English-Only Science in a Multilingual World: Costs, Benefits, and Options

Many, perhaps most, scientists are grateful that English has become the international language, but an informative protest comes from Prof. Tsuda Yukio of Japan, who has taught in the U.S. Related Articles How Could International Scientific Communication Be Made Fairer and More Efficient? Language and the Ingenuity Gap Ammon Presentation (PPT) Ammon Presentation (PDF) Vergara Presentation (PPT) Verga

E. James Lieberman
Apr 1, 2008

Many, perhaps most, scientists are grateful that English has become the international language, but an informative protest comes from Prof. Tsuda Yukio of Japan, who has taught in the U.S.

"Today one speaks of globalization. It's really Americanization....the dollar economy and communication in English. Isn't it appropriate to think about egalitarian communication and linguistic equality? .... When I told Americans that the reign of English causes linguistic discrimination they argued adamantly that the world chose English, so what's the problem?

My rebuttal: 'We lack the freedom NOT to choose English.' I said the great power of world English precludes the use of other languages. But for Americans English is de facto the world language. They wouldn't acknowledge that a problem...

References

1. [AAAS] Report of the Committee on an International Auxiliary Language. Science LV, No. 1416, Feb. 17, 1922. 2. Council of Europe on language fluency levels: http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/Portfolio/?L=E&M=/main_pages/levels.html 3. Esperantic Studies Foundation www.esperantic.org Interlinguistic Research and Applications. Publications, projects, links. 4. Esperanto: multilingual information www.edukado.net 5. Language Problems and Language Planning (Journal) ISSN: 0272-2690 6. Lieberman, EJ. Esperanto and Trans-national Identity. Int. J. Sociology of Language 20:89-107, 1979. 7. Piron, Claude. Psychologist; former WHO translator. The Language Challenge. Video (8 minutes) in English with choice of 20 different subtitle languages. http://www.dotsub.com/films/thelanguage