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Simple English Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Favicon of Wikipedia Simple English Wikipedia
Logo of the Simple English Wikipedia
The homepage of the Simple English Wikipedia
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available in
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Users1,479,074 users, 16 administrators as of 22 July 2024
LaunchedSeptember 18, 2001[1]

The Simple English Wikipedia is a modified English-language edition of Wikipedia written primarily in Basic English and Learning English.[2] It is one of seven Wikipedias written in an Anglic language or English-based pidgin or creole. 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."[3]

Simple English Wikipedia's basic presentation style makes it helpful for beginners learning English.[4] Its simpler word structure and syntax, while missing some nuances, can make information easier to understand when compared with the regular English Wikipedia.



Simple English Wikipedia was launched on September 18, 2001.[1]

In 2012, Andrew Lih, a Wikipedian and author, told NBC News' Helen A.S. Popkin that the Simple English Wikipedia does not "have a high standing in the Wikipedia community," and added that it never had a clear purpose: "Is it for people under the age 14, or just a simpler version of complex articles?", wrote Popkin.[5]

Material from the Simple English Wikipedia formed the basis for One Encyclopedia per Child,[6] a project in One Laptop per Child[7] that ended in 2014.[8]

As of July 2024, the site contains over 254,000 content pages. It has more than 1,479,000 registered users, of whom 1,334 have made an edit in the past month.[9]

Website structure


The 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".[10] 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 "page not created" message rather than the usual "page does not exist".[11] The project encourages, but does not enforce, the use of a vocabulary of around 1,500 commonly used English words[2] that is based on Basic English, an 850-word controlled natural language created by Charles Kay Ogden in the 1920s.[10]

See also



  1. ^ a b "Simple English Wikipedia". Meta. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  2. ^ a b Parris, Sheri R. (2009). Adolescent Literacy, Field Tested: Effective Solutions for Every Classroom. International Reading Assoc. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-87207-695-2. A version of Wikipedia, called Simple English Wikipedia, contains entries using the 2,000 or so most common words in English, and is well suited for younger readers.
  3. ^ Simple English Wikipedia, 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2016
  4. ^ Fabien Snauwaert (2010). How to Learn English, the ebook 📘. how-to-learn-english.com. p. 34. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  5. ^ Popkin, Helen A.S. (7 December 2012). "You're not smart enough to read Wikipedia". NBC News. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  6. ^ "One Encyclopedia Per Child". Wiki.laptop.org. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  7. ^ Lawrence A. Tomei, Robert Morris (2008). Encyclopedia of Information Technology Curriculum Integration. Idea Group Inc (IGI). p. 544. ISBN 978-1-59904-881-9.
  8. ^ Robertson, Adi (16 April 2018). "OLPC's $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong". The Verge. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  9. ^ Special:Statistics. Retrieved July 22, 2024
  10. ^ a b Tim Dowling (14 January 2008). "Wikipedia too long-winded for you? Try the simple version". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  11. ^ Ayers, Phoebe; Matthews, Charles; Yates, Ben (2008). How Wikipedia works: and how you can be a part of it. No Starch Press. p. 417. ISBN 9781593271763.