Language committee
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Wikimedia committeesLanguage committee
This page provides information about the committee on languages.
Language committee
For requesting users
For members
Closing projects (voluntarily)
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The Wikimedia Foundation language committee is in charge of developing a clear policy and documentation for new language projects and their proposal, processing those requests, and supporting and coordinating new projects to optimize their success.
Historically, it was founded as a subcommittee of the Special Projects Committee. With that committee now defunct, it reports directly to the Wikimedia Board of Trustees.
The Language Committee mainly acts in the Requests for new languages process by reviewing the requests, giving advice and eventually recommending the creation of new language versions to the Board. Individual Langcom members also take care of the proposals for closing projects. If you have any questions (for example about the possible requesting of a new language version), please direct these to the talk page or directly to any member.
This is a proofread version of the original charter with a later amendment authorizing request approval.
The committee is tasked as follows.
  1. The development and maintenance of:
    1. a clear step-by-step policy (based on quantitative indicators) for evaluating the feasibility of new language wikis, with an automated procedure for project development;
    2. support and policy development for script and localization related problems;
    3. documentation to support new language communities towards a stable growth rate;
    4. support and coordination for cross-language projects, helping smaller communities share resources and maximize their results;
    5. support and coordination to maintain compatibility among the different MediaWiki installations, in order to reduce the amount of development needed to upgrade the program base as far as localization is concerned.
  2. The processing of requests for new language subdomains of existing Wikimedia projects, providing it gives the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees four days advance notice before approving a request.
The goals of the committee are to:
  1. minimize the political aspects connected to the release of new projects, moving the focus towards purely quantitative decision criteria;
  2. minimize the need of localization-related funding and development by providing a common shared policy;
  3. maximize the reuse of proven marketing techniques among different editions;
  4. maximize the co-operation level among different language communities by providing common fields of activity;
  5. achieve the widest possible localization level for MediaWiki at the lowest cost, in order to maintain and improve its leading role as an open-source content management system.
If you want to make a proposal to the committee, for example to approve a certain project, please do so on the talk page.
Anyone can follow the discussions of the language committee by subscribing to the public mailing list langcom at, on which the internal proceedings are made. Non-members should generally not participate in discussions. When it is necessary however, they can send a mail which a list administrator will need to accept manually.
Prior to April 2013, the discussions happened on a private mailing list. From June 2011 to April 2013, members of the community could ask to become "langcom observers". They then received copies of the e-mails sent to the internal committee mailing list.
The committee resumed the use of a private mailing list for the discussion of confidential or personal matters in 2017.
If you are interested in becoming a member, please send an email to
or contact any member in private.
MemberLanguagesRegionSpecial tasks
Amir E. Aharoni (Amire80)he, ru, en-4, ca-3, eo-2, es-2, fr-2, it-2, ar-1Middle East, Israel, Jerusalem
Europe, Russia, Moscow (until 1991)
Antony D. Greenen, de-4, fr-2, ga-1, cy-1Europe, Germany, Berlin
North America, United States, Texas (formerly)
Maor Malul (Maor X)es, en-5, lad-4, pt-4, de-3, he-3, ca-3, af-2, guc-2, ar-1Middle East, Israel, Jerusalem
South America, Venezuela, Caracas (until 2013)
Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)nl, en-3, de-1Europe, Netherlands, Flevoland
Jan Wohlgemuth (Janwo)de, en-5, id-3, nds-2, gsw-1, ru-1, el-1, fr-1, tpi-1
lgs. of Indonesia, Australia, PNG, Pacific Islands
Asia/Pacific, Indonesia, Jakarta
Europe, Germany, Westphalia (till 2019)
Jon Harald Søbynb, en-4, nn-4, sv-3, da-2, de-2, sw-2, eo-1, es-1, ro-1, se-1Europe, Norway, Fredrikstad
Kimberli Mäkäräinen (Yupik)en, fi-4, es-4, ca-3, se-3, sv-3, et-2, smn-2 (written only), sms-2, nb-2, fr-2, it-2Europe, Finland, Helsinki
(MF-Warburg)de, en-3, fr-2, la-2, tet-1, es-1Europe, Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia
Europe, France, Occitania (formerly)
Closing projects
Michael Everson (Evertype)en, da-3, de-3, es-3, ga-3, fr-2, et-1, it-1, nl-1, nn-1,
no-1, pt-1, ro-1, ru-1, sv-1, tlh-1, yi-1
Europe, Scotland, Dundee
North America, United States, Pennsylvania (formerly)
Satdeep Gillpa, en-4, pnb-4, hi-3, ur-3, fr-3, es-2, fa-1, io-1Asia, India, Punjab
(Sotiale)ko, en-2, ja-1, zh-1, eo-1, bi-1Asia, South Korea
Vito Genovesetr, en-4, de-2Europe, Germany and Turkey
Clerk (non-voting):
Steven White (StevenJ81)
en, fr-3, he-2, lad-1North America, USA, New JerseyClosing projects
Board liaison
James Heilman (Aug 2017 - )
Akash Shah (Aksi great)2007–2008
Maria Fanucchi (Arria Belli)2007–2017
Huib Laurens (Abigor)2010–2013
Bèrto 'd Sèra2006–2017
Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)2006–2011
Michal Zlatkovský (Timichal)2006–2008
Sabine Cretella (SabineCretella)2006–2009
Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)2007–2017
Zacharias Diakonikolaou (ZaDiak)2011–2017
Oliver Stegen (Baba Tabita)2011–2018
André Müller (N-true)2017-2019
Santhosh Thottingal (santhosh.thottingal)2011-2019
Milos Rancic (Millosh)2008–2013, 2014–2021
Karen Broome (Klbroome)2006–2021
Robin Pepermans (SPQRobin)2009-2021

This is an unofficial log of the committee's progress. For a log of requests and closures, see requests for new languages.
2006-06-06policySabineCretella draft proposed.
2006-07-03langcomSubcommittee initially proposed, but the proposal is never received.
2006-09-16langcomSubcommittee is proposed again, and accepted.
2006-11-11policyPathoschild draft unofficially proposed.
2006-11-21policyPathoschild draft implemented through the community without subcommittee approval.
2007-01-02policyGerardM draft proposed.
2007-01-14policyGerardM-Pathoschild policy draft proposed.
2007-02-06policyGerardM-Pathoschild policy draft selected; discussion begins on adjustments needed before the final version.
2007-02-20policyGerardM-Pathoschild policy draft finalized and forwarded to the Special projects committee for comment.
2007-02-26policyGerardM-Pathoschild draft implemented.
2007-04-28policySubcommittee authorized to approve without board approval, given the board receives five days advance notice.
2009-01-20langcomThe Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees decided that the Subcommittee becomes a Committee.
2011-05-13langcomThe committee holds its first-ever real-life meeting in Berlin.
2011-06langcomIntroduction of observers
2013-04-13langcomswitch to a public mailing list, mail:langcom
See also
Last edited on 30 May 2021, at 06:18
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