Give Your Bilingual Exhibits Multicultural Appeal

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Around 55% of museums and science centres around the world already offer information for visitors in more than one language. Bilingual or multilingual exhibitions help museums better serve their home communities and attract international visitors, as well. Urban centres are becoming more linguistically and culturally diverse, and the number of international travellers is also on the rise. As a result, the need for multilingual exhibits will continue to grow.


Build a glossary to keep the terminology consistent.

For the sake of continuity, it’s essential to use the same terms throughout the exhibit, in both languages. A bilingual glossary of terms keeps your translators on the same page, and the vocabulary consistent.

According to the加拿大历史博物馆,it’s often more efficient to create this glossary while you write the original draft of the text.

娱乐的目的text, rather than a direct translation.



One possible exception to this general rule: translating the title an artist has given to their work. Here, you have a choice to make: translate the artist’s words as directly as possible, or use an interpretation that might better convey the meaning.


在双语展览中,翻译永远不应该是事后的想法。作为卡洛斯广场的Miami Science Museum注意,伪劣的翻译工作不太可能留下深刻印象。

“While some visitors will praise your institution for making the effort to provide the text in a second language, less forgiving ones might surmise that you didn’t care enough to do it right.”

Attention to detail and quality control is vital for the entire exhibit. Text in both languages should be easy to read and free of errors.


Depending on the source language and the target language, text can expand or contract during the translation process. Last-minute translations often mean last-minute redesigns for signs and other visual aids. That adds additional time and expense to the project.

Use graphic design that works for both languages.


When it comes to designing for multiple languages, text expansion and contraction is only one factor to consider. For example, languages that use non-Roman scripts, like Chinese or Thai, often use less horizontal space but more vertical space. Meanwhile, languages like Arabic and Hebrew are read right-to-left instead of left-to-right.

Given these factors, it’s helpful to keep the text in both languages as concise as possible. For example, the Canadian Museum of History keeps introduction text to 50 words in each language, allowing 75 words per language for in-depth descriptions. It’s also essential to keep the different languages clearly separated and easily distinguishable from each other.


While technology can’t replace the need for bilingual exhibits to serve diverse audiences, it can be a cost-effective way to augment your translation efforts. For example, the exhibit below, from the Amsterdam museum, uses QR codes to offer translation into ten different languages:

As the Guggenheim Museum explains,if your museum goes this route, some foresight is required to make sure visitors aren’t inadvertently excluded:


技术还可以帮助您为世界各地的人提供博物馆资源。例如,yobet投注软件K国际与英国图书馆,卡塔尔国家图书馆和卡塔尔基金会合作to make the British Library’s collection of documents from the Gulf region available to people around the world, in English and Arabic.




Does that sound good to you? Then we need to talk.yobet安卓今天联系我们to discuss how we can help with your next multilingual exhibition.