Dear all,

The odds for Simple English obtaining an ISO 639-3 code are zilch, because these codes are given to languages and Simple English is not a language, at least not a language separate from English. It's merely a way of speaking and writing it – just like "difficult English", children's English, broken English or even Pig Latin are. It doesn't have any rules of its own, no separate grammar and no separate word stock, all it does is saying: "Try to write in short sentences and avoid difficult words". You can do the same thing with any other language as well, which might equally well result in Simple German, Simple Rhaeto-Romance or Simple Inuktitut.

The only small change would be applying for an ISO code for Ogden's Basic English, which is generally treated as a constructed language. But that would be cheating, because the Simple English Wikipedia does not limit itself to Ogden's word lists, even though it endorses them. Besides, the ISO registration authority is pretty tough nowadays when it comes to constructed languages, and I don't think they would accept Basic English.

Best regards,
Jan van Steenbergen

2015-08-25 20:25 GMT+02:00 Oliver Stegen <>:
Indeed, that's a problem!

Imho, we'll have to deal with the status of Simple English in general. Any chance of successfully applying an ISO code for it? Otherwise, we'll run into more problems like this one [1] with new project applications (for example, see Jon Harald's reply under "arguments in favour").
While Wikipedia [2] defines Basic English (on which Simple English is based) as constructed language in its own right, that definition doesn't seem to have been accepted widely.

If push comes to shove, I'd vote for en-simple. I had actually assumed that that was its encoding used already (based on the URL



On 25-Aug-15 7:35 PM, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:

A question for the respected language code experts in the audience.

Apparently, the Simple English Wikipedia uses "en" as its language code in the HTML lang attribute, etc.

I never noticed it until recently, when it started causing various bugs with the ContentTranslation extension of which I am a developer. I somehow assumed that it uses something like "en-simple" without ever checking it, and that assumption was wrong - it's just "en".

I believe that the code should be different from what is used by the English Wikipedia, like it is with other wikis in language variants, such as be-tarask.

Do you have any suggestions about what code should it be?
Something else?
Should I register anything new with any standards organization? (If I recall correctly, this was done for be-tarask?)
Can I reuse any existing code that would be appropriate?
Is it a bad idea in general and it should be just "en"?


(PS: If you're curious what are the issues, see )

Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

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