Bengali Wikipedia

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Favicon of Wikipedia Bengali Wikipedia
85%
Screenshot
Homepage of the Bengali Wikipedia, 14 January 2021
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia project
Available inBengali
HeadquartersMiami, Florida, United States
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
URLbn.wikipedia.org
উইকিপিডিয়া.বাংলা
CommercialNo
RegistrationOptional
Users456,859
Launched27 January 2004; 20 years ago (2004-01-27)
Current statusActive, most users are based in Bangladesh and India

The Bengali Wikipedia or Bangla Wikipedia (Bengali: বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া) is the Bengali language edition of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. Launched on 27 January 2004, it surpassed 10,000 articles in October 2006, becoming the second South-Asian language to do so.[1] On 25 December 2020, the site achieved the milestone of 100,000 articles. As of 22 May 2024, the Bengali Wikipedia has 152,953 articles.[2][3] Though it joined later compared to top wikipedias, it ranks 5th in terms of article depth among 318 active wikipedias by language.[4]

As of June 2020, the Bengali Wikipedia is the only online free encyclopedia written in the Bengali language. It is also one of the largest Bengali content related sites on the internet. The mobile version of the Bengali Wikipedia was launched in 2010.[5]

It also has a phonetic Latin alphabet to Bengali script tool so Latin alphabet keyboards can be used to type Bengali without downloading any software. Community-produced news publications include WikiBarta. Similar to most Wikipedias of the region, the median age of the Bengali Wikipedia's editors is younger than that of many European Wikipedias.

Statistics[edit]

Between the 12-month period between February 2022 and January 2023, the Bengali Wikipedia had at average of 346 active editors[6][7] and was viewed about 248 million times[8] from all over the world.

As of January 2023, the largest amount of pageviews came from Bangladesh, India, the United States and Saudi Arabia, respectively, reflecting the spread of the Bengali language and the geographical reach of Bengali-speaking immigrants. The article সুভাষচন্দ্র বসু (English: Subhas Chandra Bose) was the most viewed article with 74,239 page views.[9]

Early history[edit]

In February 2002, the developers started creating language-code based sub-domains for different language Wikipedias. Along with other Wikipedia sub-domains, the Bengali language sub-domain was created at that time.[10] A placeholder page was created automatically in that sub-domain on 1 June 2002.[11] On 9 December 2003, a Bangladeshi Ph.D. student of Canada's McGill University named Shah Asaduzzaman emailed Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales with a request to create the Bengali Wikipedia.[12][13] As a result, the developers created a test page on the Wikipedia named "Home Page" on 26 December of the same year.[13]

The Main Page of the Bengali Wikipedia was created on 27 January 2004, from an IP address, marking the official beginning of the Bengali Wikipedia. 'বাংলা ভাষা' ("Bānglā Bhāshā"; Bengali Language in English) is the first article on the Bengali Wikipedia, which was created on 24 May 2004.

History[edit]

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales with Bengali Wikipedians during the Bengali Wikipedia's 10th anniversary celebration in Dhaka (2015)

The Bengali Wikipedia started its journey on 27 January 2004.[14][15] Back then, the Bengali-speaking population had little interest in Wikipedia. A few students and scholars used the English Wikipedia, but it was not accountable. Besides that, there were various difficulties contributing in Bengali. The whole scenario had changed as of 2006.[16] During that time, the Bengali blogging world was growing slowly, and many people became accustomed to Bengali computing where a free and open-source Bengali typing tool, Avro Keyboard, played a key role. On 25 March 2006, a Wiki team was created by the Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN) to popularize Wikipedia throughout the country.[16] The aim was to represent Bengalis to the world through Wikipedia and build a complete encyclopedia in Bengali.

At that time, Bengali Wikipedia had only 500 articles. The 'BdOSN wiki team' managed to spread the word through some newspapers and start a Bengali Wiki mailing list. Soon, many Bengali-speaking people from Bangladesh, India and abroad joined them in this dynamic project. As a result, by the end of October, the Bengali Wikipedia got to 10,000 articles.[16] Among the South Asian language Wikipedias, the Bengali Wikipedia reached that milestone first, and many of these articles were illustrated with photos from the demonstrator of the Bengali Language Movement, Rafiqul Islam, who donated all his historical photographs taken during the language movement to Wikimedia Commons.[16]

One of the pioneers of the Bengali Wikipedia, Ragib Hasan said that

The biggest challenge was writing something on internet in Bengali. The Bengali Unicode was not supported on most operating systems, only few websites on the internet supported Bengali Unicode, and users had difficulties configuring it. Moreover, the idea of writing something with Bengali Unicode was new. … in the beginning, the idea of a Wikipedia in Bengali was not actually workable.[16]

The very low activity of the Bengali Wikipedia for many years, mostly in the period between 2007 and 2013, can be attributed to the very low number of internet users in Bangladesh, especially in the first decade of the 21st century (in 2010, there were only 556,000 internet users in Bangladesh according to research). Thus it ranked below many other languages with much fewer speakers, including regional languages of Western Europe.[17]

Between 2009 and 2010, Bengali speakers from West Bengal, India, also started to contribute to the Bengali Wikipedia.[16] In the meantime, the Wikimedia Foundation started their operations and on 3 October 2011, a local chapter named Wikimedia Bangladesh was approved in Bangladesh[14] by the Foundation to promote educational content in Bengali. On 26 February 2015, Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia—visited Bangladesh for a celebration program that was organized by Wikimedia Bangladesh[18][19][20] to mark the tenth year of Bengali Wikipedia.[19][20][21][22][23][24] In his keynote, Jimmy said that according to the article depth, Bengali Wikipedia is rated quite well.[19][25]

Since 2018, the Bengali Wikipedia has begun to experience a very strong growth in articles, as more than 16 thousand articles were written in 2019[26] and 21 thousand articles in 2020,[27] from just 8.8 thousand articles in 2018.[28] This growth can be attributed to a mixture of successful editathons and the arrival of many prolific contributors.

The Bengali Wikipedia now has 152,953 articles on various topics with 974 active editors per month. As of January 2019, Bengali Wikipedia is the only online free encyclopedia written in the Bengali language.[29][30] It is also one of the largest Bengali content related sites on the internet.[31] Statistically, since early 2019, the Bengali Wikipedia has recorded significant growth. The number of articles has increased from 63,000 to nearly 101,000 in just two years and the number of active users has increased to above a thousand.[32] The number of edits has also recorded significant growth.[33]

On 25 December 2020, the Bengali Wikipedia reached the milestone of 100,000 articles.[34] Since 2019, the number of active users has remained above 1,000.

Features[edit]

The Bengali Wikipedia has about 152,953 articles (On May 2024). It features thousands of articles about Bangladesh and India, although it lacks some articles about the latter, and about Europe as well. Due to the history of Bangladesh, Pakistan-related themes are also well covered on the Bengali Wikipedia. The main religions of Bengal, Hinduism and Islam, have good, expansive coverage in Bengali. Most contributors are based in Bangladesh, and a fair minority in West Bengal; however, very few users are based in other Bengali-speaking areas of India or abroad.

The main deficits of the Bengali Wikipedia are the content gaps in some articles, and parts of policy pages which are still untranslated, a problem that also appears on other wikis. The Bengali Wikipedia's advantages are, among others, strong activity and a large number of editors for its small amount of articles and the expanding coverage on its focus areas (Bangladesh and India). Themes such as women's rights are well-covered on the Bengali Wikipedia. Also, thematic editathons take place frequently in Bengali, and have contributed nearly 12,000 articles to the Bengali Wikipedia. The pageviews of the Bengali Wikipedia are ranging around 18 to 21 million per month, as of October 2022.[35]

As it happens on many other Indic Wikipedias, there is a tendency for active users and pageviews to record a significant increase during the monsoon season (June–October). After October, the growth is largely retained, before a new cycle of growth begins the next June. That process was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020; however, since 2021, there are signs of recovery regarding pageviews,[36] however the number of active users has remained stagnant with a trend of reduction (as in every Indic Wikipedia, particularly Hindi). As of June 2022, Bengali Wikipedia is read approximately 710 thousand times per day, and because of this phenomenon, pageviews increase almost every day.[36] Due to its rapid growth, as described earlier, Bengali Wikipedia has improved its ranking in the list of the largest Wikipedias by number of articles, increasing from the 80th position in January 2019[37] to the 65th in November 2022.[37]

During May 2022, the Bengali Wikipedia received 12 million pageviews in Bangladesh and 4 million pageviews in India. Small numbers of pageviews also come from the United States and from the Gulf states,[38] where there are sizable Bengali-speaking migrant communities.[39] It is Bangladesh's second most popular language version of Wikipedia, behind English, but in India it does not receives more than the 1% of the Wikipedia pageviews in this country.[40]

The significant number of people who live under the poverty line in Bangladesh (20.5% as of 2019)[41] and lower penetration of internet in Bangladesh[42] and India is one of the causes for the still low number of articles in Bengali. Also to blame is the socioeconomic context of Bangladesh and West Bengal as a whole.[43]

Users and editors[edit]

Bengali Wikipedia statistics
Number of user accounts Number of articles Number of files Number of administrators
456859 152953 18432 14

Controversies[edit]

Over the years, there has been confusion in Bangladeshi media regarding some information on the Bengali Wikipedia. In April 2018, Bangladeshi print and electronic media reported that Wikipedia named Runa Laila, a renowned singer from Bangladesh, among its Top 30 Bengali people of all time.[44][45][46][47] This confusion arose due to the use of a collage image in the Bengalis article's infobox on the Bengali and English versions of Wikipedia.[48] In August of the same year, an unregistered user added a fake date of death in Muhammed Zafar Iqbal's article, which also attracted media attention.[49][50][51][52]

Gallery[edit]

First ever Bengali Wikipedia meetup, Dhaka (2007)
Bengali Wikipedia's 10th Anniversary group photo, Kolkata (2015)
Bengali Wikipedia's 13th Anniversary group photo, Dhaka (2017)
Bengali Wikipedia's 14th Anniversary group photo, Dhaka (2018)
Wikimania Conference, Bangladesh Round (2022)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Noronha, Frederick (30 September 2006). "Bengali Wikipedia crosses 10,000 articles". Indo-Asian News Service. Monsters and Critics. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  2. ^ This prediction is based on {{NUMBEROF|ARTICLES|bn|N}} Wikipedia template that automatically updates article numbers. So this is not a permanent or fixed count. The number of articles shown here, change in real-time as soon as a new article is created or removed. Therefore, this is not a reliable source and the numbers shown here are subject to change without prior notice.
  3. ^ "A decade of Bangla Wikipedia An open call". The Daily Star. 17 March 2014. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Wikipedia article depth - Meta". meta.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  5. ^ এবার মোবাইল ফোনে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  6. ^ At least 1 edit done in the last month by the registered user.
  7. ^ "Wikistats - Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  8. ^ "Wikistats - Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Wikistats - Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  10. ^ "Wikipedia: HomePage". 22 February 2002. Archived from the original on 22 February 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Wikipedia: HomePage". 23 July 2002. Archived from the original on 23 July 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Mailing List Archive: [asad@cs.mcgill.ca: About starting a new wikipedia in language: Bengali]". lists.gt.net. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  13. ^ a b বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়ায় প্রথম. Kalerkantho (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 28 January 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b একনজরে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 11 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  15. ^ ১৪ বছরে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali).
  16. ^ a b c d e f যুগ পেরিয়ে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 11 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Percentage of internet users in Bangladesh (2003-2010)". ResearchGate. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Wikipedia co-founder arrive Dhaka". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  19. ^ a b c যে বার্তা দিয়ে গেলেন জিমি ওয়েলস. 6 February 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Somoy Tv News" ঢাকায় উইকিপিডিয়ার সহ-প্রতিষ্ঠাতা জিমি ওয়েলস. somoynews.tv (in Bengali).
  21. ^ গভীরতার বিচারে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়ায় তৃতীয় ভাষা. Dhaka Times. 28 February 2015.
  22. ^ উইকিপিডিয়ায় তৃতীয় ভাষা বাংলা. NTV (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 18 August 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  23. ^ বাংলাদেশে আসছেন জিমি ওয়েলস. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 24 February 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  24. ^ "GP subscribers get free Wikipedia access". NTV. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  25. ^ যে বার্তা দিয়ে গেলেন জিমি ওয়েলস. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 6 February 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  26. ^ "General statistics for Bengali Wikipedia, 2019". Wikiscan.org. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  27. ^ "General statistics for Bengali Wikipedia, 2020". Wikiscan.org. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  28. ^ "General statistics for Bengali Wikipedia, 2018". Wikiscan.org. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  29. ^ বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়ার ১৫ বছর. Jugantor (in Bengali). Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  30. ^ জেনে রাখুন. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali). Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  31. ^ কালের কণ্ঠ. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali). Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Wikimedia Statistics - Bengali Wikipedia - Pages to date". Wikistats. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  33. ^ "Wikimedia Statistics - Bengali Wikipedia - Edits". Wikistats. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  34. ^ "List of Wikipedias". Meta.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  35. ^ "Wikistats - Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  36. ^ a b "Wikimedia Statistics - Pageviews in Bengali Wikipedia". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  37. ^ a b "List of Wikipedias/Table - Meta". meta.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  38. ^ "Wikistats - Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  39. ^ "Pageviews by country in Bengali Wikipedia". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  40. ^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Wikipedia Page Views Per Country - Breakdown". stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  41. ^ ralph (12 May 2022). "Bangladesh: Poverty". Asian Development Bank. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  42. ^ "Bangladesh: internet penetration rate 2019". Statista. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  43. ^ Yahya (22 February 2023). "Amar Ekushey Article Contest 2023 has started". Diff. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  44. ^ উইকিপিডিয়ায় শীর্ষ ত্রিশ বাঙালিতে রুনা লায়লা | আনন্দ বিনোদন. The Daily Ittefaq (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  45. ^ উইকিপিডিয়ায় শীর্ষ ত্রিশ বাঙালির তালিকায় রুনা লায়লা. Manab Zamin (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  46. ^ উইকিপিডিয়ার শীর্ষ ত্রিশ বাঙালির তালিকায় রুনা লায়লা. Samakal (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  47. ^ শীর্ষ ৩০ বাঙালির মধ্যে রুনা লায়লা. Ekushey TV (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  48. ^ রুনা লায়লাকে নিয়ে গণমাধ্যমে বিভ্রান্তি. Jago News 24 (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  49. ^ ড. জাফর ইকবালকে মৃত দেখাচ্ছে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া. The Bangladesh Today (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  50. ^ জাফর ইকবালকে মৃত দেখাচ্ছে বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া. Jamuna Television (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  51. ^ জাফর ইকবালের মৃত্যুর খবর সংশোধন করেছে উইকিপিডিয়া [Wikipedia has corrected the news of Zafar Iqbal's death]. Amader Shomoy (in Bengali). Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  52. ^ জাফর ইকবালের মৃত্যুর খবর সংশোধন করলো বাংলা উইকিপিডিয়া [The news of Zafar Iqbal's death was corrected by Bengali Wikipedia]. Jamuna Television (in Bengali). Retrieved 24 August 2019.

External links[edit]