Language differences across scientific and lay language

Aixial Sverige

The language used within the scientific community is specialised. It´s different in all linguistic aspects from plain language intended for a lay audience.

The contrasts across the two types of communication is clear in:

1.     Grammar and structure

2.     Terminology

3.     Style (jargon)

4.     Generation of meaning (semantics)

5.     Tone-of-voice used

Awareness of these language differences makes it easier to create and translate information in lay language which is understandable, culturally acceptable, and accessible to the target lay audience.

One of the most demanding steps when drafting information for a lay audience is authoring and presenting the science in a way which meets the needs and literacy levels of the target audience – considered as the general public as of the age of 12 years.

One way of addressing this is to keep text short – at word, sentence, and paragraph level. And there are many more ways. Some of them are mentioned in THIS report.