The CCC is not that experienced in doing international events. The Congress has been a mostly german show for a long time – not surprising as it started 20 years ago and everything was far away from being a worldwide international scene doing daily electronic and non-eletronic communication. So it grew as a mostly national event with some english gum drops here and there. The good german language skills of our dutch friends allowed some expansion in non-german speaking territories and eventually told us a lot about “being international” as Holland has always been an “international country”.
But today everybody at CCC wants to change this. The Camp is our international pilot project and for the second time we managed to go ahead and doing everything in english. We are aware of the currently existing language problems with the german crowd but there is not much we can do about it instead of pushing forward forcing us to do everything in english. That‘s what we do and I am sure we will see continuous improvement over the coming years.
The next Congress – celebrating it‘s 20th anniversary at a brand new location at the heart of Berlin (Alexanderplatz) – will be the next test. I think we‘ll try hard to provide a significant amount of english talks. I don‘t know if it is going to be 30% or rather 50%. It all depends on what talks will be offered to us and I want to encourage everybody from outside Germany to come and join and contribute and raise the language barrier even more.
In the end, all this will be an integrated process: more english talks will produce more english speakers. The young generation has less and less problems being bi-lingual – even in Germany which is a difficult country as every movie is dubbed and the language is of non-roman descent.
But I am pretty optimistic. The next open air event in Holland in 2005 will see many visitors from Germany and they all know there is not a single german talk for them. And many of the interesting talks at the next two Congresses will come in english as well. English is our our daily dog food anyway and being able to speak and write is as important as being able to install, administrate and program your computer.
The CCC is willing to improve as it is one of the organizations that brings the European (and non-European) context together. This is a good thing. And we should try hard to improve on that even more.