What is Easy Language and Easy to Read?

How should Easy Language and Easy to Read be defined? Is Easy Language a constructed or a natural language? Are the language and the contents in Easy to Read books poorer than in books in standard language?

The discussion about what Easy Language and Easy to Read are has been going on for several decades in many countries. Those who are unacquainted with Easy Language often classify it as an artificial language, because it is simpler and the vocabulary is more limited than in standard language.

But Easy Language is according to all linguistic criteria a natural language. It follows the grammar and vocabulary of standard language. There is nothing artificial in Easy Language. It has not been specially created, like for instance the languages for various peoples in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous work Lord of the Rings.

Easy Language is also not a separate language from standard language, but a simplified and clarified form of the language. Easy English is therefore an easy form of standard English. It does not differ from the standard language, except that the words are easier to understand and the sentences are shorter and clearer. In Easy to Read books also the lines are shorter.

Easy Language was developed to create communication and texts in a clearer language than standard language, so that persons with challenges in understanding ordinary language in speech and/or texts can receive information.

Easy to Read

Easy to Read texts are written in Easy Language. In Easy to Read books the layout and font are simple, which facilitates mechanical reading. The story is concise and contains fewer descriptions than stories in standard language. Otherwise Easy to Read books function in the same way as books in standard language.

Easy Language is developing all the time. It naturally follows the development of the standard language, but new research and experiences gathered by various groups working with Easy Language affect the criteria for it and also for Easy to Read.

A growing group of authors and writers of Easy to Read texts are continuously developing and updating Easy Language. Easy Language is the result of work by hundreds of people over several decades, to create speech and texts which can be understood by as many citizens as possible in society.

The project LäsLätt (ReadEasy) 2.1 for informing about Easy to Read is realised by Bokpil and Colorit ry.rf. and supported by The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.

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