The Museum of Languages in Leiden makes language accessible and exciting in many different ways. This week I visited some of the latest projects of the Museum of Languages in Leiden and spoke with its project director Pepijn about their recent successes and approach. (The Museum of Languages is a project by VISSCH+STAM.)
1. A game of quartets about new words
When the Museum of Languages launched last year, one of the things they asked their audience was to contribute new words that do not exist officially but are used anyway. The museum encouraged people to think about this with postcards, and invited contributions via idea boxes on various location in Leiden and online. In total, 1,000 new words were contributed.
Then, the museum analysed and categorised the words to create a game of quartets, which was launched just in time for the holiday season. (It is a perfect gift!) Designer Robin Stam made an illustration for each word, and the cards come with a definition. One of my favourites is the “soscussion”, a discussion of which everyone knows the outcome at the start.
In the manual of the game, the museum explains how new words find their place in a language, and how they are typically developed and adopted. The game makes the audience part of the complex and typically opaque development of language.Read More »