Latin videos reach 750,000 views at Wikimedia

Views of Latin language videos at Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites have now topped 750,000, after just two years of adding new content.

In 2019, we started adding new Latin videos to Wikipedia, from Youtubers that were amenable to licencing their readings and works using a Creative Commons licence. Our initial idea was that readings of famous works would reach a wider audience, and help people see that people still use and understand Latin today.

Since then, a number of people have contributed their content to Wikimedia, and videos of a number of famous works are being watched by people reading English and Latin Wikipedia in particular. The big numbers are generated by English Wikipedia of course.

VideoArtistMonth Total Added
Cicero, first speech against CatalinaMusa Pedestris38,351134,199June 2021
KarthagoOpen Latin, Laurent d’Aumale10,40810,408Sep 2021
Carpe DiemMusa Pedestris9,92342,263June 2021
Catallus 16Gaius Annaeus Iacobus7,890123,158July 2020
PersepolisOpen Latin, Laurent d’Aumale6,2396,239Oct 2021
Viae RomanaeOpen Latin, Laurent d’Aumale5,2105,210Sep 2021
Catallus 2a and 2bGaius Annaeus Iacobus4,95269,565July 2020
Catallus 5Gaius Annaeus Iacobus3,16753,643July 2020
Vita RomaeOpen Latin, Carla Hurt, Found in Antiquity2,4092,409Oct 2021
Video views last month on Wikimedia

What we can learn from this is that there is a demand on Wikipedia to hear Latin, especially for poetry and famous passages. This gives us an excellent guide as to the kinds of readings we could produce and add that would get listened to by Wikipedia readers, and perhaps increase their enthusiasm and interest in Latin.

We also see that people are prepared to watch short videos about Latin related topics, with English subtitles. This can help us ensure that the educational content we are producing reaches a wider audience, which in turn may help develop an interest in the language.

The ZDF series in German has reached 28 million views with just 200 short clips, largely shown to a German speaking audience. We have reached 750,000 views with 32 videos; with some strategic placement and attention to the kinds of Latin content people will watch or listen to, there is no reason that we cannot also reach large audiences, especially through the pages of the English Wikipedia.

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