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Cosmic Diary

Public Outreach in a foreign language

30 Nov 2009, 19:14 UTC
Public Outreach in a foreign language
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I like sharing my fascination on the universe with people. I think it is an important part of the life of an astronomer. In the end it is the public who pays our salaries. And even if you don’t think about such a mundane aspect of it, Universe is a magnificent place and I like to share its secrets with people. Still, when you live in another country than your native one, the language adds an extra complication.

My mother tongue is Finnish, a funny language that only 5 million people speak. The last 11 years I have spoken more English than Finnish, and last seven years I have lived in Germany. Despite my German not being perfect I still participate in the public outreach activities of my home institute. I was in the 100 Hours of Astronomy in April and the at ESO Open House in October. In these events I only need to talk to couple of people at a time. That is usually fine. I can have a conversation in German, but I have to admit that explaining adaptive optics or optical interferometry are not the easiest conversation topics I have tried in German.
My biggest challenge ...

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