wiki way

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My presentation given at <a>London Wiki Wednesdays 2nd Feb 2011</a>

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  • I need to learn Portuguese. My Brazilian girlfriend expects me to. I keep going to visit her family in Brazil, and I keep promising them that I will learn. So... mainly as a way of procrastinating and putting off the task. I wondered how can I learn Portuguese the wiki way?
  • Im interested in finding learning resources which are free. Free because I&apos;m cheapskate, and like with all information, I&apos;m starting to expect it to be free. language learning resources can actually be quite expensive. Quite an industry. Surely they should be free, just to make the world a better place. Free as in freedom! I like to use open source software. -&gt; I like to use open licensed content. But I&apos;m also interested freedom to re-use and redistribute for reason I&apos;ll come onto later.
  • What about wikipedia? Wikipedia is open licensed content. You&apos;re allowed to re-use the content for free provided you get the attribution right. And wikipedia has everything right? Well not really. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and all the content is “encyclopedic”. It&apos;s all a bit boring and factual. I wont find a language learning course on there..
  • There is of course the portuguese wikipedia. This is the whole wikipedia site but in another language. As you can see they have 670,000 articles. So that&apos;s pretty impressive. It&apos;s still not a language learning course Mind you, it is supposed to be quite a good way of learning another language, to help translating english articles into that language. But I&apos;m not really at that level yet. I can barely string a sentence together in Portuguese.
  • How about WikiBooks org? I guess you could say this is “from the makers of wikipedia”, except that any and everyone can be a maker of wikipedia. Likewise with wikibooks It&apos;s one of the “sister projects” of wikipedia run by the wikimedia foundation. It&apos;s all about writing self-contained books on particular subject areas. I can&apos;t help feeling a little bit sceptical about the idea of using a wiki to collaborate on writing a book. But the project seems to be succeeding with some books at least (check out the “featured books”)
  • And look! There&apos;s a brazilian protuguese book. So this is a bit more like it! There&apos;s a bunch of lessons planned out, but as you can see some of them are red links. If you&apos;re familiar with MediaWiki you&apos;ll know that this means the page doesn&apos;t exist yet. So actually there&apos;s lots of lessons planned out, but the book isn&apos;t very complete.
  • Also wikibooks has a neat little icon system for indicating how well progressed the pages are. So here we see that Chapter 1 is nicely finished off, but the other chapters (even where the page exists) still need some work.
  • Worse than that though. There&apos;s another Portuguese wiki book. This is a classic wiki problem isn&apos;t it? Duplication. I dont know if somebody created a second book on the same topic intentionally or they didn&apos;t realise the first one existed. Maybe they wanted to write the book a different way, Their way. But it&apos;s confusing for people using the content. It seems to me that this needs to be resolved.
  • So my contribution so far is to stick a big ugly label on there proposing a merge. I hate these big labels actually but it makes sense to add that temporarily at least to draw attention to the problem, and to link to the related discussion
  • This is a talk page discussion. So here I&apos;ve explained why I&apos;m proposing a merge. I think it&apos;s important to explain as well as sticking ugly labels on the page itself. So I&apos;ve left that merge proposal there. No responses yet, so that&apos;s where I&apos;ve left it, but I&apos;ll probably try to carry out a merge at some point and then continue working on it. So there we have it. I thought I&apos;d just describe my latest little adventure into open wiki projects
  • There is a some more content in these apendices, including lists of vocabulary, which I was particularly interested in going back to the point about “re-use”
  • A while ago I experimented with putting these into Jmemorize file format. Jmemorize a flipcards program to help you memorize this kind of thing. More recently I&apos;ve developed an anroid app which presents vocabulary in a little quiz. ...so you see I&apos;ve managed to procrastinate quite spectacularly and not learn a great deal of Portuguese!
  • Wiki wed learning portuguese the wiki way

    1. 1. Learn Portuguese ...the [[wiki]] way? Harry Wood harrywood.co.uk Harry Wood harrywood.co.uk
    2. 2. Free learning resources Free as in £zero (cheapskate) Free as in Freedom! (idealogical hippy)
    3. 3. factual “encyclopedic” content What about wikipedia?
    4. 4. pt.wikipedia.org
    5. 5. wikibooks.org <ul><li>WikiMedia “sister project”
    6. 6. Text books. Self contained books on particular subjects </li></ul>
    7. 9. Duplication!
    8. 10. Merge proposal
    9. 11. Merge proposal
    10. 13. Content re-use Harry Wood harrywood.co.uk JMemorize flipcards Android app

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