Plain language in Poznań City Hall

Intricate, lard with complicated language and specialistic terminology - such statements are frequently expressed after acquainting official documents. Understanding them often requires at least reading them twice. Poznań City Hall tries to make a difference. The "Simple language in official documents" manual will be distributed among all City Hall employees. There is also a plan consisting in series of trainings, centred about creating more accessible documents.

The picture is about plain language project in Poznań City Hall. - grafika artykułu
Plain language in Poznań City Hall.

On 13th of October we celebrate International Day of Simple Language. This day reminds us, that we shouldn't settle on only writing properly, but we also need to do it clearly and in understandable manner. Simple, or as some people name it, plain language, is a specific style of communication. It is recommended for all authors and institutions, that are writing texts addressed to mass recipients. It assumes creation of documents in a manner, that enables everyone to understand it after first reading. Are official documents written in such way? Sadly, the answer is often - no.

Fortunately, in last years situation seems to change for better. Plain language is gradually getting more and more presence around the world. Poznań City Hall encourages such idea and tries to simplify the process of communication with citizens, which is not a simple task.

Soon, the "Simple language in official documents" manual will be distributed among City Hall and other City Hall units employees. It is a set of valuable advices, which will be used during everyday work. The authors of this publication are linguists from University of Poznań: Professor Jarosław Liberek  and Professor Karolina Ruta-Korytowska.

The publication is a first stage of works in "Simple language in Poznań City Hall" project, which came into life in the middle of 2020. There are also other activities, which will be proceeded in next few months. Until the end of current year, a series of workshops about simplifying language will be conducted for City Hall employees, enabling them to gain knowledge which will be useful in everyday work.

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