Wikipedia:Simple News/DefenseSupportParty/Articles/1

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Hello![change source]

I'm somewhat new to Simple Wikipedia. I only started editing a couple of weeks ago, although, I've been active in the Wikimedia projects for longer. Firstly, let me say thank you all for being so welcoming. The difference between this project and the other one I was involved with is staggering; the welcoming I received here within the first couple of hours of editing was unimaginable, and I hope that keeps up. The friendliness of this project is incomparable, and that can be a make or break difference in keeping new users.

The gym[change source]

That being said, the reason I'm writing today is because of the question I put forward on the Simple talk page. I asked if anyone was interested in started up the Spoken articles again. I was a big fan of the spoken articles when I was at the regular English Wikipedia. I love Wikipedia with every ounce of my soul, and even though I can't read Wikipedia when I'm out and about, I try to absorb it at every moment possible. When I came to Simple Wikipedia, one of my first destinations was to Wikipedia:Spoken articles. I noticed, at the time, 18 articles present at that article.

Realistically, for a normal editor, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. The problem is, I go to the gym two hours a day. I work for the United States Air Force, and I'm not allowed to bring much to the gym with me besides an iPod. Because of that, I downloaded and converted .ogg files from Wikipedia to listen to at the gym while I worked out. Obviously, that was a problem from Simple Wikipedia. I downloaded one last night, and came back from the gym to review the changes I thought I could make to the article I had listened to. I'm 100% serious when I say that not a single sentence remained from the audio recording.

(Before I continue, I would like to predicate all of this with the fact that I'm not trying to get sympathy or empathy. The following is simply a result of how I feel, and I don't really care for a response to it.)

Because of this, I proposed a revival of the Spoken Article project. Beyond myself, it seemed that it would be supremely useful to the people we gear this project towards. Although a user may not understand written English, English in a verbal form may be completely useful to them.

United States Air Force[change source]

When I was stationed in Rammstein, Germany, for the United States Air Force, I picked up a lot of German from the locals. That being said, I did not learn how to write German for a year or so after that. That seemed natural at the time; a person understanding a language in a verbal context seemed natural to me. A person learning a language in immersion will traditionatlly learn it from a verbal context primarily, and a written context secondarily.[source?]

With the {{fact}} tag in jest, from that experience, I have realized that a verbal foundation is fundamental to learning a language. I understand our obligation in providing a verbal context from which the wiki can grow, but we must face that facts. The grand majority of English speakers in the world can comprehend English as it is spoken far more capably than they can understand written English. However, I will admit that as a complete opinion. I hate positively, absolutely no evidence of that, I believe it to fundamentally true. I know that doesn't mean much to you citation searchers (a group of which I belong,) but I have no alternatives but to state it. I could find no references to a proportion on Google, or en.wikipedia.org, for that matter.

The lack of references don't detract from my point, however. All humans learn to speak before they read. I feel that remains true unless you are learning a language with no interaction with the people of the native language. That being said, it is necessary that we understand that English as Second Language learners are not the only people we are catering to.

My involvement in this wiki is questionable. I will readily admit that XKCD brought me permanently to this project, that was not prime motivation. I had heard about this project prior to the comic, it made me realize it was mainstream. For most native English speakers, I feel that wouldn't be an issue. For me, however, it was a huge issue.

Autism[change source]

My sister is autistic, which begets a responsibility to myself. I don't mention this in jest, nor in any sort of attention seeking. I mention it for elucidation to the rest of my explanation. The people who educate my sister are trying their best, but I do not trust her education in their hands. I know that she will likely never achieve the same level of contribution of an average person, but I feel that it is reasonable that I try my hardest to make her as contributory as possible to the mainstream.

With all of the previous points in mind, I proposed a revival of the Spoken article program. I figured that I could make a contribution in and of myself; I first proposed that I would read geisha. The fact of the matter is, I can not read that article. My Japanese is horrible, and I don't have the free time to improve it. With that inspiration, I realized that people who could pronounce and explain articles properly couple help not only my sister, but help everybody with limited/reduced knowledge of English.

Conclusion[change source]

Everything being said, no one expects anything out of anybody in this regard. Everybody helps Wikipedia in any way that they are able to. Those who edit one page are, in my opinion, as valuable as those of us who edit thousands of articles. Any edit that actually adds something to our knowledge-base is important; and doubly so if you notice it just browsing through articles.

In the grand scheme of things, the Spoken article may seem like a minor issue. We edit Wikipedia all day thinking that what we're doing will help the users, and we're right. Every contribution contributes to our simple base of knowledge! We must consider, however, that we may not be helping every English learner/speaker.

That, my friends, is why I proposed restarted the Spoken article project. It isn't a deed of vanity, nor is it out of boredom. As sappy as it sounds, it is for my sister. I want her to have the best life I can mange, and Simple Wikipedia is a major hinge point in the equation. So, besides imploring all of you to contribute to the best of your ability, I want to thank you for your contributions. You are an important part of many people's lives, the least of which is my sister's.

Regardless if you decide to contribute to the spoken article project, I appreciate your contributions in any context. You are all incredible people, and I want you to think of yourselves that way. You help people beyond any other wikiproject I can think of. You help people learn a language that is usually necessary for their life. Of all the contributions I can think of, communication is the most necessary.

I know this article dragged on. It seems a little unnecessary to contribute it in the first place; all of you work your butts off without any sort of significant thanks, without provocation. I just wanted to say thank you, for me, my sister, and all of Wikipedia. In the immortal words of Simple Wikipedia's biggest fan, my sister:

Thank you people! I like what you do and I think it is really good! -Cathryn S.

Thanks again all. DefenseSupportParty (talk) 19:18, 15 March 2009 (UTC)