Simple English Wikipedia

The Simple English Wikipedia is an English-language edition of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia written primarily in Basic English and Special English.[1] It was launched in 2001. It is one of eight Wikipedias written in an Anglic language or English-based pidgin/creole, the others being the English Wikipedia, the Scots Wikipedia, the Old English Wikipedia, the Pitkern-Norfuk Wikipedia, the Tok Pisin Wikipedia, the Jamaican Patois Wikipedia, and the Sranan Tongo Wikipedia. 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".[2] As of December 2020, the site contains over 177,000 content pages, and has more than 1,044,000 registered users, of whom 1,043 are currently active.[3]

Favicon of Wikipedia Simple English Wikipedia
Logo of the Simple English Wikipedia
The homepage of the Simple English Wikipedia
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia
Available in
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Users1,044,073 users, 18 administrators as of 4 December 2020

Simple English Wikipedia's basic presentation style makes it ideal for beginners learning English.[4][5] Its simpler word structure and syntax, while detracting from the raw information standpoint, can make the information easy to understand. Material from the Simple English Wikipedia forms the basis for One Encyclopedia per Child,[6] a One Laptop per Child project.[7]

Website structureEdit

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".[8] 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".[9] The project uses around 1,500 common English words,[1] and is based on Basic English, an 850-word controlled natural language created by Charles Kay Ogden in the 1920s.[8]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Simple English Wikipedia, 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2016
  3. ^ Special:Statistics, Retrieved December 4, 2020
  4. ^ Fabien Snauwaert (2010). How to Learn English. p. 34. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  5. ^ How to Learn English. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  6. ^ "One Encyclopedia Per Child". 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. ^ a b Tim Dowling (14 January 2008). "Wikipedia too long-winded for you? Try the simple version". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  9. ^ Ayers, Phoebe; Matthews, Charles; Yates, Ben (2008). How Wikipedia works: and how you can be a part of it. No Starch Press. p. 417.

External linksEdit