Is it allowed to debate in a non-English language?

Author: sylweb ,

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  • sylweb
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    sylweb
    Is it allowed to debate in a non-English language? I would very much love to try my hand in debating in French or in Chinese. I am concerned that it might not be allowed because it would require using Google Translate to see if the debates break the rules. Could somebody on the moderation team clarify this for me? Thank you very much.
  • WaterPhoenix
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    --> @sylweb
    I'd debate you in chinese

  • Ragnar
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    --> @sylweb
    Finding an opponent and voters may prove difficult, but nothing in the CoC forbids it. Further, if you cuss up a storm or plagiarize or something like else horrible, generally voters handle it making moderation intervention pointless... In short, have fun!
    -Ragnar, deputy moderator
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @Ragnar
    Maybe there should be a rule against using a different language without your opponents consent? Not something that I ever would have thought of before but now that the idea of using other languages has been brought up the first problem that comes to mind is what to do if someone suddenly just posts a wall of Mandarin at you unexpectedly. Not only a pain for someone that does not speak Mandarin to figure out what is being said but also gives them a character limit advantage over English speakers.

    Obviously if both agree to an alternate language in the comments or the debate description as seems to be what the OP of this particular thread intends it should be allowed, as you say it is. Just thinking through some potential future implications.
  • Ragnar
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    I don't think such needs to be codified, as to any onlooker one person merely begins speaking gibberish, which can be penalized in voting. Granted, I hate character limit violations in all forms.

    I mean no offense to anyone, but I occasionally see a no logical fallacy rule in debates, when half of debates is just identifying which fallacies your opponent is using; to then use against them in the dialog.

    We would not want to include a make good arguments rule in the COC, as much as we really hope people will try their best to do that.