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Foreign Language Editorials Should Be Translated for the Web

Over the years I've heard complaints from scientists abroad, especially those whose native language is not English, that their views are ignored by the English-speaking world. (British researchers often complain that their literature is ignored by Americans but certainly not for linguistic reasons.) I myself regularly encounter interesting editorial comments in Spanish, French, German, and other foreign language journals that I must ignore, simply for lack of fluency. English has increas

Eugene Garfield



Over the years I've heard complaints from scientists abroad, especially those whose native language is not English, that their views are ignored by the English-speaking world. (British researchers often complain that their literature is ignored by Americans but certainly not for linguistic reasons.) I myself regularly encounter interesting editorial comments in Spanish, French, German, and other foreign language journals that I must ignore, simply for lack of fluency.

English has increasingly become the lingua franca of science and commerce, but we still have a way to go. While most foreign research articles are accompanied by short abstracts in English, most editorial comments are not. For some reason, editors assume that these commentaries will only interest the regular readers of the journal. It is understandable that they might not wish to devote space and cost to print complete simultaneous translations, but the failure to include even a few annotative sentences, no...

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