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Do you know about Wikipedia’s Simple English?

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly Googling anything and everything and I frequently end up on Wikipedia’s website. One day I was looking at all of the possible languages I could read an entry in and noticed “Simple English” was one of the options. I was reading about something complex and “Simple English” simplified the topic and made it easier to understand (you could say it’s a “red carpet” to the “English” entry).

Wikipedia says: “The Simple English Wikipedia is for everyone! That includes children and adults who are learning English.” They forgot to add people who are lazy or want to learn complex theories easily and quickly (to me that could be organic chemistry). Every page does not have this option, and typically Simple English is shorter and has less information. I like to look at it to see how the writers simplify complex topics and pull out the “main ideas”.

Most of the time when I’m searching for information, I’m just looking for a quick definition. Sometimes the definition includes references to the rest of the web page, and I don’t have time to scroll down or Ctrl+F to find it.

As technical writers, we frequently simplify complex subjects/ideas/processes depending on the targeted audience. That’s the kind of information I like to receive as well, with the option to learn more if I want. I’m about time and efficiency and learning the “main idea”.

View More Posts by: katherine

2 Responses to Do you know about Wikipedia’s Simple English?

  1. I didn’t know know that. Thanks.

  2. I reference wiki in the lab more then i would care to admit. Often times, just as a refresher for some complex biological process, or even to just get another angle on something i already “think” i know.

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