Plain English Translations

Accurate translations, delivered within budget and on time.

WHAT IS PLAIN ENGLISH

Plain English is a writing style that readers can easily understand. 

Plain English combines clear, concise expressions, simple sentence structure and a design that is easy to navigate. 

BENEFITS OF PLAIN ENGLISH

  • Precision – By using fewer words you decrease the risk of vagueness. You can be accurate without using formal language.
  • Clarity – Studies have shown that plain English can increase understanding by up to 90%.
  • Readability – Good writing is easy to understand in one sitting. Dressing up language to sound authoritative makes the text less readable.
  • Translatability – A translation can only be as good as the original: starting from a plain English text makes it easier to convey the meaning.
  • Efficiency – Writing less saves you time and money. A shorter text is cheaper to translate.
  • Accountability – Using the passive voice makes it harder to call anyone to account.

PRINCIPLES OF PLAIN ENGLISH WRITING

  • Adapt your style to the needs of your readers
  • Use short words
  • Use short sentences (15-20 words)
  • Use short paragraphs (2-3 sentences)
  • Use the active voice
  • Cut out clutter and useless words
  • Avoid jargon, clichés and abbreviations
  • Explain technical terms in simple language
  • Use capital letters only when it is essential
  • Use simple and sincere language
  • Write the way you speak
  • Spell check your text
  • Use clear design and layout principles: wide margins, dot points, headings and subheadings and generous line spacing

Next time you write something, try putting things down the way you would actually say them.  

ASK YOURSELF

  • How much does the reader already know about this subject?
  • What information do I actually need to give?
  • What tone should I use?
  • Am I giving instructions or advice?