What is Simple Wikipedia?

What is Simple Wikipedia?

Did you know that there is an alternative, simpler version of Wikipedia that most people have never heard of or used?

Wikipedia has and continues to be a powerhouse of general information for anyone who has ever done a Google search. Despite being frowned upon by traditional schools as a source of citation, the term "Wiki" has found its way into our everyday language, in all walks of life. If you're ever searched for something on Wikipedia, you probably know how diverse and (often times) detailed the results can be, with complex topics being written and edited by professionals in their respective fields, often rendering them difficult to understand by us common folk. Misunderstanding of complex information, by the way, is a common reason for news bias (highly relevant in our society today), but there are ways to make sure the data you digest is bias-free.

To make reading complex, Wikipedia articles easier, Wikipedia has rolled out an alternative version of their website called "simple wikipedia", which makes complex articles easier to understand. I don’t know about you, but Graham’s Number takes more than one read-through to comprehend, and I'm still not sure if I totally understand it. Read on to learn how simple wikipedia works and what it can do for you.

What exactly is simple wikipedia?

Imagine if the most complex, long-winded Wikipedia pages could be dumbed down and minimized to as few, simple words as possible. That is essentially simple Wikipedia- an alternative version of Wikipedia that reduces every article to its bare bones level of understanding. Simple Wikipeda reduces all complicated sentences, vocabulary, phrasings, etc to simplified version, making it a great tool for learning new topics quickly. It's sort of like Sparknotes (for books) and can be accessed about any article on Wikipedia. Of course, there are more qualified learning resources available online like Linkedin Learning, but in a pinch, a simple Wikipedia article can help you get a quick, surface level understanding.

How do you get to simple Wikipedia?

To visit the simple Wikipedia website, all you need to do is add 'simple' to the beginning of your Wikipedia url, like so: Add 'simple' to the front of any Wikipedia article URL and you'll be taken to a version of that same article, but in simple Wikipedia format. Don’t believe me? Here's a link to a regular Wikipedia article about Graham's Number and here is the same exact article, but in simple Wikipedia format. Pretty useful if you ask me!

Simple Wikipedia uses only simple English, meaning that it replaces complicated words and sentences with easier ones. This doesn’t mean the Wiki is necessarily shorter (though they usually are), but rather they use a simplified vocabulary and terminology in order to make the subject matter easier to understand. You can also visit the home page of Simple Wikipedia here, which includes more information about how this alternative Wiki is designed to be used.

What is simple Wikipedia used for?

There are several reasons why you might want to use simple Wikipedia:

  • You can more easily learn about a complex subject because simple Wikipedia simplifies the vocabulary used to explain it. This might be great for studying or research purposes if you're a student.
  • You can use simple Wikipedia to teach someone the English language by removing complicated words. After they are more comfortable with the language, you can move them to the standard Wikipedia article.
  • Simple Wikipedia can be used to get surface level understanding of a complex topic, quickly. More to talk about at parties!

Simple Wikipedia is one of the many forward thinking applications that just happens to pass under the radar, but can be extremely valuable when used. If you enjoyed learning about simple Wikipedia, you might also enjoy learning about these 5 ingenious apps that are making our world a better place!

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Aleksey Weyman

Aleksey Weyman is a web designer, artist and creator of Millennial Moderator