Education/News/February 2020/Wikipedia in Mayan Language

Wikipedia in Mayan Language

Author: Claudia Muñoz (WMMX) & José Reyes (WMMX)

Social Media channels or hashtags: @Wikimedia_mx @UNOdifusion #WikipediaEnElAula

Summary: On January 21 and 22, Wikimedia México participated with a “Wikipedia in Mayan language” workshop, in the Oriente University in the city of Valladolid, Yucatán, with Linguistic and Mayan Culture students. The Mayan language, or Maayat’aan, is the second most spoken indigenous language in Mexico.

We presented the Wikipedia Maya project in the Wikimedia Incubator. The students created more than 20 articles and edited another 20; then, they donated photographies to illustrate their articles in Maya and Spanish. All the time, they were discussing about the different forms to write, because the maya is a primarily oral language, and there are different opinions, among the communities, about how to write it. Some of the articles topics were about traditional food (for example, a Panucho), literature, yucatec culture and communities (like X-Cohuo, in Valladolid).

In the sessions, some interesting topics were the future of Mayan language and its linguistics variants. The questions that guided the workshop and the discussions were: Why do we want a Wikipedia in Mayan language? Which challenges we faced to edit and read its contents in our own language? What is the future of the project? In order to build a collaborative program, we carry out an exercise to elaborate a “recipe”: what “ingredients” does the Wikipedia in Mayan language need to be published? Some of the answers emphasized the importance of access to Internet and equipment, and the time dedicated to research and write. Another topic was the dissemination of the project, because they did not know about it. However, they that Maya is a language that must continue to be written, even with the various linguistic variants; that is one reason why they consider that is very important to continue writing and disseminating the project.

We thank the Oriente University and the Young Researchers Colloquium for the invitation, for their hospitality and for their enthusiasm to spread and encourage the publication of Wikipedia in Maya language.