language of description

Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Wed Oct 25 11:38:22 CDT 1995

>Message-ID: <00998641.459ACEE0.84 at>
>Kenyans, Swedes, or Japanese?  I stand by me earlier comments:  let
>people write in the language they choose, and let us learn to understand
>them.  Most will write in English by choice, but I would rather read a
>good description in Swahili than a bad one in any language.  The inconvience
>is just too small in reality to destroy good writing in science.  If
>you have a large body of literature in any one language, learn to read
>it.  If it is the odd article, use a dictionary or ask for a translation.

I agree, within limits.  Most descriptions I've read had a fair number of
technical terms, ranging from anatomy to coloration, that aren't in regular
translating dictionaries.  I would suggest that descriptions be published in
languages that are widely used by taxonomists, not just any language.

Robin    panzar at
Section of Birds
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

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