What is EasyTalk?
EasyTalk is a writing assistance tool for fast and correct typing in „Leichte Sprache“ (LS; Easy-to-Read German), largely based on computer linguistic processing.
Why are we developing EasyTalk?
Simplified languages are instruments for inclusion aiming to overcome language barriers. Leichte Sprache (LS), for instance, is a variety of German with reduced complexity (cf. Basic English). So far, LS is mainly provided for – but rarely written by – its target groups, e.g. people with cognitive impairments or learning difficulties and/or low literacy skills.
One reason may be the lack of technical support during the process from message conceptualization to sentence realization.
What can EasyTalk do?
EasyTalk uses real-time natural-language processing to offer efficient prediction and interactive, context-sensitive grammar support as well as customizable AAC symbols and read-out-functionality.
What’s the science behind EasyTalk?
EasyTalk uses a paraphrase generator based on a lexicalized, unification-based Performance Grammar, which deploys psycholinguistic concepts of language production. It uses feature unification to provide the user with a context-sensitively filtered prediction list of syntactically correct word forms and wh-word-cues for grammatical guidance.
For more details, see the following publications:
- Enabling fast and correct typing in ‘Leichte Sprache’ (Easy Language), 2020
- A Computer-Assisted Writing Tool for an Extended Variety of Leichte Sprache (Easy-to-Read German), 2022
- A text-writing system for Easy-to-Read German evaluated with low-literate users with cognitive impairment, 2022
For information in Easy-to-Read English, see:
How does EasyTalk work?
EasyTalk is organized as follows:
Located at the very top is a menu for customizing the vocabulary or exporting the text with or without symbols for further use.
Below, there are three interaction Panels:
At the top, Panel 1, the Text-Panel, displays previously typed text. The sentences can be read out by clicking on a line.
In Panel 2(a), the Sentence-Panel, in the center the sentences are typed and then connected to each other in Panel 2(b), the Connectors-Panel. The sentence constituents are indicated with wh-words as cues for their grammatical function. Active elements and constituents are highlighted in light blue. At the bottom, in Panel 3, the Next-Word-Panel, the possible choices for word forms are displayed in a filterable, context-sensitive completion list. Activating wh-cues at the top of Panel 3 filters the list to only display the correctly inflected word forms for the selected constituent.
At the beginning of a sentence, the user can set the sentence mode (declaration, question, imperative sentence) by clicking on the punctuation sign. Declarative mode is set by default. To write the sentence, the user selects word by word from the completion list.
Each word is linguistically processed and put into context. In case of ambiguities, the user is presented a choice dialog containing the same wh-cues used in Panel 1 and Panel 3. By eliciting this choice the system creates awareness of the grammatical context and ensures the syntactic correctness of the sentence through an intuitive, dialog-like manner.
See EasyTalk in action!
The video above shows how a text is written EasyTalk.
Do you want to learn more about EasyTalk?
If you are interested in learning more about EasyTalk and/or trying the system yourself – feel welcome to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to get in touch with you!