Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikipedia (2)

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The result of the following proposal for closing a WMF project is to KEEP the project. Please, do not modify this page.

The following discussion is closed: There is nothing else to say. I am a participant in the discussion but what is clear is that there is insufficient support for closure, and the consensus has not changed from the previous discussion. Local problems pertaining to simple: should from now on be resolved in simple:. Hillgentleman 02:29, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
See also Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikipedia

The Simple English Wikipedia was intended to create a Wikipedia using Simple English. However, many of the articles on the project have drifted towards mainstream English and the project is thus becoming surplus to requirements as the English Wikipedia already exists. On the previous discussion to close there was talk about who may be using Simple. But, by the name alone, the idea of the project was to use Simple English, not a basic or simple version of English. A project specifically aimed at those who do not have English as a first language may have some merit, or a project for children, but neither relate to Simple English itself.

Poll on deletion[edit]


  1. Support - George The Dragon 12:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support To be honest, I thought about making a closure request, too. People who aren't native speakers of English shall write in their native language where they are probably much more efficient. Native English speakers have enwiki with plenty of stuff still to write. It's absolutely not necessary to have all the content twice in the very same language. --Thogo (talk) 22:43, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  3. Support, why have two English Wikipediae. I am en-2 and would never look at when searching for an article, better merge the good things and the people there to, no doubt they are doing good work, but imho it is too much redundance, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 02:29, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  4. Support - I have never understood the rationale for having a Simple English Wikipedia in addition to the English Wikipedia. While the project is grandfathered, it doesn't meet the requirement of being a real language. For that reason alone, it shouldn't have been created in the first place. Shall we have a simple version of every language? I rather think not. Furthermore, the redundancy between simple and en is an issue, the usefulness of which has yet to be determined per Birdy. And again, even if it were useful, that's not a good reason to have it open. It'd also be useful for Wikipedia to be a link farm. But it's not. It'd also be useful if Wikibooks could be a dumping ground for everything that fails AFD. But it's not. Lots of things would be useful, but that's no better a reason than "But I worked really hard on this."  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 03:10, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  5. Support per Thogo and Birdy Sir Lestaty discuţie 00:34, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
  6. Support There are no clear standards of what is "simple"; unless clear conventions on grammar, vocabulary, and extensions are made, this project is a redundant version of English. See arguments below. Lwyx 15:23, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
    Even if there are standards and they are followed, the fact remains that Simple English is not a language and as such should never have had a project in the first place.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 19:16, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
    If there are clear-cut standards, somehow restricting and redefining "standard" English, "Simple English" could count as an artificial auxiliary language, like BASIC, and thus, a language like Esperanto or Ido, which have their own wikipedias. So if "simple" is a wikipedia in a semi-artificial auxiliary language it could stay. But in its current condition it looks like an English wikipedia, duplicated and shaved. Cheers. Lwyx 17:18, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
    Simple English wiki was created when wikimedia was open to ideas and allowed users to request various kind of non-language wikis that wikimedia could host, most were rejected but some passed such as Commons as an Image host, species wiki as a scientific wiki dealing with organisms etc, the Incubator wiki for the creation of newer wikis and Meta, a wiki to co-ordinate with all these projects but simplewiki stood out of these non-language wikis because it was created taking in mind for those users whose English is not really a first language and probably not even second which ironically makes up for over 4 billion of the world population. Try not to see this as a language wiki but more of a "special" wiki created to help improve the english of people in this 2nd or 3rd world country as well as to help children in the first world english speaking countries, to grasp their english language and to better it in the future..--Cometstyles 20:40, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
    I understand why it was created, I simply disagree with that reasoning.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:13, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
    If "simple" is not a language, natural or otherwise, its contents may leave the wikipedia namespace; but if the project is so dear to some people, it may be moved to wikia. IIRC, that's why the wikia namespace was created. Check the toki pona "wikipedia". Lwyx 17:18, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
    Yes, these persons all have a solid point. Academic excellence is slowly changing Wikipedia from a fantastic source of information to a masterpiece of academic excellence. It is a bias which has been structuring science and history articles (in particular) to reflect 3rd level educative structure, banishing and nullifying anything which seeks to improve or differ outside that perspective (example: en:English language). I see it as a striking alteration in the last year particulary. Latin rules the day and concepts such as helpfulness, simplicity and purpose are open to damning debate. The uneducated are slowly unsupported, changing not only the content but the nature. The trend is merely a reflection of the community. The persons required to maintain the wiki will ultimately encapsulate it in their own design, unfettered by others and without rhyme or reason. I suggest the story of the unediting reader has scarcely been written and never been told. ~ R.T.G 06:25, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
    I take your point. From that perspective a "simple english wikipedia" makes more sense to me (WP for dummies ;-): more seriously: for K-12); however, if some expert (say, a college professor) tries to contribute to SEW, how would you keep control on whether the contribution is "simple enough".--- That's it!: how do you measure "simple" without clear criteria on grammar and vocabulary? Lwyx 21:16, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
    Agree. Last year I was trying to get some info off en on genetics and biology for a year 10 class (14-15 year olds), and while the articles were good, as a science graduate even *I* had problems understanding them. Orderinchaos 23:15, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
    Having reconsidered the matter during the holidays, I think the "simple" section could be achieved through the Introductions Project of the English language Wikipedia. That way the "lesser educated" readers are served with short, simple, to the point information. So the "Simple English" Wikipedia is not needed indeed: it's goals may be merged into the Main English WP. Lwyx 19:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Granting RTG's point, perhaps a project name change is in order: there are proposals for "juniorpedia", "easypedia", "simplerpedia", or alikes: that project name change would allow to start mirror projects in other languages, removing the appearance that English is somehow favored. Please notice that "simple" it's then not a wikipedia in another "language" anymore, but another project altogether, and the domain "" shall go anyway, being replaced by "", or something like that.--- And by the way, the actual "simple" is quite a proof that this new project ("simplepedia", whatever...) will perfectly fly: it doesn't need an incubator (the project is already running), but a proper name. I'll add a new section to discuss this point below. Lwyx 21:31, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
    Wikia is not a namespace, Lwyx, it's a completely separate for-profit website that happens to have been founded by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley of Wikipedia. It would be much better for it to be located on Wikimedia's server where there are no adverts and where we are not contributing towards someone's paycheck. Majorly talk 14:12, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    On the one hand, if this SEWP does not survive the deletion process, it may be moved "somewhere" so that its fans may keep it; on the other hand, that site on Wikia may give sounding contributions to the beginners of the projects. So IMO the project could be moved doing no harm anywhere. Lwyx 19:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    I'm considering switching my vote: after a little of research and consideration, a Wikipedia for second language/middle school students now looks reasonable. What I'm not sure about is the name "simple.wikipedia" and the criteria for grammar checking. Lwyx 21:55, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
    I've decided to keep my vote and remove the adverb "mildly": providing materials for beginning readers might be achieved by other means (the Introductions Project, for instance), and proponents of "Simple English" have systematically failed to answer objections just by ignoring the shortcomings of their approach. Lwyx 01:37, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
    Gasp you mean people didn't agree what you considered short commings were short commings? The introductions project you keep mentioning has nothing to do with making entire articles simple. It also is a pretty much inactive project. So it really isn't an alternative. -Djsasso 03:08, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
    I have no problem with people disagreeing with me: what drives me nuts is people ignoring me ;-) Please, tell me exactly how to write "Simple English" effectively for all the intended target audiences (children, ESL students, people with learning disabilities, etc.), and I'll happily switch sides.-- On the other hand, most articles in "Simple English" seem to be stubs: namely, drafts for Introductions for longer articles. So, instead of trying to expand those stubs into full articles in an unknown dialect of English, it would be better to invest all that effort into making good, easier to understand Introductions to articles for the benefit of all English language readers. Lwyx 00:31, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
    I found the Wikiproject:Introductions through your links, Lwyx. It is one of the most important areas and possibly overlooked a lot. Writing in simple is basically making the words as short as possible or, when only a big word will do, using the one easiest to recognise. Makes complex science difficult to write but most other stuff can be done easy. ~ R.T.G 22:57, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
  7. Support - Per Thogo and Birdy. Mikhailov Kusserow (talk) 08:28, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
  8. This „wikipedia“, where blatant PoV-pushers can safely do their job for months without any resistance, must be destroyed. Even my attempt to correctly attribute some territories was obstructed with some help from an administrator[1]. They reverted[2] even categorisation of simple:Punjab (India) to simple:Category:Punjab (India), rendering the category empty. Incnis Mrsi 12:02, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    After some thinking I realize that this must be not destroyed, but reorganized as a subsidiary of, as latter is known for good NPoV level. Reply of Majorly (which is a sysop in, but nobody in gave additional arguments to such decision. Incnis Mrsi 16:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    If you bothered to give a proper edit summary when editing articles, confusion wouldn't occur. I can't believe you're calling Gwib a blatant PoV pusher, when it is you who is. Majorly talk 13:19, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    Please, give some evidences confirming your claims that Incnis Mrsi is a blatant PoV pusher, or apologize. The fact that simple:User:Majorly is a sysop is quite indicative. BTW I did not mention any PoV pushing directly from Gwib. Incnis Mrsi 16:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    I also should mention that simple:user:Da Punk '95 appeared to use the rollback feature (quick reverting) against my edits. In Russian Wikipedia only edits which clearly look as vandalism may be reverted by this way. The use of the rollbacker flag in such manner (i.e. in an edit war) would be a subject to removing the flag. Incnis Mrsi 18:05, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    Unexplained edits can be considered vandalism. Next time, you should use an edit summary. Majorly talk 18:13, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    What edit summary might I give to explain including the «Punjab (India)» to [[Category:Punjab (India)]]? Also, Mr. Majorly, remember that I yet expect evidences or excuses. Here is not your „wikipedia“ where flagged users have all possibilities to „proove“ that my edits were unconstructive. Incnis Mrsi 18:31, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    I can't understand you, so I think it's best this conversation ended. Majorly talk 18:46, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    Part stricken above, with apologies. This is simply a misunderstanding, and not something to suggest the entire project needs removing. I've left a note with the blocking admin. This should be discussed over on Simple. Majorly talk 20:47, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  9. Support Why have two English Wikipedias? I think the mostly people looks on the "real" English Wikipedia, so why have two (nearly) identical Wikipedias? M.M.S. 17:47, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    Clearly you haven't ever looked at Simple English Wikipedia. They're very different. Majorly talk 18:13, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  10. Support per above. The existence of simplewiki doesn't make sense. ~ Aleksandrit 19:20, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  11. Support. There is no "Simple English" language. Why we should have two English Wikipedias? Is it necessary to us? No, it isn't. Simplewiki delenda est should be closed per all above.--Аурелиано Буэндиа 13:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  12. Support No language, no standards, no sense. And en-1 is bad english, not simple english. It's a wiki, somebody will correct it! --FritzG 22:53, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  13. Support per Thogo. --Ahnode 22:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  14. Support: Move the content to Wikia or some other site / organization. Wikimedia should stick to real languages. --MZMcBride 17:30, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  15. Support: There is no valid purpose for this project; there is no "Simple English" language. Two english wiki's is not beneficial. Merge content, if unique, to another existing wiki. Jerry 19:36, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
    Support Per Thogo, I did not really ever like the idea of there being a simple english fork. Two projects same language, not needed. NonvocalScream 19:38, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
    This user switched to oppose. Ruslik 12:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  16. Support largely per Mike.lifeguard. Roux 19:42, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  17. Strong Support per Mike.lifeguard. IMatthew 20:03, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  18. Support per Spacebirdy and Mike.lifeguard. Stifle 21:23, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  19. Support If the articles there were actually written in simple forms of English, I would be convinced. However, they are not. Captain panda 02:28, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  20. Support I happened to read its article Violin which was featured recently. This is not written in simple english and I said so on its talk page. Noone has responded. The project seems to be a failure and the effort would be better devoted to beating back jargon and bad writing within the main English wikipedia. Colonel Warden 09:08, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
    It is written in Simple English - I replied to you on the talk page. Majorly talk 14:54, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  21. Support There is no "Simple English" language - I know there's an Old English Wikipedia - but that is an entirely different thing - so this whole project should be closed with immediate effect, like the trainwreck that was the Siberian Wikipedia. --Janine Hollins 11:36, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  22. Support Simple Wikipedia would not pass current standards. I'm really curious who is going to be helped by reading Simple's Violin instead of English's Violin; virtually no difference in vocabulary and only a small one in grammar.--Prosfilaes 01:07, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    Your example in part cemented my belief in opposing closing it. Quite frankly, the utility is self-evident, but an example is in the intro, and the detailed explanation of "fiddle", the verb "to fiddle" etc. Of clear value to people learning English, regardless if young or old, but specially if old enough to know what is a "violin" in their native tongue, where the differences between a "fiddle" and a "violin" might not exist. As for example, in Spanish.--Cerejota 05:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    It's obviously not self-evident if there's this much discussion. Looking at the Simple English intro, it tosses words at me that I as an educated native English speaker don't know--that is, fret as a noun. Except for tossing in a dictionary bit about the rare verb to fiddle, they say the exact same things about the difference between fiddle and violin, and both basically point you to the fiddle article for the real meat of the matter.--Prosfilaes 23:11, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    Without getting into the implications of what the meaning of "education" is to you if you are educated but don't know what "fret" is, you just told us why it is important. The Simple English Wiki guides you, in Simple language, to wards the definitions. It holds your hand, and requires that you hold the reader's hand. Wikipedia has no such requirement. And in violin these differences are evident. It is precisely your nativist bias that doesn't let you see it. I, on the other hand, as an educated speaker of multiple languages, but a native Spanish speaker, picked Simple's idea intuitively right away over a year ago when I found out about it, and have been trying to improve my Simple ever since with the eye towards editing. Things, like that in an EnWiki AfD, are called "I don't like it" is not a reason to support.--Cerejota 07:36, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    If you are a smart reader you probably know that you need a dictionary if you find a word you don't understand. This "violin" example is a good example that a good introduction for every Plain English article is needed, but then the Simple English counterpart is redundant. Please notice I'm not a native speaker, so I can't have that "nativist bias" that doesn't let me "see things". CRJ, please be polite and avoid personal attacks. Lwyx 19:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  23. Support I honestly never understood the purpose of the Simple English Wikipedia either. My understanding was that "simple" meant "abridged" hence the articles should be shorter, but after reading this discussion here, that is not the case. It is hard to keep articles in a "simple" (or "easy") language for non-native English speakers because there is no point where a line can be drawn between various types of grammar or vocabulary to determine what is "simple" and what isn't. I think a lot of the arguments supporting this closure are valid. After reading through the oppositions, many people have not been using reasonable arguments, and saying things such as "it does no harm", "as per above/nom", "I like it", "it's useful", "we've put a lot of work into it", and other "arguments" that should be avoided in such discussions. Therefore, I don't see many strong opposing reasons to keep this project active. Dream out loud 19:04, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    "en:WP:IDONTLIKEIT" and "en:WP:IDONTKNOWIT" apply perfectly to your posting. INB4: NO U. --Cerejota 07:36, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    I also thought that "Simple" meant "abridged" (so the SEWP would be compared to the Columbia Encyclopedia, while the Main English Wikipedia would be compared to the Britannica), but then I was told otherwise. But when I found the Introductions Project I got what I wanted. Now I'll be pushing the Introductions Project to use a simplified language, so that it may serve as well for lesser educated readers. That would make the SEWP redundant and useless. Lwyx 19:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  24. Support Basically per all the reasons above. Cmelbye 03:44, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    LOL! "as per above/nom" You didn't even bother reading it, did ya? --Cerejota 07:36, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  25. Support I don't understand the reason for having a Simple English Wikipedia when we already have an English one. Also would support closure of all Simple projects should I see those come up as well. FunPika 03:50, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  26. Support What's next? Proposing the creation of simple-French, simple-Spanish, simple-Chinese, and simple-Russian Wikipedia? I have yet to seen a real-life encyclopedia that carries a "simple" version OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:01, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    Children's encyclopedia? And such simple version have been suggested, such as German, but they do not created because of the new policy with languages. Majorly talk 14:10, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    Simple Wikipedia doesn't just target children. And there is a good reason in the policy why other "simple" languages don't get created, because they see the flaw in the plan and stopping new creations is a damage-control measure. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:18, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    Comment Comment It seems like a very flawed policy to me, what harm can simple versions for new language learners do. I for one would love to see a simpel Deutsch (simple German) Wikipedia (I can read the regular one).--BlackJar72 12:08, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    It is not flawed: with this policy you may identify a wikiproject by language (source, quotes, books, encyclopedia, dictionary, etc.). What's wrong here is the name of this project: it should be called an easypedia or something, instead of a "wikipedia" in a "simple" language that is either ambiguous or simply doesn't exist. Lwyx 00:07, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  27. Support --Leoman3000 15:02, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  28. Support - NoVomit NoVomit
  29. Support. I really don't see the point of Simple from a readership point of view: that is to say, who is the intended client base? Kids? They can read en, which is not usually written in technicalese (unlike, say, Britannica often is). Those who do not speak English as a first language? We do them a disservice by offering up the third-rate fare at Simple. Essentially, Simple only serves its editors, who are usually fugitives from en (or just banned there). Moreschi 15:07, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
    Just because kids can read English doesn't mean that can be read any grade level. What sort of books were you reading in elementary school? BTW, Most simple editors are not fugitives. --MarsRover 18:22, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
    In primary school? Lord of the Flies and Moby Dick. Later, Trainspotting. Moreschi 22:32, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
    It's not true Moreschi. I have spent many hours asking for en articles to be more simple. Most of the more complicated ones are protected from alteration and that includes the article en:English language. Try this one en:Neuro-linguistic programming. ~ R.T.G 19:24, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
    Try writing your suggested articles with the still undefined but recommended "1000 most common words of the English language". On the other hand, a good introduction would serve the non-specialist but curious reader. So I'd move the efforts to write simpler articles to the Introductions Project rather than keep on supporting the SEWP. Lwyx 19:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Support - I wonder if people know this, but a while ago, a suggestion for a "Simple French" Wikipedia was put forth. It was stated that if there was a simple English one then surely it would only be fair to have a French one. It was rejected. The reason given for this was that Simple English Wikipedia was created before the rules specifying what should be allowed as a language Wikipedia were, and that if it were to be suggested today, Simple English Wikipedia would not fit the criteria for creation, as it is not listed as an official language. Additionally, I think that it would be much more benefitial for the entire Wiki-community if people contributed to their own language wiki. English is the fastest growing one, and the already largest, as it is - does it really need help from people that cannot yet speak the language properly? No, what would be of use, is if they contributed to one of the tiny, and drastically in need, foreign language Wikis, some of which have as many edits in a week than English does in one minute! Another thing I'd like to comment on is the type of people who actually seem to edit there. A good 50% of all of them are self proclaimed banned users from other Wiki-projects, who are just their to "prove their worth". The whole system acts as a loop-hole for banned users to continue editing. That is not what Wikipedia is about. Possibly most importantly of all, no one looks at Simple Wikipedia apart from the editors themselves - look at the internet traffic data on the matter. To the editors of the project, continuing to edit on the project is probably the worser outcome - as what is the point in writing something that no-one other than yourselves will use? Something I note from the "oppose" section is that many, many of them are editors at the project, which undoubtedly makes them bias - and I would like to remind them that this is not a vote, and that it is the reasons being given in the discussions here that will effect the outcome, not the sheer quantity of "yes's" or "no's". 16:33, 3 January 2009 (UTC) Please log in to vote. Razorflame
  30. Support - Good idea that will never properly work. Articles for people that don't know English very well written by those same people? No references and little copy-editing. Articles don't end up being simple as much as inane. [3] Not good for children as is isn't censored. [4] Not good for ESL as the language doesn't make any sense. [5] And many articles don't do well simple. [6] These efforts would be better spent making EN language more consistently simple, then everyone benefits. JohnnyMrNinja 10:39, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Just very briefly: Knowing a decent level of a given language is usually not a prerequisite to being a good scientist. Being able to contribute to an article about Mathematics, Physics, Biology,... has nothing to do with knowing a particularl language. I'll push this even further: People who know about their area of research are able to explain concepts in simple terms. As to censorship: If you were to censor articles, for whom would you do it? - Different cultures have different ideas on what to censor. Should we ban pictures of women, based on the fact that some of them show women who do not wear a burqa? - Countries that follow a "conservative" Islamic doctrine (like Iran or Afghanistan) expect that women wear burqas, so these should be banned. Also as to Nudity: Countries influenced by Protestantsm (mostly in Northern Europe, like the Scandinavian ones, but also the Netherlands) have very liberal views on the subject. "Filtering" for these audiences is probably different. --Eptalon 10:44, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
  31. Support per Mike.lifeguard — Ferrer 20:44, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Support. The oppose side seems predominantly from Simple itself, and the rest appear to disapprove simply being too lazy to change the status quo. 15:08, 7 January 2009 (UTC) Please log in to vote. Razorflame
    • Since you didn't login, I can't see whether you ever contributed to the project, but people who contribute to simple know the most about the projects successes and failures and thus very qualified to speak about it. People who are lazy to change the status quo is a poor reason too since there's not enough good reason to change it to begin with. 13:23, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  32. Support - So it's aimed at children. Okay. But children won't be looking up ridiculous long and hard to read articles such as 'Line of Succession to the British Throne'. Isn't the English Wikipedia easier enough to read for articles that children would be looking up? Zuh? - PoinDexta1 04:50, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
    It's not just aimed at children, its also aimed at ESL people. -Djsasso 02:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
    And, AFAIK, also the deaf, the blind, and the otherwise disabled. I still can't figure out how do you really mean to serve such a diverse audience without clearer standards. Lwyx 17:20, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  33. Support Simple English not a language and there is no standard of Simple English. Each has own understanding of simplicity. For people who has English as second language it is completely useless, I already explained this in previous dicussions. You do not help learn English just because it is nothing simplier for non-English speaking person to understand your "Simple English" than conventional English. Just the opposite: your "simplification" mostly consists of removing foreign and international words. While it can look more "smple" for you, it does not for a foreignrer. The most difficult part in learning English (and any other language) is learning English-specific words, not international ones. What would be more easy for you if you learned Russian: antropologia (anthropology) or nauka o lyudiakh (knowledge about people)? Not to say that what simple for uneducated Englishman is not what simple for native French speaker and is not what simple for native Chineese speaker - as I already said there is no unique standard of simplicity. So the whole idea of this language is the original research of the contributors.--Nxx 13:59, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
  34. Support, although like I said, I back the compromise shown at the bottom of the page as well. Panwikito 17:13, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  35. Support Nxx and Mike.lifeguard sum up my sentiments well. Spellcast 07:11, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
  36. Support Those in the support section below have done nothing to successfully counter all the points given. 自由主義 17:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
  37. Support I think the purpose of Wikipedia is to provide information that is written at >>one certain level<< of a language and understanding and thus be consistent. Simple E. Wikipedia creates a different standard (no clear rules about the language and thus every article uses a different simple english language) within Wikipedia and thus makes whole Wikipedia inconsistent. I think that Simple E. Wikipedia could be moved outside Wikipedia to another webpage. Editors from Simple English Wikipedia would be welcome at English Wikipedia and there they could make the articles "more simple" - of course they would have to convince the current editors - and there are certainly many editors on English Wikipedia who do that even now. Simple E. Wikipedia appears to me kind of like en:Citizendium project - why don't the people from citizendium come to Wikipedia and improve the articles here? Even now there are many editors on English Wikipedia who fight hard in order to make the articles best, so why don't the Citizendiums come over and alter Wikipedia to the way they like (of course they have to convince the current editors about their ideas)? I think that these two cases are analogical in SOME way. So again: Any Wikimedia project should contain only one standard or it should be moved out. Mountleek 01:31, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
    Also imagine if there was a Simple Wikipedia for every languge. I think many people would find it absurd. Simple English, Simple Wolof, Simple Upper Sorbian, Simple Spanish ... There is only ONE Wikipedia. Simple languages DON'T exist. But if simple articles are considered beneficial, they should be moved to a new project such as Simplepedia, at the same level as Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Wikiquote etc. Mountleek 01:52, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
  38. Support This is original research language based on an incomplete list of which words are "simple", created by a Wikipedia user. There is not only no academically established standard - there is no any standard at all, even in theory, even agreed between editors.--Certh 05:59, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Notice that "no origional research" in the policy refers to the content, and not the expression. Otherwise *every* article on wikipedia would contain original research, since you have to write the text yourself. Let us note also that there does not exist a complete list of *English* words, and there are heated disputes of which words belong to *French* and which do not. This "problem" in no way stop the English and French wikipedians writing their articles. And if you think you find a word or expression which is not English/French/simple enough, what do you do? You fix it! That is the wiki-process.Hillgentleman 06:10, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
      Each natural language have its corpus intended for research (for example this [7] and this [8]). There are also published grammars and dictionaries. Languages also have ISO standards that contain specimens of texts in these respective languages. Not only stand-alone languages have such corpuses, standards and dictionaries, but also professional/regional dialects etc (so if Simple English was a dialect of English, it also would be documented). No word can be invented in English Wikipedia article if it is not used in a published source considered reliable. For languages that have no such large literary tradition and text base there are academically established rules of translation/transliteration from other languages. If there is no such academic rules then the language is probably dead or incomplete and unsuitable for writing modern encyclopedia in it.--Certh 06:35, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
      I think you're missing the point, Hillgentleman: users of the Standard English Wikipedia don't need to define standards for English because they are already defined, or there is a corpus of authorities to appeal to in case of doubt (the OED, for instance). That's also the case for French or Spanish, for instance, by appealing to their Academies' Dictionaries. But there are no similar standards for "simple" English/French/Spanish, so you guys need to take a further step to clearly define what counts as "simple" (for a particular audience, as there are no obvious common grounds for children, foreign language readers, or the disabled), and those standards are precisely what's missing for "Simple English". So Certh is right: on the one hand, if you want to make a sensible proposal to say what's "Simple English" you're developing a substantial original research (in fact, you're designing a controlled language); and even worse, there seems to be no agreed standard for "Simple English" other than the individual editor's "taste" (or lack thereof) as we speak. Lwyx 20:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
      @Certh: I you wanted to insist on an existing, limited corpus of words for a language so as to qualify for a wikipedia, you must close the German Wikipedia, but cannot easily close Simple. Your claim that English corpus was qualifying limits Simple as a subset thereof, too. Yet every academic agrees that the corpus of German is practically unlimited due to German onomasiology rules. Very likely, the same ist true for Hindi, Urdu, and some related languages. --Purodha Blissenbach 16:43, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
      German has strict and certain rules on creating new words from already existing ones as most other languages do.--Certh 07:04, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  39. Support - --An13sa 18:18, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  40. Support At best this is conlang, but unlike other conlangs which have their communities outside Wikipedia, this one has been invented inside Wikipedia itself. Ansus 06:30, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm afraid, you're wrong. The idea of "Simple English" existed already since several decades before the English Wikipedia was begun. Read about it. Google is your friend. --Purodha Blissenbach 16:27, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
      Is it the same language in which this wikipedia is written?--Ansus 04:25, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  41. Support Jaranda | wat's sup 14:31, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
  42. Support I honestly don't see the point in the Simple English Wikipedia. That's my view. It technically shouldn't even exist and is *massively* redundant to en.wp. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 12:22, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  43. Support --Holder 12:50, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  44. Support - the project is duplicating content, not focussed on any particular target audience and has no clear definition of what "Simple English" is. Nor does it measure whether an article complies with simple English - ie whether it is more readable than standard English. While many articles are marginally more readable in statistical terms than English wikipedia, the difference is not ssignificant and the redundancy and duplication in the project are not justified. The effort could be sent in improoving readability of articles on English wikipedia. The project has a worthy aim perhaps but it is not being met. Rather the project presents as an alternate wikipedian community with only a minority of members having an interest in the different audience or writing in simple English.--User:Matilda 05:24, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
  45. SupportNode ue 17:24, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
    Support - I strongly support closing this site. There are a number of very serious problems, but my biggest issue is with the content. I cannot count the number of "simple" pages that I have read where the content (including basic definitions) is drastically different than contained in the corresponding "en" page. What this creates is a two tier system where children, people with disabilities and people for whom english is not their first language are encouraged to read watered down and often politically cleansed information. I do think that use of simple language is extremely important and that simple language needs to be incorporated throughout all of the wikipedias. However, simple language does not mean simple content, and at this point the way that many people are employing simple language throughout the simple english wikipedia is to attempt to simplify actual content through the removal of any views outside of those expressed in mainstream american corporate media. --Migraine 02:45, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    Brand new user, registered within the hour. Vote indented accordingly (how many of these users voting are actual accounts and not socks anyway?) Majorly talk 03:05, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    This is now off topic and I'll delete this if need be, but invalidating my vote and contribution to this discussion is so not cool! Actually, over the years I've contributed to quite a few discussions and contributed edits and content to a number of pages, though at first it was without an account and later it was with a different username for which I couldn't retrieve my password yesterday. But what if I hadn't? What if I was a user creating an account for the first time and making a first contribution because I have an opinion on this matter? Is that not valid? Is this some kind of closed clique and you personally get to arbitrarily decide who can vote and express an opinion? Sheesh!--Migraine 19:08, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    Well there is a standard that for !votes on meta that you have to have 100 edits on a wikimedia project prior to the creation of a particular !vote. This is to stop sockpuppets and from people stacking the deck by getting their friends who don't edit to join and !vote. -Djsasso 19:15, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    Okay, thanks for the info. I didn't know that. How would I? How would anyone that wanted to contribute to this or other similar discussions? How many other votes on this page are by people that just have a strong and valid opinion on this subject but who have not been able to or chosen to contribute over that amount? Maybe Majorly should take an equal look at some of the "oppose" votes and not just use shit like that to stilt the vote the way they want it to go. Furthermore, if they are going to invalidate someone's response they should do it respectfully. I contributed to this discussion because it's something that I care about. My apologies for not following rules that aren't referred to anywhere on this page but that everyone is expected to know anyway.--Migraine 19:30, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    (Reply to Migraine) Hello there, you indeed raise a valid point,even if you may not be eligible to vote. Many people I have spoken to see the Simple English Wikipedia as a dumbed-down (sorry to be so frank) version of English Wikipedia. To me (and probably many editors of SEWP), Simple English Wikipedia means that all those ocncepts/articles that can be found in the English (or any other) Wikipedia can also be in SEWP. The particularity of Simple English Wikipedia is that we try to use language that is probably easier to understand than that used in "regular" English Wikipedia. In other words Quantum mechanics tries to explain what quantum mechanics is, in easy to understand language. I have posted other things here (look through the discussion and you will find them). SEWP should not be different from ENWP as to what articles in can contain, but as to how it explains things. As I pointed out (below), some people read the Daily Mail, others read The Guardian (both are daily newspapers published in England). Just because The Daily Mail uses language that is easier to understand (and is therefore probably read by different people), does not mean that both cannot report on the same subject; it also does not mean that one of them needs to be closed down.--Eptalon 18:48, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


  1. Strongly. Although the Simple English Wikipedia is a smaller community, it is working hard with the articles that exist. We have currently over 39100 articles, a large number. As well as this, we have an established community (slowly growing in numbers). I urge rejection of this proposal, because the simple English Wikipedia is not necessarily drifting back to mainstream English. PeterSymonds 19:04, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. I'm not sure how this all works, but have you even brought this up to the community? I have no doubt that this specific project may benefit by any suggestions to reduce the complexity of its articles, and I'm sure you will be welcomed upon arrival. The idea that this project encourages, is basic or simple English (obviously by the name). So you can see why (hopefully), that this sounds ridiculous and contradictory right? In most cases, a few of the the very people who would fit our audience's description, are editing these very same articles. Simplifying English is no simple task. I believe this proposal to be very ill thought out, and a waste of time. As PeterSymonds, I urge rejection. Synergy 19:07, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  3. Strong oppose, for the above reasons. Majorly talk 19:11, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    I notice the proposer hasn't even bothered to inform the community about this. Majorly talk 19:18, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  4. Oppose very strongly, per above comments. Shapiros10 19:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  5. Strongly Oppose It does help both children and people whose mother tongue is not English. Because its quite a small community we are slowly getting towards more simple articles. Take a look at the good articles and very good articles Kennedy 19:42, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  6. Strongly Oppose There's no reason to close it. IT does wonders....including in my case for banned English Wikipedia user to go for editing and a place to improve their attitude (for lack of a better term).-- † CM16 t c 19:49, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  7. Oppose We can modify the SEW's objective, if need be, but oppose a full closure of the project. Cassandra 19:56, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  8. Oppose
    • We're currently #48 on the list of most accessed Wikipedias out of 713
    • We're in the top 10% most viewed Wikipedias (≈ 6.7%)
    • We're getting ≈ 188,000 hits /day from various countries
    • Our search bar is used ≈ 10,600 times /day
    We're quite popular, guys. It wouldn't be the best idea to close us down (stats taken from here). --Gwib 20:01, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  9. Stong - very active, growing, and many articles which are simple. If it not being perfect was a reason to close it, you might as well close down English Wikipedia for its vandalism, poor MoS, uncategorization, NPOV, etc. Simple English Wikipedia is still very useful and active. -- American Eagle (talk) 20:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  10. Stongly oppose per all of the above. This is like Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikiquote but with even less merit. --A. B. (talk) 21:08, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  11. Strong This is insane! We are a very beneficial community SwirlBoy39 21:16, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    Umm, "But, by the name alone, the idea of the project was to use Simple English, not a basic or simple version of English." Yeah, isn't Simple English and a simple version of English the same thing? Therefore, a simple version is used in the Simple English WP... SwirlBoy39 00:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  12. Oppose I have to Strongly oppose. Simple English Wikipedia has a very active community. This community is small, but growing; at the moment we are looking at about 30 active, named editors. These editors have contributed almost 40.000 articles (currently at 39.200-odd), we get about 2000 new articles a month. I will not deny that there may be problems, but these are related to capacity, the editors we have are working as much as they can. Note that SEWP is not about making an enyclopedia that only uses BE-800 or BE-1500 vocabularly, but rather to make one that is easy to understand by those people who use it. To the outsider it may look that what SEWP covers is already covered by the regular English Wikipedia, and that in order to stifle competition, SEWP must be closed. This overlooks the very basic fact that there are many people who contribute to SEWP, which will not contribute to the regular English wikipedia. Regular English Wikipedia has a much larger user base. To be able to keep afloat it needs many more rules, not to say a bureaucracy. At the moment, many of these rules are simply not needed in SEWP, which makes the project more dynamic. But go ahead and close it down, you'll probably lose many of the editors of SEWP. --Eptalon 21:16, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  13. strong I feel that the community is growing although it is small at the moment it is growing and should be given a fair chance to grow. WashingManwithwings 21:50, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  14. Oppose A guy called Jimbo Wales owns it and all his public work seems to be towards making a wiki available for non-english countries and for children. I think he does a good job and this is the very place to do anything to help it. An equally worthy cause to the, so if you want to close one, start there. RTG 22:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  15. Oppose mainly following Gwib's and RTG's arguments. There are a lot of articles in SEWP that are a better basis for a start of a new Wikipedia than the articles of en:WP are. --Cethegus 23:08, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    Note the above vote belongs to me. I have perhaps a thousand edits on the I only created the meta.wikimedia account now (this page was reached in such a way I thought I was still logged on to so please leave it here, thank you RTG 22:48, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  16. Strong Oppose Per all of above, and the fact that the local community was not notified. Mww113 00:53, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  17. Strong oppose - The Simple English Wikipedia also aims to allow people whose native language isn't English (or students) to use it. Even some of our contributors do not have English as their native language. Many people use it, as seen in some cases where anons would just create a talk page giving their feedback on the article. Chenzw 01:33, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  18. Strong Oppose - although some articles require cleanup, the majority are far simpler than on enwiki. - tholly --Talk-- 07:18, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
    Also, this is a not very well thought out proposal - it simply states about closing the Wikipedia, but if Simple Wikipedia has to close, that surely the other (smaller) Simple projects should close too. Just because one editor doesn't approve of an admin (below), there is no reason to close the whole project. - tholly --Talk-- 14:32, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  19. Strong Oppose vector/ --.snoopy. 08:01, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  20. Strong Oppose project is active, if there are editorial issues the community there can address them. xaosflux Talk 11:03, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  21. Strongest Possible Oppose Project is active, has lots of editors, and while some articles may not yet be simple the majority are simpler than en-wp. It is high up the list of most visited Wikipedias. BG7 14:29, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  22. Oppose Curiously enough, the only thing thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, Oh no, not again. What exactly has changed since last time it was nominated, this sort of time last year? Microchip08 16:18, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  23. Strong Oppose - has an active community of editors, gets plenty of hits. To cap it all though, we are ahead of Meta on the most accessed wikipedia list. The Flying Spaghetti Monster 16:27, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  24. Strong Oppose - Why would we get rid of it? Malinaccier P. (talk) 17:30, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
    Oppose - although some may observe many of the articles on the project have drifted towards mainstream English and the project is thus becoming surplus to requirements as the English Wikipedia already exists, the aspiration is to have articles which are readable by those with only a few years of education, either because they are children or because they are learning English as a second language. If we don't always meet our aspirations, that is not a reason for deletion. From what I have observed there is a focus on writing simple English and ensuring readability. I have also seen contributions from some whose first language is obviously not English.--Matilda 06:35, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
  25. Oppose JurgenG 07:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
    Oppose - I think tht some of the points outlined in this request might be valid, but that a propose to close is quite ridiculous. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 07:57, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
  26. Oppose The Simple English Wikipedia is still a small community. Sure, it has its problems, I'd say the English Wikipedia probably has more problems than Simple, but these are issues that can be ironed out over time. We don't tear down a house just because it's not finished and perfect immediately, so why should we do the same with a Wikipedia? סּ Talk 03:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  27. Oppose ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME? ShockingHawk 13:01, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  28. Oppose I'm starting to become a contributor there. Working on translating English articles into Simple English. Techman224Talk 22:25, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  29. Strong oppose The editors in favor of getting rid of Simple have yet to provide a compelling argument, other than "I don't like it". Juliancolton 00:25, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
  30. Strongly Oppose - The Simple English WIkipedia has 10000+ pages (grouped in the 10000+ section with many other notable languages just below the 100000+ page section where the normal English Wikipedia lives). It's got more pages than most of the other-language ones, so why the heck would you delete it? There are other emptier other-language (some of them are just dialects) versions to delete, so there's no point. Æåm Fætsøn 05:54, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
  31. Oppose While I strictly disagree with its blatant silly Linguicism ("just dialects"), I agree with my predecessor otherwise. --Purodha Blissenbach 18:57, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
  32. Oppose The Simple English Wikipedia is just starting. We can always improve it over time. And so far, the pages I've seen are perfectly readable for kids. KevinJi9 04:32, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
  33. Oppose Strong Oppose per all above. -- Da Punk '95 19:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
  34. Strong Per all above. --Tdxiang 06:55, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
  35. Oppose Per all of the above. No reason to close it, and there is no deadline: if the English is too complex, it can be simplified. SunDragon34 00:03, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
  36. Oppose - Why close this when it is helpful for people whose English isn't very good? Soxred93 04:38, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  37. Oppose per above — vvv 19:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  38. Oppose strong keep, The number of users alone proves the need for a simplified English version. This proposal had very weak grounds considering we just had one like this that was a landslide "keep". --MarsRover 19:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    Oppose per all of the above — Ferrer 10:04, 27 November 2008 (UTC) changed to support
  39. Oppose for all reasons above.Ghaly 22:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  40. Oppose Per all above.--1j1z2 19:49, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
    Massive Oppose I couldn't live without it. 16:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC) Please log in to vote. Razorflame
  41. Oppose - Intend to do a bit of work myself improving the SEW in the near future, after more than a bit of a delay. It seems to be useful and used, and that's enough for me. John Carter 19:37, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  42. Strong Oppose It's not important whether the name is or The important thing is for it to continue to exist.
    If you think it has to be a language, fine: Basic English and Globish are languages, and Simple English Wikipedia is a place where people can write using those languages and other languages like them.
    Or, let's not say it's a language; let's say it's a different project with a different reason for being. We don't want to close Wikibooks just because it uses the same language as Wikipedia.
    Here's a strong enough reason to keep Simple English Wikipedia: some Deaf people use a sign language which may have no written form. I think there is no sign language Wikipedia. Some of these Deaf people can read and write simple English but can't read hard English. We can say that Simple English Wikipedia is the Wikipedia for these Deaf people. Maybe the number of Deaf people who read only simple English is bigger than the number of people who speak some other languages that we have Wikipedias for.
    There are also children; adults who are learning to read; and people with learning disabilities who may be able to read and write simple English but not hard English or any other language.
    There are projects for kids in other languages. They aren't on Wikimedia, but I see no reason why not. They are good projects. They are good for children. They are also good for people who want to learn the languages, Deaf people, people who want easy-to-read information, people who have trouble understanding the normal Wikipedia page in their language for any reason, etc. Translators can use them to help check their understanding of hard language.
    The proposal says "A project specifically aimed at those who do not have English as a first language may have some merit, or a project for children..." That is a reason to keep the project, not a reason to close it. I see no strong reason why the same project can't be used by more than one kind of person who wants simple English.
    I laughed about Microchip08's comment. Coppertwig(talk) 14:35, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  43. Weak oppose While I am not a native speaker of English, I have somehow managed to become an sysop. Although I have never felt any need in simple.english wiki myself, I admit it can be useful for many people. This is the main reason why I am opposing the outright closure. My oppose is weak because I think that the arguments of Lwyx should be seriously considered. Ruslik 17:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
    And, BTW, none has been seriously addressed. Two examples: two target audiences, kids and foreign students, are clearly divergent: recently I've read (I'll try to find the reference) someone suggesting the use of "grown-ups" instead of "adults": that's certainly childish, but not in the best interest of ESL students. Another example: someone above suggested supporting this SEWP for some readers (the deaf) who can't follow "difficult" English, but gave no clue about how to serve this audience (a dictionary, a vocabulary, something...). So SEWP seems to be a portmanteau for children, foreigners, the disabled, and what not; there is confusion even in the statement of the goals of this project, without mentioning the fact that "simple" doesn't meet the criteria for language inclusion ("simple" is not a valid ISO or IETF language specification). The project may stay, but requires at least a rename, and certainly better criteria for edition. Lwyx 19:00, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
    Lwyx, That may be an over-concern. Let's say that ESL students, children and deaf people share a large set of basic vocabulary. They may diverge at some points, but these are the edges, and the choice of "grown-up" or "adult" may actually depend on the context or intended target audience. Hillgentleman 02:47, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
    My problem, Hillgentleman, is that I can't see where this "large set of basic vocabulary" shared by all audiences is specified. There are informal attempts to define "Simple" in terms of Basic and Special English, which mostly serve ESL students. I've not seen anywhere any guideline stating how to write contents for children and people with disabilities, or how to serve such divergent audiences together. Please, don't take me wrong: I think I see the worth of the project (I've tried to use it a few times); but without clear criteria to state what is Simple, or without stating clearly how to serve such divergent audiences, it all seems to me too vague, even close to mere wishful thinking. Lwyx 17:25, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  44. Oppose, per the rest. SE WP does no harm, and should therefore be kept. --Aqwis 17:30, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  45. Oppose; there are arguments to be made for specifying exactly what Simple English should be or to formally adopt one of the existing variants of simplified English — but those are needed fixes to an existing project not reasons to axe it. Given that SE has the capacity for having a very high educational value, and that there are no unsurmountable obstacles to fixing what problems may currently exist, I can think of no reason to use the thermonuclear option. — Coren (talk) / (en-wiki) 18:03, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  46. Oppose - It was originally being developed for a specific audience (which, arguably, are not the people reading this discussion!) and I don't see that audience as decreasing in the future, indeed it is increasing in size. Let's support it instead of talking of scrapping it. --Alison Wheeler 19:40, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  47. Oppose, rather strongly. From the main argument at the top of the page: "However, many of the articles on the project have drifted towards mainstream English and the project is thus becoming surplus to requirements as the English Wikipedia already exists." If the main thrust for deleting simple is that the language is too complex in articles, use your edit button to modify the page to use simpler language. That's not a reason to use the nukeSite button to close the wiki. Titoxd(?!?) 20:49, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  48. Oppose, is lovely, especially for foreigners. --M/ 21:00, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  49. Oppose, Is useful for foreigners and ESL students. --Patar knight 22:13, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  50. Oppose per cetera. Flaming 22:23, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  51. Oppose. It has existed for quite a time. It is reasonably successful. The dominance of English means that a lot of people will find this useful and that justifies a special project for Simple English. --Bduke 22:53, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  52. Oppose I think there is scope for such a project - my views align with AlisonW's here. As an educator dealing historically with children with learning disabilities and today with adults for some of whom English is far from a first language, I think a project such as this is useful as long as it is being maintained. Evidence suggests the maintenance could improve, but the same could be said for en - more members and more watchful eyes will see that project improve similarly. I think the proposal to rename it per Lwyx could have merit. Orderinchaos 23:10, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  53. Oppose: Per Orderinchaos. Rgoodermote 23:29, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  54. Oppose, many people with little command of english will find this wiki useful. English is nowadays the de facto lingua franca in the internet. Also useful as an alternative wiki for recovering vandals. --Enric Naval 23:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  55. I'm unmoved by the arguments for the project's closure. EVula // talk // // 00:19, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  56. Oppose Definitely not. The scope is there, the editors are not. We don't have enough editors to have anything dramatic done, but we still have enough to keep this alive. Don't ruin it for everyone. Cheers, Razorflame 00:48, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  57. Oppose The problems can be worked upon, we don't need to set the whole house on fire to solve it. - Mailer Diablo 01:06, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  58. Oppose – Just because the Simple English Wikipedia has problems doesn't mean it has to be deleted, why not delete the regular English Wikipedia because of all the unreferenced/poorly written articles? (of course, like AfD, you should not bring up comparisons as points, but I feel this example explains my point fairly well). – Jerryteps 11:48, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  59. Oppose Per above. We've put a lot of work into the project, why bring it down now? Perfect Proposal 14:36, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  60. Oppose If the article is drifting towards too complicated language than that is the result of editors not familiar with the project's goal, or people actively ignoring it. Going back to the original reasons for its creation should put those people back on the right path. It's not a good reason to close it down. - Mgm|(talk) 16:50, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  61. Oppose Insufficient reasons for closing this project. It's a highly worthwhile project that has just lost its focus for the timebeing. As Mailer diablo mentioned, we don't need to shut down the project because of a few resolvable issues. Nishkid64 (talk) 21:30, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  62. The SE Wikipedia does need work, but closing it does no good at all. As stats say (see above), it is highly viewed and used. --penubag 21:50, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  63. Oppose Project helps non-native users practise their English. miranda 02:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  64. Oppose Completely and strongly. I haven't edited there, but I have been working with other editors of projects I am interested in turning articles into Simple English. In particular I feel that this project should be the focus of possible CD/DVD versions for the offline world. As a tool for ESOL it is invaluable, the bulk of the ESOL students have high educational levels, allowing them to access complex information, but might not master English. In any case, the Foundation should be promoting Simple as a great addition, not as a liability. --Cerejota 05:00, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  65. Oppose There are really only 3 questions: do we have people who read it? , do we have people who want to work to write it? and, is it consonant with the general goals of wp? (I think all three are clear yeses) The "violin example, support #23 above, is one where there are clear differences in complexity of the articles. I wonder, incidentally, if there has ever been any move to simple WPs in other languages? DGG 05:07, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  66. Oppose, partially for procedural reasons. The nominator's rationale is hard to understand, as he/she doesn't explain the difference between "Simple English", and "a basic or simple version of English". Also, I'd ideally want to hear an argument that a language is both a bad idea in theory and in practice, not that there are difficulties that can be overcome. Andjam 10:22, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  67. Oppose I see no good reason to close this wikipedia. Plenty useful, per most of the above. SQLQuery me! 12:01, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  68. Oppose No reason given for closing is at all comeplling. JoshuaZ 18:04, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  69. Oppose I see no compelling reason to close the project. The scope of language used in articles is clearly defined and serves a need for those who are learning an additional language. It is also use by wikiversity in learning projects intended for younger children. --mikeu 00:38, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  70. Oppose It has value. Jonathunder 03:14, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  71. Oppose. The intent is clear and valuable. I find nothing valid in the support ivotes, other than a misunderstanding of the Project. A Project should not be closed because there are some editing issues. SilkTork 18:34, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    Oppose per high usage. 19:25, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  72. Oppose. Simple English Wikipedia is quite popular. Ozzie 21:08, 30 December 2008 (UTC) Please log in to vote. Razorflame
  73. Oppose Malinaccier (talk) 21:50, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  74. Strongly Oppose for the reasons stated by other 22:07, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  75. Oppose It's also useful for those that do call English as their first language.
  76. Oppose - Arguments for closure are not convincing. Soxred93 01:52, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  77. Oppose - Simple English is a constructed language, that is obviously based on English but is not the same as English. Simple English is useful and is used - certainly far more than some of the more obscure languages that have their own wikipedias. A children's wikipedia, or a wikipedia for those who have English as a second language, would also be valuable, but that is not relevant to the question of whether the Simple English wikipedia ought to be closed. - Richardcavell 08:46, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  78. Strongly Oppose Many of the reasons given for supporting the close of SEWP say that SEWP is still too advanced for ESL/EAL people and children. This can be fixed. It's fairly easy to simplify articles. I believe there's a project for this purpose. If not, there could be one soon. Also, SEWP is the 49th in rank (by number of articles), out of 243 WP projects. Braingle 16:58, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  79. Oppose Simple language is needed for those with English as a second language, and the children. That project is active. NonvocalScream 04:47, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
  80. Strongly Oppose - It should not be shut, per Kennedy. Yotcmdr 23:04, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
  81. Oppose Why not create a simple version for every other language? No, because English is special; it is a global language, lingua franca of our time. Given that a significant number of people speak English as a second-language, the idea of the project makes sense. -- Taku 00:34, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  82. Oppose This is a strongly needed resource for new English learners. "It's broke!" isn't a reason to close. --Woohookitty 09:33, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  83. Oppose Articles from English Wikipedia are long, hard to read for non-English-native reader. And Terms are difficult, I need dictionary to read and understand full article. Simple English is needed.--Kwj2772 00:16, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    In practice, you are asking for a translation (to "Simple English"). Wouldn't it be better to ask for a translation to your native language?-- But if you need only the basics in a hurry, and the article is only in "Standard English", why not asking for an improvement/simplification of the Introduction to the article at the Standard English Wikipedia? Lwyx 04:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    No, they are asking for an easier way to learn about a subject in English. This is a standard way to learn a new language, read about a subject you know about already in another language so it helps you to learn the new language. However, full out english is often too complex to do this which is where simple.en comes in. -Djsasso 02:33, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
    In practice, they're asking someone to translate the "difficult" English into "easy" English; but if the "translator" has at best a vague idea about what is "simple", they'll do a sloppy job at best. If the reader wants to learn about a subject they better ask for a translation to their closest language; if they want to learn English they better check the work of professionals, the BBC or something. Lwyx 21:09, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
    But that is like saying well people shouldn't read wikipedia's articles because they aren't written by professionals so there might be mistakes. We should leave the encyclopedias to the professionals like Britanica....obviously we don't do that. -Djsasso 22:36, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
    Nope: I'm saying that producing a Standard version in whatever language other than English may be better (and paradoxically, easier for both translator and reader) than trying to write a "Simple" version in English, if "simple" writers have no clear standards about what is "simple". In short: if a foreign reader wants to know about a subject and doesn't have the upper level of English, they better ask for a translation to their nearest language rather than a translation to a still undefined "simple" English. As for "native" speakers, how do you assure they will understand your "simple" English version if you still can't tell me what is "simple"?-- You may say "Of course I can tell what is simple", but that's taste (or whatever), and "taste" is a bad standard. Cheers, Lwyx 17:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  84. Oppose; Simple still has promise. -- phoebe 04:23, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
    Oppose 04:13, 18 January 2009 (UTC) Please log in to vote. Razorflame
    Comment Here [9] proponents of Simple English argued that this language is not for ESL people as it is completely useless in this field, but intended for children and uneducated people. Now they argue just the opposite. :-) --Nxx 03:36, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
  85. Strongly Oppose I've just begun editing on simple and the community is quite alive and quite functional. The articles are often more easily readable than on standard english and I foresee it having a net postive to the foundation. ErikTheBikeMan 20:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  86. Strongly Oppose Simple English Wikipedia is a good thing. If it only helps a few people learn who do not have good English or who have no Wikipedia for their own speech, that is all good. No one spends time to help Simple English Wikipedia but ones who want to help. If too much hard writing needs fixing, just get rid of it after some time. It is best to have less in Simple English Wikipedia if that makes it better to use. Tim Ross (talk) 10:16, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
  87. Strongly Oppose Many articles on the English Wikipedia are written in very complicated English that most people coming along looking for the odd bit of information would find hard to understand. I, myself, have used it in the past, and this needs to remain, if not expanded. Cdhaptomos 20:35, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
  88. Strongly Oppose The Simple English wiki has be growing at a fast rate recently, why close a wiki that's growing at the fast rate? Also because of the reasons of other opposes too. And about the language code, it is a "special" wiki which was made before the language commimitte was formed, so those rules don't apply. Techman224Talk 02:22, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  89. Oppose As a teacher, I find the simple english wikipedia to be one of the best resources on the internet. As a user, the biggest problem is it needs more articles! Students need to be able to read and understand, using simple english is one way to achieve this. I was introduced to the simple english wiki at a conference on improving literacy, let's support the project not waste time on wondering how to close it.Peterdownunder 06:32, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  90. Strong oppose – The Simple English Wikipedia is a thriving community that serves its purpose: to make all information simple. The language barrier doesn't necessarily matter. One could go to their own Wikipedia for that. For those of us who don't understand a lot of the technical jargon on the Standard English Wikipedia can go there and find more information. The Simple English Wikipedia has been growing a lot recently (I am one of the new additions to the Wikipedia). – Obento Musubi (CGS) 06:21, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
  91. Oppose - Simple English Wikipedia is a good thing for foreigners with an basic level of English. --FeodorBezuhov 16:59, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
  92. Strongly oppose A valuable resource that might need cleaning up but that's no reason to chuck it in the bin. Our very ethos at all Wikipedia sites is if it needs fixing we fix it, we don't trash it. en: has many articles that are too complex for even native speakers of English en:Diabeties springs to mind (in fact most science/medical articles). fr33kman t - c 22:37, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
  93. Oppose - for seven year olds. Kalajan 19:30, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  94. Oppose This wiki is a good idea. --Barras 09:58, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  95. Strong Per Kennedy. Claimgoal (talk) 06:19, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
  96. strong We may be small, but we are working on it. SimonKSK 17:28, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  97. Oppose It may be small compared to, but it is not that small and is an active project with real use. --BlackJar72 13:59, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  98. Strong Who came up with this idea, anyway? The simple English Wikipedia is a small community working towards a common goal; it's silly to just throw away all that. Do you want to streamline Wikipedia or something? The only argument I see so far is "It's a waste of space..." which basically boils down to "I don't like it." Resident Mario 21:30, 22 February 2009 (UTC) , from full English wikipedia.
  99. Oppose There are several real purposes for this, primarily ESL and children, which are reasonably compatible. Ideally we could do one targeted for each group in every major language, but this is a start. We shouldn't throw away starts because we can't do them perfectly. The main Wikipedia is not perfect either. Many of the SE articles are quite good for their purposes & for the ones that are not, the usual rule holds: edit them. DGG 00:55, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  100. strong Delete a whole Wikipedia instead of fixing the minor problem you claim it has? Insane! --Falcorian 01:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  101. Strongly Oppose really a bad idea. --Bencmq 11:40, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  102. Very Strongly Oppose Sorry, but is this a bad joke? Are there studies done which indicate that exposure to words such as "grown-up" instead of "adult" is detrimental to a English learner's development? Or that the best way of begin learning a foreign language is to be submersed in as difficult texts as possible? Perhaps there are, but I'm doubtful... \Mike 14:15, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  103. Oppose If people spent more time improving this environment, instead of trying to destroy other people's work, we'd all have more time to accomplish things. Eclecticology 17:30, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  104. Oppose Enough with the mega-deletionism of closing projects, and preventing people from contributing where they feel it is appropriate. This is a useful project with a worthy goal. If it has internal problems (like "what is Simple English") then let the people there solve those problems themselves. No need to use a sledgehammer. Dovi 19:09, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
  105. Oppose per Dovi. Kameraad Pjotr 11:37, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  106. Very Strongly Oppose As a native English speaker, Simple English Wikipedia does a very good job of explaining otherwise complex topics (such as Calculus) that the English Wikipedia may explain in too much detail for an uneducated user to grasp. Also, I find it a great tool for learning Simple English in general, by using the building of new topics and improving on older ones as a way to help everybody.Lastres0rt 00:26, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
  107. Strongly Oppose A large active community with nearly 56,000 articles. Maximillion Pegasus 18:14, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
  108. Strongly Oppose I think that writing in Simple English is much more difficult than it seems. It is a good exercise in trying to express ideas clearly without hiding behind jargon. Try explaining some complicated science, politics or ethics in simple vocabulary and see if you understand it more clearly at the end and appreciate the more salient points. acidcat 00:17, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  109. Strongly Oppose Just found out about this and I cant beleive its being suggested. My childhood was full of childrens encyclopedias and they made a major impact on my education. I still return to them becauase they are written in an uncomplcated way with delightfully economic English. Many Wikipedia articles tend towards being elitist and snobish. All languages should have a Simple version alongside the main encyclopedia. Lumos3 22:08, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


I suggest that the proposer talks to the community to solve the problems that e has perceived. Hillgentleman 12:48, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Question What does this mean "the idea of the project was to use Simple English, not a basic or simple version of English?" That seems directly contradictory. Koavf 17:54, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

It is, what a well written and carefully thought-out proposition this is... --Gwib 20:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Comment Comment - the user who proposes that SEWP is closed (User:George The Dragon), has made 4 edits to Wikimedia, 2 of which are to propose and vote on this page. --Gwib 20:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

This user is the same as simple:User:MindTheGap. Their edits to Meta are irrelevant. Majorly talk 20:33, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
--A. B. (talk) 21:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Although this user doesnt reveal themselves to be a wiki contributor, they should make some efforts to produce Simple English articles from the more complex ones, if they beleive that is what they should be (and you have my full support in that matter). At present, open source projects of information and software are fast catching up to their commercial counterparts and I would suggest that in this rush (of which tops all the lists) the is not yet forgotten because it is not yet discovered. Perhaps you (user:George the Dragon) do not have time to contribute, but you do have time to wait. I would urge everyone here who has a good understanding of english to pick at least one article every week, check it is not vandalised, and do your best to make it simple. At present, this and of course vandal correction, is the best help that the can recieve. RTG 22:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindenting) Please stay civil. A request has been made to close down Simple English Wikipedia, for the reasons stated above; That the user who made the request is possibly someone who was (at some point in time) annoyed by Simple English Wikipedia, does not invalidate the request.(see en:ad hominem for these kinds of arguments). Please judge the request based on its merits, not based on who proposed it. --Eptalon 14:41, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

That topic is up for discussion here [10] and with that discussion I should point to the category of Proposals for closing projects which are roughly 30% disruptive, so, while I remain respectful of User:George The Dragon, I highlight his notability, and his lack of improvement ideas/debate is reflecting it now. (surprised this wasn't closed prematurly... look at it.) George should contribute to simple to bring his ideas to its strong support, I myself have put in about two pages in a couple of days to say what I think would improve it... I ought to state my ideas... also I am entirely civil (above) so, I may be a dog but I am a sleeping dog :) RTG 01:05, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
An Example of why a simple wiki is required. RTG 15:23, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

back to the beginning[edit]

A project was started by a community with a purpose. To close an active project, you had better go back to the original approved proposal and see if the community is still striving towards the goals that were set out. Personal opinions of whether "I don't use it anyway" or "we shouldn't have a simple for every language" are, well, personal opinions. Wikipedia is at the end of the day written for the readers, and we should concentrate on this perspective - whether it is going to be useful for its target readers. I have seen from time to time how a word that is just a little harder or a sentence that is a little more complicated obstruct the comprehension of a reader whose command in English is not strong. And, after all, if the set of articles in simple wikipedia were to be "merged" into the english wikipedia, I fear that they would be a "corrected" into more difficult version with harder a vocabulary and sentence structures. Hillgentleman 04:19, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I just got back from a long break to find that there is this proposal to close it, and I support the proposal, though somewhat mildly. Getting rid of it makes sense to me as there are a few things worth considering:
  1. the natural overlap between this project and "standard" English leads us to ask how to measure what counts as "simple"; a good rule of thumb would be to enforce, somehow, a basic vocabulary (somewhat à la Basic or Special English), or a simpler grammar (somewhat a la Simplified English); but since there is no clear standard as reference, it is easy to move unconsciously from simple to full English overtime, and then this project is redundant;
  2. the extension of the articles doesn't make it "simple" as well, if the target audience are K-12 children and students of ESL. Moreover, a convention on shorter articles would also cover other project proposals like essentialpedia, minipedia, or concisepedia.
So IMNSHO there is a need to discuss a redefinition of the goals: a clearer statement on what counts as "simple" English, and perhaps a convention to make it shorter. Otherwise it could be closed as well.- Lwyx 21:45, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Obviously an article on simple:world history cannot be short and useful, an article on the simple:Uncertainty principle cannot be easy and useful. But the simple world history is much less abstract than the one in en:WP and it leads to a lot of rather simple articles (not all links lead to simple ones) that can give an impression what world history really means. And the "simple" uncertainty principle, not being simple at all has a comparitively simple beginning and leads to comparitively simple articles. Both articles can be improved, but you cannot have an encyclopedia that covers modern life and is really simple. --Cethegus 12:01, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Your remarks lead me back to the main question: how simple is Simple?--- Kindergarten kids need no encyclopedia, perhaps up to 4th grade: they're really learning to write and read, perhaps even to talk, so writing an encyclopedia for kids under, say, 10 years old is nonsense. ESL students, on the other hand, start to develop their second language ability around middle school, at least in my country. High schools (10-12th grade) guys need to point to the upper 3rd level education if they want to make it to college, so the "standard English" WP is in their best interest (and they don't want to be treated like kids anyway). So my best guess for the target audience of SEWP is kids 4th-9th grade, both native speaker or ESL students. That's the level they usually begin to get interests in, say, history or science.--- Maybe we need an expert to tell us what is the word level best suited for them. Lwyx 20:10, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The word level should be as low as possible for the lemma that is delt with. People with English as second language may be beginners even if they are fifty. But you cannot write meaninful about all subjects they may be interested with a vocabulary of 850 words only. --Cethegus 08:13, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
You're right. In fact, that 850 word list is misleading: the referenced source is en:Basic English, which in fact states that the minimal word level expected is a 1350 word vocabulary for everyday life plus a specialized area of interest for work. Still below the vocabulary needed for a general-purpose encyclopedia. The 1500 word vocabulary is slightly better, though by no means complete. You may consider it a guideline, not a prescription. Lwyx 17:58, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • For the question of "how simple is simple", and the idea "as simple as possible", I shall point out an example: most English-speaking mathematicians can learn to read mathematical French very quickly, and, with some more work, mathematical German. But they wouldn't be able to engage in everyday communications beyond basic greetings. So a key is to identify the core vocabulary set of the particular subject and try not to go beyond that. Hillgentleman 10:42, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Proponents of en:Basic English point to this fact thus claiming that their project covers both goals at the same time: a required Basic for everyday life (about 1200 general-purpose words) plus a specialized Basic for Mathematicians (150 minimal specialized words). Theoretically, a merge of Basics from the Arts and Sciences should give the minimal vocabulary for the Simple Wikipedia. (though the vocabularies may have a level above my proposed target of 10-15 year old kids). Lwyx 17:58, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Here for Lwyx is the 1500 word list as defined by some group of experts in America or Europe (or something). I speak English naturally so I try to believe I can judge between complex and simple only referring occasionally but the link is on my page at to find easy. I will use Hillmans "Example" to simplify as I would on an article:
    1. most English-speaking mathematicians can learn to read mathematical French very quickly, and, with some more work, mathematical German. But they wouldn't be able to engage in everyday communications beyond basic greetings. So a key is to identify the core vocabulary set of the particular subject and try not to go beyond that.
    2. Most mathematicians who speak the English language can quickly learn enough French language to help them with French mathematics. Enough German language can be learned to help with German mathematics but more time is needed to learn the German words. Learning enough French or German language to help with French or German mathematics does not give enough language to have French or German conversations. The easiest way to learn a small part of a language, such as enough to understand mathematics in a foreign language, is to learn the words that are used most often for that purpose without learning any more words.
Usually stuff ends up a lot shorter. ~ R.T.G 19:11, 19 December 2008 (UTC)


Could anybody describe to me the difference between being helpful and being useful. I know this will make a spark but I won't lose track of the debate if this is explained properly. These words are often so close together but a dictionary puts them so far apart. Sorry for the interuption, but most contributors here are involved in the so hopefully clear terms are not off topic, thanks RTG 19:09, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

May I suggest: (Webster)

Main Entry:use·ful Function:adjective Date:1595

1: capable of being put to use ; especially : serviceable for an end or purpose <useful tools> 2: of a valuable or productive kind <do something useful with your life>

Main Entry:help·ful Function:adjective Date:14th century

1: of service or assistance : useful <helpful advice>

I have no idea how helpful, or useful that is to anyone...

but compare

do something useful with your life
do something helpful with your life

Can YOU see any difference, and do YOU see any different shade of meaning between the two?

To Me:

useful -> normally creative, learning a trade helpful -> normally helping people

What say you now? Foolestroupe 09:45, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I feel I understand the words but the distinction is still difficult. Is of use generally distinct from the term of help? Does the term useful suggest a degree of inactivity or a lack of assertiveness? Does the term helpful suggest a lack of will or perspective? I cannot recall seeing ever the terms helpfully useful or usefully helpful. Or conversely uselessly helpful, helpfully useless, helplessly useful and usefully helpless. ~ R.T.G 16:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
One more step in this direction and we'll start splitting hairs :o).--- More seriously, discussion on the level of expertise seems to me more relevant. See comments on R.T.G.'s comments on my cautious support above. Lwyx 21:06, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

simple.wikipedia as a subsidiary of[edit]

Of course, I agree with RTG that this „wikipedia“ may not have a status of different language. But also I think that Simple English Wikipedia may not be an entity separated from English Wikipedia. It should be a subsidiary of the English Wikipedia. This implies following points:

  • No local accouts there, only such SULs that include at least an account in
Seems to me that's impossible: SULs imply different accounts in different projects. Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Deep confilcts should be mediated by community, including Arbitration Commitee.
They may help, but that's not necessary. A conflict in Simple wouldn't need to propagate to the other WP, and viceversa. Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I think Meta serves that role ~ R.T.G 18:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Sysops also should be elected (or, in transitional state, confirmed) by community of English Wikipedia.
No: they're different projects, so they should have different administrative bodies. (Many members of one community may not have the slightest interest in the other.) Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
No ~ R.T.G 18:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Naming of articles, categories and templates should striclty follow their names in English Wikipedia, unless the community of English Wikipedia permitted different naming for some reason. There must not be such a thing as simple:Zira Tehsil while in Wikipedia it is w:Zira, India.
That's easy to do with a rename, and any member of Simple can do it (BTW the changes may occur also the other way.)
No. I have concerns against that particularly the use of (disambiguation) which is not a simple word ~ R.T.G 18:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Any article, category or template in simple must have English interwiki. No articles, which have hot yet written in Wikipedia.
That's a good suggestion, but doesn't need a merger between the two projects. Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Any blocks in Wikipedia will imply blocks in simple, if such feature will be supported by the engine.
It's not supported, and it's not necessary. They're different projects. Moreover, the SUL system already makes it easy to hunt for trolls and vandals. Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I think that these measures will help to reduce the danger of PoV pushing. Incnis Mrsi 17:18, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

POV pushing will occur anyway. Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
There is a community blocking scheme provided by Meta. ~ R.T.G 18:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
There is? What are you talking about?  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 15:00, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Every Wikipedia language version probably has bias or POV slant (to a lesser or greater degree) toward the perspective of its native speakers. I cannot imagine how many times the ar and fa, or ur and hi Wikipedias totally contradict each other. --Kralizec! 20:40, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I completely disagree with everything stated above. -- American Eagle (talk) 08:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
In short, this idea of a "subsidiary" is either impossible, or unnecessary, or both. Sorry, pal. Take a Wikibreak and think it over. Lwyx 18:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
It is not a bad idea but more suited to a project that has just started. Simple has been going long-term already. Isn't this closure nonsense a new thing started anonymously? ~ R.T.G 18:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

This is not a bad idea, at least on first inspection. Would it be possible to have a "Simple" tab on EN that would take the user to a simpler version of the article? George The Dragon 14:54, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

@ George The Dragon, I thought you wanted to close it because simple english was a bad idea? If you changed your mind, why haven't you changed your voting and amended your statements above? ~ R.T.G 19:29, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Apologies, I should clarify. I do not believe Simple English is working as a project, although I can see how a simplified version of EN articles within EN could actually work. I'm looking at it from two different views, though - as it's possible for the latter to occur while the former continues, etc. George The Dragon 22:13, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, I would agree that there is no integration. On this thread people are talking about "it is a language" and "its not a language". It could not hurt if the Simple English wikilinks were located seperately from the inter-language links and also made easier to see. The FlaggedRevs is going to take the top line of every article.. no reason why Simple shouldn't have a small piece of that line. I would agree that Simple is imperfect but it is a nice ideal, difficult to close that completely. ~ R.T.G 08:28, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

"Simple:" namespace[edit]

How about a Simple: namespace on en.wp? Simply copy all the content over to en.wp, prepending "Simple:" to the name, and code something into the sitewide JS wich creates text along the lines of "For a Simple English version of this article, see [[Simple:{{PAGENAME}}]]" if a simple page for the article exists. That way, the traffic to simple will be increased, along with the number of editors. Just a suggestion, which I believe is the best for the project - it's slowly failing on its own, but a complete closure is unwarranted. Dendodge 15:00, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that could make for a good "Plan B," to be enacted when the project falls apart; however, I don't feel that the project has hit that level just yet (plus, some of the enwiki folk might pitch a fit, and there'd have to be a lot of discussion about how to best incorporate categories, templates, and Fair Use into the "simple" side of the project). EVula // talk // // 19:19, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
For the ongoing poll on the matter, please see below. 23:49, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The link to a "Simple" version of an article already appears as a link to another "language" in the "Languages" column of the article (as "Simple English"), and bots already take care of the crossreferencing between languages.-- However, your proposal of adding a "Simple:" namespace inside "en." still has some merit as a compromise: the "simple." subdomain will go, while the contents are kept somewhere. That sounds like a sensible solution for other languages as well. Lwyx 00:37, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
The project seems to be failing because there are not enough editors for it, and even those editors don't seem to know exactly what they mean by "Simple English". Lwyx 00:37, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • It is not as simple as that. You need categories and templates also. And you will get a lot of confusion and naming conflicts. Hillgentleman 07:07, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Note on Simple English projects[edit]

There are three other Simple English projects:

Can you make a quote by Blake "simpler"? Lwyx 21:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
No, but you can attemt to define it. But not change the quote itself, that's not what's it's about. -- American Eagle (talk) 08:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah! So the Simple Wikiquote project's endeavor is to explain English quotes... That's odd! Lwyx 18:03, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Simple English Wikiquote is different from other projects. We have quotes in English, and under each quote we have the same quote explained or translated in Simple English. Coppertwig(talk) 15:57, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Then by that very definition, it should not be a "Wikiquote" project. 17:01, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Why not? Coppertwig(talk) 00:35, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
You're not reproducing quotations which are already in "Simple English": you're explaining the quotations. You may have a WikiQuote if the quotation is in "Simple English" already. You can't have a "WikiJoke" project in "Simple English" if you dedicate it to explain jokes in "Standard English". 00:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Are these books written in an identifiable subset of English? (Basic+Special+Simplified+... English) Lwyx 21:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
This one makes sense to me. Lwyx 21:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

"simple" as a different project, not as another language[edit]

Earlier comments by RTG lead me to suggest that perhaps SEW is not quite misguided (a suspicion like that lead me to state my "mild support" above), but the URL name might be misleading or dispensable for at least two reasons.

  1. it gives the false impression that "simple" is another language (or dialect, or whatever), when the difference is the target audience (K-12 and ESL students);
  2. it bars the ability to implement sister projects in other languages ( is at least cumbersome, and equally misleading).

So IMO "simple" is really a viable project (proof is number of current articles), but somehow needs another name,

  1. to state better its purposes or audience,
  2. to allow the implementation of sister projects.

Still, it seems to me

  1. that the issue of clearer standards to measure what is "simple" needs to be discussed,
  2. and that the current URL ( must be replaced. Lwyx 21:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Although my opinion on the namechange is fairly nuetral, "Easypedia" did have a sort of ring to it. Complex pages get tagged but I do not think the manual of grammar is set as you asked, only the wordlist. There is a guide to writing articles in Simple English. I am not such an established user but I can link this idea to the wiki talk (most users perhaps have forgotten this page as concensus is snowballing to keep). The thing is.. Simple Wikipedia doesnt get huge floods of editors but perhaps wikis like Deutsche would make one and popularise the project a little. ~ R.T.G 01:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I seem to agree to a great extent with this view.
  1. As to the "Domain, or language code" theme: Maybe, be can have a break here and start a discussion with language experts outside MediaWiki projects, like those who assign ISO codes and their subtags, wether or not a general subtag sort of -simple could be registered. I bet, we're not the only askers. Let us see what we can learn from them.
  2. As to the "A project on its own" theme: Yes it is, imho, and consequentially, I oppose merging it into the en Wikipedia (and with it, the other simple wikis into their respective en wikis) as per the suggestion above. Though it look appealing at fist sight, I do not think many details will fit (templates, categories, help pages, community pages, discussion styles, tons of policies need to be different, etc.) and hey, you cannot squeeze one community into another, totally different one! I do feel the urge to protect the much smaller, more volatile, "simple" editors from being sunken and drowned in the Standard English Language community. Most notably, simple needs to have a set of rules on their own, which is best achieved by a setting of the kind, we currently have. --Purodha Blissenbach 08:46, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
All that it really needs is a bit more recognition on the main wiki by seperating the link from the interlanguage links. It should only work best if you find an article on the and cannot understand it... you press the "simple" button. Would that be the largest flow of interest into Simple? It would surely be the most useful item. ~ R.T.G 08:38, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Establishing Simple English as a separate language as justification of the Simple wikis[edit]

Quote of Wikimedia Foundation goals which I hope is quite a good goal and beyond reproach (I hope no-one can say it's a bad idea). I have highlighted areas.

" The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. "

~ R.T.G 19:53, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Failure to meet a current policy[edit]

Correct me if I am wrong, but the Simple English Wikipedia clearly fails to meet the current policy for language inclusion. I've posted a question on that article's talk page to see whether this policy applies retroactively. If so, it seems to me that the project could move to the incubator temporarily, while some discussion on a more appropriate name for the project takes place. Cheers, Lwyx 02:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

I think not. Simple has been around for over four years. It's an established project, like it or lump it. Even if it does get closed, which is unlikely, moving it to the "incubator" would be so much more hassle than it's worth. There's over 41,000 articles on Simple, and a very active community. Majorly talk 14:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
The short answer is that projects which already exist are grandfathered, and needn't meet the policy. Whether that's a good thing or not is a matter for discussion & you can see my views above.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 16:34, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I've just received confirmation. So the current policy doesn't affect this WikiProject. Lwyx 21:46, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
"Confirmation" from one user hardly counts. 16:59, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
That's not a random user who could be or not be well informed. That was User:Pathoschild (read his page), I expect that this person knows what he's talking about. --Enric Naval 01:31, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Users need to know that this is NOT a poll[edit]

I shared my reasons for supporting the closure of the Wikipedia in the appropriate section, but after reading through the comments left in the "oppose" section, I feel like many users are under the impression that this page is a poll. Many of the "comments" opposing the issue simply say "as per above/nom" and some say nothing more that simply "oppose". While there are several legitimate arguments made, many of the users have left comments such as "it does no harm", "as per above/nom", "I like it", "it's useful", "we've put a lot of work into it", "there's no good reason" and my personal favorite comment – "ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME?". Now I'm not going to restate my reasons here for supporting the issue, I just want to make a point that users posting here (whether supporting or opposing) need to be aware that this is NOT a poll and any comments left need to support valid arguments and reasoning. Dream out loud 18:03, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I felt the same when I read the support section, and no comments were left, just a signature. The arguments provided in the oppse section are fine, this isn't an English Wikipedia AFD, and there's no "rules" on what one can or cannot say. If one believes it to do no harm, that's a valid reason for keeping it. If I'm really honest though, this doesn't have a chance of being closed. Majorly talk 18:15, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

What is the definition of "simple" English?[edit]

I was skim reading some articles, when it struck to me that some words found, were not as "simple" as they sounded. Maybe a project should be founded with the title "Wikipedia for Children" --Vinni3 20:15, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Welcome to my club. It's been almost a month and haven't found but vague suggestions pointing to either Basic and Special English. The suggested 850 word vocabulary from Basic is clearly too short, and the more comprehensive 1500 word vocabulary from Basic too includes words like wikt:Birefringeance, not included even in the Standard English wiktionary as of today! somewhat complicated. So I have the bad feeling that proponents of Simple are more well meaning than effective.-- Writing "simple" isn't that simple. Lwyx 00:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
That word "en:birefringeance" is a complex word and is not required in a list of simple words. It means "double-image". It is the only word on the list I was unfamiliar with and was added by the original editor in 2004 as part of 150 words of 100 words of general interest, science or business, and 50 specialty words within that general area. There are several listed in that category (under the heading Next:) which are not simple such as "vascular", "unconformity" (which is so unusual a word as is almost bad grammar), and another around ten or so non-simple in that category. ~ R.T.G 09:07, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
And the problem is that the reference which supposedly is trying to explain what is "simple" (100 words of each general area) already introduce "not simple words", with no criterion whatsoever about why these words are not "simple".-- Your source is trying to explain en:Basic English, which is yet another controlled version of English. Lwyx 19:53, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
No Lwyx, it is a good idea just not edited since the original guy. (S)He was starting a list of words that are unavoidable in their context such as the words "megabyte" and "gygabyte" on certain articles about computerised memory. I doubt that birefringeance is often nessecary and unavoidable. It is a good point to bring up on the simple:Wikipedia:Simple talk page (defining some of those words and marking them more clearly for what they are on that list). Most unavoidable words can be identified without high skills and maybe there should be an ongoing discussion about unavoidable words somewhere just for the sake of collaborating. (and well spotted BTW!) ~ R.T.G 12:07, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Content of articles does not meet needs of children, project is a failure[edit]

Due to the fact that the articles are not rated, this project cannot meet the needs of children. I as a parent would include simple wikipedia as well as en wikipedia on the list of forbidden sites. This is due to the inclusion of a video of man ejaculating, pictures of men and women masterbating, and probably a lot more than I have personally seen.

Although these items are fine for adults, they are not for children. It is irresponsible to say that simple wikipedia is for children when there is no rating standard for the articles.

As for adults needing a separate English wikipedia, it is a waste of resources. An adult can read in their native language. For adults that cannot read English and need to read articles about adult content, they can always hire a tutor. Altough, IMO, I don't know of any adult that cannot figure out the idea of the adult articles based on the pictures and videos in the regular en wikipedia. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 14:19, 24 December 2008.

Well: that's one problem with the current, vague definition of "simple": I still haven't figured out who are the target audience for this project. Thinking on partly illiterate adults and ESL students, I figure that many words and topics should go uncensored, like the names of sexual organs and reproductive health. If you want a project explicitly aimed at kids you should propose a "kiddipedia" or something: that precision would help to specify the audience, and perhaps to determine if this "simple" paedia is really needed or should go the way of the Rex. Lwyx 16:34, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
To Different parents make different decisions about what their children can look at. Many children look at English Wikipedia, and many children also edit English Wikipedia.
To Lwyx: I don't think we need to choose one group of people that the project is for. If we write a project for children, then many people who are learning English as a second language will use it, too. If we write a project for people learning English as a second language, then many children will use it, too. When I learn a language, I read books that were written for children. The needs are not the same, but they are close enough that the books are useful. I think it's useful to have a project which is used by many different groups of people who can read Simple English.
By your argument, you could argue that we need to close English Wikipedia because it doesn't say whether it's written for people who work in a subject, or for people who finished university, or for people who finished high school but not university, or for people who have not finished high school. It's used by all those people. Again, the needs are different, but they're close enough that the same articles are useful for all those people. I don't think a project needs to be closed just because it's used by different kinds of people.
The Simple English Wikipedia uses the most common words more often, and the rare words much less often. It's easier for people who only know a small number of English words.
This page tells how to write in Simple English: wikipedia:simple:Wikipedia:How to write Simple English articles Coppertwig(talk) 16:14, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Simple was created for people with a limited understanding of the English language, not neccesarily children. - Mgm|(talk) 16:53, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
95% of the people with a limited understanding of English will have a better time going to the Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Bengali, Russian or Japanese Wikipedias.--Prosfilaes 01:02, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I am sure they will better their understanding of English in the Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Bengali, Russian or Japanese Wikipedia. We are talking people who want to learn more, not remain in their reservations. Have some curiosity, please!--Cerejota 05:14, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
So learning more can only be done in English? So the best way for them to better their understanding of English is to read encyclopedic texts in Simple English instead of say, a Wikibooks project devoted to that?--Prosfilaes 23:43, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  • LOL, EVEN IN META WE HAVE SYSTEMIC BIAS Dear dudes and dudettes: I have never seen Simple as a tool for children, but as a tool for en:English as a Foreign or Second Language, for people with the educational level and insight to need an encyclopedia but who lack the language skills in English, in particular in the first phases of learning. I also have seen its potential as an interim step for translation: since it is easier to translate from regular english to simple english, we could move more articles for people who can't or won't learn English fully, or to engage amateur translators so that projects with much less article volumes can benefit. Its about using our noggins, not going the easy way.--Cerejota 05:11, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
"for people with the educational level and insight to need an encyclopedia but who lack the language skills in English" odds are very good we have a good encyclopedia in their native language. The concept that everything is better in English is helping wipe out languages left and right; so long, Yiddish, goodbye Maltese, you guys should just speak English. People who won't learn English fully should not be expected to use a crutch of Simple English. If this is a language teaching project instead of an encyclopedia, then it shouldn't claim to be a Wikipedia.--Prosfilaes 23:43, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Wait! What about people who are Deaf, or have learning disabilities, and can read Simple English but not any other written language? Would you close down the one encyclopedia they can read? For those who do know another language: who are we to choose for them which language they wish to read articles in? And it has already been pointed out that the Simple English project can be of assistance to translators, assisting rather than impeding the development of encyclopedias in a variety of languages. The best translators are native speakers of the language they're translating into, and may benefit from being able to refer to simple versions to check their understanding of the language they're translating from. Coppertwig(talk) 01:41, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Most people who are deaf learn to read and write the written language of their area at a near-fluent level by adulthood. Furthermore, I fail to see that the needs of the deaf and those with learning disabilities coincide; if you can't learn anything beyond Simple English, it's unlikely you're capable of handling Wikipedia, no matter what the language. Are there any translators actually using Simple English Wikipedia as suggested, or is this merely a hypothetical?--Prosfilaes 01:33, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
No idea, but from me it is hypothetical: I just see Simple, and my brain explodes with exciting possibilities. Others, instead, close their minds with no imagination and see the project as a dead-end. --Cerejota 11:07, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Prosfilaes, you're right about that: there are conflicting needs and audiences; and even then, there are no clear standards about how to serve such a diverse audience. At least no standard (only suggestions) has been offered in all this discussion. Lwyx 17:47, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Coppertwig, there is no use fighting over this, people who supported the closure are being prejudicial. They are just following the other masses who supported closure, they don't even know what the purpose of the project was and who was it meant for and its no use trying to explain it to them, since they will definitely not understand anyways, its like preaching to the deaf. All I can say to those that supported closure is to atleast (for the first time) join the project and help out and if you still think its 'useless' or 'lacks a purpose', then you are more than welcome to 'strong' support the closure. Don't make judgements based on assumption, you will regret it ...--Cometstyles 05:02, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no clue what the point of the project is, because every time it comes up, a dozen different purposes come up, and no one has ever pointed to a stable document defining the purpose.--Prosfilaes 01:33, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
simple:Simple English Wikipedia and simple:Wikipedia:Simple English Wikipedia or is that these are too (he-he) simple? Thing is, you could have looked for this, Your Majesty who has to have things pointed out for him. Why do you edit Wikipedia, if you are such an incurious person? And in case you raise stability again, these pages are not more or less stables than similar pages in other Wikipedias. --Cerejota 08:30, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Articles you have obviously never read, since you claim above to believe the project is not for children, and those articles say it is. I wonder why you are so incurious as not to immediately scour Wikipedia to discover why I edit it? You could look for that, you know...--Prosfilaes 08:54, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Again, you fail. Just because I am not "an educated native English speaker" like you, doesn't mean I cannot form my own opinions about things. I think the consensus that argues that Simple is for children, is not right. However, that is the consensus. That I saw it fit to produce my opinion in a discussion doesn't change that fact. Of course, how could you assume that, coming from a lesser being. I hope you break your brain wondering, as unlike yourself, I do tend to understand the difference between a question and a rhetorical question. All that in spite of being an inferior, non-native, speaker of English. The most interesting about these exchanges, is that they only reinforced my view of yourself, rather than dissipating it. It is rather encouraging to know one's instincts are still sound.--Cerejota 11:02, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I completely agree with Prosfilaes: the audiences are too diverse. And it seems even worse: the Charter includes all these divergent purposes as if they could be served by the same tools. Again: treating adult ESL students as if they were children; dealing with children as if they were adults with learning disabilities; and so on, and so forth. Lwyx 17:47, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Cometstyles: I think I understand what is the general purpose of the project; what I doubt is that implementing it as a separate "language", without clearer standards about how to achieve its goals and serve such a diverse audience is the right way to do it. Lwyx 17:51, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
The headline above this section is misleading.
I have not read all of the discussion, but I did read the initial statement, and what I find, is a clear proof that, the author is telling us that he belivies the Wikipedia (both simple, and en, by the way) were not meeting the needs of adults because one had a chance to dig out picutes of ejaculation, or masturbation somewhere. (S)he, an adult, says, (s)he wants said pictures not seen by children. So very clearly, (s)he is talking about her/his own wishes and needs.
What we unfortunately do not learn is, wether or not for example an article on masturbation without a picture would suffice her/his need. Also (s)he gives no reason, why. In the unlikely event that children had asked her/him: "hey, we do not want to have access to those pictures on ejaculation", and: "hey, we do not want to have access to any pictures on masturbation", it would be helpful to know that.
Since I have never ever met a child, who said something like this - after all, they must know the subject matter already before they can tell whether or not they demand access to it blocked for them - I have no reason at all to assume, that the author of the initial statement in this section is forwarding any childrens demands here.
Finally, since the subject matter is not related to simple alone, I cannot see a reason for closing simple but not closing Wikipedia of any other style and language as well. If one sees a need for blocking certain content, or sorting specific images out, one can always do that on ones own. Neither site owners, nor site managers, nor content authors have a chance to know, what sorts of things a user among billions on the net does not want to be seen by someone else, and likely, for each and everything, you may find dislikers. I see no way, technical, or per community agreement, to deal with these kind of needs of adults in a satisying manner for those adults. --Purodha Blissenbach 09:36, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Use of Simple Wikipedia for teaching English as a second language[edit]

I argued above for keeping this project and I have been following the argument closely. I have also been discussing it with my wife who has considerable experience is teaching English as a second language and also training teachers of English where English was their second language. She is opposed to removing this project and points out that if it had existed when she was training teaching (in Nigeria and if the internet had been there then) she would have had her students writing articles for Simple as part of their training. It would have been under her supervision of course. This is increasingly common the English Wikipedia and their is a page about it there at en:Wikipedia:School and university projects. That page should be introduced at Simple with appropriate changes to reflect the nature of that project. --Bduke 23:13, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Have you had a look at the Schools Gateway on SEWP, in particular, the current projects list? --Eptalon 17:28, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Trying to summarize[edit]

I'll try to summarize the points made up to now:


  1. "Simple English" is not a language, so it shouldn't pop up as if it was one.
  2. "Simple English" has no standards, so there is no way to know if a given article is effectively written in "Simple English".
  3. "Simple English" tries to serve such a diverse audience (children, ESL students, people with disabilities) without clear standards, to the extent that none of them seems to be effectively served, save perhaps in the imagination of its proponents.


  1. "Simple English" tries to satisfy a need (a simpler version of otherwise complicated material).
  2. It is supported by a thriving (and tenacious) community.
  3. It is a safe haven for banned users from the Standard English Wikipedia.

IMO, the first two reasons for its deletion actually support its deletion, while the first two reasons against its deletion actually support its survival. Lwyx 18:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

However, I'd like to know what's wrong with the scheme proposed below, namely, moving all the contents of the subdomain "simple." to the namespace "Simple:"; that seems to me the most sensible solution to satisfy both parties: the project and its contents are kept, while the spurious "language" is removed. Redirection and crossreferencing could be done by templates pointing to the namespace rather than the subdomain; categories are simply renamed. Lwyx 18:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

AFAICS, the only group seriously affected are the banned users from en.; but then there may be a motion for an amnesty, either general or on a case by case basis. Sysops, admins, and crats could retain their powers as runners of the WikiProject Simple. Lwyx 18:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

In any event, I still ask for a better specification of the target audience, and clearer standards (other than "feeling") to know how to serve them better. Lwyx 18:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Do the editors of Simple English have anything to counter the argument that this language is the original research? As you know, original research is disallowed in Wikipedia regardless of language. If there any academic or published work on what is simple English? Or do your editors decide this on their own? If you have a list of which words are simple, what is the origin of this list? Is it derived from academic publications? Or it is trivial common knowledge?--Certh 06:25, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

The same argument holds for the English language - do you decide on your own, what is an English word? - If you know that train station and bus station are valid combinations, why are car station, bicycle station or ship station invalid ones? - Where would I find a complete list of all the words of the English language, or alternatively a base vocabulary, and a set of rules that would allow to make such a list? - To my knowledge, these do not exist. Therefore the English language is original research, and should be banned from Wikipedia... SCNR --Eptalon 14:52, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, there is a project to build a comprehensive list of words of the English Language: you may find it at the OED; and AFAIK, unlike this "Simple English", it is not a WikiMedia project. Lwyx 17:34, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
While this can certainly be done, natural languages (as opposed to programming languages) change all the time. If at some point in time, you decided that in the context you need, a noun (like hot dog, blitzkrieg,...) would perfectly fit as a verb you can easily do this in English (because the language structure allows you to); nevertheless the moment you do such a thing you do this, you have done something that the grammar/semantics does not cover. Beforehand, hot dog and blitzkrieg only had their function as nouns, now you used them as verbs? - in other words a description of the language by enumerating all the words of the language (or by using a set of base words and rules) can only "describe" that language at a particular moment. Perhaps much simpler: nothing keeps you from inventing new words, or using old ones in new ways. If you show a little skill at invention or use, these will even be taken for English words. In short: Any natural language is Original Research. --Eptalon 10:14, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I concede all your points, but you actually miss the one I tried to make: the OED project is not built-in to the Standard English Wikipedia or any other WikiMedia project.--- I wouldn't object anymore if you guys stick to an independent source (Special/Specialized English, for instance) to avoid the charge of "original research", and state the goals better (perhaps the same way Special/Specialized English broadcasts do). Lwyx 19:04, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
And then you have the problem of how to ensure that all contributors will stick to the set standard, if ever agreed. That problem doesn't pop up in the case of Standard English, because it is not aimed to fit the needs of a special population (ESL, kids, whatever). The only criterion for Standard English seems to be "Understand if you can!", and perhaps "Check the OED (an external source) if you don't!" :o) Lwyx 19:57, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Words like hot dog or blitzkreig have wide media coverage in external sources. Words like these should not be invented in Wikipedia.--Certh 13:10, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

(<-) People still need to explain why car station and ship station are invalid; I know that hot-dog and blitzkieg are established vocabulary; that I tried to show there was that even using an "old" word in a "new combination" changes the language.--Eptalon 18:27, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


One of the arguments here for Simple English Wikipedia is that there is a large community. But imagine tomorrow created English Wikipedia II to which would be invited all users banned from English Wikipedia, people who disargee with some articles in Wikipedia but have no arguments to convince other editors, people who simply want to write their own versions of articles, people who want to become admins etc. Would this English Wikipedia II have a community? Certainly! Would this fact be an argument against its closure? Certainly not!--Certh 06:25, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

That was a weak attempt to take a point out of its context: Simple English wikipedia has an active community, has been found useful by many people, and, most importantly, was created and is still working with a purpose in line with the mission of wikimedia foundation. And the language proposal policy is for proposing new language projects, and it has nothing to do with existing projects. Hillgentleman 04:16, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Poll on the suggested conversion of SE articles to EN namespace[edit]

Do you mind to explain what this "conversion" means exactly? Lwyx 00:12, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I see: it's stated above.


  1. Support - This way, the project is not "lost", so users' previous work has not been for nothing, but at the same time, it does not violate our very own inclusion laws, and does not subtract from the worth of the en wiki project as a whole. A suitable compromise I think. 17:06, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  2. Mildly support - Sounds sensible to me: a) "Simple" is not a language anymore; b) it is moderated by the users of the Standard English Wikipedia, as another user suggested above; c) it provides a workable solution for starting similar projects in other languages; d) the name becomes less ambiguous (as a reminder, "simple" works for Spanish and French as well). Using other domain name looks better to me. Concentrating on Introductions in Simpler English (for a Simple Concisepedia integrated into every project) looks even better. Lwyx 00:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  3. Support - It would have the same goal, but with the structure and support of EN. As they're both on the same servers, it could be a move without creating two copies. JohnnyMrNinja 06:54, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  4. Support A compromise that should satisfy both sides. 15:01, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  5. Strong Support, neither side should have it fully their way. The participants' work should be salvaged, but it should not stay in a separate wiki - which is against our very own rules since it is not covered by an ISO language categorisation. The best outcome therefore, is keeping the contributions, but moving them to a SIMPLE namespace on Wikipedia, whereby for example, someone would type in Simple:Apple for a simple version of the Apple article. Panwikito 19:07, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
  6. Support - AS LONG AS This is a UNIVERSAL (every Wikimedia project gets it, (en-wt, es-wp, whatever. I think simple is valuable, as long as you don't have to go thru the article space. (so, you click a "go to simple" link on the right on the main page, and it acts like simple:wp, but links back to the regular articles. Empire3131 23:14, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
  7. Support As I pointed out Simple English is useless. Conventional English Wikipedia probably can be made more simple though.--Nxx 03:32, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Useless to you, maybe, but useful to others - A much more objective measurement is the site traffic. And, as we all know, if you have graduated from secondary school, you know all about how the easy primary school materials "should have been learnt" but you would have been very uncomfortable if some of these medicines were forced upon you. And, put it this way, were it not for the existence of simple:, there might not have been even a suggestion to make things simpler in en: Hillgentleman 03:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Or alternately, if simple: had not forked en:, en: would have had much more encouragement to simplify.--Prosfilaes 01:25, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
        • There is a limit of how simple you can be before you lose some of your accuracy and meaning. Simple: is willing to make a little sacrifice, En: is not and should not. You may compare simple:Confucius (not yet finished, but you see where it is heading) to en:Confucius.Hillgentleman 06:46, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  8. Support as half-way point, but I personally support deletion of the sess-hole. 自由主義 17:16, 18 January 2009 (UTC)


  1. as per my statement above. --Purodha Blissenbach 09:42, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  2. The project is not failing. You cannot look at every project from the w:en: perspective and say it is failing because it doesn't get 1000s of edits and 1000000s of pageviews every day. And the move is not as simple as that. You need categories and templates also. And you will get a lot of confusion and naming conflicts. And then there are the drama and conflicts in English wikipedia that a small simple project should really stay out of. Hillgentleman 07:14, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Note also that this proposal would be void if the result of the main vote (closure of the wikipedia site) remains. Of course, English wikipedia is welcome to import the entire simple:wikipedia (per GFDL), but that would be rather pointless.Hillgentleman 07:16, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    You're opposing on the grounds that it is too much effort to sort out page categorization. That is simply laughable. 15:03, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  3. There is no consensus above to close Simple and I see no consensus to discuss this. Leave Simple as it is. Do we have to keep fighting off people who want to destroy the Simple Wikipedia. Enough, I say. --Bduke 07:24, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    There is clearly no consensus above to keep Simple either. There is large support for both, which is why a compromise would be the best solution. 15:03, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    There is a majority for oppose and no consensus defaults to keep, so I see this proposal as just trying to exhaust people until there is a majority for changing a project that should be left alone. Leaving well alone is the best solution, as I now see below that you agree with. --Bduke 23:06, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    Consensus is about arguments and priorities, not numbers. Stewards know not to count votes, i highly recommend that you come up with supported reasons why simple fits the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation instead of relying on vote counts before you get a surprise. - 23:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
    On the contrary, the projects has been proposed, created, and operated with wikimedia foundation for some time, and it is the responsibility of the closure-proposers to demonstrate why it doesn't fit. Hillgentleman 04:22, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  4. This is not a proper place to discuss this change, because a consent of English Wikipedia is necessary for such a merge. However such consent is unlikely to be obtained. Therefore this discussion is meaningless: regardless of its result, no merge will happen. Ruslik 16:07, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    No, I think you're forgetting what meta is. It is a place to discuss changes on other wikis. Decisions made here directly affect Wikipedia. Therefore your reason is not rooted in accuracy. 16:58, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    Think again. Meta is a cross-wiki forum, not an overlord. Local discussions take precedence over meta. Hillgentleman 10:09, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
    You're not making any kind of point. Please learn to be coherent, it's embarassing. 23:02, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
    A friendly reminder to: User from and other ip-address: Mud-slinging, jibes, personal attacks do not work on Meta. This is not English Wikipedia. Hillgentleman 04:05, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
  5. Simple English Wikipedia should remain in its current state. 17:36, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    And you're obviously not taking this as a joke:
    "a compromise would be the best solution"
    "Simple English Wikipedia should remain in its current state"
    Right... 16:58, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  6. per --.snoopy. 14:35, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    Ha, did you even check what he wrote further up. He was in fact defending the idea. Really consistent ;) 16:58, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    It was me below. A different person. I wasn't logged in. Tharnton345 16:49, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  7. Terrible idea. I think Simple should be left alone (as should all projects with an active community). Majorly talk 14:41, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  8. There are many issues merging would cause, and I don't actually think the project should be closed anyways. No consensus does default to keep afterall and there is clearly no consensus to kill this project. -Djsasso 02:30, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
  9. Completely terrible idea. The fact that an article has very little chances of existing on simple if it doesn't exist on is testament. Merging them together would be a nightmare. Synergy 20:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
    Er, how? Panwikito 21:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  10. NO... but..., Simple already is a subsidary of the It does need a more prominent link in the Broad concensus here is that Simple is not a language. Therefore it should not be listed with the languages. FlaggedRevs is going to take a full line of space above each article... why shouldn't Simple have a link there? Should it not be a handy tool for those reading or looking at the ~ R.T.G 09:17, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
    It wouldn't be much of a change in terms of crossreferencing: right now you add a link to "simple" (whatever that means) by adding [[:simple:<whatever>]] at the bottom of the page to redirect to the article written in "Simple English" "language"; under the new scheme (Simple: as a namespace within en.) you may add a template {{Simple}} at the top of the article, pointing to the Simple: namespace in the English Wikipedia. That way, "Simple" is cleanly integrated into "English", serving the very same purpose. Lwyx 17:23, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
    Well that's a valid idea but at very least it would be best to make Simple well known to the main wiki by making the links more obvious. At present it is listed with the other languages. I do not know if there is a wiki of that. Definitely, at least, there should be a "Simple" link (for articles with a simple version) in the top right corner of each en article clearly seperate from the interlanguage links (and hopefully some other languages). Sorry for lack of response, Lwyx, been wrapped up in a discussion on :D I think I will try suggesting that on the at the en:Wikipedia:Village pump ~ R.T.G 23:27, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
    But raising the matter by myself is unlikey to create any major changes to pages at the ~ R.T.G 00:15, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
  11. No, because for a number of reasons, what will happen to the admins? Will their rights be transferred to the English Wikipedia or not? Also, this would have to get consensus with the en wikipedia community, which I bet would not support, and then there are the technical limitations like the template namespace. It's just too much work. Techman224Talk 02:16, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  12. Nope. Definitely not. Read my oppose up in the other discussion for my reasons as to why. Razorflame 02:25, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  13. I don't want to bring SEWP into the drama-infested ENWP. ENWP is so big, SEWP so small: so SEWP will just tail off if put into competition. Microchip08 @simpleWB 21:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
  14. No! Per all my colleages reasons above (in both sections) fr33kman t - c 22:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
  15. Oppose per Majorly. –Juliancolton 19:58, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
  16. Oppose I actually thing this is an interesting and positive idea. However, I oppose for the simple reason that such an idea, good as it may be, is something that should be discussed by the community at the project, not here at Meta. Ad-hoc proposals at Meta like this one shouldn't be allowed to make such decisions. Dovi 19:15, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


  1. Possibly. That would probably be better than just closing the project. But making a new kind of project, en.simplepedia, might be better than using en namespace. Could we have interwiki links to en.simplepedia? Could we have interwiki links to an en namespace? I think the way we have it now is good, because we can have interwiki links. The best way is probably to keep the project the way it is now. Coppertwig(talk) 00:38, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    what about something like and then en-wt, en-wb, en-wq, etc.?Empire3131 22:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    I don't think it would be easy to put in interwiki links if the name of the project ("wikipedia") is different. How about, etc.? Coppertwig(talk) 18:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
    It's invalid according to the new language policy, even though "en-x-simple" is a valid IETF BCP 47 specification. Lwyx 03:49, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
    Empire 3131's suggestion goes along the lines of what some have suggested: propose a new WikiMedia project (, for instance), use the current simple as a proof of concept, and move the whole database over there once it's approved. That would comply with current policies, leave room for projects in other languages (French and Spanish have been turned down recently), and avoid the charge that "simple is not a language".Lwyx 03:49, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
    You don't need to be in the domain for crossreferencing: you may add a template exactly the way you do to crossreference an article to/from other WikiMedia projects, like wiktionary, commons, wikiquote, etc. Right now you add "simple" as a "language", but you might as well add it as a crossreference to another project. Lwyx 03:49, 15 February 2009 (UTC)


I refuse to participate in this or accept its outcome: this is completely out of process, has no wide community call for it to be discussed, and in any case is not related to the proposal to close Simple. I suggest it be closed, and then re-opened (if proposed) as a separate discussion.--Cerejota 01:55, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Are all of these people mentally challenged? 18:28, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Who? The proponents, the opponents, or both? ☺ Lwyx 17:30, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
It is a relevant poll, assuming there may be a consensus to shut down the subdomain "simple." In short: "simple" is not a language, so it shouldn't show up as if it was one; but if you want to keep the project (which has indeed some merit, despite how poorly implemented) you may still keep it as a project within the English Wikipedia using a reserved namespace. Lwyx 17:30, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
But the banned users from en would not be able to edit the namespace. (DUH.) That would put me out of action. There are about 5 users on simple (myself included) who are banned from en and something like this would "bench" us.-- † CM16 t c 04:52, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Some interesting events have recently gone on at simple, which may change a lot of circumstances. The main editors there, "Creol", "Maxim", "Archer7", "Gwib", and "CometStyles", have all retired, and others are now threatening to pull out. Recent comments from contributors there (who would and have oppose(d) the deletion of the project) include "the project is falling apart", there are "problems of motivating people to contribute", "you need a high school grade level reading ability for half the articles", "we're very close to a downward spiral", etc etc etc... 17:55, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Most of the people you mention with the exception of Creol and Gwib were pretty much only occasional editors and atleast one of the people you list left all wikimedia projects not just simple. Secondly what has this to do with whether or not the project is a viable appropriate project? Thirdly some of those quotes you have taken out of context, for example the problems of motivaing people to contribute was about voting in the VGA process and not about the project itself. -Djsasso 18:14, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Please do not misquote the situation. Out of the aforementioned editors, all of them except Maxim were administrators. This is a very significant number, since only 13 active admins remain there. Certainly not - it is very clear from the simple users themselves that they have little hope for the project (and that was a fraction of the quotes I found - do you want me to post more?). As a user there yourself, I don't consider you a neutral party however. 19:49, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
As a user hiding behind an IP and likely banned from said project I don't consider you a neutral party either. Archer7 has almost no edits in the past year, CometStyles as well was an inactive admin and left all projects, Creol from what I understand left for personal life reasons. Simple users simply have some issues with drama at the moment, and no wiki is immune to that. It still has nothing to do with whether or not the project is appropriate. You mention only 13 admin remain there at the moment, but what you don't mention is the fact that 13 active admin is the most the wiki has ever had. In fact its twice as many as we had only 8 months ago. Which shows the wiki is growing. -Djsasso 20:31, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Would you like to support this claim that I am a "banned" user - or else I find it a gross personal attack. I don't think you're getting the point - the percentage of administrators that left is what is significant, and the overall comments of what people there are saying. 21:15, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Did you notice the word I said likely? I didn't say you were. However only someone with something to hide would hide behind an IP in a discussion about closing a project. And what percentage is that? If anything I think we have too many admin for a project of our size not too little. That being said you can never have too much of a good thing. Admins make up a larger percentage of our users than en. -Djsasso 02:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I find it laughable that those were our "main editors". Creol and Gwib were longstanding editors, Maxim was around for maybe a 1 and 1/2 months, Comet didn't edit, only used the tools, and Archer7 was on wiki break over 9 months of the year. Get your facts straight. Synergy 21:03, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
They were admins. 'Nuff said. Get your facts straight. 21:15, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
They weren't very active though. The "main editors" description for the above editors is simply false. Yes, a couple of them were very active (Creol and Gwib) but neither resigned because of what you're insinuating. Please log in to comment here or you can expect your comments won't be taken seriously. Majorly talk 21:21, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually don't bother. If you are who I think you are, you're a banned user. Majorly talk 21:42, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Urgh, drama. Microchip08 @simpleWB 21:45, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

(<-) Hello, I just want to get some facts straight:

  • Both Creol and Gwib were respected editors who made many edits; Creol basically ran the project. Both left (Gwib did so because he got fed up). As Creol held the position of CheckUser and Bureaucrat, we needed a new one of each. It is clear that in a small community as we are, such changes will be commented. We are now through the process of both elections. Just to put the facts into perspective: We are between 25 and 40 active editors, and we write about 2.000 articles/month. As to the editor base: I know between 5 and 10 "active" editors who are regular contributors, and who do not have the admin flag. Also, note that generally, I do not hide behind an IP, so I am open to direct attacks. All the best.--Eptalon 14:14, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  • A friendly reminder to the User from and other ip-addresses. Mud-slinging, jibes and personal attacks do not work on Meta. Please stop poisoning the disussion, which had been a healthy one. Hillgentleman 04:10, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

People are using seWP and people are talking about seWP!

Just to bring it to the communities attention; Simple English Wikipedia seems to be gaining use and notability amongst the users of the Internet. I'd like to bring this to your attention. It seems that one Internet user, at least, wonders why ALL wikipedia articles aren't in a simple, easy to understand version of English. fr33kman t - c 03:28, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposals to close discussion?[edit]

When will this be closed. It shoukd be closed as vandalism. TurboGolf 19:50, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

That is a truly ridiculous suggestion. EVula // talk // // 20:02, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
You've completely discredited yourself even more than I thought you already had Tharnton. Panwikito 21:13, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
For people interested in using above utterance multilingually I reproduce it below in various languages:
  • (es) te has desacreditado completamente a ti mismo, aún más de lo que pensé que habías hecho ya
  • (ro) te-ai discreditat complet chiar mai mult decât am crezut că ai făcut-o deja
  • (cy) mi rwyt ti wedi difa enw dy hun yn fwy nag oeddwn i wedi meddwl
  • (fr) tu t'es discrédité bien plus que ce que j'avais pensé de toi
  • (ar) لقد فقدت مكانتك أكثر مما كنت أتصور عنك
  • (it) ti sei discredittato completamente a te stesso, ancora di più di quello che ho pensato avresti fatto già
  • (de) du hast dich völlig in Verruf gebracht; mehr noch als ich dachte
Please feel free to respond with more translations of this fantastic turn of phrase.- Francis Tyers 12:08, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Why? Irony and sarcasm shows intelligence, which shouldn't discredit anyone. Of course, failing to understand clear irony and sarcasm could be construed as lack of intelligence, which is indeed something that could be construed as a lack of intelligence - and that is something that brings discredit to the editor.--Cerejota 02:02, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Knowledge of Ancient Sumerian also shows intelligence; but actually using it here should bring scorn and discredit. Multilingual, multicultural forums are places for clear, polite communication, not for using linguistic tricks that depend on the fact that they don't mean what they say. The goal should be communication, not scoring points off other editors.--Prosfilaes 18:21, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I want to keep it and close the closing as vandalism. TurboGolf 19:42, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Does this proposal even have an ending date? How about midday today? Good idea. TurboGolf 07:03, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Proposals like this run for a very, very long time, especially when compared to other usual wiki processes, such as RfAs or AfDs. EVula // talk // // 07:05, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
For how long? TurboGolf 13:22, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
A very, very long time, especially when compared to other usual wiki processes, such as RfAs or AfDs. EVula // talk // // 05:11, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
How long? About 6 months? Please explain. TurboGolf 05:16, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Look at other closing proposals for a better idea. EVula // talk // // 05:20, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello there, this "poll" started on 23 October, and has now (10 Feb) been running for 4 months. As of now, we have 43 votes in support, and 97 opposed to the closure of SEWP. To those of you who live on "providing" drama, please find somewhere else to stage your appearance. To those who feel they are in charge: Leaving this poll running will probably not change much. To all those who actually opposed closure: SEWP has a friendly community, and a good environment for creating simpler articles. So, please close this, as we are flogging a dead horse, so to speak. Thanks. --Eptalon 08:13, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Agree proposal should be closed now, it's not going to succeed. fr33kman t - c 03:47, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, no need to keep this going. It'll obviously be kept. SEWP is an active project with 55,000+ articles. It's community is great, friendly, and tolerant. What a waste of time to try and shut it. Yotcmdr 10:04, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Totally agree. This has gone on long enough. It is time to end this poll. Kennedy 10:23, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. I'm convinced no further productivity can result from this discussion. Juliancolton 05:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Thirded. No productivity has come forth through this page for about a month now. Everything below the poll to keep or close is drama and is not needed here. I would like to move this discussion forward and make a proposal for this to be closed now. Cheers, Razorflame 03:55, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I concede. It ain't going further. Resident Mario 21:34, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


If you look above you will see the following:

  • A poll whether SimpleWP should be closed. At the time of this writing, it was about 2:1 against the closure of SimpleWP
  • There are comments trying to define what constitutes "Simple English" as an idiom (compared to Regular English)
  • There are comments trying to establish Simple as a subproject of Regular English WP
  • Some comments say that the "Simple" namespace is ill-chosen
  • Some comments try to put other Projects of Wikimedia that use Simple English (Wikiquote, Wiktionary, Wikibooks) into the same pot.
  • Because of various issues (mostly related to Censorship) Simple English does not cater for "Children". We do have articles on body parts, and nudity, and these have pictures in them showing the resp. subject. Hence those in favor of more censorship will probably vote in favor of the closure of SEWP. We also do have an article on Molotov cocktails that describe how such a thing is made, or an article on the film that lead to the murder of Theo van Gogh, called Submission. The article links to the film. No one ever complained about these. Censorship is only about sex or nudity, it seems.
  • Project is not in accordance with the current policy on new Wikipedias form the foundation.
  • Include the roughly 55k articles of SEWP into regular English WP. (also done as a poll).

To all this, I can only say: The poll whether to close SipmleWP is relevant, all the other comments aren't. For example: Both the "Daily Mail" and the "Guardian" are daily newspapers, published in England, in "English"; yet most articles of the "Daily Mail" will be easier to understand than those published by the Guardian. (Same thing for the US: USA Today/NY Times, Newsweek/The Economist for weekly newspapers). Does this mean that the "Daily Mail" is not as good a newspaper than "the Guardian", even though it probably has a higher circulation? - Some people will read the Daily Mail, others will read the Guardian, still others will read both. No reason to shut down the "Daily Mail", is it?

In very short:

  • This is about closing/keeping Simple English Wikipedia. It does not affect SEWB, SEWQ, SEWIKT. If you want to close these you should do so in separate requests.
  • This is not about what "Simple English" is; the SEWP crowd has tried to come up with a definition, and failed to get an universally accepted one. If you think the Simple English we use is too complex, please discuss it at Simple talk on SEWP, not here.
  • This is not about whether SEWP can be defined as an idiom of its own; There are also Wikipedias for dialects of languages (I know of Spanish dialects, French dialects, German dialects, and Italian dialect wikipedias). To some extent these also overlap with the main language, and usually don't get closed.
  • This is not about SEWP meeting the current policies/guidelines for new Wikipedias; SEWP has existed for at least two years. At the time it was created it probably met the resp. guidelines. Policies and Guidelines will have to be adapted, if it is kept. They are not set in stone, and they should not be taken as a pretext to close a project that is bigger than most other projects that were closed.
  • Things like what to do with the "debris"/"leftovers" should be discussed when it has clearly been established that SEWP is to close. Discussing such things now influences the discussion, and should not be done.
  • This is not the place for "drama" - whoever is closing this will probably ignore irrelevant posts.

If I follow the policies of meta, there are another two months of discussions, before a closure of the debate. --Eptalon 10:57, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Moving on[edit]

Eptalon is right on several counts: several points in the discussion are somewhat irrelevant. I can see that there is little chance to have this project closed, given the current tendencies in the votes (unless we see a rally of support votes coming from out from nowhere, or en.wp, or something). In fact, that may be a Good Thing: I still can see there is some sense in the project (a wikipedia in a simpler language for lesser skilled readers), despite its apparent drawbacks:

  • Simple is not a language.
  • Simple is not well defined/controlled.

I agree with Eptalon's recent comments, stating that the place to discuss/define "simple english" is the sewp itself. So let's leave that point apart. However, there are still some symptoms suggesting that the SEWP is somehow misplaced.

  • The name doesn't comply with current language policies.
  • The name is ambiguous (the same adjective may be used at least in French and Spanish).
  • The name pre-empties other projects with the same goals in other languages (again, Spanish and French come to mind).

So assuming that SEWP is not closed, my question is how to suggest a rename for a project? Is it there a good place or procedure at Meta to make such a proposal? It occurs to me that the way to go is by proposing a new project at Meta (easypedia, or something like that), pointing at the extant "" as the incubator. Given the current state of the project (a relatively well working project), the rename process should be straightforward. That would satisfy all parties. Lwyx 04:23, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

No. The best place to propose a name change would be on the Simple English Wikipedia itself, not on Meta. Razorflame 04:31, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course a rename would imply an agreement from the community, but also depends on approval at the higher level at Meta for opening the new domain to host the project. So both levels are required. Lwyx 19:05, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Lwyx, You don't need a language to be "defined" before it is useful. English had been used for centuries before any reasonable definition existed. Hillgentleman 15:46, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
That may be the case for natural languages, but "Simple" does not seem to be like a "natural language" in this sense: it aims to be a controlled version of "Natural English" for lesser skilled readers. As such, it may not work for the target audience without a proper specification. On the other hand, if you mean that "Simple" is the same as "Natural" English, then you are conceding the point to those who see "simple" as a redundant version of "English". Lwyx 19:05, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Hillgentleman, you of course can invent languages, but not in Wikipedia. A new language should have community outside Wikipedia to not be considered original research. Create your own community and invent whatever language you want. If it becomes popular and widely used, come here, you will be wellcome. Regarding the number of votes, I think most people who vote here are participating in this project and hence interested it to be kept. There is a systematic bias here. What really counts is arguments. I saw many arguments for the closure but noone of them was countered. The only valid argument for keep is supposed usefullness of this project for someone, but then it is not clear why it should be in Wikipedia but not in some other project. There are many things that can be useful such as traveller's guide, telephone database etc, but we do not have special Wikipedia for it.--Certh 21:29, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
    You realize the opposite can be said as well, that most of the oppose votes can be chaulked up to I don't edit there so it might as well be deleted. A very large number of the supporters would not be valid !votes on meta. Lwyx for example doesn't meet the requirement of 100 edits on a wikimedia project prior to the opening of the !vote. So to be brutally honest the numbers are even better towards the side of Oppose than they are to the side of Support. I am not sure which arguements you see that weren't countered as I see almost every arguement for closure countered. -Djsasso 21:44, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
You may remove my vote and keep "Simple" if you like. Regardless, it is clear to me that the project's name is at least irregular, given the current standards; it is also ambiguous, and perhaps even misleading ( could be a Spanish or French name). At least you may concede that a better name for the project, leaving room for other languages (,,, would be preferred. That rename would easily avoid the charge that "simple" is not a language, and leave room for similar projects in other languages, now rightly denied given the current policy. Lwyx 23:48, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Any argument about simple English not being a defined language is faulty. For one thing, Google has over a million hits on the phrase. Also, see here: "Simple English is...devised by Charles Ogden in the 1920s, which is confined to just 850 words". Juliancolton 23:20, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
That link that Juliancolton has provided just goes to show you that there are people in history that have used the terms Simple English to define english that is simple, therefore, it must be a language. Razorflame 23:24, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Ogden's creation is called Basic English; someone at Simple came up with a definition of "Simple English" based on Basic and VOA's Special English. I wonder if you guys really stick to that specification. How do you certify that?-- In any event, as Eptalon says, this forum may not be the right place for this discussion. Lwyx 23:48, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
There are, admittedly, many articles that are complex and don't follow the original 850 words. However, this isn't a reason to close the entire project. –Juliancolton (talk) 02:05, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Juliancolton, I think you're missing the point. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Eptalon's point was that it is pointless to keep on discussing a definition of "simple", or whether is it effectively defined or enforced, in this forum, so we shouldn't be discussing those problems here. The main point here is that "simple" is not a language in the ISO-639 sense, as currently required, and then, even if the sewp is useful, or the language effectively defined, enforced or serving its alleged audience, or whatever else, it still seems to be misplaced. So instead of a closure of the project (to which the sewp community understandably opposes), or a merge into mainstream en.wp (which may be understandably rejected by the community at en.wp), I am suggesting here a rename of the project to whatever name you guys deem fit (, or something like that) as stated above: this is not another language, but another project. This way the project is preserved, you make links from en.wp as there are other links pointing to other WikiMedia projects (wikiquote, wiktionary, wikibooks, commons, etc.) and you guys leave space for similar projects in other valid ISO-639 languages (, Cheers, Lwyx 17:03, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it seems this whole discussion is based largely on the claim that Simple English is not a language, so I see no harm in discussion the point. –Juliancolton (talk) 17:08, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
You're still missing the point: "simple" is not an ISO-639 language; so regardless of whether is it well defined (or not), "" is a bad name. Lwyx 20:03, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not. This discussion is to determine whether the wiki currently titled Simple Wikipedia should be closed; renaming it is a different proposal. –Juliancolton (talk) 20:07, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Lwyx: If you want the project renamed, make a different proposal. This is not the place to request that be renamed. Thanks, Razorflame 20:12, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I know that: if you remember, that's precisely the question that opened this section: assuming that the motion won't pass, how do I propose a rename? Indeed, I'll propose the rename both here at meta as well as at sewp, as you suggested, once I fulfill the 100 edits requirement mentioned above by Djsasso. Lwyx 00:25, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Again, assuming that SEWP is not closed, the name is still faulty. And as Eptalon said, this is not the place to discuss the specification (or lack thereof) for "Simple English". Lwyx 00:25, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  • User talk:Juliancolton, would you support if this project was renamed Basic English and changed to comply with Basic English specification? At least "Basic English" is a conlang referred to in reliable sources and this would exclude original research.--Certh 12:25, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I certainly wouldn't mind it. –Juliancolton (talk) 20:08, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I can't believe people are still fighting over this, get a life, edit an article do something but move on, this just getting ridiculous now. Sheesh, man.--- † CM16 t c 07:06, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree to some extent that we've sufficiently beaten this discussion to death, but regarding it as "fighting" is a bit of an exaggeration, IMO. –Juliancolton (talk) 20:09, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah your right is was a slight exaggeration but I was going for a slight bit of drama/over-stating it, just to get my point across.-- † CM16 t c 23:42, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Closure of request[edit]

Hello all, if no one objects, I propose this request be closed at the end of this month, i.e March 1, midnight, UTC. At the moment, it looks to me as there are more votes (possibly socks) opposed to the closure of Simple English Wikipedia than supporting it. Other issues should be handled in separate requests. All the best, and thank you for participating. --Eptalon 18:56, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Socks? What socks? it shuld be closed sooner if you ask me. Resident Mario 21:35, 22 February 2009 (UTC) of en.wikipedia
I agree with the proposed close of this discussion on the 1st of March (now past). Any further comments? 45/108 seems like a clear consensus to keep. Razorflame 17:52, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Agree, proposing closure was a bad idea from the outset. Simple has its faults, but nothing totally unfixable. Majorly talk 17:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
While I fully support the closure of Simple (actually the merger with EN), there is really no point in trying to force it on a group of people who don't want it, and these people don't right now. While I wouldn't call this vote SNOW, I would call it a waste of time. I think all of the ideas have been hashed out above, and that's about all the good that will come of this. It's not going to happen at any point soon. I could see leaving it open if it was overwhelmingly in favor of closure, but it isn't, so let's move on. Please close this debate. And as far as "possibly socks", please don't lay down accusations like that unless you're actually making a valid complaint. Socks could be everywhere, please either directly address it or keep it to yourself; passive/generic accusations don't facilitate healthy debate. AGF and all that. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 10:36, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
All I was trying to say: I have not checked whether all participants in the vote were actually entitled to do so, and as there has been 'socking' in votes at least on the WP where I am from, and people want an exact tally, the votes should be checked for validity.--Eptalon 21:08, 6 March 2009 (UTC)