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Archive for January, 2014

This is about languages, not about the 2014 even or 2013 event. These thoughts that have crossed my mind at some point and if I’m saying this to somebody, it’s more to certain English-nazis I’ve meet on the events.

Knutepunkts are international events, where people are encouraged to speak English, which is okay and great. But also at some points it seems people are trying to force others to speak English. I find there’s a small problem. I go there to meet new people – It has to happen in English, as for instance my German is rusty and Portuguese nonexistent. I go there to meet old friends – Still going with English. Learning new stuff from lectures and workshops – in English again. Debriefing that experience after intensive workshop, or planning with your friends if you really should rerun some Norwegian game – Engl… Unfortunately that is not so easy to do in English. Not for me, and not for many others. I’m capable of some kind of shallow debriefing of my thoughts in English, but stream of consciousness in English – unfortunately I can’t do that and I’ve understand that not many other can do that either. But they’d need that to be able to construct their ideas into form, that they can bring with them back home.

And yes, I know I’m still on that half of Knutegoers, who speak English less fluently, even though I took courses before SK2012, and I just can’t continuously think in English. But what I’ve talked with some others, I’m not the only one. And trying to actively make it impossible to be able to speak your own language in any other place except maybe in your room, if even there, makes me sad, as there’re those who would get more from the event if they were not actively being poked to speak English even when they’re saying something that’s not interesting to othes..

This being said, I still believe organizers should do their best to communicate in English. During SK2012 people contacted us at our fb-page and email in English, Finnish and Swedish (my favorite, must be the burden of this last name). AFAIR publicly on FB we answered always in English, but we answered also to those questions that were asked on some other language. I think nobody should feel unwelcome because they won’t understand public conversation organizers are having, but also nobody should be afraid to ask if they can’t make their questions perfect in English. Both feeling of welcomeness and insecurity are feelings we should try to avoid when organizing event.

During the last a couple of years offgame has become more accepted, and it’s more okay to go offgame after intensive part of larping, or to plans for future actions in the game, talk through the hard parts etc. When we at larps allow that to happen, at cons people are more expected to stay 24/7 in the role of a conference participant, without taking thinking and talking breaks.

I disagree.

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