BASIC ENGLISH INSTITUTE
Draft outline for a future page(s)
Basic plus Most Common Words plus VOA Special English
Recommended as a next step beyond Ogden's Basic English.
Popularity of SimpleWiki
Simple has a larger vocabulary than Basic, more words common in everyday speech
Simple is best thought of as English minus the big words.
Not supported by BEI, as we have said, it is beyond Basic.
There will be a tendency to use Simple for in appropriate applications.
Whereas Basic is a subset of English and a complete language with the smallest amount of learning time.
Basic is suitable for quick learning by people round the world to be able to communicate
in perfect tho simple English.
Risk of Simple being too complex for the mass audience of Basic -- the world.
An international person able to understand Basic will not be able to understand all the words that Simple allows.
However, Simple is a next step towards
full English and many Basic people will be following that path. Therefore this page is provided as
advice ot teacher and scholars that touch on Simple English.
BEI does not support Simple. A Simple English Institute is required to standardize Simple.
SimpleWiki simply recommends Basic, Common and VOA with the admonition to
use judgment. This is totally unacceptable to program electronic aids of spell checkers,
translators and thesaurus where a specific list of words is required.
A standards body is required for Simple,
Issues for a SEI include -- affixes, compounds, definitions, translations, synonyms and provision of
either wordlists or the actual programs to aid users to edit an understandable simple English.
SimpleWiki is confused as to the purpose of Simple -- children, mentally handicapped, . . .
They say is not for foreigners because each language has its own Wiki. We however
see it as an educational opportunity for use by persons on the path toward full English,
but not there yet -- for whatever reason. we hope that many of them are in the process
of learning English and are in transition between Basic and fuller English.
Installer for Simple English on OpenOffice,org, verson 3.0
(Download and installations)
Guide for Writing Plain English
( -- the usual advice expected of anything related to simple English.)
One subject per sentance,
One topic per paragraph.
Use bulleted lists.
Use active voice.
Avoid long intrductory clauses.
Avoid splicing sentances together.
Spell check and check that the recommended spelling is still the word that you intend.
Plain English Links -- UK and US.
Details for those who might be interested in the development of Simple
Basic Basic -- mostly a language of picturable nouns, that is to say, the names of things.
There are a few verbs for actions -- be, have, put. Some adjectives to qualify the things -- red, round small.
a collection of prepositionso give directions -- -- up over, against.
And a selection of other words necessary to make a language work -- the, at, for.
Example: the noun "dog" and condition of "young" are learned in Basic. The idea of a "puppy" can be made from the few Basic words.
The idea of "ascend the stairs" is said in Basic as "go up the steps".
Basic consists of 850 words for everyday living.
In preparation for working life, a learner of Basic selects a general area of interest which is provided with 100 words for Science, Trade, or Letters.
To be able to work there are special areas such as math, chemistry, commerce, business, and Bible study
which each contain 50 words.
Thus Basic for any one learner is 1000 words, but some of the words are specialized for different learners
and might be thought of as dialects of Basic.
There are words that are part of every language. These include proper nouns or names that are
Capitalized in English. -- John, London, and Eiffel Tower are examples. There are words of international usage
that everybody knows-- menu, taxi, vodka -- that are not capitalized, but may be used without concern they will
not be understood. There are words for numbers, measure ,and calendar that are generally known.
And words can be joined to give new but clearly understood Basic words, blueberry, but not butterfly.
Because different people may consider different lists, Computer aids to
language require specific lists. Basic provides well considered lists in each such category.
Thesse lists are also an aid to learners whose native language is other than Western European.
Basic mass media -- A major aspect of Basic is to be widely used for Basic learners and to be totally transparent to
native speakers of English. Basic is good English using the most basic parts and forms of the great language.
Media Basic consists of the 850 words for everyday living and all of the general word lists,
and none of the special area word lists. The reason is to make the bulk of the language available in software
The general area words are all common, useful words that are taught to some learners and are appropriate for all to
learn. Many of the special working life words are not commonly used, so they are not included in software
where these harder and less used words are clearly removed from use by mass-media. Spellchecking and translation
software cannot recognize parts of speech and many Basic picturable names also have a verb usage of the same
spelling and pronunciation that is easy for Basic learners to understand if used in mass-media.
Advanced Basic -- Follows the recommended by Ogden as the next step beyond Basic for those who
chose to continue on towards full English.
The words are selected by his techniques to reach the threshold of Standard English. Next steps consist of
150 names of common animals, plants, and foods without international usage. And a second list of 350 words
that selected by the same mehtods as the 850, but are useful and help reeuce circumloation,
Simple English is always stated as to include Basic plus the additiion of the Most Common words.
Simple Wiki suggests adding the
VOA Special English words that are commonly used for listening practice and for learning pronunciation.
Basic chose word for ability to express the entirety of language. Frequency in usage was not the main concern.
As an example of the difference between the value of important words verse common words -- my wife and I
in preparation for a trip to Holland learned the most popular 100 words in Dutch. Once there we were able to
understood most of the words, but none of the sentences.
The 1000 Most Common words are is the filler words and not necessarily able to express complete thoughts,
but make the language flow more familiarly.
For example, the verb "know" is introduced. It adds smoothness whereas Basic would be said by
applying one of its few verbs, "have", and the noun, "knowledge", as "have knowledge of". The Basic
form is perfectly correct, but the addition of more words makes sentences more familiar to the native speaker.
These common words are seen everywhere, make language seem smoother and familiar.
Source of top 1000 most frequently used words. (list them)
Find the list of the one thousand most frequently found English words
Eliminate those already include in Basic, and 321 words are to be added.
for those who expected 1000 Common words, the remainer of the 2000 most common,
we include 500 advanced Basic words as both common and useful.
VOA Special English is derived from the Basic idea, but is highly specialized for News. Not able to be a
complete language suitable for everyday living. Specialized for news, many redundancies
a practice that Basic avoids, many news concepts can be said with Basic words.
Think of it as a special word list for Basic specializing in News. Ogden once had an international
team create such a list with is now badly dated -- "Bolshevik" and "tsar" rather than "terrorist" and
"Ayatollah". VAO SE has 2250? words and is much larger than Basic, another reason why it is
unsuitable for an ISL -- but ??? overlap with the Basic and Most Common lists, so that 4?? words
are added, The VOASE words are well known, though many are typically found only in discussing
Affixes -- prefixes and suffixes. A core word can easily be expanded to its derivatives with a simple
group of affixes. Basic has a limited set -- "-ed, -er, -ing, -ly, -s," and "un-".
Many Basic words may be used as suffixes -- -able, -like, -most, etc.
The popular MySpell/UnSpell used by the massive OpenOffice.org office suite
acknowldges 20(?) affixes. Therefore, that list is a guide to usage for Simple. (list)
Verbs -- One of the things that make Basic so easy to learn is that it has only 16 verbs are used
and is therefor is quick to learn.
Verbs, regular and irregular, are among the most difficult things to teach which Basic greatly simplified.
A Basic verb plus an preposition (directional word) create almost every action that needs to be portrayed
A certain amount of circumlocution is required that the Basic student is unaware of, but there are often
simpler expressions in normal English.
Basic is a language mostly of nouns. Over a hundred of these nouns have action meanings
with the same spelling and pronunciation. "Hammer" is a noun. In Basic , "a man will make use of a hammer".
The same word as a verb is, "He will hammer the nail." This is no stretch for a person
who has learned Basic to gain the verb forms and this expansion of Basic is introduced as part of
All such verb forms are used in Simple.
Proper nouns -- External to all langauges and usable by all languages including Basic and Simple.
In English, a proper noun is capitalized. Thus, it is easy to think of all capitaized words as being part of Basic,
hence part of Simple.
Compound words -- of established sense in Basic. blueberry, but not butterfly.
Verbs conjugate in full -- thus To Be includes "am, is, was, etc....
So do pronouns - I includes, me, my, mine; "he" includes "him, his, etc.
Idiom is a bit unscientific and confusing to a person not of the culture.
A guy or agirl may be " cool, hot, awlsome" in a manner that is not in the conventional definitions.
"See you later, aligator" is a synonym for "goodbye" that is not readily apparent. And of popularity
during a short period of time.
Much idiom is just alternate ways to say the same thing.
"as to" is the same as "for" ; "at any rate" means "anyway"
Many idoms are a stretch upon language and not recognizable on first occurance.
all ears = listening carefully ; as a last resort = if all else fails
Ogden considered that use of idiom should take up one half a learners timel
The BEI tends to overlook idiom as too complex and not needed.
The Lists: (type or link?)
Basic 850 for everyday living
Basic 100 for a general area of interst
Basic 50 for specialize for working life
Mass media Basic -- a compromise
International Words -- able to used without being taught.
Advanced Basic -- plus 150 common names, 350 next step words.
Most Common (minus Basic)
VOASE (minus Basic and Common)
All may be downloaded from the BEI download page.
Special.zip contains ; --
Affixes -- Basic, advanced Basic, MySpell/HunSpell
Refernces: (links to)
MySpell HunSpell affixes
VOA Special English
Links to Beyond Basic within BEI pages.
Maybe to Integrate into the above.
Basic English addresses direct communication for Science, Industry and Commerce for
world-wide use. There is no local cultural consideration.
As such it differs from tourist English and English as a second language, ESL,
which attempt to relay specific cultural interests.
The selection of words for universal relevance actually allows Basic to be more compact,
easier to learn, yet retain full expression. Social niceties and other culture specific
aspects of communication are not addressed. Thus, the locally proper forms
of dress, body language, and proforma wording, though important,
are to be learned separately -- as an introduction to the specific culture and subcultures
-- and are not part of Ogden's Basic English, an auxiliary second language.
INTERMEDIATE BASIC ENGLISH - Class BE 201. This class goes deeper
into Basic English and introduces the next step to Ogden's
recommended learning sequence and introduces students to
other general subject word lists other than the one topic acquired as part of basic Basic.
150 First supplement of animals, plants, and foods. (find or guess)
70 Science (2-3 groups) (review for part of class)
68 Business and Econ (review for part of class)
70 Verse (review for part of class)
50 Internet, computer and other new international words
60 Verbs made from Basic words (or only regular verbs).
Affix from Basic words :
-able in- , inner-
Last updated : December 4, 2008
-ful out- , outer-
-th up- , upper-
Compound suffix: -edly , -lies , -enings , etc.
Compounds : More, made from BE 101
Idiom : More, selected from the 500 examples.
At this point, call it the 2,000 word level, Ogden considers the student to have
entered the range of standard English and is able to proceed on his own.
This does not preclude additional classes, but is beyond Ogden's Basic English.
BEYOND BASIC ENGLISH - Class 202. This class goes beyond
Basic English from suggestions by Ogden, other educators, and changes in usage.
350 Next words list.
60 Irregular verbs from 60 Basic nouns.
Compounds: More, made from BE 101 and some made from BE 102 and BE 201.
Idiom: Local expressions.
-fold -self mid-
-ive -some non-
-less -th pre-
-ment -tion re-
-ness -y super-
BASIC ENGLISH TOPICS - Class 203.
Modern words by topic: entertainment, geography, computer, space,
More verbs made from Basic words. (100 available, irregular)
Most frequent non-Basic words in full English: can, know, . . .
SIMPLE ENGLISH - Class 204
Basic, Common, and VOA Special English
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