Talk:Bashkir phrasebook

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Phrasebook edit[edit]

Hello ARR8, I don't think this edit is very helpfull for the traveler to Bashkortostan. Now he/she is forced to consult two phrasebooks to find out the pronounciation of a single word that he/she sees there. --FredTC (talk) 08:25, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@FredTC: Ordinarily, I would agree, but consider that Bashkortostan is in Russia, and a traveler would primarily be exposed to Russian there and Bashkir secondarily. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 13:46, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But that does not change the fact that this part of the phrasebook is incomplete now. So you need two phrasebooks on your lap when you try to find out how to pronounce a word you encounter. If I would go to a book store and was offered a printed Bashkir phrasebook with the remark "you also need to buy the Russian phrasebook", I would feel an urge to make a middle finger gesture. --FredTC (talk) 02:05, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where does it hurt to cover the Bashkir alphabet completely in the Bashkir phrasebook? I agree with FredTC on this and would support reversion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:00, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can see both sides of this – I understand FredTC's argument, but I also think almost any traveller using this phrasebook will already have at least basic familiarity with Russian. Why don't we include the whole alphabet in the phrasebook, but mention that it's mostly the same as the Russian alphabet and highlight the differences (maybe by bolding them) to make things easier for the readers who are already familiar with the Russian alphabet (which, again, is probably most of the people using this phrasebook). —Granger (talk · contribs) 09:31, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that this Russian connection should be made visible. Certainly for those who are familiar with Russian language. But you can visit the country without a Russian travel history, maybe thanks to todays social media. --FredTC (talk) 12:49, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@FredTC: You cannot visit Bashkortostan without a history of traveling in Russia, because it is not a country and in fact part of Russia. I'm not sure how social media factors into it. While you can fly straight to the region, in actual fact nobody will travel there desiring only to know Bashkir and no Russian: see w:Bashkortostan#Languages. Ethnic Russians form a plurality in the area, and knowledge of Russian is near-universal, while the Bashkir language is only one of a few minority languages spoken there. The statistics are similar for all of the major cities in the area, as regrettable as the case is. The reality is that no traveler will want information on the Bashkir language without information on Russian, and many travelers to the area will, prudently, forego information on Bashkir entirely. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 17:47, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I did mention social media because they can (and do) create situations like "my facebook friend who lives in Ufa, invited me repeatedly". We communicated in English, but his family speaks Bashkir only. So, when I arrive I want to speak a few Bashkir words to show my respect to his family. Then I need to know the pronounciation, which would be complcated by your edit to the phrasebook. So when I arrive, I have no Russian travel or language history whatsoever. Landing in this part of Russia is the first Russian thing I will have done in my life. So my message remains don't make incomplete phrasebooks on Wikivoyage. --FredTC (talk) 05:45, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@FredTC: That situation is fantastically unlikely. It is far more likely that an ordinary Bashkir family does not speak any Bashkir, and only Russian, than the other way around. Plus, this presupposes that the only people this hypothetical traveler will be interacting with are the friend's family, and no one else in Ufa. We can come up with outlandish hypotheticals as much as we want, but the fact remains that the median traveler is better served by the phrasebook the way it is now. If you're saying this actually happened to you, then I wish you a good journey, but you will definitely want to shore up your Russian much more than your Bashkir, unless you're planning on arriving, having your friend drive you to his house, staying there the whole time, and then leaving straight to the airport. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 13:03, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A more plausible scenario is that the family speaks both Bashkir and Russian, but the traveller still wants to impress them by speaking a bit of Bashkir, since it's the language of their people. For somewhat similar reasons, I learned to speak a bit of basic Gujarati several years ago, even though I've never been able to speak more than a word or two of Hindi. But this kind of scenario is surely a small minority of users of the phrasebook.
Still, I think we can make the phrasebook work for both kinds of readers. I've made a proof-of-concept to show what I mean—what do you think? —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:06, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mx. Granger: Even in the more plausible scenario, the traveler will want to learn Russian. This is not quite the same thing as Gujarati. It is very simple to speak Gujarati without speaking Hindi; millions of Gujaratis do it every day. Travelers to Gujarat only need one language: the one that people speak there. Conversely, a traveler to Bashkiria will still be in Russia, and need Russian to interact with anyone. A closer analogy would be a non-anglophone traveler going to Oklahoma and learning only Cherokee. Sure, we could contrive situations for that, but it doesn't mean we should pander to that kind of traveler.
I'm open to having my mind changed on this, but, so far, I'm unconvinced. I think the best way to serve >>90% of travelers is to leave the phrasebook the way it is. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 16:08, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Granger's edit is a good compromise, and the best solution to this, barring some kind of expandable / retractable drop down list of the Russian letters like we do with certain very long embassy lists. I agree with the prevailing consensus that the differences and similarities should be listed, and that readers shouldn't have to consult a different article in order to make any sense of this one.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:10, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that's exactly the right way to do this. It's a hell of a lot more user-friendly to not force travelers to print out 2 phrasebooks for 1 language. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:43, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would disagree that there is a prevailing consensus for this sort of thing. I brought the phrasebook to a state like how the Kalmyk phrasebook looked without my involvement, to give one example.
@FredTC, Ikan Kekek, Mx. Granger, ThunderingTyphoons!: Stepping away from this specific phrasebook for a bit, there is, in general, a problem with how phrasebooks work on WV, in that many of them have repeated information, sometimes conflicting, that is nigh-impossible to update everywhere (as an aside, nearly every phrasebook I've examined has at least some pronunciation information that is just plain wrong). This may be a good opportunity to bring up an idea I have been considering proposing, involving the creating of a "Phrasebook appendix" with content that is shared across multiple languages, such as the Cyrillic alphabet, consonant aspiration, palatalization, certain difficult sounds, etc., explained in a concise and non-technical way. This could take the form of templates of text or infoboxes that are included in the relevant languages, or, potentially, a linked separate page someone could examine or not depending on whether they are familiar with the concept. This would solve the problem of transcluding information without requiring two whole phrasebooks.
Implementing that would render this discussion irrelevant, and solve many other problems. What would you all think about this general concept? ARR8 (talk | contribs) 19:14, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not sure I buy your Oklahoma analogy, but regardless I agree with you that more than 90% of users of this phrasebook will already speak some Russian. But is it so inconvenient for them to have the alphabet listed out in the way I demonstrated? I imagine listing the full alphabet and highlighting the differences would be perfectly convenient for a native English speaker who also speaks some Russian. If I (a native English speaker who speaks good Spanish) were using a phrasebook that explained Quechua or Guarani in a similar way, I would be happy with it, and maybe even more so than with a phrasebook that only listed the differences because that way there'd be no chance of misunderstanding or confusion.
To your other proposal, I like the idea of having templates that can be transcluded to explain difficult sounds, etc. I don't so much like the idea of an appendix, because I think phrasebooks should be self-contained, not requiring readers to click through to multiple pages or download/print out a whole appendix if they want to use the phrasebook offline. The idea of templates is intriguing though – I'd be really interested to see an example of the kind of template you're envisioning. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:48, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mx. Granger: Alright. I have to stay I still think the full alphabet isn't necessary, but I'll accept the emerging consensus here. Don't restore your version, yet, though; I'd like a chance to work on it first, as it had some errors.
I'm not sure yet on the best way to do the appendices. Maybe something like {{LunarNewYeardates}} could work for minor concepts, but, for more difficult ones and things like alphabets, I can't envision a way to do it that would work better than a separate page. Ideally, it would be short enough to print separately if needed. Plus, if someone is looking into multiple phrasebooks which utilize shared concepts (e.g. Russian and Ukrainian may have appendices on Cyrillic and palatalization, and can easily be needed on the same trip), it may be an advantage to have this information separate from all of them.
I'm also, separately, toying with the idea of a standard template for pronunciation, so we could have the same examples and instructions for the same phonemes across languages. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 00:23, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have an article called Learning Devanagari, which might be something along the lines of what you're thinking. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:54, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]