Wikipedia has almost become a reflex for quick, digestible and user-friendly information. So we love the idea of exploring it in a different language. It’s like a hack of two halves. Not only does one get the exposure and reminder that there are hundreds of other tongues out there, but the ‘secret’ extra learning hidden in another’s voice.

Where do you start when researching a broad topic or question? Or how do you even know what key themes to look for? And who has the time to do any of this?

Many turn to Wikipedia, the open-source, free and community-curated encyclopaedia. The debate about its accuracy rages on, but its referencing rules and peer review (including restrictions on editing key subjects) actually make it a fairly reliable source.

You can even search only within Wikipedia by adding it to your search term. This will bring all the pages that reference your subject.

Having done that, why not take an even deeper look into the site’s 287 languages? High-quality articles are even ‘starred’ for their authenticity and research basis.

What’s important about these language versions is that your English article isn’t just translated. It can be vastly different; including extra information and insight depending on the cultural viewpoints linked to that language. Entering one of these and using an on-screen translation tool can unlock a wealth of otherwise unseen content.

Read the article on ideas.TED.com.

Posted by:Sophie Sabin

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