The European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation (DGT) launched a clear writing campaign song

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
German to English
English norms Jan 5, 2011

I didn't bother to look up the other language versions, because I assume they were translated and not adapted. These are specifically English-language norms that are often either unfamiliar (= unclear) or irrelevant in other languages. A multi-lingual "best practice" survey that recognized the strengths and weaknesses of various languages would have been really interesting.

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John Farebrother  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Different planet Jan 5, 2011

Who would have thought we were in the middle of a financial crisis.

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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
English to Polish
+ ...
completely out of control Jan 5, 2011

I'm sure the costs of this are a tiny fraction of a percent of the EU's budget.

However, how telling this tiny fraction is.

We have to put an end to this chutzpah. Remember when you next go to the voting booth. (I'm not endorsing or criticizing anyone in particular.)

Another thought: European Commission officials cannot be terminated (no they cannot), even if they don't know how to write clearly. Thus it is probably safe to assume that songwriting – which reeks of desperation – is indeed a desperate step aimed to beg them to write clearly, and there really is no other way.

Happy tax paying!

[Edited at 2011-01-05 09:14 GMT]

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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
+ ...
Some quotes from the guide on how to write clearly that made me laugh. Jan 5, 2011

"Leave out as many details of European Commission procedures and interinstitutional formalities as you can. These are meaningless to most readers and simply reinforce the Commission’s image as a bureaucratic and distant institution."

"Unnecessarily long sentences are a serious obstacle to clarity in European Commission documents."

"Clear explanations of much jargon can be found in:
the ‘Plain Language Guide to Eurojargon’ section on the Europa website ("

[Edited at 2011-01-05 09:44 GMT]

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Jonathan Norris  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Great Writing Guide Jan 11, 2011

Thank you for sharing! This is an excellent style guide for concise writing. It has tips that any writer or translator could benefit from. I would agree with the other fellow in that it should be adapted in the other languages, and not only translated. Nice work!

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The European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation (DGT) launched a clear writing campaign song

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