Language of description

Thu Oct 26 11:35:10 CDT 1995

>If we are going to have our students learn a
>foreign language (and I am in strong favor of that), lets make it a
>language that is useful for something beyond sterile descriptions.  When
>you learn another's language, you learn a little bit about another culture,

>I stand by me earlier comments:  let
>people write in the language they choose, and let us learn to understand

>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

>Mike Ivie

Well put Mike.  Latin has certain advantages, the main being (or so
I'm told) it is a "dead" language and thus is not changing.  However,
with the tremendous amount and diversity of information an individual
needs these days to be on top of most any field, I'm not sure that
fluency in latin, to the extent needed for scientific writing, should
be a priority.  I feel that time and energy spent becoming familiar
with one or more of the four or five more widely used languages (e.g.
English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese; depending
perhaps on specific areas of interest) would be more practical.  With
the advent of the "net", and the ability to (frequently) correspond
directly with fellow colleagues from other countries easily and
quickly, it is even more important to "learn a little bit about
another culture".  I'd be interested in hearing other's opinions but
I suspect that we in the USA lag behind most other countries in
teaching our students multiple languages.


|  David G. Bauman                     Dawn G. Bauman            |
|  Collections Botanist                Greenhouse Manager        |
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