Simplifying medical texts facilitates readability and comprehension. While most simplification work focuses on English, we investigate whether features important for simplifying English text are similarly helpful for simplifying Spanish text. We conducted a user study on 15 Spanish medical texts using Amazon Mechanical Turk and measured perceived and actual difficulty. Using the median of the difficulty scores, we split the texts into easy and difficult groups and extracted 10 surface, 2 semantic and 4 grammatical features. Using t-tests, we identified those features that significantly distinguish easy text from difficult text in Spanish and compare with prior work in English. We found that easy Spanish texts use more repeated words and adverbs, less negations and more familiar words, similar to English. Also like English, difficult Spanish texts use more nouns and adjectives. However in contrast to English, easier Spanish texts contained longer sentences and used grammatical structures that were more varied.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2017|
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