Skip to content

Towards automatic text simplification for German

Researchers Involved

Prof. Dr. Sarah Ebling

research areas

Research Methods


2019 - 2021

Towards automatic text simplification for German

In this project, together with CFS GmbH (“capito”) in Graz, Austria, we are working on semi-automatic text simplification for German with the aim of producing simplified German at levels A1, A2, and B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The software will be able to evaluate the language level (A1 – B1) of the translation. The post-processing process by users will be shortened by 50-90%. This will reduce the price per standard page to 10-40% of the current costs.
The challenge is that automatic language simplification has so far only been implemented to some extent in English. German, which is much more complicated, and the novel solution approach are the main risks. In addition, this is the first time in the world that the language has been simplified precisely to a standardised level.



800,000 persons in Switzerland faced with insurmountable difficulties when reading a simple text (16% of 16-to-65-year-old population)

  • Low reading skills: persons with cognitive impairment, autism, dementia, aphasia, prelingually deaf and functionally illiterate persons, foreign language learners
  • Simplified language: reduced lexical and syntactic complexity, addition of explanations, clearly structured layout
Research Questions

Research Questions

How can simplification on multiple levels be achieved?

Project Aim

Project Aim

Automatic text simplification for German on levels A1, A2, B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.