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New English/Arabic Translation Site Hopes To Promote Citizen Diplomacy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-who-will-the-government-villainize-then dept.

The Internet 206

Wired has mention of a new site that hopes to encourage a grassroots "citizen diplomacy" movement by combining English/Arabic translation software with a Facebook-style meeting place. "Meedan, which officially launches Monday, lets users post stories and comments in English and have them automatically translated into Arabic, or the opposite. People who don’t share a common language can have an online discussion in near real time. The name, appropriately, means 'gathering place' or 'town hall'; in Arabic. Think of it as a social network filled with people you don't know, but want to understand."

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206 comments

And the first translation? (5, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236540)

First post!

Just curious how does one say "Towel Head" in arab (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237136)

What!? I want to know.

All I can think is... (4, Funny)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236582)

...what could possibly go wrong?

My hovercraft is full of eels (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236632)

Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy?

Re:My hovercraft is full of eels (-1, Offtopic)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236664)

My hovercraft is full of eels

Is that some kind of weird Portuguese sequel to Snakes on a Plane?

Re:My hovercraft is full of eels (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236700)

Drop your panties, Sir William, I can not wait until lunchtime!

Re:My hovercraft is full of eels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237132)

And now for something completely different...

Today on Slashdot a gaggle of humorless retards were given mod points which they then used to demonstrate their complete ignorance of the Hungarian language.

Oh wait... that's not different at all is it?

Re:My nipples explode with delight (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237172)

And now for something completely different...

Today on Slashdot a gaggle of humorless retards were given mod points which they then used to demonstrate their complete ignorance of the Hungarian language.

Oh wait... that's not different at all is it?

Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]

Quoting something about not quoting something? (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237386)

Randall can tell people off for overquoting Python, but you don't get to quote Randall telling people off for overquoting Python without looking like the exact kind of person Randall is making fun of.

Re:Quoting something about not quoting something? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237704)

Wait... Are you saying XKCD Is the new monty python?

Re:Quoting something about not quoting something? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237826)

No, see, at no point in its history did Monty Python suck. It's just been run in to the ground. XKCD has sucked *hard* for vast tracts of its history.

Re:Quoting something about not quoting something? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237974)

No, see, at no point in its history did Monty Python suck. It's just been run in to the ground. XKCD has sucked *hard* for vast tracts of its history.

Such as when?

Re:Quoting something about not quoting something? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238416)

No, see, at no point in its history did Monty Python suck.

Somebody never saw The Meaning Of Life.

Re:Quoting something about not quoting something? (2, Interesting)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237788)

When your sig is a Python quote, you exclude yourself from eligibility to make pronouncements about when it is proper to chastize someone about making Python-quote-pronouncements. Wait, what?

I'd be more worried (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237416)

That a simple sentence meant in the correct context and inflection in English gets translated and interpreted by some religious crazy over there who calls Jihad on my ass.

e.g. The forcast says that it will be a bit warm in the desert today.

I keeeeel you now!

Re:My hovercraft is full of eels (2, Funny)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236916)

Sounds Hungarian to me... and dirty... so dirty, my nipples explode with delight!

Re:My hovercraft is full of eels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237600)

I'll wait for the cartoon version.

Re:All I can think is... (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236762)

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

How many different ways do you suppose there are to say "infidel"?

Re:All I can think is... (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237194)

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

How many different ways do you suppose there are to say "infidel"?

Derka derka, Mohammed Jihad!

Douglas Adams, prophet savant (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237734)

Yeah, I would have to agree. Giving the likes of 4chan a more direct communication mode to pretty much anyone could only lead to trouble....

Re:All I can think is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238372)

kafir (male singular) or kaffiroun (male plural).

Re:All I can think is... (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236982)

My first reaction was that this was a great idea, to let disparate peoples meet and try to understand each other.

But now I see you're right - after meeting our teabaggers and treehuggers all they'll walk away with is that americans are generally barbaric assholes and ignorant wimps.

Re:All I can think is... (0, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237490)

after meeting our teabaggers and treehuggers all they'll walk away with is that americans are generally barbaric assholes and ignorant wimps.

Actually, I think they'll find lots in common with the teabaggers.

Re:All I can think is... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237790)

4chan trolling for lulz + Nuclear Iran?

I recommend one of two quite distinct strategies:

Option one: full survivalcore mode. Stockpile MREs and ammo in your fortified Montana homestead and prepare to fight off hordes of starving exurban refugees and eventual supermutants.

Option two: Fuck it. Consult the mapping service of your choice to find a nice bar(with rooftop option if the weather suits), located in a major population center and near as many strategic targets as possible. Drink until you see the airburst...

Re:All I can think is... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237808)

...what could possibly go wrong?

Actually, there IS the possibility that due to a translation error, some people could be offended by the resulting statements. We should probably have an open, mature dialogue in advance with the Arab world about how cultural differences are not necessarily evil, just different, and they could discuss their values so we could take those into account when communicating, and we could pledge to respect those. That way, when such translation errors come up, both sides will realize that no offense was meant, and none will be taken. Otherwise there could be some hurt feelings, although I guess we would sort it out quickly by just talking it out. Other than that, I can't think of anything that will go wrong with a productive exchange via Internet.

This won't end well (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236636)

So we have a service designed from the start to attract internet trolls from one end and propaganda ministries from the other. What could possibly go wrong?

I like the concept, but the real world is going to interfere with the execution.

Re:This won't end well (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236788)

Yes, just one mention and 4chan will be eerily silent for about 14 minutes while meedan servers burst into flames

Re:This won't end well (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237240)

it already did. [meedan.net] From Meedan:

database not connected, check your config file!

That or it's my work's filter.

Re:This won't end well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237378)

it already did. [meedan.net] From Meedan:

database not connected, check your config file!

That or it's my work's filter.

Nope, it's currently down. And the front page when it comes up will probably be a string of Arabic that translates roughly to "Stop with the fucking DESU already!"

Re:This won't end well (5, Insightful)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236932)

Agreed - it's idealism turned unrealism if you think you can take diametrically opposing views and plop them in front of a translation system to breed collaboration, open dialog, compassion, and understanding. I opened a political debate forum years ago with a similar hope: that opposing sides would find common ground through irrefutable factual analysis. While there are a handful of open-minded individuals out there who enjoy this concept, the majority are highly slanted, bull-headed, and offensive and want only to start a fight. I've maintained since then that the people most in need of revolutionary thinking are the ones who are completely unreachable thus making it a wasted effort. Good luck, but don't hold your breath.

Re:This won't end well (2, Insightful)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237106)

You could always just get to know an arab. They are all over the place. There is also lots of information on why there are cross cultural problems, its a thing called research.

Re:This won't end well (0, Flamebait)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237174)

You have to wonder what the people behind this were thinking. Peace, love and understanding aren't exactly the default characteristics of online forums. Now we can have new opportunities to start flame wars with previously inaccessible opponents...

Re:This won't end well (3, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237752)

Now we can have new opportunities to start flame wars with previously inaccessible opponents...

Maybe if they're busy with flamewars, they won't be so anxious to start the real, shooting kind.

Also, now that you've been registered here at Slashdot for a whole month, has your user name and sig brought a lot of new members to your "third position" political party, or have most slashdotters already realized that "third position" are really just nazis without the cool uniforms?

Re:This won't end well (3, Informative)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238252)

Also, now that you've been registered here at Slashdot for a whole month, has your user name and sig brought a lot of new members to your "third position" political party, or have most slashdotters already realized that "third position" are really just nazis without the cool uniforms?

Before anybody gets too trigger happy with the flamebait moderation on the poster I am replying to, you want might want to actually read some of the positions of the American3p.org:

If current demographic trends persist, European-Americans will become a minority in America in only a few decades time. The American Third Position will not allow this to happen.

Parents have a right to choose where and with whom their children are schooled, and neighborhoods have a right to make the decisions that will impact them.

Recognizing our people's right to safety, and respecting the sanctity of the rule of law, we will immediately deport all criminal and illegal aliens. We believe, too, that American citizenship should be exclusive and meaningful. As such, the American Third Position will end the practice of automatic birthright-citizenship for children of illegal aliens. To restore, with civility, the identity and culture of our homeland, we will provide incentives for recent, legal immigrants to return to their respective lands.

On the surface, the ideals and goals of the American3p.org seem quite attractive and reasonable. Read a little bit more and you can see that is just pretty wrapping around a core of Racial Purity and Supremacy.

It was the Nazi comment that made me want to click the link and read it, and it is a well deserved comment.

Keep that in mind when you moderate. I think the Nazi comment should be +5 informative in this case.

Re:This won't end well (1)

bobobobo (539853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238132)

Yep, like the saying goes:

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into."

Re:This won't end well (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238308)

Agreed - it's idealism turned unrealism if you think you can take diametrically opposing views and plop them in front of a translation system to breed collaboration, open dialog, compassion, and understanding.

Huh? Why do you assume that arabic speakers and english speakers have "diametrically opposing views?"

I think you'd be surprised at just how much people have in common. Sure there are issues on which groups have a tendency to disagree (IMHO mostly promulgated by their respective propaganda outlets so each has only a piece of the whole story) but for the most part, people are people regardless of what country they live in and thus have many more common experiences than differences.

Re:This won't end well (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237038)

I like the concept, but the real world is going to interfere with the execution.

Let's hope it can interfere with a few executions.

Re:This won't end well (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237186)

I wanted to see just how inadvisable something like this was. So I sent a whole passel of George Bush quotes through Google's English to Arabic translator, then took the translation and fed it back through the Arabic to English translator, looking for cases where the sense of the words might be disastrously mangled. Immediately, this example popped out:

The truth in this matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he was president of the United States and the world would be better off.

Now going back to the original text, what Bush actually said was ...

Oh.

Never mind.

Re:This won't end well (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237442)

I'd like to think they might cancel each other out and the world becomes a better place.

Yeah. I know. May I dream once in a while, too?

Re:This won't end well (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238214)

> I like the concept, but the real world is going to interfere with the execution.

Arabs don't let anything get in the way execution. Or amputation, come to that.

What's next? (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236692)

Arabic numerals?

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31236730)

Amusingly, Arabic actually has its own numerals that aren't western "arabic" numerals.

I'm not sure the language barrier is the main one (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236756)

Among Arabic speakers who have access to the internet in the first place, the proportion who know at least basic English is quite high. There are plenty of barriers to understanding and agreement, but I'm not sure I would rate a literal inability to communicate as the main one.

Arabroulette? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236778)

I can't wait to try out ArabRoulette and see what I get!

Re:Arabroulette? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237272)

I can't wait to try out ArabRoulette and see what I get!

I am more interested in what happens if the Arabs find chatroulette.

Re:Arabroulette? (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237474)

I can't wait to try out ArabRoulette and see what I get!

I am more interested in what happens if the Arabs find chatroulette.

I imagine that in the confusion 4chan will wind up trolling itself and the entire Internet will collapse into a massive meme black hole such that after society rebuilds, a new era will dawn in which all art depicts humans fleeing from demonic Ethernet cables.

Something similar to autotranslate in FFXI? (3, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236804)

I used to play FFXI and found their system of guided translation to work reasonably well. Several times I was in Japanese parties, or had a Japanese in my party and we were capable of communicating about 80% of what we wanted to. It generally produced less garbled messages than I have seen from sites like babel fish, though that may have been affected by the limited topics of discussion in an MMO.

Re:Something similar to autotranslate in FFXI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237170)

(| Polearm |) (| Jerkin |) (| I'm playing solo right now |)

Re:Something similar to autotranslate in FFXI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237800)

How could you possibly tell whether you had communicated anything at all?

Re:Something similar to autotranslate in FFXI? (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238270)

That might also be because the Japanese (or you) were careful with the language you fed to the autotranslator. You (or the Japanese) probably simplified your language so that it would translate properly.

You have new followers! (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236846)

Thanks for joining our site... you're now being followed by:

@CIA
@FBI
@DARPA
@OsamaBL

You Forgot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237014)

@GOOGLE

Yours In Astakhan,
K. Trout

Re:You have new followers! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237724)

Does that includes a nifty little system tray agent app too? It's friendly! Trust us.... *evil grin*

Listen.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31236856)

...i have big shit stuck up my fucking asshole.

pls help

Re:Listen.. (-1, Offtopic)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237200)

...i have big shit stuck up my fucking asshole.

pls help

This is just like when I had a huge gob of wax stuck in my ear. I went to a medicine man, and he used a candle to melt and suck out the blockage. This fix to your problem works almost the same way.

Well, first you're gonna need a can of WD-40 -- make sure you have the red straw. You're also going to want to have a fuse handy, at least a foot long. You can make your own from black powder, but it may be easier to just buy one at the agricultural store (they sell them with the smoke bombs you use to kill groundhogs). You'll need some duct tape to connect a few fuses -- they only sell them in lengths of a few inches. You'll also need a bucket of water.

Now, make sure the nozzle on the WD-40 can is clear. You're gonna want to shove the straw up there real deep before you spray it. Go ahead, empty the can.

OK, done with that step?

Now you're gonna want to replace the straw with the fuse. Go ahead, you're lubed up -- you should be able to really jam it up there. If you have one of the groundhog smokebombs, might as well shove that up there too. The powder in those is an excellent laxative.

Now here's the key step -- don't lose faith. Make sure you have the bucket of water handy. Now light the fuse.

Now, you should be getting a clear picture of how this will help you unplug your ass.

If you're curious what the bucket of water is for, it's to make cleanup a little easier for the poor sot who has to clean up the fetid pile of crap that used to be you.

Re:Listen.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237904)

Lesson #2: Do not reply to trolls. That is all.

Online Diplomacy (1)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236876)

I have to say, from my experience in forums and online games, diplomacy is not a strong point in internet users...or even attempted by said group

Ecological Ramifications (4, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236914)

It could be considered a "Green" site. The flames from the forum could heat several countries, thus saving the need for petrochemical or electric heating.

How do you say... (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31236964)

"We have no word for GOD in our language, but we have a word for DOG."?

Re:How do you say... (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237760)

You don't. You can't express that first sentence if you don't have a word for its object.

Technically (2, Interesting)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237942)

Such a paradoxical construction is called a quine, after the philosopher Willard Quine.
One of his examples:
"is not a sentence" is not a sentence.

A great boon to trolls (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237004)

Now all of the trolls who only speak english will be able to harass other cultures around the world. Thank someone for that miracle.

Re:A great boon to trolls (1)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237306)

For every Al-Qaeda member who joins we shall send in 1 Linux zealot and 1 FOSS advocate. I calculate great victory!

Good, if it's accurate (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237076)

Great, so maybe now Arabs will see what their leaders say in English to the Western press, which is completely different from what they say to their own people.

Arab leader in Arabic: "Kill all non-believers, destroy the Great Satan (USA) and the Little Satan (Israel)"

Arab leaders in English to the press: "We just want to live in peace and harmony"

Western press: "Arab leaders: just want to live in peace and harmony"

Re:Good, if it's accurate (1, Insightful)

InEnacWeTrust (1638615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237580)

Great, so maybe now Arabs will see what their leaders say in English to the Western press, which is completely different from what they say to their own people.

And maybe now westerners will see what their leaders say in Arab to the arab press, (blah blah blah ...)

English leader in english: They must surrender to our way of life and forget all about their culture ! CRUSAAAAADE !

English leader in Arab: please keep bombing our cities so that we can keep our people in control through fear. Oh and don't forget to set the price of oil high enough so that they stay too poor to be educated.

Arab press : "English leaders use double speech" (-- yeah, THEY make the effort to learn foreign languages).

Re:Good, if it's accurate (2, Insightful)

Brannon (221550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237910)

Completely absurd. In what ways have Americans told Arabs to surrender to their way of life?

Re:Good, if it's accurate (1)

InEnacWeTrust (1638615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238158)

Most parts of middle east have had feodal structure for thousands of years. Yes, thousands. long before these religions were born. That means kings, chiefs, lords, ... yet, when they get conquered, they're told to build a democracy which they are not culturally prepared to. Then they're told that the most extremist aspect of their religion is a bad thing that must be erased (as much as I'd like to, I don't think we'll see someone telling a US extremist to forget about creationism).

Re:Good, if it's accurate (1, Informative)

basse (64014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237672)

And this prejudiced comment gets modded "Insightful"? I would have understood "funny", even though I don't think it is, but absolutely not insightful.

Re:Good, if it's accurate (1)

InEnacWeTrust (1638615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237856)

And this prejudiced comment gets modded "Insightful"? I would have understood "funny", even though I don't think it is, but absolutely not insightful.

That's the beauty of managing a country-centric website. You would like to believe it's pretty much international, untouched by national bias...

Re:Good, if it's accurate (2, Interesting)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237996)

If you look past any prejudice, it's actually damned insightful. Remember the media blockage that was overcome by fucking TWITTER of all things? Being able to find the discrepancy between what you're told by your government and what your government is telling other countries is major.

Of course, the trick will be keeping the site from being blacklisted so hard that its servers implode.

Re:Good, if it's accurate (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238358)

You are jocking right?

You do realize that AlQaedah leaders have university degrees and many have studied medicine and or trained in western countries. The anti US drive is so strong and gaining more momentum every year. Fundamentalism was being funded by oil producing countries fr like 50 yrs now and it became self sustaining. I assure you that fundamantalism and anti US movements related to Sunni Islam are still gaining momentum. Significant amounts of the Zakkat money (similar to donations but required by religion) goes to funding fundamentalist organizations that are the breeding ground for terrorist and extremest organizations.

5, Insightful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238382)

Yay anecdotes! Is there no lie you can't help spread?

all will be well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237078)

until "I think your people are misunderstood in America" is mistranslated to "I think we should invade your country."

seriously, computer translations are not gonna cut it....

And so began WWIII... (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237102)

...when their men spoke directly to our women. In a blinding display, the new "51% Voting Block" party was formed, the Constitution amended to allow the foreign-born to become president, President Obama impeached and thrown from office, and New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless voted in as president.

The nukes were launched less than five minutes later.

"all your base are belong to us" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237268)

I can see that phrase coming up a lot.

Scalability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237284)

In the picture at the Wired article it says "Translated by Nouran" - Nouran is a female Arabic name. Does that mean they're relying on the mechanical turk method of translation? How is that going to scale?

Good for Humanity - a nightmare for the MIC. (0)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237362)

In the 80's I remember how people's diplomacy, grassroots peace movements, helped bring the end of the denuclearization of many European countries and eventually the end of the Cold War. It really scared backed by the CIA Military Industrial Complex. Samantha Smith, the American child peace ambassador was cowardly assassinated by the CIA but it was to late to turn back the tide. Threatened with the drastically reduced funding the MIC invented a new war - the never-ending War on Terror. Now the dark cloud of WWIII once again looms on the horizon. People here are in Russia are very scared of the USA but in our hearts we understand it is not the ordinary American workers and farmers who want to attack us with nuclear weapons. Just like in the 70s and 80s we collected packages of food and warm clothing for American homeless we again are ready to talk to the ordinary American men and women directly. If this technology is indeed able to break the language barrier between Americans and Arabs (and I hope between Americans and other cultures in the future) we may see people people from the USA, Iran, Syria, Israel and Palestine come together on the Internet forums and say an overwhelming NO! to their war mongering leaders.

Re:Good for Humanity - a nightmare for the MIC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237832)

^^^ This is your brain on propaganda.

Re:Good for Humanity - a nightmare for the MIC. (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238136)

So what nations exactly de-nuked? Britain? France? Holland? Not sure about the others as I frankly don't give a damn, but a lot of nato countries got tactical nukes.

Most countries that did reduce the number of nukes did so simply because they are bloody expensive to maintain.

end denuclearization, plant a nuke. (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238400)

helped bring the end of the denuclearization of many European countries...

Ending denuclearization?!?!?! You mean renuclearization of European countries?

Thank the Teachers! (2, Interesting)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237496)

I have been telling the war mongers for ten years that we need to learn arabic. Not redneck, arabic. Learn a language, learn a culture, learn more. Christians don't understand the Q'uaran because they don't speak arabic! I joined the islam american culture group and they sent me a beautiful quaran for free. Im not a muslim, but at least i am not so stupid as to dismiss their language and culture as stupid. It is in fact beautiful. They gave us such familiar things as our alphabet, the study of chemistry, and our world-view is more influenced by the middle- eastern history than can be imagined. I only hope that futting oil doesnt destroy that relationship to an irreparable condition before I can see it in person. I am only twenty five, I have been to the tip of south america, I have been in Europe, but If I die before I have a chance to spend at least one or two years in the arabic world I will die unfulfilled. So rich, so deep. In some instances, more rich, more deep than the consumerism in which I exist. Give me a light cotton robe, some people to talk to, and places to explore. I am an optomist, but also pragmatic. I have never been in a fight. I feel like if I had a chance to spend a year in Iran, perhaps travel all over the arabic world, I would only meet friends. My travels everywhere, I think everybody wants the same thing. Companionship, discussion, language, culture, food, risks, takings risks and realizing that your not that different. I think it would be great to speak arabic and travel in arabic speaking countries. I hear that the food is incredible, and the culture is so rich that it would make me cry realizing that my lost scandinavian farming culture had a similar richness that has been lost to western wealth. food and family isn't good enough. But I have hope. The asian kid from school of rock said "i'm not cool" lawrence. Lawrence is good at the piano. If this country has hope it is in our young people realizing that money does not equal wealth, rather wealth is happiness, and the only true way to achieve wealth is by having convictions, following them, and doing everything you can to show your worth. Showboating and rich is over. I am sick of watching priveleged US athletes showboating like war heroes because they did mundane details. We need to start giving them a dose of reality at a young age. When I see things happen like college athletes getting taken down for stealing, raping, and fighting, and not getting in trouble, and tech people getting in trouble for lying, cheating, and manipulating, I feel the same way. Where are the parents? Who are we holding accountable? Our leaders in business are not accountable. Our scientists are not accountable. Our politicians are not accountable. Our governments are not accountable. They have destroyed global wealth. The system is not working. Why not? What can we do to make it work?

Re:Thank the Teachers! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237950)

Which bits of their culture do you find particularly beautiful? Is it the beheading, the chopping off of hands and feet for minor crimes, or the stoning of women? Or perhaps it's just the endemic racism.

Re:Thank the Teachers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238194)

Wow, the crazies are sure in full bloom today!

http://news.meedan.net// (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31237522)

database not connected, check your config file!

WTF?

Aready broken the barrier a long time ago: (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238014)

Just go an play some online games. Preferably RPGs. Then you automatically come into contact with people from all over the world.
Most of them speak English anyway. But often secondary languages like Spanish help too.
And after a while, you will have them in your instant messenger, and talk about life and things.
But I promise you, that it will be more interesting than talking to somebody on Slashdot. ^^

Oh, and by the way:
I wonder if you can already find someone with the name Achmet on that site, having his status set to (deceased) ;)

the server is dead. (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31238088)

They say they'll be back "within the hour". They also thank a bunch of websites for the "excellent" coverage (LoL).

It's non-profit
This type of service would be an excellent sponsorship candidate for google.org . Maybe they can get access to Meedan's translation service and incorparate it into google (if it's any good).

Now we can listen to Akhmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31238278)

I KiiiiiLL YOU!

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