Non-native scientists, research dissemination and English neologisms: What happens in the early stages of reception and re-production?
English for specific purposes
Artículo de investigación científica
Inglés para fines específicos
5701.13 Lingüística aplicada a la traducción e interpretación
Fecha de publicación
Linder, D., De Sterck, G. (2016). Non-native scientists, research dissemination and English neologisms: What happens in the early stages of reception and re-production? Ibérica, 32, 35-58
That the English language is the prevailing language in international scientific discourse is an undeniable fact for research professionals who are non-native speakers of English (NNSE). An exploratory, survey-based study of scientists in the experimental disciplines of neuroscience and medicine seeks to reveal, on the one hand, the habits of scientists who in their research practice come across neologisms in English and need to use them in oral and written scientific discourse in their own languages, and, on the other hand, their attitudes towards these neologisms and towards English as the language of international science. We found that all scientists write and publish their research articles (RAs) in English and most submit them unrevised by native speakers of English. When first encountering a neologism in English, scientists tend to pay close attention to these new concepts, ideas or terms and very early in the reception process attempt to coin acceptable, natural-sounding Spanish equivalents for use in the laboratory and in their Spanish texts. In conjunction with the naturalized Spanish term, they often use the English neologism verbatim in a coexistent bilingual form, but they avoid using only the English term and very literal translations. These behaviors show an ambivalent attitude towards English (the language of both new knowledge reception and dissemination of their RAs) and Spanish (used for local professional purposes and for popularization): while accepting to write in their acquired non-native language, they simultaneously recognize that their native language needs to preserve its specificity as a language of science.