A special kind of beauty exists
English language which is born in language, of language, and for language.

Gaston Bachelard
(1884-1962) French philosopher and poet.

What is Simplidied Technical English (STE 100)

An international writing specification  STE 100 defined by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) which uses a finite number of specified verbs an terminology. Simplified English can be understood globally for documentation  pertaining to land, sea and air equipment and applications.

For example : “Replace the filter” could mean both :

  • Put back the filter where it was.
  • Install a new filter.

In order to avoid this STE assigns only one meaning to every word that is allowed by the standard.

The Simplified English dictionary consists of approximately 875 words that initially were to be used in the technical documentations. Today some say the so-called Global English is a straight tool of globalization. Good or Bad?

English language includes more than 100 dialects including American English, Australian English, Indian English, African English, Caribbean English etc. Every dialect has its own background, structure and vocabulary. It often becomes an obstacle when it comes to communication within the same industry but different regions. This has been one of the reasons for the increase in demand of professional translation services. Starting as “the industry-regulated writing standard for aerospace maintenance documentation” now it has spread to nearly each aspect of our lives.

GOOD. With an increasing level of migration the importance of clear communication rises. The Simplified English helps to avoid ambiguity of meanings. According to the set of standards every approved word has a limited number of interpretations. Hence it makes the induction of people whose first language is not English easier within the English speaking country. To a certain extent it also provides an opportunity to digest information with less effort as one of the rules prohibits to use any “jargon” or too complex phrases. Instead you will get to read only compact sentences, short paragraphs excluding metaphors or similes. This has also lowered the price of translation as following the above rules translation services become more standardized.

BAD. Some state that this kind of language simplification might damage the core and cultural specifications which differentiate one region’s English from another. Hence there is an increasing ignorance towards local attributes. This way the language of Shakespeare may fade away, some say. The “headline syndrome” might be one more consequence of using the Simplified English. It tends to make people too lazy to understand the real complexity of the issue, looking just at the surface. Moreover, one of strong points state that a continuous development may be achieved only by exchanging the specific industry related language, which if learned would help to get to the core of the topic.

This debate is still going on. What do you think?