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This paper was carried out as part of the MACSI project (Multilingual Accessible Communication in Swiss Institutions) and focuses on a case study carried out with the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). The broad aim of this cooperation with the FSO is to evaluate ways of implementing multilingual accessible expert-lay communication on statistics. Switzerland boasts a long-established tradition of clear writing at institutional level. Being a multilingual country, accessible communication is institutionally mandatory in all its official languages.
While most of the research on accessible communication is text and recipient-based, in this study we focused primarily on drafters, who are specialized experts in different domains, as well as on translators, who have to face the challenges of interlinguistic transfer of both specialized and plain communication. This paper presents the results from a questionnaire on accessibility submitted to drafters and translators within the FSO. The answers show that drafters address several target groups with the same text and or they produce different texts for different target groups. Moreover, both drafters and translators have little knowledge and experience with plain and easy language, although most of them are interested in putting more effort into writing lay-friendly texts. Thus, there is a need for sensitising and training drafters and translators so that they are able to adapt content, level of technicality and language to the different levels of expertise when producing different multilingual accessible texts.
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accessibility, easy-to-understand, expert-lay communication, institutional communication, multilingual communication