Tri-Lingual Open Space Facilitation

Birgitt Bolton birgitt at
Wed Sep 9 12:15:43 PDT 1998

Sometimes what works best is to be sure that people just post items in the language they intend to have the discussion in. When numbers from differing language groups are uneven, the only complaint is that if a group has very few people in one language,that all their discussion groups tend to be amongst the same few individuals. People of other language groups often attend the English ones. English speakers very seldom show the courage to attend in another language.

At registration, I have people volunteer to wear a colour code of some sort on their name badge if they are willing to translate while in any discussion groups. This way, many many people have self identified their willingness to translate in the smaller groups and things do take care of themselves from there. This is also noted in the opening, and people are great at helping each other, and generally feel satisfied that the organizers honoured their inclusion.

Good luck,
Birgitt Bolton

-----Original Message-----
From:   Peg Holman [SMTP:pholman at EMAIL.MSN.COM]
Sent:   September 9, 1998 12:01 PM
Subject:        Fw: Tri-Lingual Open Space Facilitation


What an exciting opportunity!  I am forwarding your question to the Open
Space e-mail list.  I suspect there are a number of people who have dealt
with multi-lingual situations.

Peg Holman
Open Space Institute

-----Original Message-----
From: Debbie Cotton <edeb at>
To: osi at <osi at>
Date: Tuesday, September 08, 1998 8:06 PM
Subject: Tri-Lingual Open Space Facilitation

>Hi Peggy,
>My name is Debbie Cotton, and I have been facilitating Open Space for the
>3 years.
>I've been invited to facilitate an Open Space session with my group of 40
>Kellogg Fellows this month.  The challenge is that we are a trilingual
group -
>English, Spanish, and Portuguese. While we have simulaneous translation for
>the introduction and set up, what happens when the groups get together to
>discuss their ideas?
>I am wondering if you have any tips for how to accomodate 3 languages in
>same group?
>Many thanks for your advice,
>Debbie Cotton

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