Requests for new languages/Wikinews Simple English

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Simple English Wikinews[edit]

main page Requests for new languages (Wikinews Simple English)
submitted verification final decision
Process-stop.svg This proposal has been rejected.
This decision was taken by the language committee in accordance with the Language proposal policy based on the discussion on this page.

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

This request does not meet the minimum requirements for a new wiki. It does not have an ISO 639 code separate from English (which has its own project), and there is no standard orthography, literature, or other indication that this is a distinct language or dialect. It also fails the uniqueness requirement, as there is high mutual intelligibility between simple English and English, so that simple English could be written on the English Wikinews and English articles simplified.

Note that this does not affect simple English wikis created before the language subcommittee was established, and those wikis do not affect this or any future decision. —{admin} Pathoschild 17:02:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.

Simple or Basic English is basically written using a limited vocabulary of only the 1000 most common and basic words in English. Articles in Simple English are also very short, and are no more than 2000 words in length. They also explain, in simple words, the meaning of harder words not included in the list of the 1000 most common English words. For example, see this article at the test project, or this article at the Simple English Wikipedia. Simple English is a language for children, people with disabilities, and people who are learning how to speak English as a foreign language.

I believe that Simple English Wikimedia projects are always useful to have, so that children, teachers and students who are learning English as a second language can learn and practice their reading skills without having to recur to the use of the English-language projects, which use an extensive and complicated vocabulary. I think a Simple English Wikinews would be really helpful to the people I mentioned above, because they would not have to use the CNN or the BBC websites to know what's happening around the world.

The audience will be a very wide one, considering that the average English-speaker can speak Basic English, and that everyone who is learning English will be able to use it, and maybe even contribute and become part of the Community. I think this can be a successful project, and that the members of the Communities of Simple English Wikimedia projects can help out and bring free news to those who are still learning English. --Agüeybaná (hábleme) 23:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Arguments in favour[edit]

  • We have other simple english projects, why not this one? Mønobi 01:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Because other simple English projects were created before there was any kind of policy in place regarding what languages were allowed. Unless "Simple English" gets an ISO 639-3 code, this project won't be accepted. Jon Harald Søby 14:05, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Well, that is unfair. We deny free information to those less privileged because an organization doesn't bother to give the language a code?? --Agüeybaná (hábleme) 15:02, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
      • There are multiple chinese wikipedias; a code like en-simple could be used couldn't it? Are the hyphenated codes standardized somewhere? —Random832 22:37, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Of course, I wondered why no one ever thought of this before ;D...--Cometstyles 01:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The news is a very good way to learn a language and would be very popular as it will have such a wide audience. --Anonymous101 20:09, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree, this has the potential of becoming a great English news source outside English speaking countries. Full support. - Mtmelendez (Talk) 13:26, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I fully support this idea. This is a good idea and I will be more than willing to help it get off it's feet if it gets created. -Razorflame 02:19, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, there are simple english projects on basically all of the Wikimedia projects. An exception should be made to the ISO 639-3 rule as it is well established as a language. Say that Russian didn't have an ISO 639-3 code for some reason but there were several other projects and someone proposed a Russian Wikiquote. It would be excepted. Same thing should go here. It is a language and this should be excepted. Z 15:31, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Die Einfach Englishen Projecten allen sind sehr aktiv. Ich denke daß dieser Project auch sehr aktiv bekommen worden. Deutschlehrer 13:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I support this proposal. This is a good idea, and seems to be in the best interests of the community, in that it would be able to bring important news and current affairs information to a large number of people. I feel that the the main arguments against the project do not justify its prevention. The lack of a language code appears to me to be a non-issue, the fact that it is not officially recognised by the ISO is neither here nor there, it still exists, and is still used. The argument that "news should be written in a serious manner" is effectively implying that it should deliberately be made as inaccessable as is possible, which seems to me to be both illogical and unjustifiable. The comparisons with other Simple English projects are unfair, as Wikibooks is, in my opinion, less accessable to inexperienced editors, and a Simple English Wikiquote is fundamentally flawed in that very few quotations are presented in Simple English. If the proposal is successful, I would be interested in contributing. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 14:28, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I'd like to help if this takes off. bibliomaniac15 04:34, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Arguments against[edit]

  • Simple english wikinews seems to be useless, I mean news should be written in a serious manner, not just changing a long word into 3rd grade vocabluray or slicing sentences into 3 or 4 parts. It sounds ridicious as it is, also if it was apporved, who would care to montior and update the wiki. News go in a flash and must be quickly updated to be news. Anyhow, I'm not impressed by the performance of simple wikiquote and sometimes simple wikibooks. Both wikis barely have at least one editor edit per day (if not less). If people would devote more time into all 4 simple wikis, then I might reconsider my statement. --Snake311 01:36, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Other discussion[edit]

I am not opposed or particularly strongly in favour of this at this time. I do not believe that the standard English Wikinews can support dilution with a Simple alternative just now. I can see the value it would bring to non-native speakers and children, but the dilution of news in English across two projects seems counter-productive to establishing Wikinews in a more secure position.

Personally I would have a degree of difficulty contributing to such a project unless there are tools to help restrict used vocabulary and warn where a word is inappropriate.

As an alternative I would suggest placing Simple English articles on the main English Wikinews and having a template to flag them as such. If there is a parallel non-simple English article it should be the default with a link to the simple one (and vice-versa).

If a parallel Simple version is run as a pilot or beta I would suggest interwiki not be restricted to the toolbar down the left but highlighted in a small template at the top of the main en.wn article - text something like "Is English not your first language? Try the [-link- simple] version of this article." On the simple article a "Learning English? Ready to move on from the simple stuff? This article has a version on the [main English Wikinews]". --Brian McNeil / talk 12:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, simple.wp has been relatively successful, and so has en.wp; that wasn't counter-productive. I believe what would really be counter-productive is your proposal. I know I wouldn't like to have to be pressing links everywhere just to access the simple version of a page. I think a centralized, separate project would be better both for the organizers/contributors and the public than being a parasite of en.wn. However, I'm willing to try it out. I just want those who have disabilities and are learning to have access to a free news source that they can trust and understand. --Agüeybaná (hábleme) 14:11, 23 December 2007 (UTC)