Linguistic problems

1989/06/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

It seems that the problems of linguistic use do not only occur in minority languages like ours, but also the “big” languages like French have problems. We know why.

To date the prestigious Pasteur Institute has published the prestigious scientific journal Annales de l’Institute Pasteur. Recently the management of the Institute has decided to change the name of the magazine. New name in... (immunology, virology or microbiology depending on the subject matter).

The fact that the magazine of the Institut Pasteur, a lover of French science, bears its name in English, has upset and ruined the margins of French chauvinism. How is it possible? and others ask surprised. The French Academy of Sciences has condemned the decision and President François Mitterrand has called for clarification. The press has talked about the tyranny of English.

In the opinion of those in charge of the institute, the problem is not to get such daring. After all they just have to change the title. Mamia will continue as it has until now. Articles will be published in both English and French and will all be summarized in French.

According to those responsible, only 10-15% of the articles published in the magazine in 1973 were collected and published in English, but in 1987 almost 100% were collected in English. “But 58% of the articles published came from French writers, of which more than 80% were written in English,” they say.

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