Science in English, learn it or be left behind

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science mathematics english Prime Minister cum acting Minister of Education, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad speaks to the staff of the Ministry of Education at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. PIX: AFIQ RAZALI / MalaysiaGazette / 06 FEBRUARY 2020
Prime Minister cum acting Minister of Education, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad speaks to the staff of the Ministry of Education at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. PIX: AFIQ RAZALI / MalaysiaGazette / 06 FEBRUARY 2020

By Kumara Sabapatty

PUTRAJAYA – Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that it would be easier to understand and learn Science in English as it would allow them to understand instructions better as the international language is being used in the industry.

The Prime Minister said, although Science could be translated to Bahasa Melayu, the terminology used are not common English.

“We can translate it to our language but our approach is different in this field.

“Translation of Science to Bahasa Melayu may not show its actual meaning which has already been explained in detail and could be understand through English.

“The knowledge of Science comes to us mostly in English. We can translate it to our language. But the words used are not common English. Our translation may not show its true meaning.

“The common language in the industry is English and of course, it would be tough for them who do not understand Science in English, to understand the instructions given to them.

“Even today, we found that those who are not fluent in English find it difficult to get a job. International science conferences are frequently organised. English is the language of those conferences. If our scientists are not fluent in English, then, we may not be able to understand the discussions,” he said during his speech in conjunction with the Message and Aspiration of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre this morning.

Also present was the Minister of Education, Teo Nie Ching.

Dr. Mahathir said, science loves seeking the truth.

For instance, he said, a disease can be identified if it is caused by bacteria, virus, blood pressure or growth and it could be done through researches and medications to treat them could be determined.

“The mentality of holding on to mystic powers by burning incense and blowing air and we need to pray but you must remember that God will not grant our wishes if we do not work for it first. Therefore, our efforts must be based on facts.

Dr Mahathir added, as a Malay, he truly loves his nation and Bahasa Melayu. However, he needs to consider the future and development of the nation.

“Actually, if you love your nation, the success of a nation is not determined by merely the usage of its language.

“Think properly. If we prioritise on achievement, we need to compete and not merely speaking in our own language,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir also said that Science is not a static knowledge like Geography or History, on the contrary, there are new things every day.

“It is very difficult for us to understand, translate and interpret it in Bahasa Melayu on science which is explained in English.

“The country also may not have scientists who would translate tens of research papers in various fields every day and if we do not have the latest knowledge, we would be left behind for not using that knowledge. We know that there are too many researches every day. Many new words are being created,” he said. -MalaysiaGazette

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