The Instigator
acetraveler
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
brian_eggleston
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

In my opinion, I think WSDC participants can be allowed to speak their mother tongue.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,980 times Debate No: 4500
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (8)

 

acetraveler

Pro

*cite from : http://www.idebate.org...

*Videos of Debate Championship
-http://video.google.co.uk...=

*WSDE : World Schools Debating Championships

*My argument
Participants of World Schools Debating Championships must use English in the current situation of contest.

But I think this situation does not correspond with that Championships' purpose in that reason. So I think these participants can speak their own language, this Championships must accept participation of simultaneous interpreters. What are your opinions?

1. Debate participant's can learn highest ability of debate.

-But non-English users cannot show their full ability of debate in the Championship because they have the language barrier. They should learn English and debate skills at once. But English users need to only learn debate skills. This situation is unfair. So I propose this Championship's accept participating of simultaneous interpreters. In this situation, debate participants can choose English or their own language to speak. So all the participants can display their full talent, they can more improve their skills of debate.

2. This Championships purpose encouranging World's Debate culture.

-In this English-speaking world's residents, this debate can be used the beginning to interest debate and other cultures. But in other people's, especially unskilled people who are beginners of English cannot understand Championship movie so they cannot interest debate and other culture.

3. This Championships plan promoting international understanding.

-Only English users can understand these debates well far more than non-English users. I have the question for you : "Is this championships really plan promoting international understanding? Can it promote international understanding well?"

4. This Championships work for freedom of speech.

Language barrier can also restrain freedom of speech. Accepting the participation of simultaneous interpreters can reform these situation.
brian_eggleston

Con

Je remercie mon adversaire de commencer cette discussion int�ressante.

Simultaneous French / English translation: I thank my opponent for starting this interesting debate.

Erstmal, Ich stimme darin �berein, dass Amerikaner und Britisches Volk nicht am Sprechen von Fremdsprachen normalerweise fleissig sind. Aus diesem Grund setze ich den Rest meines Arguments auf Englischsprache fort!

Simultaneous German / English translation: First of all, I will concede that American and British people are not usually conscientious when it comes to speaking foreign languages. For this reason, I will set forth the rest of my argument in English!

I will answer the points my opponent raised in turn.

1 – It is true that speakers of English as a second language may be at a disadvantage in terms of being able to express themselves as fluently as a native speaker. However, this is not always the case. For instance, English is my wife's fifth language (after Slovak, Czech, Polish and Russian) and yet she has a better command of English than many British and American-born people I know. In those cases where a debater's English is flawed, the judges should make allowances for this. Furthermore, simultaneous translation is subject to misinterpretation, mistakes and the interpreter can easily miss the nuances of the debater's argument. In addition, it is distracting to the audience, rather like watching a foreign language film with subtitles.

2 – Encouraging international debate is, indeed, a noble and worthwhile cause. However, English is the most widely spoken language in the world, it being the international lingua franca of commerce, industry and politics. English-only debates will give those less able to speak English an extra incentive to learn.

3 – The championship will promote international understanding if it is conducted in one common language. For example, a friend of mine in Istanbul regularly travels on business to Switzerland and Iran. The meetings are conducted in English since neither the Swiss nor the Iranians speak Turkish. You see, the English language has the ability to promote international understanding that would not otherwise be possible.

4 – As far as freedom of speech is concerned, English is a particularly malleable language, which allows most ideas and concepts to be expressed and understood, even when the vocabulary employed is basic and the grammar used is flawed.

Thank you for your kind attention and good luck to my opponent in their first debate on this site.
Debate Round No. 1
acetraveler

Pro

Thank you to participate in this debate. Then, this is my turn and I reply.

First, Mulitilingual Users like your wife can easily understand what debaters say and have few mistakes to interpret and show well what accent are contained in thier words and what their words mean. And, I can find some important situations when I watch the videos of the Championships, participants of debate in the Championships also correct their words sometimes and they have delay sometimes when they don't have an idea for a while what words are proper to express their arguments and logics by using their relatively short English. No matter how judges try to consider this situation, it can impact expression of debators and can be valued estimation by judges. If debators can be allowed to use thier mother tongue, they can have less mistakes than present situation.
In the current situation, Guaranteeing participation of simultaneous interpreters can guarantee debaters more choice who are English is relatively short. In my suggestion, they can choose between relatively short English that can provoke their own mistakes and delay and thier skillful mother tongue that can provoke mistakes by simultaneous interpreters. I don't think simultaneous interpreters in the situation who are good in many language have far more mistakes and delay than debaters who use their short English. In addition, debaters and simultaneous interpreters can also have the time to practice together before the time of debate so they can minimize their mistakes and debaters who have short English can believe simultaneous interpreters because they will well show their words without serious mistake and distracting words from debaters.

Second, I can't exactly understand 'English-only debates will give those less able to speak English an extra incentive to learn.' But anyway, I reply.
Artificial intelligence that can be used to translate also develop constantly and that can be realized that the level is not less than humen in the near future, so this stream will also give those less able to speak English an extra incentive to learn and people can speak their own language with foreigners by using the intelligence. This assumption is based on the information of the book named 'THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR' written by Ray Kurzweil. So I think English-only debate in the international contest of debate will be outdated in the future international society and the Championships also need to prepare this situation. Should we still preserve English-only to be allowed in the Championships?
In addition, understanding English-only debates are also study of English in my case. I think it is not so specially different to others who also have short English like me.

Third, I admit English language has the ability to promote international understanding. But I don't agree that would not otherwise be possible. In your example, your friend and participants of meetings can use English at least the appropriate level in the meeting. But, If they also have the appropriate level of the Swiss and Turkish or they can be helped by well-trained simultaneous interpreters, do you really think other languages would not possible to promote international understanding? Of course English Users in the other worlds can be more hard to understand and access the outcomes of the meetings, but the Swiss and Iranians who are the interested parties but who have English relatively short can be more understand and access more easily the outcomes of the meeting so international understanding can be also improved in the aspects. In addition, when simultaneous interpreters be allowed to participate in the Championships, they can also translate English to their mother tongue and this situation can be also filmed to videos so non-English users around the world can also have no special obstacles to understand whole debate, and international understanding can be more improved more than English-only to be allowed in the Championships.

Finally, I admit your argument in this paragraph is right. But If participants can be allowed to choose English or thier mother tongue, don't you think they can express their opinion more easily and freedon of speech can be more guaranteed than present situaion? No matter how participants from non-Englishspeaking countries English well and English is a so flexible language, I think their English cannot overcome thier mother language in the most cases. What do you think about it?

My counterattacks are over. I'll wait your reply.
brian_eggleston

Con

My opponent describes him or herself as having "short English" so I assume he or she is not a native English speaker…although he or she is being very modest as his or her standard of English is much better than some of the debaters in this site that have English as their first language!

In his or her response, my opponent wrote:

"…I can't exactly understand 'English-only debates will give those less able to speak English an extra incentive to learn.'

Please allow me to elaborate. The type of young people who join debating societies are usually very intelligent and destined to become people with influence and elevated social positions. They may become politicians, captains of industry, scientists, military officers, or they may join one of the professions. Whatever career path they follow, however, in whatever country they live and work, they are likely to need to speak good English.

Take the European Union, for instance. The official languages are: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.

With so many languages, the official requirement for translation in the European Parliament causes a great deal of complexity and expense.

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

This huge cost of translation services is, in practice, unnecessary, as many of the debates take place in English, with only the French (who are very defensive about their language) speaking in their native tongue.

As it happens, I walked into a bar near the European Parliament one night not so long ago and I ordered some drinks in French (as that is the local language). However, the barman just looked at me blankly, it turned out he was a foreigner and didn't speak French. Therefore, I ordered in English and duly got served with no further problems. Actually, that bar was very crowded and I could hear accents from all over Europe (except Britain) there, yet everybody was speaking English to each other as it is the language everybody understands best after their own.

I believe t is inevitable that European Union will soon ignore France's concerns about the diminishing importance of the French language and officially adopt English as the language of the EU. After all, India – the world's largest democracy - has 17 official languages, yet only one of them, English is used in Parliamentary debates.

So we can see that speaking English is important the formal debating arenas of government and this is why debaters should be incentivised to master the language.

Finally, I would like you to consider this: There may have a native English-speaker debating someone whose English is slow, basic and deliberate because it is not their first language and the judges will give credit to them for this. However, if the native English-speaker is nervous and stammers and stutters his words he would not get any credit. In this case, being a non-native English speaker would be a positive advantage!
Debate Round No. 2
acetraveler

Pro

I'll be sorry to you. If I can predict this debate progress this interesting way, I must have set 5 round on this debate. But anyway, this is my last turn, so I start my final reply in this debate.

Your examples are attached too much importance to English Speaking World and European countries. I'm a Korean. If this site provide me service of translate, I need not spend so much time to search dictionary and correct there words again and again(I guess it is the half of my time during using this site) whenever I cannot think proper English words and I want to know the exact mean of your words to prevent my distracting interpretation. I can guess European leaders except England also spend so much time and expense to speak technical terms of English like experts of English. And my nation, China, Japan, and so many other countries excluded your examples still use their mother tongue except English to their official language include debates of parliaments. Of course these countries also concern English very much, but still many people in these countries consider English are still foreign language and such of them also intelligent as compared with many English-users.

You said me "the official requirement for translation in the European Parliament causes a great deal of complexity and expense.". But, as I have mentioned before, if you can think this expense, why don't you think the expense of English education around the world include the leaders of European countries? Of course, English is a widely-used language around the world so leaders in the world have to use English at least to some extent. But you also maybe heard specialization in labor. Each people concentrate there best of work and deal with other people, so whole society can maximize the whole wealth.

The Best of work for captains of industry well manage there companies.
The Best of work for military officers well control there army.
The Best of work for scientists well research there subjects.
The Best of work for the leaders are not use English well like the experts of English except the leaders of English speaking world.
Leaders also can learn English of the level of expert with spending much time and expense, but if industry of translation is far more advanced, many leaders can more concentrate productive work so it can be also benefit of our world include European countries in your example. So I think the huge cost of translation services is, in practice, necessary if the cost of education for technical terms when are using in Parliaments is less than complexity and the expense of your consideration.

And the example of bar, also short English users who can only simple chat can use bars. I also think simultaneous interpreters are not needed like the place. We debate to use "technical terms" of English like using international debate. This example is the out of topic in this aspect.

And my first suggestion is "Participants of WSDC can be allowed to choose their mother tongue or English.". They also know the importance of English, so I remain the chance of using English by participants of debate.

Finally, but if participants of English speaking countries and participants of non-English speaking countries have a similar talent of debate, don't you think participants of non-English speaking countries have a critical disadvantage more than participants of English speaking countries? Your final examples cannot realized easily. Because when participants of English speaking countries need to practice more debate skill, participants of non-English speaking countries must practice more English first. It is not equal conditions.
So, at least, participants of non-English speaking countries should be allowed to choose between English and help of simultaneous interpreters.
brian_eggleston

Con

I thank my opponent for his / her reply. I accept that 5 rounds is perhaps too long so I will also make this my last argument.

We learn that my opponent is Korean, which makes his / her contribution even more impressive. I studied Korean for two years. Not only is the script non-Latin, the vocabulary not related to any other language in the world, but the grammar is fundamentally different to English too. I gave up!

However, more intelligent people than myself, such as my opponent, my Korean ex-girlfriend (I mean she was my girlfriend, she is still Korean!) and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have proved that it is possible to make convey sophisticated concepts and ideas using English as a medium.

My opponent mentioned the use of English in the Far East. I will give an example of English being used between two Chinese speakers. The Chinese word for "buy" is "mai" and the Chinese word for "sell" is "mai". Written in Latin script they look the same but in Chinese characters they are different. In speech the difference is only the inflection on the pronunciation, which can lead to fundamental mistakes being made. Therefore, English is employed in many large Taiwanese companies to avoid any such confusion.

Although in China English is not used in government, because there are several Chinese dialects, plus many other languages such as Tibetan, Mongol and Uygur in use across the country, they use Mandarin as the lingua franca. Therefore, representatives in Parliament from outside the Han Chinese provinces must debate in a second language.

Therefore, we must conclude that the case for simultaneous translation in debates is not made. However, I would implore the judges to give my opponent credit for conducting his / her arguments in a foreign language.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
brian_eggleston
You are welcome, Acetraveler, I enjoyed debating you. Good luck with your future debates!
Posted by acetraveler 9 years ago
acetraveler
Thank you for debating with me, 'brian_eggles
ton'. This debate is a good experience in this debate.
Posted by LakevilleNorthJT 9 years ago
LakevilleNorthJT
I vote PRO because the resolution is asking for his opinion.
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