I bet you have heard of Wikipedia and you really love it since it’s a free encyclopedia online and most of the articles can give us an extensive knowledge about a particular subject, word, planet, etc. Wikipedia is really popular as its Alexa Rank is 7 at the moment. Today, I want to write something about a new special language version in Wikipedia and introduce it to you, especially to those English learners.
I’m from China and now studying in Singapore. This results in such a big change in the language-environment that I would have to become a typical English Learner, don’t you think so? When I knew there was a special language version of Wikipedia and that called ‘Simple English Wikipedia‘, I felt very excited, just because I used to find knowledge via either Wikipedia in Chinese or Wikipedia in English with tons of checkings on the dictionary .
The focus of ‘Simple English Wikipedia’ is just ‘Simple’, simple words, simple grammars and short sentences. When I checked something on it, I found out that it would be really useful for me. That’s quite interesting as I can understand nearly all the sentences by myself and all articles were written using basic vocabularies.
Let’s compare the word in Simple English Wikipedia and English Wikipedia together:
I tested out the word ‘copyright’, and grabbed two different articles from these two versions of Wikipedia.
In English Wikipedia (an extract from the first paragraph):
“Copyright is a form of intellectual property which gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation; after which time the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete. Some jurisdictions also recognize “moral rights” of the creator of a work, such as the right to be credited for the work.”
In Simple English Wikipedia (an extract from the first paragraph):
“A copyright is a law that gives the owner of a written document, musical composition, book, picture, or other creative work, the right to decide what other people can do with it. Copyright laws make it easier for authors to make money by selling their works. Because of copyright, a work can only be copied if the owner of the copyright gives permission.”
From these two extracts, you can easily spot the level of English standard between the two. The definition in English Wikipedia is so difficult that I cannot understand very well without checking dictionary. However, the Simple English version is much better and I can understand most of the words.
Also, there are 3 sister projects Â called ‘Wikictionary’, ‘Wikibooks’ and ‘Wikiquote’, they all have Simple English version for English learners, and I found that all of them would be very useful for me.
This post is written based on my opinion – a typical English learner’s view, and I would want to share my special experience to you as well as introduce a special thing to you. I won’t let Xavier to edit this post, as I want to keep original simple style.
What is your first idea after visit Simple English Wikipedia? I hope everyone can get the same answer. Since there are only 55,228 articles in Simple English Wikipedia, we need to share our knowledge on it and make Simple English Wikipedia more wonderful!