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Simple English Wikipedia

01/02/07

  09:16:58 pm, by Nimble   , 293 words  
Categories: Distractions

Simple English Wikipedia

Link: http://simple.wikipedia.org

If you go to the main Wikipedia page, you will get a multitude of options of languages. One "language" that caught a coworker's eye was "Simple English". The guidelines are to use simple words, keeping low literacy and foreign speakers in mind, using Basic English where possible (the BE 850 list, or the BE 1500 list), in addition to other terms that can be linked to other pages. Of course, that can sometimes be difficult. Many of the pages have a caveat that "somebody doesn't think this is simple English".

Contrast the first part of the Simple English entry on Nuclear Fission...

Nuclear fission is something that happens with atoms and gives off a lot of energy, and is used in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. This process was discovered in December 1938 by the German nuclear chemist Otto Hahn and his assistant Fritz Strassmann in Berlin.

...with the regular one...

Nuclear fission—also known as atomic fission—is a process in nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei as fission products, and usually some by-product particles. Hence, fission is a form of elemental transmutation. The by-products include free neutrons, photons usually in the form gamma rays, and other nuclear fragments such as beta particles and alpha particles. Fission of heavy elements is an exothermic reaction and can release substantial amounts of useful energy both as gamma rays and as kinetic energy of the fragments (heating the bulk material where fission takes place).

The Simple English version is definitely lacking in a lot of entries. If you have patience, can keep to BE 1500, and want to make your mark on Wikipedia, this might be a way to cut your teeth on the Wikipedia project.

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