Sandra Fisher-Martins: The right to understand
Sandra Fisher-Martins - Translator, plain language activist
Sandra Fisher-Martins fights “information apartheid” -- the barrier created by overly complex language. Full bio
(I didn't have much to look at)
a symbol, that I'm going to show you,
plain language, for me to understand it.
what that was
simplification of language,
one day or two,
my work contract,
the electricity bill --
that bank statement.
to begin to understand what was written there.
in 1996, started germinating.
my job to dedicate myself to this.
than I thought.
complex and annoying,
how to read and write. So, what do we have?
which is the lowest in literacy [rate].
has to pick up
to give a dose of medicine to his/her child,
those yellow ones,
on the daily basis.
or too different, they will manage.
a new machine arrives
to be able to work with it, they can't do it anymore.
can handle really complex documents.
that over there is Sweden.
considered essential for a daily basis,
who has indeed access to information
a huge majority that can't.
and they are impaired.
we have seen a little while ago.
they come to me and I help them to translate it.
but check it if this is important."
for quite a while, to have a knee surgery
checks. When a person is waiting for a long time,
they can have that surgery in the private sector.
Mr. Domingos' letter.
while they were waiting.
it's going to the garbage".
but also for the country.
the benefits I can have access to,
an active and participative citizen either.
Me?! I'm in the green ones."
I was selected to come to TED! Hum?" (Laughter)
when I finish reading.
contract. It says this:
package leaflet, that says the following:
vesiculation, keratolysis and urticaria."
a renting contract to the new office on Friday
payment of the rents,
and prior foreclosure."
in Portuguese], I imagined myself bursting in there,
to the string theory or something like that,
by experts to experts,
these are the public documents,
in my daily life,
of the medicines.
were committed, bad decisions made
took place in the United States?
to rise, the monthly payment would also increase,
they would end up without a house.
crumbled down and we know the rest.
in the financial sector
literacy [rate] of the Portuguese,
of the public documents,
in our daily lives, sorry,
of course we will educate people.
And I don't even want to imagine
at Sweden's level.
There is another problem.
a high literacy level, like you,
the complexity of documents
bla bla bla, bla bla..."
enabling our reader to understand it at first glance.
the State and companies communicate
at first glance?
that are going by the path of legislation.
introduced, last year, a legislation that forces
a language they can understand.
They are countries that are a bit ahead.
legislation towards that, wouldn't it be?"
without acronyms, bla bla bla...
enforcing through legislation,
are made to be applied.
communicate in a clearer and simpler way,
the most important one?
"Plain English Campaign"? --
public documents is not a whim,
to be understood.
consumers and citizens.
gives you a document
in the little suite and say:
what does this mean?"
embarrassing, isn't it?
they have doubts in school?
and act smart."
up in the air and ask the teacher until you are cleared."
as consumers and citizens.
a document you don't understand,
"Okay, these awful documents
I'm not asking you to identify yourselves,
for the general public,
only you will understand?
there is a reason, here!"
We have to educate people."
you don't understand it."
don't you? --
possible to write in a simple way.
to show grandma to you.
to teach you. First of all:
three pages to get to the main idea.
you said in the beginning, anymore.
that grandma knows.
"Clara" is a project of social responsibility.
a collection of "Claro" guides,
very complex subjects and put them simple.
"Claro" Guide of Justice.
If it's time to ask,
"Claro" Guide of Justice -- I don't know...
to the worse and best documents,
to communicate in a clearer way,
about it and need to be humiliated.
the campaign via Clara's Facebook,
you'll be up to date.
Write to your grandma.
Mr. Domingos, he will like it.
About the speaker:Sandra Fisher-Martins - Translator, plain language activist
Sandra Fisher-Martins fights “information apartheid” -- the barrier created by overly complex language.
Why you should listen
Sandra Fisher Martins helps Portuguese businesses and government agencies introduce clarity to their communications. After seeing a Plain English campaign in England, she was inspired to establish Portugues Claro -- a consulting and training firm that works to ensure that people are not disenfranchised by what she calls an "information apartheid" that keeps the majority of her fellow Portuguese from fully understanding documents they need for their daily lives. She is working to develop Euro-clear, a European diploma in clear communication.
Find more examples of plain language at Portugues Claro's website.
Sandra Fisher-Martins | Speaker | TED.com