It often happens that some people set off on a language expedition, but by the time the third interested user is on board, the first one is off-board, because he is tired of waiting and just hanging around. If we make it a norm, or at least a recommendation that those who are coming on board should give a valid email address, then we can just mail them (once only) when there are enough interested users. —Ravikiran r 11:14, 12 March 2007 (EDT)
Hmm, good suggestion. Are you refering to something specific, by ant chance? Upamanyu -- Write2me 11:02, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
After reading the link, I still don't really know what the difference is. If someone knows English, why can't they use this version? ChubbyWimbus 19:21, 26 July 2009 (EDT)
I linked the encyclopedia article when I meant to link the project page. Try this: Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Simple English Wikipedia. The Simple English Wikipedia is for readers whose English skills are rudimentary and for translators who wish to have a less complex English article to translate to another language. Teachers of English as a Second Language can use it to give reading or writing assignments to their students. Presumably, 22.214.171.124 is proposing a similar endeavor for Wikitravel. LtPowers 19:40, 26 July 2009 (EDT)
English Wikitravel and Simple English Wikitravel
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Forum#English_Wikitravel There is the discussion and also i proposed a simple english wikitravel because en wikitravel right now is only for people who are experts at knowing about listings. Simple would be for anyone who doesnt understand that well if the wording was more simpilar then it would work out nicely i know this will probably get shot down but i'am really pushing for this... Seabanks 10:29, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Support and Comments Seabanks 10:38, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Hmmm. With the amount of work left to do on the full en Wikitravel, I think you are going to find support for a Simple version very hard to come by. --Burmesedays 10:55, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Alot more work to do can be done by experienced users just saying a simple wikitravel could help young people seniors disabled people etc. Seabanks 11:00, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
To me, a "simple English" WT would need to use simple English, and be aimed mainly at younger readers and people for whom English is a second language. That would be a fine idea, if we had the volunteers to do it. I doubt we do, but you could try starting one. In local terms, it would be a "language expedition" to start a new language version. See Wikitravel:Expeditions.
I do not think "simple English" has anything to do with listings. Yes, those can be complicated. However, you don't have to use them. Just putting in the information and leaving it for someone else to standardise the format is perfectly acceptable if that's what you want to do. Pashley 11:30, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I think that's a fairly good idea; such a project could definitely come in useful if implemented correctly. However, in my experience on other similar projects, "Simple" isn't really an accurate term. What about "Basic English"? –Juliancolton | Talk 12:00, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Personally, I always aim at simplifying any text I see (and care of) here at English Wikitravel--and find easier and widely-used synonyms for the words I find myself difficult to understand. And I've never seen any opposition or reverts for my such efforts. Maybe when I admit right now I'm doing that I find some opposition? Then please speak, anyone? --DenisYurkin 12:17, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Writing clear, simple, concise English is I am sure welcomed by everyone here Denis. That is a different thing to a so-called Simple Wiki version though. As Julian Colton says, perhaps Basic English is a better term for what is normally imagined by this. I like Pashley's idea of treating it as a language expedition --Burmesedays 12:24, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
So what's fundamental difference, in a nutshell? --DenisYurkin 12:25, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
A simple English Wiki is I believe (I might be wrong) aimed at readers for whom English is a 2nd language or who are learning English. Writing in clear, concise English it a bit different and should be everyone's aim here.--Burmesedays 13:16, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Basic difference is that writers are expected to limit their use of English to make it easier for readers.
Consider this example from Wikitravel:Tone: North Korea's human rights situation can and should be summed up as an "Orwellian nightmare", as opposed to noting that "some organizations have expressed concern about less than full compliance to international human rights standards, a charge vigorously denied by the Foreign Ministry." That is fine for English WT, but "Orwellian" does not work as simple English. Neither a ten-year-old nor a foreign student learning English can be expected to get the reference. For a Simple English version, you would need something like. "The North Korean government has very tight controls on almost everything, and any criticism of the government is treated as a crime."
You can tell stories in English with a limited vocabulary, 2,000 words or so. Several publishers have books like that for English learners. Presumably one goal of SE WP is to write an encyclopedia using some such limited vocabulary, and defining all the other words used. Writing a travel guide that way is obviously possible too.
It is not just vocabulary, though. Keeping most sentences short and using simpler syntax are also issues. Pashley 13:08, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Yes. And just because it's simple English, doesn't mean it's easy to write that way. I've tried writing a couple of Simple English Wikipedia articles and it's fairly taxing work. While a Simple English Wikitravel might be a noble goal, I would not support taking editing time and effort away from the English Wikitravel while there is still so much work to do and so few volunteers. LtPowers 13:30, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm really not a fan of the concept, it has been suggested before. In my view we're simply not large enough to split the English effort in two, we are so much smaller than Wikipedia. That being said, if you can gather a team of committed users (our rule says at least 3, but I prefer a bit more), I would have a hard time saying no. For the moment we have our hands full setting up a Korean and Turkish version though. more here. --Stefan (sertmann)talk 13:53, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I agree with Stefan. In my opinion, if English is a second language, then it would be more worthwhile to contribute to the Wikitravel language version that is written in your first language OR start an expedition to get a Wikitravel version of your native language (if it does not exist). Having a guide in a language you are fluent in is better than having a guide in a language you are limited in. I don't see the point in creating travel guides to help people with their English. Simple English doesn't seem useful to me; a small step above Esperanto. But, as he states, if enough support were rallied behind such a version, I couldn't really oppose. ChubbyWimbus 14:25, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Maybe I'm in minority here, but I believe that with current number of active contributors in English Wikitravel we'd better encourage every non-native speaker to contribute to English version as long as he's comfortable with writing to it. I don't mind that new language versions are created, but if all their contributors could write to EN:, I'd dream they do. Exactly for the same reason I almost never contribute to RU: (my native language): it will take dozen years for articles outside world's 10 most visited cities to become usable.
Even for LP I find its language needing more simplicity (or basicness? :-).
With all that in hand--yes, I would vote that our current EN: use more of "has very tight controls on almost everything, and any criticism of the government is treated as a crime"--than Orwellians. And I feel it a right thing to turn every Orwellian into its meaning, in simple words.
And if I'm not alone in this position, I vote for focusing efforts of those willing to create Simple:EN to help to existing EN instead--and for us frequent contributors at EN: to help them feel comfortable here. --DenisYurkin 16:25, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
The "Orwellian" thing is listed as an example of "lively writing", although I agree that even many native English speakers will not know what an "Orwellian nightmare" is. I want to clarify that I was not suggesting non-native speakers should not contribute to the English version. I am simply saying that if their English is bad to such a degree that they can't understand what is written, then they should consider contributing to their own language versions. I have no problem with non-natives contributing, even if there are some mistakes in grammar. If they struggle too much, though, their efforts may be better focused on building up their own language version articles. ChubbyWimbus 16:54, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Simple English is treated as a language version on all other wikis, and I don't see why we should do otherwise. How to start a new language version is covered under our wts:Language version policy. --PeterTalk 17:15, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I suspect that "all other Wikis" are simply following suit of Wikipedia, and for Wikipedia I can see the sense in a Simple English version; it's an educational tool and a Simple version will help a lot of people improve their English. For the traveller, I'm not sure there is the same goal. I'm more convinced by the arguments for the usefulness of either full-blown English or own-language versions of guides. Particularly when there is so much scope for work to be done on guides in the En version. As has been said, people are free to set up such a project, but I don't support the idea as I think it'll just create an empty guide which won't serve the traveller well for a long time. Andyfarrell 18:56, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Ok many of you seem like this is not a good idea but i will try and round some people up. Who here supports this idea and who opposes it?
This doesn't seem like an entirely serious proposal to me - Pashley already provided a link to Wikitravel:Expeditions which links to shared:How to start a new language version. That policy spells out what needs to be done, so if the user who proposed this idea is serious, follow the procedures in that guideline. Any other discussion is merely a diversion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:49, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
But the Expedition page spells it out in plain English. You may need to rewrite it in "Simple English" first.
Seabanks: May I ask what your native language is? If the English version of Wikitravel is confusing for you, wouldn't it be helpful for you to plan a trip with a guide in your native language? The English version is not any more useful than the Chinese version, for example, except that it currently has a lot more articles and more content. No language version is more important than another. ChubbyWimbus 00:19, 24 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm not sure exactly what I'm being asked to support here.
If it is trying to write relatively simple clear English — being aware that some readers are second language speakers, that local slang does not work well with an international audience, and so on — well, we already try to do that and I'd say we generally do it fairly well. Of course, there are places where it could stand improvement. By all means, please plunge forward and fix some.
If it is trying to start a simplified English language version, that's a possible expedition. See links above for how to start one. I'm convinced this would be a fine idea, in theory. However, I'm not certain either that there would be enough people interested, or that putting resources there rather than into normal English WT is worthwhile. If you start the expedition, I'll certainly watchlist it and I may have some comments, but I'd need some convincing before I put any significant work into it.
If it just means you think listings, or other parts of the WT interface, are too complicated, see my comment above ".. you don't have to use them. Just putting in the information and leaving it for someone else to standardise the format is perfectly acceptable if that's what you want to do." Note that starting a "simple English" version would not solve this problem. If you want to make changes there, see Wikitravel:Listings and its talk page.
So, all-in-all, I see nothing here that I could support yet. Pashley 04:00, 24 October 2009 (EDT)