The Spanish (Spanish: en español) is a Spanish-language edition of Wikipedia, a free, online encyclopedia. It has 1,404,051 articles. Started in May 2001, it reached 100,000 articles on March 8, 2006 and 1,000,000 articles on May 16, 2013. It is the 9th-largest as measured by the number of articles and has the 4th-largest number of edits.


In February 2002, Larry Sanger wrote an e-mail stating that Bomis was considering selling advertisements. Edgar Enyedy, a user on the Spanish, criticized the proposal. Jimmy Wales and Sanger responded by saying that they did not immediately plan to implement advertisements,[1] but Enyedy began establishing a fork. Enciclopedia Libre was established by February 26, 2002. Enyedy persuaded most of the Spanishns into going to the fork. By the end of 2002 over 10,000 articles were posted on the new site, and the Spanish was inactive for the rest of the year. Andrew Lih wrote that "for a long time it seemed that Spanish Wikipeda [sic] would be the unfortunate runt left from the Spanish fork."[2] The general popularity of attracted new users to the Spanish who were unfamiliar with the fork and these users came by June 2003.[2] By the end of that year the had over 10,000 articles. The size of the Spanish overtook that of the fork in the northern hemisphere fall of 2004.[2]

Lih stated in 2009 that the concepts of advertising and forking were still sensitive issues for the community because "It took more than a year for the Spanish to get back on its feet again" after the fork had been initiated.[2]

After the spin-off, the Spanish had very little activity until the upgrade to the Phase III of the software, later renamed MediaWiki, when the number of new users started to increase again.[citation needed] Both projects continue to co-exist, but the Spanish is by far the more active of the two.[3][4]

Key dates

  • March 16, 2001: Jimmy Wales announced the internationalization of.[5]
  • May 11, 2001: The Spanish is established along with eight other wikis. Its first domain was Spanish.wikipedia.com.[6]
  • May 21, 2001: The oldest known article, Países del Mundo (English translation: Countries of the world), is created.
  • February 26, 2002: many contributors left to form the Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español, rejecting perceived censorship and the possibility of advertising on the Bomis-supported.[7]
Historical article counts. The Spanish is shown in red; Enciclopedia Libre is blue.
  • October 23, 2002: the domain es.wikipedia.com is changed to es.wikipedia.org.
  • June 30, 2003: the mailing list for the Spanish is created (Wikies-l).[8]
  • October 6, 2003: first bot created on this. Its user name is SpeedyGonzalez.
  • July 18, 2004: the Spanish edition switches to UTF-8, allowing any character to be used directly in forms.
  • December 9, 2004: it is decided that in Spanish will use free images only.[9]
  • August 24, 2006: three checkusers are elected.[10] They can examine IP addresses.
  • December 11, 2006: following a vote, the Arbitration Committee, whose local name is Comité de Resolución de Conflictos (CRC) is created.[10]
  • June 11, 2007: last local image was erased, so all media are retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
  • September 1, 2007: first local chapter of Wikimedia Foundation is created in a Spanish-speaking country (Argentina).
  • December 13, 2008: it was decided to eliminate the stub template from Spanish.[11]
  • March 25, 2009: the first oversighters are elected.[12] They can delete edits so they cannot be seen even by regular administrators.
  • April 15, 2009: the Arbitration Committee is dissolved after a vote.[13]
  • May 16, 2013, the Spanish became the seventh to cross the million article count.

Size and users

The countries in which the Spanish is the most popular language version of are shown in red.[14]

It has the second largest number of users, after the English.[15] However, it is ranked eighth for number of articles, below others devoted to languages with smaller numbers of speakers, such as German, French, Cebuano, Dutch, Waray-Waray, Italian and Russian. In terms of quality, parameters such as article size (over 2 KB: 40%) show it as the second out of the ten largests after the German one.[16] As of October 2012, Spanish is the fourth in terms of the number of edits,[17] as well as the third by the number of page views.[18]

By country of origin, by September 2017, Spain was the main contributor to the Spanish (39.2% of edits). It is followed by Argentina (10.7%), Chile (8.8%), the Netherlands (8.4%), Mexico (7.0%), Venezuela (5.1%), Peru (3.5%), the United States (3.1%), Colombia (2.7%), Uruguay (1.3%) and Germany (1.1%).[19]

Among the countries where Spanish is an official language, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela have established local chapters of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Usage in Spain

Following a study by Netsuus (online market analysis enterprises) on the use of in Spain, it was revealed that most users consult Spanish (97%) compared tos in other regional languages (2.17% for in Catalan, 0.64% in Galician and 0.26% in Basque).[20]

Differences from others

  • The Spanish only accepts free images, and has rejected fair use since 2004, after a public vote.[9] In 2006, it was decided to phase out the use of local image uploads and to exclusively use Wikimedia Commons for images and other media in the future.[21]
  • Unlike the French and Englishs, the Spanish does not have an Arbitration Committee. A local version was created in January 2007 (comprising seven members, chosen by public vote),[10] and dissolved in 2009 after another vote.[13]
  • Some templates, like the navigation templates,[22] have been deprecated, being the only where is forbidden to use template, being only possible to use the Categories, with all the problems it carries[according to whom?].
  • Terminology in Spanish:

Evaluation and criticism

A comparative study by the Colegio Libre de Eméritos, made by Prof. Manuel Arias Maldonado (University of Malaga) and published in 2010, compared some articles with those of the English and Germans. It concluded that the Spanish version of was the least reliable of the three. It found it to be more cumbersome and imprecise than the German and Englishs, stated that it often lacked reliable sources, including much unreferenced data, and found it to be too dependent on online references.[23]

During Wikimania 2009, free-software activist Richard Stallman criticized the Spanish for restricting links to the Rebelion.org left-wing web site and allegedly banning users who had complained about what had happened. Participants in the Spanish responded that Rebelion.org is primarily a news aggregator, that links to aggregators should be replaced with links to original publishers whenever possible, and that they considered the issue to be one of spam.[24]

According to a 2013 Oxford University study, five of the ten most disputed pages on the Spanish were football (soccer) clubs, including Club América, FC Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Alianza Lima, and Newell's Old Boys.[25]



  1. ^ Lih, p. 137.
  2. ^ a b c d Lih, p. 138.
  3. ^ "Enciclopedia Libre Universal: Special Stats" (in Spanish). Enciclopedia.us.es. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  4. ^ Estadísticas
  5. ^ "mailing list message: Alternative languages". Lists.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  6. ^ "[Wikipedia-l] new language wikis". wikimedia.org. 
  7. ^ "Enciclopedia:Por qué estamos aquí y no en es.wikipedia.org" (in Spanish). 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "[Wikies-l] Inauguracion de la lista". wikimedia.org. 
  9. ^ a b es:Wikipedia:Votaciones/2004/Usar sólo imágenes libres
  10. ^ a b c Votaciones/2006/Creación del Comité de resolución de conflictos
  11. ^ Consultas de borrado/Plantilla:Esbozo
  12. ^ Supresores/Votación/2009
  13. ^ a b Votaciones/2009/Sobre la disolución del Comité de Resolución de Conflictos
  14. ^ Erik Zachte (14 November 2011). "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Page Views Per Country - Trends". Wikimedia Statistics. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "List ofs". wikimedia.org. 
  16. ^ "Statistics Tables - Articles over 2Kb". Stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  17. ^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Page Edits Per Language - Breakdown". wikimedia.org. 
  18. ^ "Page Views for, All Platforms, Normalized". wikimedia.org. 
  19. ^ Edits by project and country of origin as described in Meta.
  20. ^ "Especial: Lenguas Oficiales en". Netsuus.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  21. ^ es:Wikipedia:Votaciones/2006/Cambiar políticas y reglas de uso de imágenes
  22. ^ es:Wikipedia:Plantillas de navegación
  23. ^ Manuel Arias Maldonado. "Wikipedia: un estudio comparado" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 49. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  24. ^ Cohen, Noam (August 27, 2009). "A War of Words Over's Spanish Version". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  25. ^ Gross, Doug. "Wiki wars: The 10 most controversial pages." (Archive) CNN. July 24, 2013. Retrieved on July 26, 2013.

External links

  • Media related to Spanish at Wikimedia Commons