On Wednesday 22nd March, our Higher French class travelled to Heriot-Watt University for the Multilingual Debate and Chinese cultural experience. The motion was ‘this house believes that robots will soon be a positive aspect of our lives’.
When we first arrived, we were escorted to the Confucius Institute, where the Chinese cultural experience was held. We tried on traditional Chinese clothes, tasted various Chinese dishes and practised Chinese calligraphy. It was a lot of fun!
We then made our way to the James Watt centre, where the debate was held. It lasted for two hours and was a fully interactive experience. The speakers debated in several different languages, including Chinese, Spanish, German, French and English. The Post-Graduate students interpreted the speeches into a variety of other languages. We were all provided with a headset, in which you could tune into a specific channel for your desired language. We were all extremely impressed with the interpreters’ fluency during the debate. Before and after the debate, we were given a chance to voice our opinions on the matter, through an electronic voting system. This allowed us to engage in the debate and express our views. Beforehand, the results favoured the ‘for’ side, however, in the final vote, the majority voted against the motion.
Overall, it was an extremely educational trip that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
by Amy Riddle, Grace Bird and Sami Cochrane