Simple English Wikipedia

Simple English Wikipedia is an English edition of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, primarily written in Basic English (an 850-word auxiliary language created by Charles Kay Ogden in the 1920s for learning English as a second language) and Special English (avoids idioms; created in 1959 and still presented daily by the Voice of America broadcast). Launched in 2003, the site has the stated aim of providing an encyclopedia for ‘people with different needs, such as students, children, adults with learning difficulties and people who are trying to learn English.’

Articles on the Simple English Wikipedia are usually shorter than their English Wikipedia counterparts, typically presenting only basic information: Tim Dowling of ‘the Guardian’ newspaper explained that ‘the Simple English version tends to stick to commonly accepted facts.’ The interface is also more simply labeled; for instance, the ‘Random article’ link on the English Wikipedia is replaced with a ‘Show Any Page’ link; users are invited to ‘change’ rather than ‘edit’ pages; clicking on a red link shows a ‘not yet started’ message rather than the usual ‘page does not exist.’


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