New research says that language barriers are holding back science around the world. English is widely accepted to be the language of science, but one-third of research is not published in English. This means a lot of important research is not seen or read by scientists and researchers. The research is from the University of Cambridge. Researchers said important science is being missed at the international level. They said science journals should publish basic summaries of a study's key findings in multiple languages. They also said universities around the world should translate their research into different languages, especially Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Many international companies are now asking all their staff to communicate only in English. They hope this will reduce language barriers. The German carmaker Volkswagen has just announced that English and not German is its official language. VW executives said the switch to English was to attract employees. The Japanese carmaker Honda has also announced that all its staff must use English by 2020. Researcher Tatsuya Amano said: "I believe the scientific community needs to start seriously tackling this issue." He used the example that important research about avian flu in China initially went unnoticed by the World Health Organization because it was published in journals in Chinese.