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Anna-Lisa Plettenberg, papped by Hanna Witte

What is clear language?

What is clear language?

We are often asked: What is clear language? Why are you using it for the research project? And how is it different from simple or plain language?

Clear language is easily understood.
Everybody can understand it.
People with and without disabilities.
People with more or less knowledge of the German language.

Clear language is simplified German.
But it is still correct German.

There are already other forms of simplified German:

  • plain language (Leichte Sprache) and
  • simple language (Einfache Sprache).

For the research project TOUCHDOWN 21 and for the exhibition TOUCHDOWN we decided on a new and different version: Clear language (Klare Sprache).

Clear language is not concerned with who does or who does not understand something.
You could also say: There is no focus in Clear language on any deficit.
Clear use of language is agreeable for everyone.

A further big difference is:
Clear language uses technical jargon whenever necessary.
You can easily forgo using some jargon that is difficult to understand.
Some you can't.
The technical jargon that is needed for a text is used and explained.
And then its use is continued throughout the text.

For example:
Rein Wolfs is the Intendant of the Bundeskunsthalle.
He is one of two people in charge.
He decides which exhibitions will be shown.
He isn't concerned with money.
That is the job of his colleague Patrick Schmäing.
That is why there are two people in charge at the Bundeskunsthalle.

There is another point that is important for Clear language:
Only someone who is interested in a topic can understand a text written in Clear language.
Someone interested in chromosomes can read a text in Clear language on the topic and understand it.
Someone who isn't can't.