On 11 March 2022 the European Commission Representative Office in Athens in cooperation with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Department of Interpretation and Translation, European Master of Translation) organised a seminar on clear writing. The seminar was addressed to drafters of text in public and private agencies, in companies, lawyers, and translators, under the umbrella of the campaign of the European Commission for plain language in Greece.
In the first Part of the seminar the audience heard from experts in clear language from the European Commission (Anya Mehr), public offices outside Greece with similar experience (Laura Salovaara), academics from the field of translation (Prof. Titika Dimitroulia) and legislation (Prof. Helen Xanthaki), and professionals active in clear language (Hugo Sousa and João Martins, Claro, Portugal). Two public officials, graduates of the Greek National School of Public Administration and Local Authority (Giorgos Spanoudakis and Maria Papadimitraki) discussed current practices and recommended initiatives for improvement. The second Part of the seminar offered a practical workshop on case studies, where the multi-lingual lawyer and translator Mary Orfanou, of Nomiki Vivliothiki, applied in the Greek language the principles put forward in the first Part.
The seminar boasted more than 400 participants, thus proving that the time is ripe for a debate on clear language in Greece, both for the purposes of effectiveness of communication but also for the enhancement of democracy. Watch this space, there is great enthusiasm for more to come!
Prof. Titika Dimitroulia, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
Leonidas Kourmadas, DGT Field Officer in Athens