We have a few interns here that have orders from college to integrate speaking, reading, and writing French into their internship.
All of them are working on developing their own web application, and I'm wondering how we can integrate French into their projects.
Here are some things I've come up with:

  • Translate the whole project front-end to French
  • Write French documentation for the project
  • Promote the application in a French community
  • Speak French (exclusively?) to our project managers

Any other ideas or suggestions? Does anyone else have experience with this?

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    Interesting project! I wish someone was doing this in my early years :) I had never even thought of learning a human language along side development languages. – Garet Claborn Mar 21 '11 at 9:42
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    Well it's really common practice here in Belgium since we have three official languages (dutch, french and german). I can imaging that it isn't in large countries where foreign language isn't such a big deal. – ChrisR Mar 21 '11 at 9:49
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    @ChrisRamakers I knew about Dutch and French being the official languages in Belgium. Never thought German would've been one of them as well. Learned something new today! :-) – Htbaa Mar 21 '11 at 10:08
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    @Chris - Agreed, interesting question and probably quite important depending on where you live, but how is this programming related? – Walter Mar 21 '11 at 11:38
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    @Chris - but there's nothing in your question that's truly programming related. Translation, writing, promotion and communication apply to every job imaginable. This could just as easliy be talking about a marketing internship. – Walter Mar 21 '11 at 12:36

I'm working in a French environment at the moment. In addition to what you already suggested you could try:

-Getting them to use an AZERTY keyboard (It forces you to type as a French or a dutch)

-Maybe they could present their applications or a piece of functionality to each other in French (presentation materials and the dialogue). Try to get them to explain the problem they're addressing, how they solved it and why they did it that way. That will get them thinking in French.

The best way is just talking it so if you can get them to discuss their projects amongst themselves in French I think that would be really useful.

  • We already work on AZERTY in Belgium ... even the dutch speaking :) – ChrisR Mar 21 '11 at 13:33
  • I updated the answer :) – John Shaft Mar 21 '11 at 15:05

I think your question does largely contain the answer honestly. Some ideas:

  • French/English flow charts
  • Carry on some technical discussion meetings in French
  • Comment code in French and English, similar to documentation
  • Depending on the service, they could have LiveSupport (or email support) in French
  • Learn French web speak such as headline conventions and phrases
  • Croissants?
  • These are all from a technical point of view, the interns got the assignment to actually speak and write french, not optimize their projects for multi-language purposes. – ChrisR Mar 21 '11 at 9:18
  • Ah, I see what you are saying. Attempted to revise it. – Garet Claborn Mar 21 '11 at 9:35
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    +1 for croissants :) ... and good answers too ... but mainly for the croissants :p – ChrisR Mar 21 '11 at 9:39
  • Can't beat a good croissant, or other fine french pastries to replace the office donut :) – Garet Claborn Mar 21 '11 at 11:07

The only two things I can think of is:

  • let them teach the users how to use the application in French (Write the manual/presentation/exercises).
  • to take them out Do fun stuff besides work in French with their colleagues .

Besides that I think I can't add much more than what you already mentioned but I would like to add some comments.

The best way to learn a foreign language I think is when you have no option. Let them work together with colleagues who only speak French.

It would be nice if you could make the assignment useful, so probably the writing documentation and localize the application to French would be good choices.

You will need something that you can grade, so the writing documentation and presenting to management would be good choices.

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