Celtic Knot Conference 2017

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Celtic Knot Conference 2017
at The University of Edinburgh Business School
(Coordinates: 55.943058°, -3.1897017°)
Thursday 6 July 2017 - 9am to 5pm

Registration is now open.

Convened by Ewan McAndrew for the University of Edinburgh and WMUK
Contact: ewan.mcandrewated.ac.uk, +44 (0)7719 330076
Hashtag: #CelticKnot Facebook event page (please share)


University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh


The Celtic Knot Conference 2017 is the first Wikipedia Language conference organised in collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Wikimedia UK focusing on supporting Celtic & Indigenous Languages.

Logo for the 2017 Celtic Knot: Wikipedia Language Conference.



  • This Wikimedia UK event will showcase innovative approaches to open education, open knowledge and open data that support and grow Celtic and Indigenous language communities.
  • Identifying ways in which our cultural heritage can be not just preserved but, as living languages, engaged with and expanded on so as to enrich the linguistic map of the British Isles and beyond through a cross-pollination of ideas & knowledge exchange.
  • Building bridges between communities, this event seeks diverse participants who will share their practice and discover fruitful new collaborations as a result.


View from North Bridge - Edinburgh

Please save the dates. The official call for session proposals has now closed. Abstracts have now been reviewed and notification sent out to speakers. Booking is now open if you would like to attend.

Booking[edit | edit source]

We will welcome you here at the main concourse of the University of Edinburgh Business School on 6 July 2017.
  • Registration is now open. Please download and complete the registration form and email it to ewan.mcandrew@ed.ac.uk
  • Payment can be made by Credit or Debit cards through the University of Edinburgh's online portal.
  • To attend the fee is £50 per person (£25 concession - senior citizens, students, unwaged or registered disabled).
  • If you wish to be invoiced, please supply a purchase order number in your registration details.
  • For international payments please contact ltw-adminoffice@ed.ac.uk with a purchase order number.
  • Final cutoff for booking will be 27th June 2017.

Objective[edit | edit source]

The main objective for Celtic Knot 2017 is the coming together of practitioners in the same room at same time; strengthening the bonds of those working to support language communities into a 'knot' and leading into action. Attendees can expect to learn about and discuss innovative approaches to open education, open knowledge and open data that support and grow language communities.

Conference Themes

  • Building language confidence: participation, public engagement & social equality.
  • Putting our language on the map: preserving & opening up our cultural heritage.
  • Languages on the road to open: ongoing or new projects and initiatives in open knowledge, open education and open data.
  • The politics of language: Local, national, and international policy and practice; advocacy for funding, institutional and community support and investment
  • Hacking; making; sharing

All presentations and discussions are encouraged to be as engaging and interactive as possible and facilitate learning and sharing by the attendees.


Programme[edit | edit source]

Time Details Room
9:00am Registration and coffee University of Edinburgh Business School - Main Concourse
9:30am Welcome - Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal for Online Learning, University of Edinburgh. Auditorium
9:35am Introduction from Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh, and Daria Cybulska, Wikimedia UK Programme Manager. Auditorium
9:50am

9.50am to 10.05am: Conference Opening - Robin Owain (Wales Manager for Wikimedia UK)
A glimpse into some of the milestones in the development of Wicipedia Cymraeg, starting with Marc Haynes residence at the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the Welsh federal university of Wales) and ending with the latest WiR: Aaron Morris at Menter Môn and the National Eisteddfod. The talk foresees Wikipedia being nothing more than an empty shell, a bare platform and the content taken in as live feeds from content providers such as the National Library of Wales, Llen Natur (nature website), Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, dictionaries, archives, museums etc. Lastly he will name the person who originally imagined “a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

10.10am to 10:45am: Keynote presentation - Jason Evans (Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales)
Welsh Wicipedia – Thinking big
Jason Evans will discuss his strategy for working with the National Library of Wales, Wikimedia UK and the Welsh Government to develop the Welsh language Wicipedia using a combination of community engagement, data manipulation and the implementation of Open Access policies. Jason will discuss how this strategy was implemented as part of the recent Wicipop project, which saw the creation of nearly 800 new Welsh Wicipedia articles in 3 months. The talk will also explore the growing importance of open data in the development of the Welsh Wicipedia, and how this may hold the key to the sustainability of smaller and native language Wikipedias.

Auditorium
10:45am Coffee break Main concourse
11:00am Parallel sessions

Lecture Theatre 2

  • CK101: A "state of the question", sharing our model on how we do things to promote the Catalan language project and why we do it and how we engage with language activists and also which are our challenges - Àlex Hinojo, Executive Director, Amical Wikimedia.

Did you know that Catalan Wikipedia was just the second version of this encyclopedia to have articles, right after the English-language version and weeks before versions began to appear in other languages that are much more widely spoken throughout the world? It is just one example of Catalans on the internet and of their civic activism in favor of their language. With more than 500,000 articles, it’s the 18th biggest Wikipedia in a ranking by number of articles. If you take into account the number of Catalan speakers—about 11.5 million—it should be in 80th or 90th place. Those who write in Catalan on the internet still have a decidedly activist character borne of the prevailing diglossia. Even still, the position of the Catalan language is not fully normalized, despite its advances. On the internet, net neutrality and the existence of open platforms that are easily adaptable to different languages have been key factors in the success of networked Catalan successes. The net favors activism and facilitates getting people with similar interests together: it is a tool that connects. In a society with a tradition of community involvement like Catalonia, the net has been ideal for making our language and culture visible. Without political borders or obstacles, we are able to grow more than we can in the real world, which is significant given the numerous roadblocks that we suffer there. Our only weapon to gain the world’s confidence has always been our work ethic. Read more.

2016 was a critical year for the Basque Wikipedia, a project surging in 2007 that reached an activity peak last year by establishing the Basque Wikimedians User Group, benefiting from its synergies with Donostia-San Sebastián Capital of Culture 2016. As a minority language community, the project has faced the insecurities and hurdles inherent to a small community with a lesser status and pending corpus related issues, but determined all the same to live up to the challenges posed by an ever mutating reality. Individual editing has given way to a concerted effort aiming to expand Basque Wikipedia beyond online contribution into GLAM and Education outreach, as well as interaction with local communities, so becoming a referential player in today’s Basque cultural scene. In 2017, the Basque User Group sets off towards new horizons related to upcoming Education outreach programs that challenge its own internal structure.

  • CK114: The Scottish Gaelic Uicipeid project: a talk discussing the role of the Gaelic Wikipedian at the National Library of Scotland and the success/failures of encouraging Gaelic speakers to make the Uicipeid a hub for online Gaelic knowledge - Susan Ross, Gaelic Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of Scotland.



Lecture Theatre 1B

The Bywiadur is part of the Llên Natur (nature lore) website and comes under the auspices of Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd – a charity set up in 1978 to promote the appreciation of nature, cultural heritage and the environment.] The editorial language of this environmental, interactive recording project is strictly Welsh but it nevertheless welcomes testimony in whatever language is offered. Items in Gaelic, Breton and Cornish are currently included, as well as the more dominant languages. It seeks to make the environment a more mainstream aspect of Welsh culture and by the same token welcomes those with a limited knowledge of the language into the Welsh cultural fold.

In Switzerland we work a lot with Rhaeto-Romance languages (spoken in Grisons and South Tyrol). We are building the biggest digital library in this language and we are in contact with local administration to use this library at the school. In this session, we will outline our project of Digital Library in Romansh and also about new initiatives to map the archeological sites connected with Celtic culture in the Alps - Ilario Valdelli from the staff of Wikimedia Switzerland.

Lecture Theatres 1B and 2.
12:00pm Facilitated group discussion

How to kickstart a dead Wikipedia?
Wikimedia Norge is supporting Wikipedias in three languages: Norwegian Bokmål (460,000 articles), Norwegian Nynorsk (130,000 articles) and Northern Sami (7,000 articles). The two Norwegian varieties are Germanic languages, while Northern Sami is an indigenous language in the Uralic language family. Northern Sami is spoken in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, and is by far the biggest of several living Sami languages. In Norway about 25,000 people speak Northern Sami, but far fewer are able to write in the language. The Northern Sami Wikipedia currently has no active contributors, and Wikimedia Norge is looking into building a project to revitalize the Northern Sami Wikipedia.

This conference gives us all an unique opportunity to learn from the representatives from different Celtic & Indigenous language Wikipedias. Astrid Carlsen will host a 15 min presentation followed by a 45 min discussion space, pertinent to all attendees, where we ask the following questions:

  • Where do we start with no active community?
  • What kinds of institutional partners should we seek?
  • What activities should we prioritize?
  • How can we best support a language with limited resources?
  • What have been the biggest challenges for similar projects supported by Wikimedia UK and other related entities?
  • What are the pitfalls, things to avoid?
Lecture Theatre 1B
1:00pm Lunch Main concourse
2:00pm Keynote presentation: Professor Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh and Bilingualism Matters.

Bilingualism in minority languages: a resource and an opportunity
Research on the bilingual mind shows that bilingualism in any languages, regardless of their status, prestige, and worldwide diffusion, can give children a range of mental benefits. Equally, child bilingualism is essential to the inter-generational transmission of these languages, and in some cases to their very prospect of survival. However, there are still many widespread old misconceptions – as well as some new ones - about what it means to grow up with two languages. For example, many people still think that early bilingualism makes children confused and puts them at a disadvantage at school. Research, in contrast, shows that when there are differences between monolingual and bilingual children, these are almost invariably in favour of bilinguals: bilingual children tend to have enhanced metalinguistic skills and language learning abilities, a better understanding of other people’s points of view, and more mental flexibility in dealing with complex situations. Some of these benefits have also been found in adult second language learners, both younger and much older. I will first illustrate the main facts and benefits of bilingualism over the lifespan, focusing in particular on current research on minority languages, including Gaelic. I will then present what can be done to disseminate correct information on bilingualism in different sectors of society and to enable informed decisions in minority language communities.

Auditorium
2:30pm Parallel sessions

Lecture Theatre 1B

  • CK111: Using the UNESCO Atlas of World Languages in Danger and Wikidata - organising knowledge about world languages on Wikipedia including using open license text from external sources. John Cummings, UNESCO Wikimedian in Residence.
  • CK110: Welsh/Celtic speech technology in Wikipedia: Text-to-speech and speech recognition are becoming increasingly important in our digital world. Major languages such as English are well catered for, but smaller languages such as Welsh and the other Celtic languages are often left behind. Wikipedia is both a huge resource for the creation of Celtic automatic speech capabilities and a platform for deploying the technology. A new project to make text-to-speech possible for Wikipedia has been announced for English and Swedish, (see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikispeech) which may be extended in time to other languages. However, as far as we know, there are no plans yet to develop speech recognition in the Wikipedia environment, and speech recognition for the Celtic languages in general remains underdeveloped. In our Welsh National Language Technologies Portal we have published the work we have done so far in this field (see http://techiaith.cymru/speech/?lang=en) aiming at disseminating our resources on free and generous licences. We now wish to engage with our Celtic colleagues to explore how we can create speech recognition for our languages with Wikipedia, starting with training in named entities, and questioning and answering modules e.g. who was, where is, where/when was someone born etc. - Delyth Prys, Head of the Language Technologies Unit, Canolfan Bedwyr.


Lecture Theatre 2

  • CK127: Project Miljon+ and Vikipeedia in Estonian language Strategies for Estonian Wikipedia for getting more articles in Estonian language include a new big project, Miljon+. The main goal for the project is to get 1,000,000 articles on Estonian Wikipedia. This project is part of a gift for the Estonian 100th anniversary (Estonians are making collective gifts to our homeland) so it will last til year 2020. Currently Estonian Wiki has ~157 000 articles and there are not so many users, because there is not enough data. This lightning talk will cover how we are engaging more and more people to write inside of the Miljon+ project. Käbi Suvi - Wikimedia Estonia.
  • CK121: Welsh-language technology and digital media: This presentation will share with the conference what we’ve discovered about the importance of the number of Wikipedia pages in a language in getting better services for that language from big companies. I’ll show slides mapping the languages supported by Google, Twitter, Apple, etc. against both number of speakers and number of Wikipedia articles in languages to show how much importance major companies attach to creative activity on Wikipedia. I’ll explain how this information has led to Welsh Government helping to fund two Welsh-language Wikipedia initiatives called WiciPop and WiciMôn and how we wanted to strike a balance between the need to scale up article production with the need to encourage more people to hand-craft articles in workshops. I’ll compare this activity with that of the Papurau Bro – Welsh-language community magazines – which have brought people together to fold and staple editions in chapel vestries since the 1970s. And I’ll argue that including a link to a Wikipedia article started by a school pupil is an asset for their personal statement and CV. So this isn’t an academic paper I’m presenting; it’s a passionate account of a public intervention aimed at solving a lot of challenges at the same time - Gareth Morlais, Welsh Language Unit, Llywodraeth Cymru - Welsh Government.
Lecture Theatres 1B and 2
3:00pm Parallel workshops and unconference spaces

1. Lecture Theatre 1B
CK113: Using Wikidata to support small-language wiki content
Wikidata - The essentials. Learn about the basics of editing Wikidata and discover some of the tools which make it so powerful. Have a go at editing, add data in multiple languages and discover how to search and visualize the data in your chosen language. Practical workshop led by Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales.(Laptop required for hands on element of the workshop).

2. Lecture Theatre 2
CK112: Lingua Libre an interface for massive open audio recording.
During the launch of the Langues de France project, the ability of minority language speakers to participate to a great extent in the written aspects of Wikimedia projects encouraged us to come up with a new way of contributing. The purpose of Lingua Libre is to realize records all around the world with a documentation useful for quality linguistic re-use thanks to city-accurate geolocation. Lingua Libre is an open and open-license platform and webapp which boosts the recording of mass of words or sentences into clean, well cut, well documented audio files. It is perfect to create small to large datasets of audio files.
The session will include a demo / training for LinguaLibre. LinguaLibre.fr is the professional cloud system used by Wikimedia to swiftly record series of words or sentences into super clean, high quality audios. LinguaLibre is excellent for OpenData creation, languages teaching, and language conservation. Over 120,000 audios have been uploaded with this tool. It also allows you to record the words and voice of your grandma for ever. We will give a presentation of this tool and its many functionalities. We also would like to propose a recording session with some volunteers as a good opportunity to meet speakers of Celtic languages, hear and record them.

3. Auditorium
CK129:Kathabhidhana- 3pm to 3:15pm.

  • Kathabhidhana, an open toolkit for anyone to record their language in a human and machine readable form. It is a collection of open source tools, educational material, and open sample datasets. It not helps one to record their language but helps creating resources that can be used for building Machine Learning and Natural language Processing tools. I have personally recorded over 2000 words in my native language Odia. More about this toolkit are summarized in a quick video. - A 15 minute presentation by Subhashish Panigrahi.
  • Unconference space- 3:15pm to 4pm.



4. Breakout space outside Lecture Theatre 1A

  • Unconference space - 3-4pm.
  1. Lecture Theatre 1B,
  2. Lecture Theatre 2,
  3. The Auditorium
  4. Breakout space outside Lecture Theatre 1A.
4:00pm Coffee break Main concourse.
4:15pm Panel discussion & Closing plenary: The Politics of Language Online Auditorium
5:00pm End of conference Auditorium

NB: Please note this programme may change

Satellite events[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK - Train the Trainer event 4th and 5th July 2017[edit | edit source]

This event is for volunteers who want to take a leading role as a trainer in the Wikimedia movement. This will be a mixed event - both for UK participants, and also prospective trainers from other Wikimedia chapters. It will be free for UK participants, if you're coming from abroad do get in touch about costs. For initial queries contact: richard.nevell@wikimedia.org.uk
The timings of the event are:

  • Tuesday 9:30am — 6:30pm
  • Wednesday 9am — 5pm. .

The location of the event will be Room G.21, Paterson's Land, Old Moray House, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ. Map. Lunch will be provided; we are also planning a social dinner after the training on Tuesday.
Find out more about the Train the Trainer event here.

Logo of the eDIL project

Intro to Gaelic - 2pm to 4pm on Wednesday 5th July[edit | edit source]

  • Susan Ross, Uicipeid and the National Library of Scotland.
  • Dr Sharon Arbuthnot, Research Fellow, Queen's University, Belfast.
Intro to Gaelic[edit | edit source]

Find out more about Scottish Gaelic in this pre-conference event. This free session at the University of Edinburgh Library will provide an introductory overview to Scottish Gaelic in three sections:

  1. Gaelic Language Taster: learn a few words and phrases, and where to find out more! (Susan Ross, Uicipeid/National Library of Scotland).
  2. Gaelic in History and eDIL: a talk drawing on Scottish Gaelic’s shared history with Irish Gaelic and the lexicographical work of eDIL (Sharon Arbuthnot, Queen's University Belfast).
  3. Gaelic in modern Scotland: an overview of Gaelic in Scotland today, its social context and resources available to speakers (Susan Ross, Uicipeid/National Library of Scotland).

eDIL is the Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language based at Queen's University, Belfast, and at Cambridge Univeristy - a dictionary of the language up to about 1600 which draws on sources from both Ireland and Scotland. In 2014, aided by generous funding from the AHRC, the eDIL project entered a new phase. Begun in 2003, the project initially worked on digitisating the Dictionary of the Irish Language (first published in 23 fascicules between 1913 and 1976) and making it freely available online. A follow-up phase (2008-12) began the process of expanding and emending the dictionary contents. In the current, third phase, we continue to expand and correct, but there are other by-products also. We have produced an enriched, mobile-friendly website (www.dil.ie), for example, and we are pursuing various strategies aimed at engaging with individuals and groups outside the academic community to highlight the continued interest and relevance of the early language and the very real potential for invigorating Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic with native terms that were lost in previous centuries. This paper reflects on the experience of the past three years, particularly on efforts to connect with a wider audience through social media. Issues of narrative, contextualisation and reception will be discussed and illustrated with actual examples of Tweets and Word of the Week features that have appeared recently on the project Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Signup: This free satellite event needs to be signed up separately. You can book your place via Eventbrite. When arriving at the University of Edinburgh library please report to reception to sign in.

Celtic Knot Pre-conference Meetup[edit | edit source]

From 19:00 on the evening of 5th July, participants and interested Wikimedians/educators alike are encouraged to join us for a relaxed gathering prior to the conference itself. An opportunity to meet Wikimedians and educators from around the UK and the world over drinks, and to break the ice before discussions the next morning. WiFi will be available.
More details to follow.

Celtic Knot Post-conference Meetup[edit | edit source]

From 17:30 onwards on the evening of 6th July, participants and interested Wikimedians/educators alike are encouraged to join us for a relaxed gathering following the conclusion to the conference. An opportunity to round off the discussions begun at the conference over drinks, and to share contact details before parting for home.
More details to follow.

Speakers[edit | edit source]

Further speakers will be added shortly.

Keynotes[edit | edit source]

Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales and our first Keynote

1. Jason Evans has a background in historical research and has worked as a professional genealogist. For over 2 years he has worked as a Wikimedian in Residence at The National Library of Wales, now the longest running Wikimedia residency in the World. Jason has been responsible for implementing and leading a number of innovative projects designed to increase public and institutional engagement with Wikimedia projects. A passionate advocate for open access, he has published case studies and produced a business case on the subject, drawing on the successful implementation of open access policies at The National Library of Wales. Jason has spoken widely of the importance of the Welsh language Wikipedia and the multilingual nature of Wikidata in developing Welsh as a digital language and has recently began exploring the use of multilingual data to create Welsh language Wikipedia content.

Antonella Sorace is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh.


2. Antonella Sorace (Laurea, University of Rome; MA, University of Southern California; PhD, University of Edinburgh) is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. In her career she has held research appointments and visiting professorships at numerous institutions, including the University of Tromsø, the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, the University of Hamburg, and the University of Siena. Her research focuses on a number of interrelated questions that bring together linguistics, experimental psychology and cognitive science, and her research achievements and publications span different sub-fields of scientific enquiry.

She is a world leading authority on bilingualism over the lifespan and is particularly well known for her studies of exceptionally talented ("near-native") adult second language speakers; for her research on the changes ("attrition") that take place in the native language of advanced second language speakers; for her investigation of bilingual language acquisition in early and late childhood, and of the effects of bilingualism in non-linguistic domains. She is also internationally known for her contribution to language typology, especially for her research on constrained variation at the lexicon-syntax interface, which she has investigated in many languages, and her studies of gradience in natural language. Moreover, she has given an important contribution to experimental methods in linguistics by pioneering the use of Magnitude Estimation as a technique for the elicitation of linguistic acceptability judgments. She is committed to disseminating the findings of research on bilingualism outside academia. She is the founding director of the information and consultancy centre Bilingualism Matters and was awarded a Beltane Fellowship for Public Engagement.

Bilingualism Matters - Bilingualism Matters is a Centre at the University of Edinburgh, founded by Prof. Antonella Sorace. It studies bilingualism and language learning and communicates what it knows to enable people to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence. It believes that everyone can enjoy the benefits of having more than one language and that real change happens through dialogue between researchers and the community. It works in partnership with parents, teachers, health professionals, policy makers and employers to help create impact in people’s daily lives. There are now partner branches of Bilingualism Matters across Europe and the US run by international teams of researchers.

Attendees[edit | edit source]

  • Dr. Sharon Arbuthnot - Research Fellow, Queen's University, Belfast. Presenting on the AHRC-funded eDIL project on Wednesday 5th July.
  • Ewan McAndrew – Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Susan Ross – Gaelic Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of Scotland.
  • Astrid Carlsen – Executive Director, Wikimedia Norge.
  • Robin Owain – Wales Manager, Wikimedia UK.
  • Àlex Hinojo – Executive Director, Amical Wikimedia.
  • Jason Evans – Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales.
  • Daria Cybulska – Wikimedia UK Programme Manager.
  • Delyth Prys – Head of the Language Technologies Unit, Canolfan Bedwyr - Bangor University's Centre for Welsh Language Services, Research and Technology.
  • Rebecca O'Neill – Wikimedia Ireland.
  • Mina Theofilatou – Computer Science Teacher, Argostoli Evening High School, Kefalonia.
  • Sam Walton – Partnerships Coordinator, The Wikipedia Library.
  • Iñaki Lopez de Luzuriaga – Basque Wikimedians User Group.
  • Richard Nevell – Project Coordinator, Wikimedia UK
  • Duncan Brown - Presenting on Y BYWIADUR: the dictionary of life: A joint venture with Wicipedia Cymraeg and other partners.
  • Rémy Gerbet - Wikimedia France; presenting on the Lingua Libre project.
  • Käbi Suvi - Wikimedia Estonia.
  • Ilario Valdelli - Wikimedia Switzerland.
  • Gareth Morlais - Uned y Gymraeg - Welsh Language Unit, Llywodraeth Cymru - Welsh Government.

See also[edit | edit source]

Feedback from this year's event[edit | edit source]

To be determined.