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Easy Language Podcast Episode 6:

Easy Language in science communication with Marlene Dax (University of Graz)

In our fifth podcast episode of “Easy Language” we talked to Marlene Dax, a lecturer and freelance interpreter at the University of Graz. Marlene specializes in translations between German, English and Austrian Sign Language.

How it all started

In the interview, Marlene tells us about her background and how she first came into contact with plain language. She tells us about a project at the University of Graz, where students were asked to rewrite complicated English texts into understandable English texts. This approach was meant to teach them the basics of translation. However, Marlene realizes that the task is not as easy as it seems.

Easy Language in science

We then discuss the role of easy-to-understand language at the University of Graz. Marlene reports that it does play a certain role in the study programs, but not to a great extent. However, she sees the potential of Easy Language in science communication to make scientific content accessible to a broader public. Marlene emphasizes the importance of resources and the willingness of all stakeholders to translate and publish texts in Easy Language.

Gender-sensitive language and plain language

Later in the interview, Marlene talks about her role in the CCUV project in which she translates between German and English. She shares her expectations and emphasizes that she wants to broaden her own horizon and gain new insights by participating in this project. One topic that has already been discussed is gender-sensitive language and the challenges of including different genders in easy-to-understand language.

Easy Language and sign language

We also learn about Marlene’s experiences as a sign language interpreter and how Easy Language plays a role in sign language interpreting. She emphasizes the importance of clear and understandable communication when working with people who do not have Austrian sign language as their first language.

What is the situation in English?

Finally, we discuss the current state of Easy Language in English and how easy-to-understand information is already available in some areas, such as government documents or news. However, academic texts and research findings are not yet widely available in easy-to-understand. Marlene notes that awareness of the need for accessible information must continue to be created among the general public.

Scientific and easy to understand?

We are grateful to have Marlene as a guest on this episode and look forward to her contributions to the advancement of Easy Language in science communication. Easy  Language offers the opportunity to make information more accessible to all people and create a more inclusive society.

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Listen now:
Easy Language Podcast

Are there many texts in Easy Language in English? How accessible are Italian authorities? And how do you write in a gender-sensitive way in French?

We asked these questions to experts from all over Europe.

Together with them, we talk about easy-to-understand language in the respective national languages.

Listen now on Anchor, Spotify or Apple Podcasts:

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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