Today at the BnF…
(A lire avecque l'acquessengue du sudouesteuh, cil vous plé)
Hello, hello, everybody. Today, I need to speak to you about a gros problème : the globalization of research.
Yes, the research of our times is completely globalized, as we can see at the Rez-de-Jardin itself, with all these people speaking English all the time in the Times Café. Actually, a good searcher qui se respecte, today, is a searcher who knows how to speak bilingual English in all kind of situations, and mort over at a colloquium. He also knows, why not, how to write a good article in the language of Shakespeare (but this is another paire de manches we’ll talk about perhaps another day). English is very important, you know. If you want to communicate with yours pairs and let them know about your revolutionary work in your scientific field, you must speak that international language and not only your litteule piece of shit Roquefort French. So follow me and I will learn you some good tips in order to be at your aise in any English environment (well, it is a manière to say, hein ?).
Firstovol, you need to learn some sentences toutes faites, which will allow you to introduce yourself and your PhD.
- “Hi! my name is DoYou, nice to meet you” could be a good start. Be careful, the answer : “Hi! Do You, how do you do?” is not an ironical joke, it is perfectly normal. English and American pipole are not so funny they could se foutre of your gueule and of your ridiculous first name in front of your nose.
- "I am writing a PhD at the University of Castelnaudary" : don't worry, even if you only have 12 lines written by now, you can say it, nobody cares.
- "Do you have a post-doctoral fellowship for me, please?" : for desperate cases only.
Mort over, when you try to introduce yourself and your PhD to a new friend, you have to remain calm and distant. Don’t explain every little detail of the third sous-partie of your seconde partie; or every writing dilemma you have, because nobody en a rien à foutre ant because you don't know how to say tiret cadratin in English anyway. If somebody asks quand même (it happens sometimes, the human Bean can be such an ingénu), just say, in a intrigant way : “Yes, well, I work on different aspects of legitimacy in a cosmopolitan environment, but I can’t tell you too much about that, because I work for the DoD, secret mission, you know”, for instance. Trying to look like the Jack Bauer of the recherche is hopeless, certes, but exciting.
Secondly, write down and practice your speach before going to an international congress. Don't try an improvisation à la Miles Davis about your work, it won't work. Of that I can assure you : I tried it the first time and they just laminated my gueule. No, no, you must have a good text and you must look very natural while reading it. Specialists do préconiser at least six repetitions before you throw yourself in the cage aux lions. It seems a minimum vital, mort over if you have translated your communication in English yourself, even with a little help of my friend Reverso.
Thirdly, don't speak too fast, or too loud, or not fast enough, or not loud enough, and please articulate, and be self-confident, but not too much, and smile, and be cool, and look up, t'auras l'air d'un nageur, and make some jokes even if you never understood what "captatio benevolentiae" means. To put it in a nutshell (yeah, I know, I'm SO idiomatic), be good.
Oh, yeah, a last but very important advice for the end of your communication : don't be afraid about the questions people will ask you : quoiqu'il arrive, it won't last too long because you won't be able to use more thant 12 words of vocabulary. So be it. What I usually do in these moments of great solitude, is always the same old tip : "Yes, your question is very interesting. It was not the precise subject of my communication, that's why I didn't mention it, but it is surely one of the main topics of my PhD. Thank you for asking anyway".
After that : run and hide. The bathrooms are generally the place to be after this kind of astonishing performance. And if you are lucky, you will find a congénère who would have had an even worse case scenario of colloquium communication. Cry with him freely and be sure to become friends, he could be your perfect faire-valoir.
No need to thank me. See you tomorrow.