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課程來源:TED
     
Alan Siegel 談簡化法律術語!
Alan Siegel: Let's simplify legal jargon!
 
 
 
講者:Alan Siegel
2010年2月演講,2010年3月在TED上線
 
翻譯:                劉契良
編輯:                洪曉慧
簡繁轉換:            陳盈
後制:                劉契良
字幕影片後制:        謝旻均
 
 
 
關於這場演講
 
Alan Siegel 表示報稅表單、信貸合約,醫療法規全都充斥著冗長費解的官腔,他呼籲將法律文件簡化、合理地重新設計,並使用易懂的英文,讓我們可以清楚地理解其內容。

關於
 
作為品牌專家及商業溝通的頂尖權威,Alan Siegel 希望用易懂的英文來表述政府及商用法律文件。

為何要聽他演講:
 
大概沒有其他俗事會讓美國公民對 4 月 15 日的迫近更緊張頭大,因為這天是可怕的年度所得稅郵寄申報日。但 Alan Siegel 表示,大部份人感到緊張並不竟然是因為要繳稅,而是必需要瀏覽總是過於充滿令人困惑術語海(及凌亂勾選欄目)的境內稅收署(IRS)表單。他強調,簡化不只是要提供個人的便利,因為當我們的社會系統變得更複雜,本應促使其運行的法律文件卻變得更加令人費解並形成負擔,逐漸損及我們進一步繁榮的潛能。
 
這是比稅務更大的問題,甚至大過美國的能力所及,Alan Siegel 是世界領先品牌顧問公司 Siegel+Gale 的創辦人兼主席,身為品牌專家, Siegel 指出世界上蔓延著法律措辭時疫,意即因為擔心法律漏洞及官司,讓全球的律師、合約設計師及使用者授權合約書,全都傾向於以史上更難理解的言語來表述他們的專業藝術形式。
 
還好我們有 Siegel,他花了數十年的時間鼓吹簡化的普及,如他所言:「將清楚明瞭的概念帶入總是令人感到無奈的文件,諸如:保單、銀行貨款票據、共同基金協議書」及政府訊息。他希望轉變文件簡化的概念,從創意原則到活躍運動,最終帶來改變。
 
 
Siegel 最近成為美國境內稅收署一項專案的主席,負責簡化所得稅表單,他針對這項專案給紐約時報、Across the Board 及 National Law Journal 撰寫文章。
 
參考他的簡化境內稅收署表單 [pdf] >>
參考他的簡化信用卡合約書 [pdf] >>
 
「透過人性主軸策略及簡化語言,Alan 獲致了重大的突破」。
Tim Brown,Design Thinking 部落格

Alan Siegel 的英文網上資料:
 
網站:Siegel+Gale
 
 
[TED科技娛樂設計]
已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。


基本上,我們有公共領袖、公共官員,但他們全都失控了,他們提議的法案晦澀難懂,而緊跟在法案之後的,可能是 40,000 頁的規範,全都超級複雜,更糟的是那對我們的生活有著重大的負面影響,如果你是自伊拉克或越戰歸來的退伍軍人,享受福利之前,將會有大批的申請文件等著你,如果你嘗試申請小額商業貸款,將同樣要面對大批的申請文件,我們要怎麼辨?我將簡單定義為實行清楚、透明及能產生共鳴的方式,並使溝通人性化。
 
 
我從事簡化工作已有 30 年的時間,我一開始是從事廣告及設計的生意,我將重點擺在瞭解人們及他們如何與政府互動,以享應得福利,人們如何與企業互動,以決定要做生意的對象及其如何看待品牌,當歐巴馬總統談到:「我不明白為何我們不能有僅一頁,且是易懂英文的消費信貸合約」時,我閉門思索破解合約的文言,重新編排文件並以易懂的英文改寫,我讓國內兩位頂尖的消費信貸律師檢視新版合約,這是真實事件,但我更進一步提問:「為何我要聽從那些無趣律師的話,為的僅是這一頁合約?上線不就得了」。
 
 
許多人可能需要算數的協助,透過和哈佛商學院的合作,你可以看到這個最低付款金額的範例,如果你刷了一頓 62 美元的飯局,但沒有馬上償還卡款,長時使用最低付款金額的結果,將導致金額累計為 99.17 美元,你認為呢?你以為銀行真會公開算式?但這就是現實,這會比計算貸款時間更有效,至於像是超過信用額度又是啥?可能像偷渡條款,根據上下文加以定義,告訴民眾詞彙的真正意義,當你使用易懂的英文,幾乎就像在迫使機構對民眾讓步,讓他們避開風險,而非陷入絕境,易懂的英文是要改變內容,我最感驕傲的事之一是這份 IBM 合約,格狀表單,附有日期,像這像並帶有日期,不但 IBM 必需負責,消費者也有責任,這表單大受企業好評。
 
 
今天還有一項好消息要分享,每年 10 個納稅人之中會有一人收到來自境內稅收署(IRS)的通知,每年一共寄發 2 億封這樣函件,細看這樣他們寄發的典型函件,我在自家的簡化實驗室中發現這信十分晦澀難懂,信件中所有標紅的部份都晦澀難懂,我分析了超過 1,000 封這樣函件後,以易懂的英文改寫 70% 的內容,並在實驗室中加以測試,在實驗室的測試之後,這張熱度圖顯示所有內容都變得清楚明瞭,IRS 已經引進這項計劃(掌聲),還有一些現時發生中的事,我想要特別在此提出,現在有很多的討論是關於消費金融保護局如何執行簡化,我們看到所有的複雜度,我們和這個機構都有責任使清楚、透明及達意成為全國重點項目,我們不能讓政府的溝通方式一意孤行,我們不該和企業合約中含帶偷渡條款或晦澀難懂的公司做生意,如何改變世界?將清楚、透明及簡化視為全國重點項目,感謝聆聽。
(掌聲)
 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Tax forms, credit agreements, healthcare legislation: They're crammed with gobbledygook, says Alan Siegel, and incomprehensibly long. He calls for a simple, sensible redesign -- and plain English -- to make legal paperwork intelligible to the rest of us.

About Alan Siegel

A branding expert and one of the leading authorities on business communication, Alan Siegel wants to put plain English into legal documents for government and business. Full bio and more links

Transcript

So, basically we have public leaders, public officials who are out of control. They are writing bills that are unintelligible. And out of these bills are going to come maybe 40,000 pages of regulations, total complexity, which has a dramatically negative impact on our life. If you're a veteran coming back from Iraq or Vietnam you face a blizzard of paperwork to get your benefits. If you're trying to get a small business loan, you face a blizzard of paperwork.

What are we going to do about it? I define simplicity as a means to achieving clarity, transparency and empathy, building humanity into communications. I've been simplifying things for 30 years. I come out of the advertising and design business. My focus is understanding you people, and how you interact with the government to get your benefits, how you interact with corporations to decide who you're going to do business with, and how you view brands.

So, very quickly, when President Obama said, "I don't see why we can't have a one-page, plain English consumer credit agreement." So, I locked myself in a room, figured out the content, organized the document, and wrote it in plain English. I've had this check by the two top consumer credit lawyers in the country. This is a real thing. Now, I went one step further and said, "Why do we have to stick with the stodgey lawyers and just have a paper document? And let's go online."

So, many people might need help in computation. Working with the Harvard Business School, you'll see this example when you talk about minimum payment. If you spent 62 dollars for a meal, the longer you take to pay out that loan, you see, over a period of time using the minimum payment it's 99 dollars and 17 cents. How about that? Do you think your bank is going to show that to people? But it's going to work. It's more effective than just computational age. And what about terms like over the limit? Perhaps a stealth thing. Define it in context. Tell people what it means.

When you put it in plain English you almost force the institution to give the people a way, a default out of that, and not put themselves at risk. Plain English is about changing the content. And one of the things I'm most proud of is this agreement for IBM. It's a grid, it's a calendar. At such and such a date, IBM have responsibilities, you have responsibilities. Received very favorably by business.

And there is some good news to report today. Each year one in 10 taxpayers receive a notice from the IRS. There are 200 million letters that go out. Running through this typical letter that they had, I ran it through my simplicity lab, it's pretty unintelligible. All the parts of the document in red are not intelligible. We looked at doing over 1,000 letters that cover 70 percent of the transactions in plain English. They have been tested in the laboratory. When I run it through my lab this heat-mapping shows everything is intelligible. And the IRS has introduced the program.

(Applause)

There are a couple of things going on right now that I want to bring to your attention. There is a lot of discussion now about consumer financial protection agency, how to mandate simplicity. We see all this complexity. It's incumbent upon us, and this organization, I believe, to make clarity, transparency, and empathy a national priority. There is no way that we should allow government to communicate the way they communicate. There is no way we should do business with companies that have agreements with stealth provisions and that are unintelligible.

So, how are we going to change the world? Make clarity, transparency and simplicity a national priority. I thank you.

(Applause)


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