Museomix, Multilingualism and internationalization

Hello, Salut, Guten Tag, Hola, Ciao…

Nous parlions du multilinguisme vendredi dernier. Un sujet passionnant que je me permets de relancer sur Discourse. Nous arrivons pour l’instant à maintenir une communication interne essentiellement francophone, y compris avec la Belgique, la Suisse et le Québec.

Il me semble qu’il y a cependant plusieurs points de vigilance et que la question de la langue de communication interne (entre communautés), notamment sur un outil ouvert tel que l’est Discourse, est une question qui mérite d’être posée.

Par le passé, des problèmes avaient eu lieu, il me semble, avec la communauté anglaise qui avait eu du mal à s’intégrer dans ces échanges. Cette année, nous avons la chance d’avoir @paula_grg, à Mexico, qui parle très bien français. Mais continuer en tout-français ne me semble pas pertinent sur le long terme ni même sur le moyen terme puisque les autres membres de la communauté mexicaine peuvent difficilement contribuer à nos échanges et qu’une communauté brésilienne (encore une autre langue !) émerge au Brésil.

Alors, qu’en pensez-vous ? Avez-vous des idées de bonnes pratiques à adopter, des outils qui pourraient nous aider, un avis à partager… ? Cette question nous concerne tous en tant que membre d’une communauté de personnes très différentes provenant des quatre coins du monde !

Enfin, un sondage : y en a t-il parmi vous qui ne sont pas très à l’aise avec l’anglais ? Il n’est pas question de le parler parfaitement, mais de parvenir à échanger et à communiquer avec chaque membre de notre communauté, d’être plus ouverts et inclusifs que jamais. L’essentiel est donc de parvenir à comprendre l’autre et à se faire comprendre, peu importe les petites ou les grosses erreurs de syntaxe !

Hello, Salut, Guten Tag, Hola, Ciao…

Last Friday we talked a lot about multilingualism. A fascinating subject that I would like to bring back here. We have managed until now to maintain French as our principal language for intern communication, including with Quebec, Belgium and Swiss.

It seems to me, though, that there are still some points that we should keep a watch on. The question of multilingualism in intern communication (I mean by that “between different communities”), and moreover when it comes to a tool as open as Discourse, is worth asking.

In the past, some problems occurred, I think, with the English community who had some difficulties to take a part into our conversation. This year, we are lucky enough to have @paula_grg from Mexico who speak a great French. But keeping on speaking French doesn’t seem to me a good move neither in the long run nor in the short one as the other members of the Mexican community cannot contribute to our conversation. Moreover there will soon be other communities from others non-french speaking countries who will join us, for example in Bresil where there seems to be a growing community (one more language!).

So, what do you think? Should we begin to get used to speak English, especially here on Discourse? Do you have some ideas to share? Maybe a new tool that can help us? Or do you want to share your opinion about this subject? It concerns all of us as a part of this great community of very different people, coming from all around the world!

To conclude, a quick question: are there any of you who feel ill-at-ease speaking English? This is not about speaking a perfect English (so don’t make fun of me for all the mistakes I made writing this message! :stuck_out_tongue: ), but about being able to share and communicate with every member of our community, being more open and more inclusive than ever. The main point is to be able to understand the other and being understood by him/her. As usual, we do not care about the little mistake (nor the big ones!).


CC Belgium, Mexico and Swiss : @Jenniferlv, @mariebaurins, @lpalli, @CamilleSeewer, @CHRIS, @Deborah, @victoria

Hi everybody!

I was following the workshops about multilingualism last time in Paris.
There were different opinions and I think we didn’t get to a conclusion yet…

  1. Most of us, agreed to use English because it’s the easiest way to be understood by everyone (normally). In Belgium, it’s already the case within our population. In most of the belgian companies, English is the neutral language. Since we are organizing 2 Museomix in Belgium, Museomix in Flanders will be mostly in English because we welcome international people (but the members of the organization would be able to speak Dutch) and Museomix Wallonia will be in French. Our strategy is to make a connection with the 2 museums and we will try to make all our videos in English or with translations. We will also try to make fun of our culture differences between French & Dutch people and play with that in our videos (e.g. one museomix ask a question in dutch and the answer will be in french or ask what are the typical dutch expressions…etc).

  2. I remember that some people would suppose that we lose this aspect of multilingualism if we only speak English…I don’t know… I also understood that in the french community, some people don’t feel comfortable to speak english.

I expressed our communication strategy in Belgium, however, we will have to clarify what we’re gonna do exactly, the 2 belgian mixrooms will have to collaborate with each other. But I really think we will mix French, Dutch & English because it’s the way how we work in Belgium.

Concerning the common videos that we will share with each other, I would recommend to minimize the words in the videos. I remember we discussed the fact that subtitles will take long time to do. Another option is to have someone next to the person talking who can directly & briefly translate what the person said. Or we try to ask the museomixers to talk in English (Is it really feasible?).

Speaking of the event per se, I thought of building a translation table which could be called “lost in translation” which would :

  • Translate in English all the documentation about the prototypes (which would be accessible on the global website)
  • The elements produced by the Mixroom
  • … ?

It could take place only on the last day, it would be like a translathon within a makeathon… ! I think a great number of languages students could be interested in join in.

And it would make the prototypes more visible and more shareable within the community. So that every Museomix would have its content both in its mother-tongue and in English.

We have to think about it better, but it could be a way to ease the communication between the events during THE weekend.

Actually Museomix CH is working in a multi-language mode:

  • our 2015 museum is in the German speaking zone of Switzerland
  • we selected participants having in the submission indicated at least 2 language: German/French, German/English or French/English, the idea is to leave the teams free to chose one or more languages to work together
  • the main communication must be done in national languages German and French (at least) while using only English is sensitive in Switzerland
  • the organizers are German and/or French speaking peoples but someone don’t speak German or French, if everybody don’t speak German or French the meeting are done in English

The next year we would like to organize 2 Museomix in Switzerland one in the German speaking zone an another in the French speaking zone, the language problems will be different: a German speaking community will join Museomix.

And last but not least, in Switzerland we have also 2 others languages: Italian and Romansh!

We did the same in our selection process for MuseomixBE.
We selected participants accordingly to their competencies/motivation but also their language skills. Participants will be speaking either French/English or Dutch/English.

Belgium has a third official language: German. I don’t know if a MuseomixBE in German will take place in the future, the German community is really small but who knows…

Montreal is really French / English.
We try to keep that in the event itself. Teams are free to use French or English as a means of communication.
We don’t mind switching to English for International discussions…

So this is a true question!
But what about communication between communities? For example when we use Discourse. Do you think we should go for an all-English communication, that is to say a language that the most of us can understand?

Next year we may be welcoming new communities from non french-speaking countries (Brezil, Ireland, Germany, Italy…). Those communities will not be able to use all of the documents we produced so far. Should we initiate a traduction pole? Should we try to use English as often as we can when we are on Discourse or the Google list? Any another idea?