<TED Worksheet (Free)>
56. Why is ‘x’ the unknown?
Terry Moore
<3:57>   February 2012

 

Questions
(PDF)   (Word)

Answers
(PDF)   (Word)

Trascript

<Key Vocabulary>
Write the meaning(s) of each word. Write an example sentence (example sentences) if you need.

(1) represent

(2) supremely

(3) craft

(4) reconcile

(5) disparate

(6) algebra

(7) tremendous

(8) culprit

(9) appear

(10) derivation

(11) render

(12) convention




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<Questions>

  1. The letter X represents the unknown, and the speaker provides some examples. Which one was not mentioned in the speech?

a.  Malcolm-X
b.  Project X    
c.  the X-Files    
d.  TEDx

 

2.Why does the speaker think that writing words, phrases, and sentences in Arabic is like crafting an equation? 

 

 

3.The system in Arabic called al-jebra means “the system for reconciling disparate parts,” and it came into English. What has it been called?  

 

 

  1. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the Arabic texts containing mathematical wisdom finally made their way to Europe. In which country did they arrive first?

 

 

  1. When the Arabic texts arrived in Europe, it was difficult to translate them into a European language. Why?

 

 

 

  1. Which word is the definite article in Arabic?

a.  sheen
b.  shayun    
c.  jebra    
d.  al

 

  1. (1) Why is it difficult to translate the Arabic letter “sheen” and the word “shayun” into Spanish? (2) What did the Medieval Spanish scholars do to solve this problem?  

(1)                                              

(2)                                             

 

  1. When the math-related Arabic texts were translated into a common European language, which is Latin, the Greek Kai was replaced with .

 

 

  1. According to the speaker, why is “x” the unknown?

 




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<Answers>

  1. The letter X represents the unknown, and the speaker provides some examples. Which one was not mentioned in the speech?

a.  Malcolm-X
b.  Project X    
c.  the X-Files    
d.  TEDx

 

2.Why does the speaker think that writing words, phrases, and sentences in Arabic is like crafting an equation? 

Because every part is extremely precise and carries a lot of information.

 

3.The system in Arabic called al-jebra means “the system for reconciling disparate parts,” and it came into English. What has it been called?  

algebra

 

  1. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the Arabic texts containing mathematical wisdom finally made their way to Europe. In which country did they arrive first?

Spain

 

  1. When the Arabic texts arrived in Europe, it was difficult to translate them into a European language. Why?

Because there are some sounds in Arabic that are very difficult for Europeans to pronounce, and those sounds tend not to be represented by characters that are available in European languages.

 

 

  1. Which word is the definite article in Arabic?

a.  sheen
b.  shayun    
c.  jebra    
d.  al

 

  1. (1) Why is it difficult to translate the Arabic letter “sheen” and the word “shayun” into Spanish? (2) What did the Medieval Spanish scholars do to solve this problem?  

(1)  Because Spanish does not have the “sh” sound.   

(2)  They borrowed the “ck” sound from the classical Greek (in the form of the letter Kai).  

 

  1. When the math-related Arabic texts were translated into a common European language, which is Latin, the Greek Kai was replaced with .

(Latin) X

 

  1. According to the speaker, why is “x” the unknown?

  Because you can’t say “sh” in Spanish.

 

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