Keren High School Students
The Language Question in Science
By Fatna Mussa Haj (11A)
Nowhere is the need for international language clearer or more serious than in the field of science. It is very important for the worker in science to be able to keep in touch not only with the great discoveries but with the little additions to the store of knowledge made by month.
Having work printed in a number of other languages is a very slow, and incomplete way of making science international. So every country must have to do her best to write books in her own tongue so that her people might understand science much better.
For most men of science, the learning of language takes too much time and trouble: for some, it is even especially hard and a large number of scientists are dependent for knowledge of what is going on outside their country on whatever is printed in different languages.
The position has been made much more serious and complex in the last fifty or sixty years by the development of science in the East. At the start of this development the brains of China, Japan, and India had to be trained in the universities of Europe and America. But, by now, hundreds of these trained men have gone back to their different countries, to put their training into effect in the work of education or discovery and in time there will be thousands trained in turn by them, and more and more cut off from the west by the use of their local tongue.
What is needed is a simple second language for science in which ideas may be exchanges by workers of different countries, accounts of work printed in international papers and talks given at meetings of International Congresses.
Its main purpose is to put something on record, so that it may be used and tested by others working on the same questions. The one thing necessary is that the language be clear.