Complex texts, made easy
Would you like to make your important, complex texts accessible to a wide audience? Find out what our simplified-language services could do for your business.
What is simplified language?
We’ve all been there: you start reading something, an insurance policy, for example, only to get lost in a world of jargon and end up understanding very little of what you’re looking at. Yet for many people, this is not just limited to convoluted texts with complex terminology, and they find many documents that use standard language equally inaccessible. This is often the case for people who do not read much in English or are still learning the language.
Around 60% of the population will never achieve more than a B1 level of language proficiency, and for those who fall into this category, documents and texts which use specialist language can be very difficult to understand. With simplified language, the emphasis is placed on straightforward structures such as main clauses, words that are easy to recognise, actual examples and simple grammar.
What services does Diction provide?
Diction has a strong team of in-house language specialists and is a member of Plain Languages Association International (PLAIN). We provide translation and copywriting services in German, English, French and Italian. We are also happy to develop style guides for your business and employees. You can use simplified language to make complex subject matter clear and accessible in many sorts of text.
Below are just a few examples of texts that can be made considerably more accessible using simplified language.
The advantages of simplified language
One very good reason to simplify a text is to ensure you are not discriminating against anyone who might be reading it. Everyone should be able to read up on all the important topics. However, there are many other advantages to using simplified language, and these can have a direct, positive impact on your business, meaning everyone can benefit from it.
Your clients will appreciate you thinking of them. By producing texts using simplified language, you can show your clients that you value them and take their needs seriously. If your clients feel valued, they will be loyal in turn.
By using simplified language for your documents or product and functional descriptions (or providing versions that use simplified language), you can make them easier to understand and ensure sales and support staff spend less time explaining certain concepts.
Simplified language: let’s keep things simple
There are plenty of complicated texts out there, but many people prefer simple, straightforward content. Some find it hard to concentrate when reading, and for those who are relatively new to English, simplified language is ideal. How does simplified language work? Here are a few examples:
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What are the hallmarks of simplified language?
Simplified language is a type of plain language. It can be used to make complex texts more straightforward and thus accessible to the general public. This can involve various techniques. For example, texts in simplified language don’t normally use unusual words, metaphors, specialist terminology or foreign terms. You should avoid passive and subjunctive constructions as well. If you have to use a more complicated construction, descriptions, glossaries and images can aid understanding. The text should address the reader directly in a clear and straightforward manner. If you need a text written using simplified language in German, English, French or Italian, just give us a call or send us an e-mail.
What is the difference between simplified language and plain language?
Simplified language is a type of plain language. However, texts written in plain language tend to be more straightforward, linguistically speaking. Plain language is language at its most accessible, basic level. The next step up from plain language would then be simplified language. Plain language is sometimes compared with A1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, whereas simplified language corresponds with a level somewhere between A2 and B1. You can still include straightforward subordinate clauses and slightly longer sentences when using simplified language. Texts written in simplified language can also use general, everyday terms, even if these are not the simplest way to express a particular concept.