For a clear New Year: a musical style guide from the EU Commission.

If one of your New Year resolutions is to improve your writing style (are you reading this, clients? you know who you are) this musical style guide might help you.

Good news: clarity’s a-coming!

It was produced by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation (DGT):

We are leading a campaign to encourage Commission officials to write more clearly. “Good news: clarity’s a-coming!”, by David Monkcom, is the Clear Writing campaign song. It summarizes the advice contained in our campaign booklet “How to write clearly” [pdf] and sets it to a traditional gospel melody. It’s sung here by the Hot Air Vocal Ensemble – a Brussels-based choir of which David is a member. For further information about the Clear Writing campaign e-mail: .

I’m tickled pink that it’s the DG for Translation that felt driven to produce the booklet and the video. I’m grappling right now with an Italian text just like the ones they work with and it’s e-x-c-r-u-c-i-a-t-i-n-g.

We feel your pain, DGT!

I found this video through Writing Matters, a great blog by Leslie O’Flahavan and Marilynne Rudick that’s packed with writing tips, links, comments and opinion.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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