Van onbegrijpelijk naar duidelijk – hoe kunnen we teksten verbeteren?

Title: Van onbegrijpelijk naar duidelijk – hoe kunnen we teksten verbeteren?
Variant title:
  • From puzzling to clear – how can we improve texts?
Source document: Brünner Beiträge zur Germanistik und Nordistik. 2017, vol. 31, iss. 1, pp. 115-127
  • ISSN
    1803-7380 (print)
    2336-4408 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This article describes the theoretical basis, set-up and the conclusions of a research aimed at finding text-optimization techniques which would increase the comprehension and better the attitudes towards a text to make it more comprehensible to the reader. Effects of the same text manipulations were observed in two languages – Dutch and Slovak. Also the importance of the language background and the eventual existence of prior knowledge were investigated. For this research two texts were selected, namely the instructions provided with the tax declaration form and an instruction manual provided with a digital camera. The texts were optimized and rewritten into two variants. A simple approach, usable by not linguistically educated professionals, is based on the principle of rewriting the text into a dialogue. The more elaborate and time consuming approach is based on linguistic analysis and a more distinctive typographic rearrangement of the text. The main conclusion that can be drawn is that the simple rewrite-to-dialogue approach did mostly deliver the same or even better results than the more elaborate text manipulation. The effect on improving the ability to answer questions about information in the text proved to be language independent, and the importance of prior knowledge was confirmed.