Language Barrier: A Major Obstacle In Furtherance Of Science And Technology Research In A Global Level

First Posted: Jan 04, 2017 02:28 AM EST

Cambridge University researchers conducted a survey on the impact of language barrier in international exchange of research findings on science and technology in a global scale. Science has made immense progress in the recent past. These research developments are published in academic and scientific journals for worldwide audience.

Most of the journals publish articles in English, so it is perceived as the global language of science and research. However, a recent study indicated that around one third of the total research development in the field of conservation science is published in non-English languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and German, among others.

According to experts, the outreach and scientific impact of the research findings published in non-English languages is limited at international level. This means that researchers in distant parts of the world cannot access the knowledge due to problems in understanding key concepts due to language barrier.

The results of the study were published in the PLOS Biology journal. According to the researchers who conducted this worldwide research, publishing science in only one language creates barriers in transfer of scientific knowledge, according to Hindustan Times.

They have also suggested that publishing the basic summary of the key findings of research studies in multiple languages can help in better dispersal of research innovations among non-English speaking research peers. Additionally, they also proposed that universities and other funding agencies should encourage translation of published articles under the outreach evaluation criteria, Smithsonian reported.

Tatsuya Amano, Department of Zoology, Cambridge University and lead researcher of the project, said that, "While we recognize the importance of a lingua franca, and the contribution of English to science, the scientific community should not assume that all important information is published in English."

He also added that, "Scientific knowledge generated in the field by non-native English speakers is inevitably under-represented," and they are particularly devoid of access in dominant English-language academic journals. "This potentially renders local and indigenous knowledge unavailable in English." 

The study is considered as a major step toward breaking boundaries and overcoming language barrier, which will help in promoting research and application of basic and advanced concepts of science and technology.

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