Simple English Wikipedia

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 8.28.57 AMWe are all familiar with the on-line reader-written Wikipedia. Although over the years it has been often criticized for errors, it has been gaining respect for being a surprisingly reliable source of information. While not accepted as a source for scholarly work, it is often an excellent place for the average information-seeker to learn quickly about the life of a bumblebee, the work of an 18th century author or an explanation of scientific phenomena. I turn to it myself quite often. Sometimes I learn ‘enough’ to satisfy my question, and other times I use it as a bouncing off point to research further.

Recently I learned about another Wikipedia.

It’s called Simple English Wikipedia, and it is designed for use by people whose first language is not English.

It is not a dumbed-down version. Rather it is written with basic English and shorter sentences.

From the cover page of their website: “We use Simple English words and grammar here. The Simple English Wikipedia is for everyone! That includes children and adults who are learning English. There are 101,790 articles on the Simple English Wikipedia.”

Simple English Wikipedia. What a great idea!

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16 thoughts on “Simple English Wikipedia

  1. All technical writing should be in simple English. People think they can look smarter by using convoluted words and sentences. You know, words like convoluted. 🙂

    • So am I. Remember having to go to the library to look up anything? Or turn to the stack of encyclopedias on your shelf? Now … in seconds … we can have more information in front of us than we would ever have found back in those ‘get thee to the library’ days. I love it! 🙂

  2. I just tested the Simple site, and some entries are really too ‘simple’, without enough key information. I think the development is still at an early stage, however I do like this idea of being clear and direct.

    Simple and direct, easy to read, useful, and short sentences are the best for the web. Recently, http://www.gov.uk has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, for its “well thought out, yet understated design”. The language used on the site is simple, direct and clear.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22164715

    • “Clear and direct” is SO important. I once had an English teacher who preached “omit needless words” …. and I think that was very good advice. 🙂

  3. This is a great source but I had never heard of it. I have volunteer as a tutor for those wanting to read and write English so this would be great for them.

    And thanks for taking time to like one of my posts.

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