TED Conversations

Sandra Martins

Managing Partner, Português Claro


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How can we simplify legal/business language?

What would it take for governments and businesses to adopt plain language in their communications with citizens and consumers? What's happening now, in your country or community, that could also work for others?

This Live Conversation will open at 2.30 pm EST on January 26th, 2012.

EDIT: Because of overwhelming enthusiastic responses, this conversation open for few more days. Sandra will be checking your comments from time to time and follow up with them. Thank you for participating!


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  • Jan 26 2012: Hi Sandra,

    Interesting topic!

    We've got quite a cool project related to language simplification at Memorial University (in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada) where I work.

    It's called Yaffle.ca and it's an online database of projects and research from the university. Researchers are asked to provide lay summaries of their work: once submitted, the summaries are edited to make them understandable to a general audience.

    The ultmate goal of the project is to help communities and regions in our province access the wealth of knowledge based at the university. Our take is that, if the people who need this information can't access research because of difficult wording, then we're not making the most of it.

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      Jan 26 2012: This sounds great, Rebecca.
      Someone mentioned a similar idea to me recently, but they were coming from another perspective (not different, but complementary): many research projects get public funding, but their results are not accessible to the public due, in part, to the language used. In their opinion, a plain language summary should be part of the funding criteria.
      I'd love to talk to you more about this project. Please email em at sandra [dot] martins [at] portuguesclaro [dot] pt
    • Jan 26 2012: A big hello from one Canadian to another! I work at a university in Finland and some of my colleagues are really interested in the 'popularization' of research and I think this could be a great idea for us too. Please e-mail me as well with more info: paula[dot]haapanen[at]lut[dot]fi.

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