… L’enziclopedìa lébbra ech tótt i pólen cambièr!
I happened to write a message in dialect on my Facebook wall, much to the puzzlement of my friend Luca Galli. He would be even more puzzled to read Wikipedia in Emiliano-Romagnolo! There are pages in the Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Ferrara, Parma, Piacenza, Carrara and Romagna dialects.
According to the List of Wikipedias this version ranks 156th by name of articles: 528, written by 177 users. It comes after the Oriya and before the one in Tahitian. The most popular Italian dialect on Wikipedia is the Lombard one, with 13.569 articles written by 419 users (that’s an average of more than 30 articles per user! Lombards have reputation for being industrious, but this is ridiculuous. Some NGO funded by the Northern League must be using public money here – not in an entirely wasteful way, for once). The Lombard Wikipedia has more articles than the Irish and Latvian ones (both are official languages of the European Union): it ranks 64th, after the Macedonian and before the Sundanese.
I like dialect, and I am very happy that a Wikipedia in Emiliano-Romagnolo exists. It would be nice to write some more articles, to get to 1000 by the end of the year! It would also be a good idea to keep an eye on the English articles regarding Italian dialects. In fact, I just edited http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emiliano-Romagnolo#Usage which claimed that Italian politicians discouraged the use of dialect as it was an obstacle to the integration of immigrants from southern Italy. That is not true, and has almost certainly been written by some Northern League zealot. Fellow citizens, Northern League supporters, dialect belongs to us all, not to any party. And, like all languages, it is there to reach out to others, not to exclude them. Listen to me, forget politics, and devote your energies to writing Wikipedia articles. Only five more to overtake Oriya and Wolof!:-)