There is lots of information that gets given to people in a written format. But written information is only useful if people can read and understand it.
One approach to improving written information is called writing in plain English. The Plain English Campaign (UK) stated that plain English is, “a message, written with the reader in mind and with the right tone of voice, that is clear and concise”.
The readers that I often have in my mind are people with a mild or moderate intellectual disability and their families or support workers. I translate original documents into a language that is targeted to these people.
In writing with these people in mind, I usually target the language to a grade 6 reading level. I try to keep to one idea per sentence. I explain any necessary jargon. I examine the structure of a document so it is in the best reading order.
I have experience in translating complex and basic information. I have translated website content, research papers, annual reports, and newsletters.
I enjoy doing plain English translations. They help me to understand concepts; you cannot translate complex information until you really understand the information – there’s no hiding behind jargon in plain English!
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