After an exhausting push to add all of the Saami languages to monolingual properties and the termbox in Wikidata as well as for depict statements in Structured Data for Commons, Wikimedia Finland arranged the first Saami language depictathon. Unfortunately, only two of the Saami languages could be used across all projects, one of which is not spoken in Finland.
As the participants were primarily linguists, language enthusiasts and GLAM representatives rather than representatives of the Saami communities, we focused more on linguistic questions. We picked random images and transferred the descriptions originating from the GLAM who released it into more correct language and terminology. The workshop took us through determining dog breeds for reindeer herding, learning to add translations to Wikidata, creating lexemes, adding dictionary sources and trying out the brand new UPA transcription property for Uralic languages.
Pia Virtanen from the Finnish Broadcasting Company presented how media tagging could become possible for under-resourced languages with the help of Wikidata and Jarmo Saarikko from the National Library of Finland facilitated an overview of useful language resources.
We feel this work is very important and will continue to work with GLAMs and the Saami communities to make Wikimedia projects more useful for them from their point of view and to bring the benefits of the multilingual knowledge ecosystem to these underserved languages. You can join the project, too!
The Saami languages Wikidata and SDoC workshop in Helsinki, Finland
As prework for the workshop Yupik and Zache participated along with Tuukka in Wikimedia Hackathon 2019 in Prague. One of the main targets was to learn what the actual process was when languages are added and what are the current bottlenecks. Yupik also wanted to contribute to simplifying the process. Zache learned how to start developing with the SDoC development environment and Tuukka contributed to Wikidocumentaries language support. A great big thanks goes to Lucas Werkmeister for fixing the timestamps in Northern Saami and to Siebrand for walking us through the whole language addition in person and in the Phabricator ticket T223524.