Wikipedia Celebrates 15th Anniversary


The world's largest online encyclopaedia , Wikipedia, is celebrating its 15th birthday. Founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Singer, Wikipedia is the world's tenth most popular website. It is available in 270 languages and has a total of  35 million articles, with 20,000 being added each month.

The first non-English versions of the online encyclopaedia were in German, Catalan, Swedish, Spanish, French and Russian. The English version is the largest with over 5 million articles.

Wikipedia is a good way to get a summary about a topic, as well as  detailed  information about every aspect of it.

The website can be edited by everyone. Currently, about 80,000 volunteers around the world write articles for it. They are constantly monitored by hundreds of editors who replace information if it is wrong. In the early days of the encyclopaedia users had their doubts about using Wikipedia, because many mistakes were found and some experts claimed it was not serious enough.

As time went on, however, the online encyclopaedia grew and grew.It brought down Microsoft's Encarta, which was the largest digital encyclopaedia at that time, as well as  and the printed version of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

There are  many who have criticised Wikipedia because it isn't accurate enough. But, for almost any topic the first hit you get from Google is almost always a Wikipedia article.

The Wikimedia Foundation runs the encyclopaedia. It also raises money to pay its administrators and a staff of about 400 employees.  With the money it gets it can also keep Wikipedia free from advertisements. The foundation has announced that it wants to raise 100 million dollars over the  next decade to keep Wikipedia running.

But which future lies ahead for Wikipedia? As more and more people are using their mobile phones to get information, the website must present its information in a shorter mobile-friendly form. Its operators have recently launched a mobile app that gives users a more interactive experience.



In any case, Wikipedia is still expanding. It has many sister projects, including Wikimedia Commons, a database with millions of images, or Wikidata, a free database that everyone can edit. Even though the encyclopaedia may not be the main source of information for scientists and other experts, it has helped change the world of research and knowledge.



Related Topics



  • accurate = correct and true in every single detail
  • add = put with something else
  • administrator = person who is in charge of operating the website
  • advertisement = picture, words or a short video that persuade people to buy a product
  • anniversary = birthday
  • announce = to say officially
  • aspect = part of a topic
  • available = here: it appears on the internet
  • bring down = put an end to
  • celebrate = to show that an event is special or important
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • constantly = always
  • currently = at he moment
  • database = where a large amount of information is kept so that you can find it easily
  • decade = ten years
  • detailed = every single feature or fact
  • doubt = a feeling of not being sure about something
  • edit = change
  • employee = person who works in a company
  • encyclopaedia = a book, CD, or online website with facts and information about many different topics
  • even though = while
  • expand = to become bigger
  • experience = feeling, when you do something
  • found - founded = start
  • foundation = organization that collects money and uses it for something
  • however = but
  • image = picture
  • including = also
  • interactive = here: a program does something in reaction to what you do
  • launch = start
  • monitor = watch
  • raise = collect
  • recently = only a short time ago
  • replace = here: correct
  • research = to find out more about a special topic
  • scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
  • serious = here: important, good
  • source = place where something comes from
  • staff = people who work for an organization
  • summary = the most important information about a topic, without all the details
  • volunteer = here: a person who writes articles without getting any money for it