Global Issues TEDx

Some things are just untranslatable: TEDx playlists in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian

Posted by: Emmie Le Marchand
These TEDx Talks in French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Photo: TEDxBanskáBystrica

These TEDx Talks in French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are as delicious as carved watermelon. Photo: TEDxBanskáBystrica

With the increased teaching of English around the globe, world languages are dying at a rate of one every 14 days. Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!In her classic talk from TEDxDubai, Patricia Ryan — an English speaker who has lived and taught in Arabic countries for over 30 years — argues that the focus on English is limiting creative thought. If one language can express thoughts that others can’t, why do we insist on equating intelligence with knowledge of English?

Dozens of TEDx events take place around the globe each week and, at them, talks are delivered in a wide variety of languages — celebrating the inherent creativity of a speaker’s native language. Here, collections of TEDx talks in Portuguese, French, Spanish and Russian, courtesy of the TEDx Blog. Because, as Ryan says, some things are just untranslatable.

Uma playlist de TEDx em portugues: 5 talks in Portuguese
These five talks in Portuguese bring us a little flavor of Brazilian and Portuguese culture. Travel with a microbiologist as he explores frozen climes and encounters carnivorous plants; learn about Girl Geek Dinners; and enjoy some hilarious stand-up comedy.

Une playlist de TEDx en francais: 5 talks in French
In the language of love, these five talks range far and wide across francophone culture, touching on topics from the impending zombie apocalypse to the Romani people to the five senses of computers. This playlist also includes Florence Servan Schreiber’s talk from TEDxParisSalon on the connection between gratitude and longevity that has been watched more than 45,000 times.

Una playlist de TEDx en espanol: 5 talks in Spanish
With just short of 400 million speakers worldwide, the Spanish language has a huge influence on international culture. In this series of talks, we hear from the son of a famous drug lord, a transgendered biologist working in Colombia and the creator of a cup made from 100% organic material.

5 Talks in Russian: TEDx’s first Russian playlist!
How can we consider a museum a living organism? Who really controls the internet? What would it be like to be a journalist in Kyrgyzstan? All these questions and more will be answered in this series of talks in Russian.

For more information on TEDx events and speakers, head to the TEDx Blog »

Comments (5)

  • Alice Long commented on Aug 13 2013

    I’m all for linguistic diversity, speak three languages myself and am learning a few more, but the opening premise of this post is flawed. (“With the increased teaching of English around the globe, world languages are dying at a rate of one every 14 days.”)

    English may have a part to play in the process of linguistic extinction, but it is hardly the sole or even the main cause. The main cause is the encroachment of major regional and national languages on local languages, and ironically all of the languages featured above are “guilty” of this. After all no-one would claim that any of these languages are in danger of becoming extinct. Rather it is the local languages spoken in those countries having Russian, French, Spanish and Portuguese as official languages that are becoming extinct.

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  • commented on Jul 6 2013

    Reblogged this on pitrejeanclaude.

  • Alexander Swallow commented on Jul 2 2013

    Reblogged this on one swallow makes a summer.