Patricia Munoz

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Should Debates be allowed in another languages?

My strongest is my native language (Spanish) and I would feel more comfortable debating and making my point in that language. Since TED is a global iniciative, maybe we shouldn't limite the interchange or spreading of ideas to one language. Do you think others can feel that way or should we treat English as the main language for TED?

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    Feb 15 2011: It is indeed not easy for everyone to join an English conversation. So, from that perspective it would be great to have conversations in your own language. I agree with that. But looking at it another way, it would also mean that many things that will be discussed will only be available for the relatively small group of people speaking the language in question. You could join the Spanish conversations and look at the English ones every now and then, and I could join a conversation in Dutch. But we would deny ourselves the opportunity to appreciate each other's conversations. I hope that in the not too distant future translating technology will make it possible to have a real conversation between people who do not share a language, but until then I think making the effort to speak a foreign language is worth it. Especially on a site like this.
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    Feb 15 2011: It is coming:

    Later this spring, Conversations users will have the ability to start or participate in conversations in any language, track them over time with email notifications, and see what conversations their friends are participating in.

    http://www.ted.com/pages/gcp_about
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    Feb 15 2011: Agree. Some people can read well but lack proper grammar and do a mess when trying to explain somewhat complex ideas.

    Like this, i guess.
  • Feb 26 2011: How can a good idea be spread all over the world if English is the only language we use here? I agree with you Patricia. I am in favor of debating in my native language as well.
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    Feb 21 2011: I wouldn't mind having some conversations in Romanian, I don't get to speak it too often here in Germany...

    Of course English will remain the main language, but other languages should also be supported.
  • Feb 17 2011: Why not a multi threaded- multi lingual approach?
    I'm pretty fluent in both Spanish and English, for example. I could seed a question or start a debate in both (imagine a tree with 2 branches). Those who can also write in both languages could answer in both branches, those fluent in only one of them could post on their branch, or start a new branch if they know another language. There could be an option to collaboratively translate popular or relevant answers so that they could appear trough all the language branches.

    (Imagining this, I see it would be amazing to have a visual representation of a particularly intense debate trough different branches/languages. Ideas do spread like wildfires after all.)
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    Feb 15 2011: I think they should. But they should also be curated or moderated by people proficient in those other languages and preferably translated too.