http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/8/6/1344267780894/Occams_corner_620x140.gifThere is no argument that English has taken a firm hold as the language of modern science. How far should non-English speaking countries go to maintain their own languages?
Several days ago I came across an article in Israel's online Ynet news (belonging to the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper) by Shachar Chai, discussing a decision by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to allow doctoral theses in English. The bulk of this article, however, addresses the bitterness of the President of the Academy of the Hebrew Language, Professor Moshe Bar Asher, with this decision.
I heartily agree with the idea to allow writing in English. For me, this gets close and personal – so I say "better late than never". I received my doctorate from the Hebrew University in 1998, after a protracted battle for permission to write it in English. A timely retirement of the equivalent of Graduate Studies Dean paved the way for a younger, and more receptive one who acquiesced to my request. Read more...