<CPOV> Different languages, different points of view

Paolo Massa paolo at gnuband.org
Mon May 27 10:53:41 CEST 2013

Hi, a small suggestion.
In order to check the differences between 2 language versions of a
concept you can use Manypedia.
The translation (from a language to another language) is automatic and
not perfect but it is a starting point

is the comparison of Shalom_Al_Yisrael_Synagogue on English Wikipedia
and Hebrew Wikipedia (translated into English).
For getting the translation, click the text "Translate" which appears
few seconds on the page on the right side of the interface.

On the site, you can also see stats about the 2 compared pages.
For example, the English Wikipedia page for Shalom_Al_Yisrael_Synagogue has
Total revisions: 13287 - Created on 25/2/2002 by Conversion script -
Last edit: 23/5/2013
Number of editors: 5412 - Top 5 editors: That Guy, From That Show!
(349) Otolemur crassicaudatus (161)Tawkerbot2 (110) The Man in
Question (104) Mr. Billion (96)
while the Hebrew one has
Total revisions: 66 - Created on 24/3/2006 by אלישיב - Last edit:
23/5/2013 - See gender and world location of editors
Number of editors: 32 - Top 5 editors: Liadmalone (10) שילוני (7)
Yonidebot (5) (5) דוד שי (4)

On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM, Dror Kamir <dqamir at bezeqint.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> One of my FaceBook chats with an Egyptian who studies Hebrew drifted to the
> subject of the presence of Jews in the Holy Land throughout history. I
> thought a good example for him would be the ancient synagogue in Jericho, so
> I looked for more details about the site on Wikipedia. Apparently it came to
> be known as "Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue" (after one of the inscriptions
> that had found in it), and it has Wikipedia articles in three languages:
> English, Hebrew and Polish
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalom_Al_Yisrael_Synagogue
> I can't read Polish, but the English and Hebrew versions tell different
> stories about the contemporary history of the site, since its excavation.
> Both versions agree upon the raw details, but present two points of views,
> which seems to be politically motivated, at least to some degree. BTW, I
> have no idea which point of view is closer to the truth, and it probably
> won't be so easy to check this out.
> Here are examples for the differences:
> English: "The owners of the site kept it in excellent condition and allowed
> visits to the site with a small entrance fee as agreed by the British
> government. They also built a house on top and used it as a winter house for
> the family which originates from Jerusalem".
> Hebrew: "Following the victory in the Six Day War, several Israelis started
> to visit Shalom Al Yisrael in Jericho and other holy sites in Judea and
> Samaria. A local Arab built a house on the site and demanded entrance fee
> from visitors".
> The EN version implies that the land in which the synagogue was unearthed
> was privately owned at the time of the discovery. It further suggests that
> the owner took good care of the place, and that the entrance fee was "small"
> and legitimate. The HE version suggests that after June 1967, a local
> resident took advantage of the Jewish interest in the site and implies that
> the entrance fee was illegitimate.
> English: "In 1987, the Israeli authorities confiscated the mosaic, the house
> and a small part of the farm around it. They offered compensation to the
> Shahwan family but that was rejected".
> Hebrew: "In 1986 the [Israeli] Nature and Park Authority purchased the
> building".
> The English version suggests that the change of ownership was an act of
> coercion and that the former owners actively protested against it. The
> Hebrew version suggests that the change of ownership was voluntary.
> There are other differences, specifically in the description of the attack
> on the site during the Second Intifada in October 2000, but I think the two
> above are enough to demonstrate the POV issue. It is interesting to note,
> that both versions say that the Palestinian Authority did a good job
> protecting the place after its establishment in 1995 following the Oslo
> Accords.
> Best,
> Dror
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Paolo Massa
Email: paolo AT gnuband DOT org
Blog: http://gnuband.org

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