English is a dominant language on the web and in general for communicating today. In a wide range of areas such as business, legal, entertainment, technical, science and even literature, it acts as the lingua Franca that allows us to interact successfully in today’s global economy. Moreover, English contains more words than any other language on the planet and added its millionth word back in June 2009; according to the Global Language Monitor, a Web site that uses a math formula to estimate how often words are created. However, there is a large number of people who speak English as a second language but do not have a sufficiently large vocabulary. Also, there are many English-speakers who need to communicate with non-native English-speakers in simple, clear language. That is where Basic English comes in! If a reader has a basic knowledge of English, or is prepared to go through the 45 steps required to learn Basic English (see the “Learn basic English” tab in the menu), with the help of Simplish any document can be successfully read; regardless of its complexity. Our Basic English dictionary currently contains more than 100,000 words, including names of towns, cities, materials, substances, etc. and we have even simplified 30,000 common scientific words, which are described in footnotes where necessary. So, the total Simplish vocabulary is currently of the order of 130,000 words. Current work is aimed at producing a legal, philosophy and a business Basic English dictionary.
We use a different approach to the error-prone process of translation between languages: we aim Simplish at users who have some knowledge of English and so will be able to read the text after a process of Simplification. When translating from one language to another, particulaly between languages with different linguistic roots, sometimes crucial information is lost. Using Simplish users lose virtually nothing, if the processed text user/recipient has at least a 1,000 words long vocabulary in English. By popular demand, we have recently added access to the Google translation API so that Premium & Platinum subscribers can obtain the Basic English version of text written in any of the major languages.
Simplification for Education
Simplish is also able to improve reading, learning, and teaching by intelligently simplifying difficult English, for faster comprehension. It helps teachers save time and produce engaging lessons using a fixed well-defined reduced vocabulary every student understands, and thereby help improve learning outcomes. This is important because many tools out there for paraphrasing, text-spinning or re-wording use arbitrary ever-changing vocabularies that can prove confusing rather than helpful. If you dislike dictionaries because they’re confusing and unhelpful, you will love our clear, easy-to-understand definitions; found in our proprietary Science, Legal and Business dictionaries. A personal dictionary allows you to add words new to the dictionary or that you have already learnt, and no longer need simplified so the system adapts to your vocabulary as time goes by!