L10n:WorldReady/Simple English

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tl;dr: Write copy in Simple English (en-simple), make en-US just another locale.

From en-US as the first language to en-US as the first translation.


technical support
engagement contact


  • copy is easier to understand
  • en-US can make late changes to their "localization", unless the semantic meaning changes too much
  • it's easier to avoid the word-for-word kind of translation for the localizers, since the Simple English conveys the messages without imposing too much of the sentence structure or vocabulary on the translator

Possible issues

  • how to make 'downgrading' en-US to en-simple easy?
  • is it possible to populate en-US's PO files automatically?
  • how to make debugging easier? grep will not work.

Next steps

  • implement a prototype and test run in on one of the new engagement projects,
  • come up with a first iteration of the word list for the Basic English. I think that it's OK to have a lot of false positives in there for now; we should continue trimming it (or adding words) as we gain more experience.
  • prototype a tool that looks for words not on en-simple's wordlist, to help copywriters create en-simple copy.


Any existing wordlist would likely need to be amended to include some of the vacabulary that is specific to the Web and the browser.

Other resources

How useful these are?