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That where English is not the national language, we should prefer debating in English to another language

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10 points
lysithealysithea (PRO)
First of all, I'm new and I'm trying this for the experience. Second, English is not my first language so the way I perceive the statement may be different from how my opponent is perceiving it. That's all I've got to say to start it off. Now with the topic, "That where English is not the national language, we should prefer debating in English to another language". I'm going to make an example to project how I perceive it. So let's say we're in a Hungarian school having a debate. It is said that the debate should be preferred in English rather than Hungarian. My opinions from the pro subordinate, are that I do think we should prefer debating in English to another language. The main reason on why I stand on this opinion is for educational purposes. It is not essential though I think it should be preferred. It expands vocabulary and therefore knowledge on the forum. Moreover, if it's set to be an important debate, it is essential that people from around the world can understand and learn from it. A universal debate is more likely to be more globally educational for it attracts not only local audiences but internationally as well. More people learning means more opinions and therefore more knowledge to learn from. Communication is the greatest advantage. As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, English allows you to communicate with people all across the world. It hasn't broken down the language barrier, but English can help you bypass it in most cases. A debate should be a media of knowledge. A way of acquiring knowledge. And the fact that using English in it has a chance to bypass the language barrier internationally in-depth of it to educate internationally, is definitively one of the reasons why we should prefer using the language to another language. It benefits not only audiences but participants as well. Participants will be more likely to be selective over words and therefore forming better sentences as a result. It also helps as in times of practice, participants will often look for vocabularies that are more suitable to the argument. Being unfamiliar to a vocabulary will make participants develop a form of enthusiasm to look for the vocabulary and from that learning new vocabulary. That way it also stimulates multiple fields of knowledge in our minds. It should be mainly about learning and expanding one's mind and perspective. An activity such as a debate should be able to get participants to think critically not just opinion-wise but linguistically as well. For great minds and great opinions should be acknowledged and heard internationally. We should expand the use of the forum and have it more accessible for people around the globe. Therefore, I think using English should be preferred.
Return To Top | Posted:
2020-04-20 19:44:47
| Speak Round
culturedcultured (CON)
I do debates often, mainly in English but I’m fluent in other languages and so, I have debated in other languages. 

I disagree that in a Hungarian school, English should be preferred. Why? Because, no matter the amount of children in the school that do speak English, a large percent won’t be able to speak it at all, and a larger percent won’t know how to speak it fluently. 

So, why is it important that everyone in a debate knows how to speak the language fluently? Let me put it into a situation. A class of about 30 Hungarians are having a debate. Majority speak English fluently, some speak bits of it, but a few have no knowledge of it.

Whenever trying to make a point, there’s a large chance of someone misinterpreting what someone’s point is. The whole point of a debate is to be able to see both perspectives and judge which one is best, so how can the debate begin if one does not understand the topic? 

Debates are meant to be something everyone can take part in, and put their opinion towards, so it shouldn’t be different in non-speaking English countries. The debate will just end up confusing for people who cannot speak it.

I think it’s also important to note that, yes, English is important to learn in some aspects, but I do not think it should be “preferred”. If everyone can speak Hungarian perfectly (as it’s their native tongue) why force others to stay out of the debate by switching to a different language?

Hopefully you can see where I’m coming from, but if not I’ll reiterate it again. Imagine you were attempting to participate in a debate in Spain. Everyone was speaking Spanish, and everyone understood each-other. Yet you were there, unable to add anything, because it’s not your native tongue. 

It would irritate you, right? Not being able to add your own opinions because of the language barrier? So why change it for others? Who may be in your shoes? Why tell someone they can’t speak their native language, and have to speak yours? 

My point is, if a group of entirely fluent people were told to change to a language that only half understood, everything would be miscommunicated. And the action would be pointless. Now obviously, this is not the case all the time, but the question refers to all cases. 

Yes, I would have no problem with entirely fluent English speakers in a different country to speak English, but when they don’t know it and feel too shy or “I’m not good enough at the language to try to contribute”, there is no need to change the language.

In conclusion, I believe that whatever their native tongue is, should stay as the language they speak in. And I deem it unnecessary to change it, therefore possibly blocking others from trying to join in. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2020-04-21 00:51:46
| Speak Round
culturedcultured (CON)
It seems pro has forfeited the round. However, I still stand by the statements and points I made prior to this. Hopefully next round will be a better one. 
Return To Top | Posted:
2020-04-26 05:44:52
| Speak Round

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Previous Judgments

2020-05-06 08:06:50
Bugsy460Judge: Bugsy460    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: cultured
2020-05-06 12:20:32
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: cultured
PRO makes the sole point that debating in English should be preferred in a non-english speaking country such as Hungary - because it will force the debaters to expand their vocabulary, and improve their English.
There's a subtle second point where PRO states that English should be preferred for ALL debates because it's a more global language and it will make debates, especially important ones, more accessible.

CON's case is that forcing people to argue in a language which is not they are not fluent leads to miscommunication. CON also brings up that this miscommunication may not be restricted to the debaters themselves, but will likely also extend anyone listening to it.

PRO's forfeits the remaining rounds so this point is never countered and must stand. CON wins.

Well Ironically, your case actually proves CON's point. Your case was really hard to understand. Or, to be more specific, I understood all the words you used, but there were long periods where what you were saying didn't appear to be in line with your case, which made me question whether I was understanding you correctly.
You spent a decent chunk of your case arguing that English should be preferred everywhere - this was not the resolution and actually contradicted your main point. Your main point was that forcing someone to debate in a non-native language was preferred, but if all debates should be conducted in English, then you'd need to explain why it's not preferred that native English speakers shouldn't debate in a different language. Surely if your first point is true, then it should follow that ALL debates should take place in an alternative language so that everyone can improve their language skills?

You had stated that English was not your first language, so it's possible that I'm misreading what you said there, but I read it pretty carefully so I don't think so.

For any debate, it's crucial that you define the resolution. Your opening line conceded that there was a chance that you were misunderstanding the resolution. This makes it REALLY important for you to define YOUR understanding of it in the first round. As PRO, you basically get to set the resolution to whatever you want, so don't worry about misreading it. But you need to be very clear about what it is you're arguing.
Is it that English is preferred for everyone, or that debating in a non-native language is preferred... this wasn't clear.

The other thing that could have helped is for you to use formatting to better space your points out.
See how this point stands out from the one I just made?
That's because I left a nice blank line between the points. It lets the reader know that one point is finished and this is a new one. It also allows me to emphasis certain points, because most people pay more attention to the first line of any paragraph. More paragraphs, more first lines, more points to force the reader to pay attention to.

Finally, don't forfeit. This is a debate - it's partly about who makes the best points, but it's also about who can rebut the opponent's points. You allowed CON to rebut yours, but you didn't rebut theirs. That's weak.

CON - nothing much to feedback here. You did a text book job. I especially like the way you defined the issue, (people may not be fluent) and then explained WHY that was important. (risk of miscommunication)

If I could find one very small criticism to make, it would be that you could have made that point in less than half the space. There's a certain impact that a short but concise argument has. It's not often a case is so simple that you can get away with it, but this one was.
Think of it this way, the more words you use, the more words there are for a good opponent to use against you. There are a lot of times where you NEED to use a lot of words - this wasn't one of them.

Nice job!
1 user rated this judgement as constructive
2 comments on this judgement
If Con won, why did Pro get the points?
Posted 2020-05-06 22:29:27
OOPS! Because I'm a moron.
Fixed! Thanks!
Posted 2020-05-06 23:33:14
2020-05-06 22:42:27
JackSpratJudge: JackSprat
Win awarded to: cultured
Pro: English is a universal and as such should be the de facto language for debate. This increases global access to the discussion, and forcing learning and improvement of the language.

Con: Forcing English in non-native English speaking areas reduces comprehension of the debate and may reduce participation. While English is a good language to learn, you alienate parts of the population.

The problem with Pro's argument is that they did not say why a local debate in a local Hungarian school actually required global access. Con Does not directly address this point but dances a little around it bringing up some persuasive comments about the linguistic ability, access of the local population, etc.

In all Con made a better argument for access. Win to Con.

Pro: Structure is important. Please make sure you break your arguments down into small chunks. Have a good thesis of what you are going to say, provide support for it, and then conclude. You should avoid run-on sentences.

Remember debates have multiple rounds. It is important to provide some followup for each round. Con had the advantage to respond to you.

Con, Reasonable layout and structure. Try to avoid personal references in a debate.

BOTH: There was no sources. Perhaps a reference to an international debate done in another language that is prestigious?

1 user rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement
2020-05-07 13:25:59
dpowell3543Judge: dpowell3543    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: cultured
Pro completely forfeited after the first round.
0 comments on this judgement
2020-05-11 09:58:45
ccullen123Judge: ccullen123
Win awarded to: lysithea
Pros point came across more effectively.
0 comments on this judgement

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