Basic English  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
850 Basic English words

Basic English is an attempted core subset of the English language created by Charles Kay Ogden and described in his book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930). The language is based on a simplified version of English, in essence a subset of it. Basic English is used by groups who need to make complex books for international use, and by language schools that need to give people some knowledge of English in a short time.

Ogden did not put any words into Basic English that could be paraphrased with other words, and he attempted to make the words work for speakers of any other language. He put his set of words through a large number of tests and adjustments. He also simplified the grammar but tried to keep it normal for English users.

The concept gained its greatest publicity just after the Second World War as a tool for world peace. Although it was not built into a program, similar simplifications were devised for various international uses. I. A. Richards was a forceful advocate of the use of Basic English, and lobbied the government of China to teach it in schools there. More recently, it has influenced the creation of Simplified English, a standardized version of English intended for the writing of technical manuals.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Basic English" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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