Orality, easy-to-read language intralingual translation and accessibility of cultural heritage for persons with cognitive and learning disabilities: The case of Greek oral history testimonies


  • Olaf Immanuel Seel Ionian University


orality, easy-to-read language as intralingual translation, oral history testimonies, persons with cognitive and learning disabilities, accessibility to cultural heritage


As language is the main instrument of communication in all domains of human interaction, it goes without saying that establishing inclusion and accessibility of the cultural and creative industries for persons with disabilities is foremost a linguistic endeavour. Language, however, can manifest itself either in written or in oral discourse, while both of these manifestations have specific traits and characteristics in a given communicative situation.

This article deals with oral language in easy-to-read intralingual translation that enables access to oral history testimonies in museums for persons with cognitive and learning disabilities. The central aim of this article is to ascertain the dominant translational techniques that an intralingual easy-to-read oral history testimonies language translator has to apply in order to enable effective communication and, as such, to contribute to ensuring accessibility for persons with cognitive and learning disabilities to museum environments using oral history testimonies. To this end, oral history testimonies of three different sources in Greek language will be used and the overarching theoretical and methodological reference is thereby functional translation theory. The main conclusions drawn from the findings of this article are that the easy-to-read intralingual translator of oral history testimonies has to adopt a series of heterogeneous translation techniques, such as syntactical restructuring and reformulation, lexical addition or omission of unusual or difficult to understand lexis, repetition of central information, explanatory reformulation, substitution of lexical peculiarities, short explanations in order to achieve ideal target-text comprehension by persons with cognitive and learning disabilities, whereby the emotional load has to be softened as much as possible.