“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be put into easy-to-read”

We interviewed Freddy Philippe. He works as an easy-to-read translator in France.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be put into easy-to-read”

Click on a word which is in bold to read what it means.

Easy-to-read logo

There is an easy-to-read workshop in Téteghem. 

Téteghem is a city in the north of France. 

The easy-to-read workshop is managed by our French member “Papillons blancs de Dunkerque”. 

“Papillons blancs de Dunkerque” means 

 “White butterflies of Dunkirk”.

In the workshop,  

people with intellectual disabilities 

write and proofread texts in easy-to-read language. 

The workshop has won a lot of awards for its work. 

Freddy Philippe works in the easy-to-read workshop. 

We have interviewed him. 

Easy to read logo

Why did you decide to join 

the easy-to-read workshop in 2014? 

At first I supported 

the organisation in Téteghem 

with easy-to-read texts. 

I did this for a few years. 

Then they opened the easy-to-read workshop. 

And the manager offered me to join. 

Now you put texts from regular language 
into easy-to-read.  

Can you give us some examples  

of your work? 

We put many texts in easy-to-read. 

For example: 

  • the welcome booklet of the Castres-Mazamet hospital. 

Castres-Mazament is in the south of France. 

  • a website for “Dunkirk water” 

Dunkirk water is a service 

for tap water 

for the people who live in Dunkirk. 

  • The “Charter of the rights and freedoms
    of people under protection 

for UDAF 93. 

UDAF 93 is an association for families. 

How do you proceed 

when you translate texts  

into easy-to-read? 

Do you use a reminder?   

The managers first receive the documents 

by email. 

Then they print them on paper 

and give them to us. 

We have a tool 

to help us work better. 

This tool is called colour code. 

The colour code comes with 4 colours. 

The colours are:  

  • yellow: we keep or edit the information 

in the text 

  • green: we keep the difficult word 

but give it a definition 

  • blue: we delete a word or a sentence 
  • pink: we look for a synonym 

At the workshop we created a dictionary 

of simple definitions 

to help us work. 

What do you like about your job? 

What I like is that I work on different topics. 

That gives me a lot of new knowledge. 

From time to time, we visit clients. 

Especially museums 

when we work for them. 

Are there things that you like less? 

I do not like to put legal texts 

into easy-to-read. 

That’s because the legal texts are written 

with very complicated words. 

And the texts are difficult to understand. 

We often have to look for definitions of words  

on the internet, 

in order to understand and translate them. 

You also give workshops on easy-to-read. 

What is your role as a trainer? 

At the workshops we are 3 trainers. 

There are: 

  • 1 instructor 
  • 2 workers 

 During the trainings we always work in two. 

 There is an instructor and a worker. 

Our roles are the same: 

  • train people on easy-to-read language 
  • explain the different rules 

that the method includes. 

The training is done over 2 days 

 every week. 

During the first day, 

we explain the rules with some exercises. 

During the second day, 

we review the rules and do some other exercises. 

Why is easy-to-read language important? 

Easy-to-read language is important 

for different people. 

For example: 

  • for people who do not have French 

as their mother tongue 

  • for older people and children 

so they can better understand and read a text 

when it is complicated. 

  • for people to better understand complicated texts 

I personally think that some important texts 

should be put into easy-to-read. 

For example: 

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  

of 1789. 

Once I went on the internet and found 

a version of the bible in easy-to-read. 

thought it was really well done. 


Read this interview in French.

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