This Question comes from a student at the school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that I recently spoke with from Alexandria.
At any given time aboard ship you can find a number of nationalities and languages represented. I just took an inventory and at this very moment we have the following;
Plus myself and 1 “Other” (who defies nationality and speaks 8 languages with an inscrutable accent)
The principal language of the team is French, and all meetings, reports, and etc related to the underwater archaeological work go on in French. 70%
English is the default language for communicating outside of ones mother tongue, however, Spanish is a close 3rd. Because we often work in Cuba, several of the french team members speak Spanish with a Cuban accent, which the Catalan find very amusing, and Arabic words are often mixed in with any conversation. The inevitable babel that ensues in any animated conversation seems unprintable, both literally and figuratively.
But don’t forget that when we are underwater, its sign language for everyone!