Terry Willard, Guest Services Associate
As a summer employee and volunteer at the Abbe Museum I noticed that each summer we were getting more and more international visitors to the Abbe. Many of our international visitors are from the cruise ships, visiting scientists from the Jackson Lab, or just in Acadia on vacation. One thing they all have in common is their desire to learn about the Native American Culture in the State of Maine and Dr. Robert Abbe’s role in creating the museum to preserve the Wabanaki pre–European history. It became obvious that many of our visitors had limited English language skills so reading the labels and brochures was not a good option. There had to be a better way to engage these visitors and make them feel welcome.
I have been a French teacher for 42 years and it seemed logical to translate at least the introductory brochure into as many languages as possible. I began by asking some of my language teacher colleagues in Sarasota, Florida, and then my language friends at The Villages, Florida. The following people are responsible for the work done on these translations: German: Gretl Stinnes; Spanish: Erika Moxidowler; Italian: Miriam Gebhardt and Luciana Haynes; French: Agnès Corizzi and Terry Willard. We know that these translations will make a difference to our international visitors. It is our hope that these translations will “inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit.”
Last year the Abbe Museum hosted 25,000 visitors representing every state and over 30 countries. Approximately 9.8% of our guests were international visitors. There are so many other languages that need to be done. If you have the time and the talent, please contact Astra Haldeman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Terry Willard: BA (1969), MA (1983) and CAS (1987) at the University of Maine/Orono. Terry has taught French for 42 years: 26 years at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Maine; 10 years for Sarasota Adult and Community Education in Sarasota, Florida and 6 years at The Villages Lifelong Learning College at The Villages, Florida.
Image 1: Terry Willard at the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts Springs, where she welcomes guests in both English and French throughout the Summer and Fall.
Image 2: Sample of an informational text, translated into French by Terry Willard and Agnès Corizzi.