Standing on the “Giant Shoulders of English”
The Economist from February 4, 2017 offers additional insights on the spread of English as the global language of business, following up on a previous piece from April, 2016 (“Of Two Minds,” discussed here). The new column focuses specifically on the ubiquity of English in the sciences, discussing how the majority of important scientific research is reported in English-language journals (see The giant shoulders of English).
“A scientific lingua franca has advantages,” writes the columnist “Johnson” (an Economist house byline). “A few moments imagining scientists toiling away in different countries unaware of each other’s successes and failures is enough to show for that.”
The column makes an argument for the value of linguistic diversity in the sciences. It encourages Anglophone scientists to learn a foreign language to develop a broader perspective and more deliberate habits of mind. It also acknowledges the reality that scientific discourse in the 21st century takes place mostly in English.
“The bilingual scientist who can [gather data from remote experts in native language and] write it all up in English has a competitive advantage.” Consequently, “more and more young scientists will learn English as a matter of course. They should ensure that clear English abstracts and keywords from their papers are available; this may be more important than the original abstract itself.”
If your organization relies on scientific research to fuel innovation and influence the market, are you ensuring that your global talent pool of scientists and engineers has the confidence and skills to express themselves effectively in Business English?
GlobalEnglish programs help organizations and individuals quickly and easily learn English optimized for business, science and professional environments to share ideas with colleagues, partners and customers anywhere in the world. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including the ability to manage relationships with partners and resources around the world, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.
We encourage organizations seeking strategies for learning and scientific innovation in the global marketplace to talk with their local GlobalEnglish representatives to see how we can help them better navigate the future realities of global business.