Wikipedia:Simple English Wikipedia
Welcome to the Simple English Wikipedia, an easy-to-read online encyclopedia for people who are learning English. The Simple English Wikipedia's articles can be used to help with school homework or just for the fun of learning about new ideas. Non-English Wikipedias can also translate from the articles here.
What is the Simple English Wikipedia?Edit
Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use fewer words and grammar that is easier to understand than the ordinary English Wikipedia. The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs, such as children, students and adults with learning difficulties, and people who are trying to learn English. Other people may use the Simple English Wikipedia because simple language helps them to understand unfamiliar topics or complex ideas.
When the Simple English Wikipedia began, the ordinary English Wikipedia already had 150,000 articles, and seven other Wikipedias in other languages had over 15,000 articles. Since the other Wikipedias already have so many articles, most Simple English articles take articles from other Wikipedias and make them simple; they are usually not new articles.
This makes Simple English articles a good way to understand difficult articles from the ordinary English Wikipedia. If someone cannot understand an idea in complex English, they can read the Simple English article. For this reason, people writing Simple English articles should put in "interwiki links" to and from the other Wikipedias. Also, it is good to always look at all versions in all languages, to get new ideas.
"Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not" has a good list of things which we are not doing. These things are a little different from the things the ordinary English Wikipedia does not do. For example, in the Simple English version it is more important to explain slang, idioms, and jargon. The Simple English Wikipedia also has some articles that are also in the Wiktionary.
Anyone can write in the Simple English Wikipedia. Simple English writers are very mixed, more so than at English Wikipedia, or at other Wikipedias. It is important to respect the different types of people who are writing articles in the Simple English Wikipedia, and to be friendly with people who have trouble speaking English. Remember that Wikipedia is a service which many communities use.
If you want to write articles for the Simple English Wikipedia, read Wikipedia:How to write Simple English articles. See Wikipedia for a simple English introduction to the project in all languages, and Wikipedia:Useful for a list of pages that can help you more. You can ask questions at Wikipedia:Simple talk.
Simple English is similar to English, but it only uses basic words.
We suggest that articles should use only the 1,000 most common and basic words in English. They should also use only simple grammar and shorter sentences. Writers can also use a special system, for example, Basic English. Of course, people can write original articles; these could be put in both this and the main Wikipedia (with a normal level of English). Usually, only about 2,000 words are enough to write a normal article.
Since some articles need more than 2,000 different words, some complex articles use more words. But even very basic concepts (zero, one, two) are too difficult to explain with a small number of words.
For detailed writing about science, politics, or religion, articles sometimes need more words, but the English must be simple. Sometimes, an article uses more than 2,000 words, or, at most, 3,000, but it explains all the difficult words. Articles need some complex words because of the article names in the ordinary English Wikipedia, and to use normal words would make the article too simple. Articles on scientific topics (like Earth) might need complex words.
There are no rules about vocabulary, tense or suffixes. Some articles use only Basic English (850 words), but this wiki has no strong rules about which words can be used, as E Prime does. If a word is not simple or not used often here, it should be explained on a new page.
The proposals to close the Simple English WikipediaEdit
Two times there have been proposals to close Simple English Wikipedia. See meta:Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikipedia (October 2007) and meta:Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikipedia (2) (October 2008).