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Would you translate (or spread) a TED talk if you didn't agree with it's topic or the speaker's point of view?

I think, I've said it all in the title.

Would you translate a TED talk even if you did not agree with it? Do you think that people will feel you agree if they see your name written next to it?

Would you be willing to spread ideas, even if you did not agree with them?

Topics: diversity ideas
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    Apr 25 2012: Dear Dimitra,

    I wanted to say "yes", at first. I would translate a talk I don't agree with. I think I've reviewed talks I don't agree with. I like to learn new and different opinions, and share different ideas.

    But then I remembered there was one talk that at first seemed interesting, but after hearing the speaker, I chose to ignore it because I strongly disagreed with what he said. This opportunity, however, made me think differently. I decided I'm going to translate it and maybe learn something new in the process. Because, every time I translate, I go deeper into the subject, find out something that wasn't there on the first glance. I can stil disagree with his words, but I can also give other people a chance to agree ar disagree.

    Thank you for this conversation and everyone who contributed!
  • Apr 25 2012: The reason I joined the open translation project was to help spread ideas I felt were worth spreading. There are way too many TED videos out there and far too little time to translate all the ones I've loved, much less the ones I didn't.

    Nevertheless, I agree with the point you made in one of your posts: even if I disagree with a video, translating it would allow for a bigger audience and a bigger audience would mean more people to think about the idea, criticize it and even refine it.

    Now, having said the above, I should also mention that so far I haven't watched a single TED video that I felt opposed to. All the reactions I recall having ranged from "meh =/ " to "AWESOME!! o/", never "OUTRAGEOUS!! >("

    As for the second part of your question, yes, I believe people would automatically assume I agree with the video. We're all volunteers here, we don't need to translate these videos to make a living, so it seems natural to me that one would assume I chose a particular video because I liked something about it. Of course a volunteer could only be translating in order to hone their skills and choosing videos solely based on how easy or hard the English transcript looks, but I don't think the average viewer would bother thinking that deeply into the matter :p
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    Apr 25 2012: I do translate :) cause It helps me to open my mind to other prospective.... it is hard to start, but you enjoy at the end and also learn a lot :)
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    Apr 22 2012: Thank you, dearest Mary M. For me it is a great pleasure to translate TED Talks as a volunteer.... Translation is also my job. But maybe when you volunteer you do a priceless job ;)
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    Apr 22 2012: Translating and forwarding a talk are, to me, different. I am not a translator so I will discuss the spreading of an idea I am not in agreement with. A week ago I read a conversation that suggested all girls would manditorially lose their virginity by the age of 18. I strongly objected to the subject on many grounds and that this subject let alone the act was a insult to women and akin to rape. I spoke strongly against and would never endorse or send this to anyone. I would like to believe that I hold certain morals and principals that ex-president Clinton does not practice. I would however, listen to his views on US policy. I would like to think that I am fair but also realize that in some areas I am bias. So I would have to say that it would depend on the topic and the speakers point of view. I told a "homeless guy" I would give him $5 to talk to me for a few minutes. He said he was happy with his life and that he made about $200 to $300 a day. I ask him if he wanted a job and he ask why he would want to change. He thinks the people who give him money are fools. Maybe he has it right. We pay Al Gore a lot of money to be the face of Global warming while he lives in non-energy houses at more than a million apiece, travels in a massive polluting jet, and has been called one of the largest carbon footprinters of all times. Yet we listen to him as he says "we" are destroying the planet. Why. I am sure that you can name others that preach one thing and practice another. Don't ask a veteran about "Hanoi Jane" Fonda who was a traitor to the United States and offered aid and comfort to the enemy. But even TED ignored the facts about her and asked her to talk and has it in the TED files. I hope that TED did not agree with her politics but allowed her a opportunity to speak. If I pass it on and do not agree I say so. I'm to old for silly games. All the best. Bob
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      Apr 22 2012: :)
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        Apr 22 2012: Sorry Mary I value your opinion but no reply came though. Bob
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          Apr 22 2012: Robert, how could you not see the happy face...........that was me smiling at your comment. Guess I assumed you understand sign language...lol

          Truly, I enjoyed your comment.......I did not want to add anything else..I wanted it to stand all on it's own. Thank you
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    May 11 2012: Yes. I feel that if you disagree with something others will too. Some might also agree with the speaker, but you must give them a chance to either agree or disagree. If not, well what's the point?
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    May 7 2012: Translating is a technical act, supportive in general of the principles of your chosen TED community.
    Agreeing with a particular speaker or presentation is a personal act, specifically supportive of the idea(s) presented.

    Translating is NOT spreading, it is simply enhancing the accessibility of a work. Potential readers still get to decide if they want to read it. Of those who choose to read it, each gets to decide if they agree - in whole or in part - with the work. That decision belongs to the readers, not the translator.

    Maybe the most persuasive and artful rebuttal of an idea you don't agree with will come from someone who read YOUR translation! Democracy is neither easy nor pretty!
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    Apr 30 2012: I open my earsto what everyone has to say but if the idea is BS I could not find myself to translate something that I find horribly wrong
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    Apr 30 2012: yeah, i would. From my perspective, we should respect other's idea no matter what it is. As for whether it is true or not, people have their own different points of view. There is no person having totally same opinion.
  • Apr 24 2012: Your question started me thinking about censure where do you draw the line? history has taught that it is a double edge sword. What a society believes is a proper way to express its ideology while stopping those within that society from expressing there own counter ideas about how that society should be,takes away freedom of expression and this only happens in societies that have little faith in the people who live there which creates oppression .In a strong society freedom of speech is welcomed if you take the best of those ideas and use them to better the society.Sadly this place does not exist yet ,but I believe it is possible these seeds have been planted in many countries in history usually after a bloody revolution that started because of an idea.Look at the history of any revolution and the first thing the victors declared was that this was the beginning of a utopia where all men are created equal,well we know how that worked out .I hope the day will come when man has evolved to where he trusts his fellow men to do the right thing ,so that questions like this Dimitra , will never be asked again.By the way I have been to your city it is beautiful .
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    Apr 24 2012: Sometimes if you didn't agree with any topic discussed here... there may be reasons that your interpretation is not perfect and in that case you shall refrain yourself from translating. Although this is just one of the possibility. Personally, I take translations which I love from the bottom of my heart so as to spread that word in my language perfectly. It will surely be difficult if I am in mode of complete disagreement with any topic.
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    Apr 23 2012: If I did not agree with a concept I would try to form an intelligent rebuttal, If I could not put an intelligent disagreement to paper then I would do a lot of research before I put my name next to anything
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    Apr 22 2012: No.
    And yes.

    Dimitra Papageorgiou, I spread the ideas presented in TED talks all the time. I can't say that I end up agreeing with any of them. As I do with most of my reading, I anticipate the possibility of complete correctness and accuracy. Then I imagine the speaker or writer having a conversation with someone with an opposing view. I let them challenge each other.

    I share what I have noticed and what I agree with and what I don't agree with. Mostly my decision to share or not share comes from my conclusions about the importance of the topic.

    Greek and French? An interesting collection of languages you have.

    I cannot translate very well into Spanish, my only other language, but if translating was the task at hand, I would do my best to stay true to the intent of the speaker or writer. (I would still want to say what III think, somewhere, somehow.)

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    Apr 22 2012: No, I probably won't, but is there a system of removing unappealing ideas, if there were any? Though I want to add that all ideas are worth examing, so others can learn what to do or what not to do. I guess I should rephrase that I would spread the idea and how it isn't a good idea or one that I agree with. =)
  • Apr 22 2012: Wouldn't NOT translating 'what we don't agree with' simply amount to another form of censorship?

    Don't we have enough problems with dealing with "fredom of information issues", without complicating it by trying to judge the information's merit?

    I don't agree with a lot of things I've heard and seen, from a lot of places, but the fact remains that I had access to it, and was able to determine its merit on my own...

    As for myself, I would be pleased to debate the validity of content that I (personally) had translated, if it were to happen... but I could only speak for my own opinions.

    As for other people thinking that I agreed with it, I'm sure they would soon recognise that the translation was only a task, not a belief.
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    Apr 21 2012: Most of the times i translate TED talks just because i want to practice my English/Greek.Picking the right word (even when there is no exact translation) is a challenge i'm always willing to take!.I don't really agree that when people see my name next to the video they will think that i agree with the idea.And i don't do it so as the people see my name next to it.
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    Apr 21 2012: TED is one new Babel Tower. With a lot of translators, speakers, lenguges, ideas and words for millions....

    Really are we prepared to speak in interlingua franca?,,,,why all has to be said in english....to be polite, for courtesy...why not in other lenguages? Traduttore ,traditore ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
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      Apr 22 2012: Jaime...omeedeto gozaimasu!!! Me gustan tus ideas.....genial. :)

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    Apr 21 2012: When you translate, I don't think most readers consider you an author. In terms of whether you should refuse to spread or translate talks you don't agree with, I think there are distinct cases within that category.
    Being open-minded means we should be willing to listen to the arguments people make for positions we don't agree with. We might change our views, but even if we don't, it is beneficial to understamd the thinking of those who have a different point of view. An example here might be a talk by an atheist or by a believer. I think whichever point of view you hold, it advances understanding in the world if we all hear intelligent and thoughtful arguments from either sort of speaker.
    Moving perhaps outside the TED arena, if what you read or hear is something that is not just an opposing point of view but goes beyond this to being truly reprehensible, like slander or racism, I would not translate or spread it. This situation would not arise in TED but fits in the context of your broader question "Would you be willing to spread ideas, even if you didn't agree with them?"
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    Apr 21 2012: Dimitra,

    Here is a video of an author being interviewed......listen to the advice her mother gave her, perhaps it will help you have peace with whatever decision you make.


    Be Well
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      Apr 21 2012: Hi Mary,

      I have already translated several TED talks that I don't agree 100% in order to discuss them with Greek friends.
      I don't consider my point of view to be the only valid or true, therefore I don't mind considering ideas that initially feel strange or wrong to me.
      It is surprising how useful a strange idea may prove to be or how much it may change your point of view.
      You may even find, that after all, there are aspects you can totally agree upon and that can lead to a world that respectfully embraces diversity.
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        Apr 21 2012: Humility Dimitra, yes, we cannot consider our point of view the only valid one.

        And, many times, it is the ideas that I most disagree with that time and again I meditate on. Because of the desire of understanding the others' point of view.

        Thank you so much for replying to my comment.

        I had a very good friend from Greece who lived overseas the same as me, we did some travelling together, her name was Elizabeth. I still remember the Greek phrase she taught me till this day..

        Be Well
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      Apr 22 2012: Thank you for sharing the video of Elizabeth Gilbert. Beautiful, indeed.
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        Apr 22 2012: You are welcome :)
  • May 18 2012: Absolutely not.
  • May 17 2012: Would TED post a topic that is real talk about rich people where the entry fee starts at $7,500—and reaches heights of $125,000? http://roundtable.nationaljournal.com/2012/05/the-inequality-speech-that-ted-wont-show-you.php
  • May 17 2012: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" -Evelyn Beatrice Hall kinda summed it up. But would I personally refuse to translate something I despised? Yes I would. In actively participating in its release, you are lending yourself to it's dissemination. I also would do nothing to prevent it's dissemination.
  • May 16 2012: I do frequently if i think the view is well stated and interesting. I have enjoyed talks that are different than my prospective in dramatic ways, and I think help us to see the world better even if I don't agree with all or perhaps any of the content.

    Translating I can see a legitimate issue on the other hand and if I spoke a second language well enough I would have more difficulty feeling I was doing the translation justice if I either didn't understand the speaker or did not come from similar prospective. The better I think I understand the case being made the more I would be tempted to translate even if I disagree with view.

    If it was a political leader I would also be more tempted to attempt a translation. What's in their head matters more as they have realistic and direct power.

    Final point I think it has more to do with your respect of the speaker than your agreement.
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    May 16 2012: I sometimes run into this at work. I am not the only person on the planet. If I disagree with the content or ideas I would not perpetuate or further disseminate. Someone else without an issue can disseminate it. It does not have to be me.
  • May 14 2012: I do in fact always create dialog on topics of discussion that I don't agree with. The purpose is to get ideas and perspectives on topics that I might not be familiar with and that may even change my own way of thinking. I always appreciate difference in all of its forms. Afterall, it's the reason I come ot TED.
  • May 13 2012: Sincerely, no. I think that disagreeing means not support.how can one cooperate with the dissemination of anything he/she think is wrong?
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    May 12 2012: Depends how much I was against them, I may like Mohammad said not be able to find the motivation to do it but if I very strongly disagree'd with it then I would still probably do it if no one else was willing to do it but feel a little down as I said it and wouldn't sound as inspiring.
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    May 12 2012: I would spread it. However I may not translate it voluntarily. Voluntary translation jobs requires huge motivation that this translation is going to help the people of my community. Now if I do not agree to a certain talk I may not find that motivation to start translating it.