Multilingual Debate – Heriot Watt University

On Wednesday, 22nd March, a group of S5/6 pupils attended the fantastic Multilingual Debate at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Heriot-Watt is the only university in Scotland to offer an undergraduate degree in both interpreting and translation. The Multilingual Debate is held every year to give interpreting students an insight into how it feels to simultaneously interpret in a conference, and to allow pupils from visiting high schools the chance to experience how such debates run. Student interpreters work in and out of English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese. This really is a fascinating event to behold, especially for all those curious about how debates like these are held within international bodies, such as the UN, the EU, and even sporting bodies like the Olympic Committee and FIFA.

In addition to the logistics of running a debate in several languages, it is also important for our pupils to witness and participate in a democratic debate. As the organisers were keen to emphasise, it is only through reasoned, open debate where all views are taken into account that a democracy can function in a healthy way.

For anyone not able to attend, you can now also watch the stream online by logging in to the site below. Have a look – it’s an eye-opener!  Multilingual Debate.