The One with Languages

We now have two devs in our department who don’t speak German. So far, everything in this company and department was done in German. Office talk, Jira tickets, and even code in several variations. Our team took this to the extreme and decided that with our domain that is very particular to lot of German laws and with us wanting to do Domain-Driven Design, we are going to write our entire code in German. We’ve been doing this for a year now and it’s sometimes still a bit difficult but it works for us. Other teams have made the decision to stop trying to translate very specific German words into English and just use theses words in their mainly English code base.

Yesterday one of our new coworkers joined our Scrum of Scrums for the first time. This is where at least one person from each team updates the others on what they are working on so we can see better where we need to work together. We tried to do this in English yesterday and it did not really work. I struggled to vaguely describe what we are doing in English because I could not translate the actual features we are working on.

So I guess that’s a new thing we are going to figure out in the next few weeks and months: How can we communicate so that everyone understands at least what’s important to them while not falling into the trap of making up non-existing English words for German compliance stuff? When should we speak English and when should we communicate to the non-German people (who work on really separate stuff) that what we are talking about is not important for them to understand? Sounds exciting! And I’m very happy about speaking English regularly again, it started to feel a bit rusty.