Language Can Be A Barrier to Flow of Scientific Knowledge

Although English is widely used as the language of science, Tatsuya Amano and his fellow researchers say in their research published in PLOS Biology that there are still a good deal of scientific researches conducted in languages other than English, which might be the reason that they have less visibility. This is particularly true for universities in African countries where the researchers don’t necessarily use English as their primary language. Amano, a non-native English speaker from Japan, mentions that this is an important issue which has rarely been tackled by scientific communities so far. He also notes that native English speakers tend to assume that all important scientific knowledge is documented in English, and non-native English speakers prioritize documenting their scientific work in English and tend to ignore non-English science. “Ignoring such non-English knowledge can cause biases in our understanding of study system,” the researchers write. Therefore, the researchers suggest a number of proper approaches to tackle the language barrier in the field of science including “compiling non-English knowledge using non-English keywords in literature searches.”

Original articel:

About Soomin Kim 14 Articles
Soomin is a Composition major from Seoul, Korea and the rest of her family lives in the Philippines. She speaks English and Japanese (but no kanji), and is studying Spanish. She loves learning new languages because she believes that language is the most powerful way to understand and explore the culture. She enjoys traveling with her friends during vacations, which makes her spend all the money she has saved for a semester. In her free time, Soomin likes to collect vintage clothes, watch movies and Korean TV shows, listen to music, and read books.

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