Lebanon can be difficult and, at times, violent. But we choose to be witnesses to the hidden heroes working here. Otherwise, we’d miss the greatest opportunity of all: to stand for something more than the sum of our parts.

This week a talk from TEDxBeirut on the beauty of the Arabic language became the first talk in Arabic to be featured on TED.com. Above — a part of a note from the organizers of TEDxBeirut on why holding the event means so much to them and their community.

Watch the talk — “Don’t kill your language” — here»

A TEDx language playlist: 5 TEDx Talks in Japanese


Konichiwa! Welcome to the first TEDx playlist in Japanese. Below, 5 great Japanese-language TEDx Talks, on topics ranging from Harajuku fashion to the mechanics of an insect eye.


Fashion and Beyond [日本語]: Rei Shito at TEDxTokyo
We can’t have a Japanese playlist without a talk about Harajuku. At TEDxTokyo, join Rei Shito on a visual journey through the streets of Harajuku as she explores the structure of this vibrant fashion community.(Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

ファッション、その先にあるもの: シトウレイ at TEDxTokyo

My, myself and my android [日本語]: Hiroshi Ishiguro [石黒 浩]: TEDxSeeds
At TEDxSeeds, Hiroshi Ishiguro (and his android) philosophize over human/android relations as we become ever closer to bridging the gap between humans and androids.

半神: 石黒浩 at TEDxSeeds

End Slavery in Japan [日本語]: Shihoko Fujiwara at TEDxTokyo
At TEDxTokyo, Shihoko Fujiwara discusses the problem of sex trafficking in Japan, and looks at how the commodification of sex is affecting Japanese youth. (Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

日本における人身取引の根絶に向けて: 藤原志帆子 at TEDxTokyo

Rebuilding the city [日本語]: Masayuki Shimada at TEDxTohoku 2012
The day after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Masayuki Shimada started a food project which eventually grew to provide more than 20,000 meals to people in evacuation centers. After the success of the cookouts, Shimada branched out with other projects to revitalize spirit in the community and reverse the declining population of Tōhoku with new employment opportunities.

地域の生きる力を育むプロジェクト: 島田昌幸 at TEDxTohoku

 [日本語]: Kenji Kohiyama at TEDxKeioSFC
At TEDxKeioSFC, Kenji Kohiyama shows off his micro insect archiving project, featuring some beautiful photos of the fascinating insects of Japan. (Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

マイクロプレゼンス: 小檜山 賢二 at TEDxKeioSFC

Willkommen zur ersten Playliste auf Deutsch: 5 TEDx talks in German

Willkommen zur ersten TEDx-Playliste, die ausschließlich Vorträge auf Deutsch enthält. Viel Spaß!

Hallo! Willkommen to our very first TEDx Talks playlist completely auf Deutsch! Enjoy these 5 German-language talks covering everything from eco-friendly, super tall wooden buildings to poetry slams.

Komfortzone Zukunft oder Wider die Gewöhnung: Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck at TEDxRheinMain
In this entertaining talk at TEDxRheinMain, Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck discusses change and the psychology behind it. (Filmed in German with subtitles in English.)

In diesem unterhaltsamen Vortrag auf der TEDxRheinMain spricht Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck über Veränderungsprozesse und deren Psychologische Grundlagen. (Video auf Deutsch mit englischen Untertiteln.)

Think like a designer: Erik Spiekermann at TEDxBerlin
At TEDxBerlin, well-known typographer Erik Spiekermann discusses the fascinating intricacies of design at TEDxBerlin. Warning: extensive use of hilarious This is Spinal Tap clips.

Der bekannte Typograph Erik Spiekermann erzählt auf der TEDxBerlin über Design und dessen faszinierende Komplexität. Achtung: Ausgiebige Verwendung urkomischer Ausschnitte aus “This is Spinal Tap”.

Ambiguitätstoleranz’ - Diversität im Gleichgewicht: Prof. Dr. Jivka Ovtcharova at TEDxKoeln
Look at cyberspace, web culture and social networks in a brand new way thanks to this talk by Jivka Ovtcharova at TEDxKoeln.

Sehen Sie Cyberspace, Netzkultur und soziale Netzwerke dank dieses Vortrags von Jivka Ovtcharova auf der TEDxKoeln auf eine völlig neue Art.

Poetry Slammer: MATZE B. at TEDxBodensee
While MATZE B.’s first foray into poetry was at the tender age of 16, he only discovered poetry slams ten years later. In this talk at TEDxBodensee, he explains his love of rhyme and how he took his craft through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Zwar war der erste Kontakt von MATZE B. mit Poesie bereits im zarten Alter von 16 Jahren, doch Poetry Slams entdeckte er erst zehn jahre später. In diesem Vortrag auf der TEDxBodensee beschreibt er seine Liebe zum Reim und wie ihn seine Kunst durch Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz führte.

Auf Holz gebaut: Hubert Rhomberg at TEDxSalzburg 2012
At TEDxSalzberg, Hubert Rhomberg discusses a construction system that can build high-rises up to 100 meters high using wood, thus slashing carbon dioxide emissions.

Auf der TEDxSalzburg zeigt Hubert Rhomberg, wie man bis zu 100 Meter hohe Hochhäuser mit Holz bauen kann und auf diese Weise Kohlendioxidemissionen radikal reduziert.

6 talks on the wonder of words

Language is a strange thing. We use it every day, but we often forget it’s there; it’s easy to learn as a child, but fiendishly difficult as an adult; and, for reasons that are hard to define, certain words can evoke strong emotions or even downright offend.

Below, 5 TEDx Talks (and one TED Talk!) on the wonders of language and linguistics, from the secret life of pronouns to why we’re so offended by curse words.

John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!!
Since its invention, many people have railed against the rise of “txt spk,” believing its use will eventually lead to the demise of English. John McWhorter begs to differ. At TED2013, he explains that texting is merely a new dialect of English and that we should rest assured that the language we speak isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The Secret Life of Pronouns: James Pennebaker at TEDxAustin
The words you use most say a lot more about you than you may intend. At TEDxAustin, James Pennebaker introduces you to the secret life of pronouns and demonstrates what your speech, emails and tweets say about you.

How Does The Brain Interpret Language?: Steve Nikolidakis at TEDxCooperUnion
In this short and sweet talk, Steve Nikolidakis explains the basics of neurolinguistics and its insight into how the brain processes language at TEDxCooperUnion.

Euphemisms: Kate Burridge at TEDxSydney
What is it about a word that makes it taboo? At TEDxSydney, Kate Burridge explains the mysterious phenomenon of some words being ruder than others.

Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive: Phuc Tran at TEDxDirigo
At TEDxDirigo, Phuc Tran takes you on a fun romp through grammatical mood, debunking the often misunderstood subjunctive, with some interesting examples using Darth Vader thrown in for good measure.

Walk the Talk: Simon Denoth at TEDxZug
At TEDxZug, polyglot Simon Denoth expands on the importance of plurilingualism and the benefits it can bring to society — besides just being a good party trick.