OS in Bilingual Setting

Parkinson & Gibeault dgp at cyberus.ca
Sun Feb 28 19:08:39 PST 1999

Recently a friend shared with me a technique that may facilitate the
process where participants are operating in OS in two languages.

On the topic sheets in the centre of the circle, a rectangle is drawn on
the bottom left corner for the convener to write the translation of the
topic or to leave it blank. As soon as it is posted on the wall, a
resource person translates the topic title in that rectangle. An
alternative to the rectangle is glueing a piece of light coloured paper
on each sheet but the risk is of glued paper coming off.  It is also an
added colour that may cause confusion considering that many of us use
for indicating time and place of topics, post-its of different colours
which represent the different time periods for discussion.

Anybody else has tried this?

Some organizations have a policy where bilingualism is required . Other
techniques that support bilingual meetings include having simultaneous
translation during the circles and in at least one break out room for
discussion groups.  Some discussion groups take place in one language,
others in the other language. This is indicated by the first language
used on the topic sheet.  Reports are written in the language of choice
of the discussion group. Translation of reports takes place on site or
after the meeting. At the beginning of each discussion group, the group
decides how it is going to deal with the language of discussion. For
example, some decide that after a few interventions, the conversation
halts momentarily for someone to give in the other language a summary of
what was said. Others operate with the body system where someone not
fluent has identified another person who accepts to whisper summaries.
There may be more to it but that's as far as I can expand right now.
Other ideas?

Diane Gibeault

191 Juliette
Ottawa Ontario
Canada, K1K 2T5


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