Oi Flávia, tudo bem?
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Vou colocar o link aqui de novo, e transcrever aqui caso alguém mais não consiga abrir.. http://chinesepod.com/blog/Adventures+of+a+Newbie%3A+Spaced-Out%3F/881Adventures of a Newbie: Spaced-Out?
Part of the appeal of learning English, especially for professionals and aspiring university students, is its use as the lingua franca of science and technology around the globe. Students at the world's finest engineering and business schools tend to have an excellent grasp of English, even if the language itself has little to do with their area of practice
, because it's simply what they need to speak in order to carry out their jobs to the best of their abilities. In my own travels I've found that no matter the location, people like doctors, engineers and scientists reliably speak English even if no one else in their environs does
. Even the linguistically-stubborn French have been publishing some of their most significant scientific journals in English for decades now, reasoning that it allows the "greatest impact in the international scientific community." It was interesting, then, to note the news this week of a landmark event for China's space program: the first docking between two ships (I'll be the first to admit that my scientific literacy is, shall we say, limited, so we'll stick with the term "ships" for the time being) in orbit. 神舟八号 ("Shenzhou 8") was launched on Monday and met up with the 天宫一号 ("Tiangong 1") in a great moment for China. China's space program, by the way, is known as 国家航天局, usually called China National Space Administration (CNSA) in English.
I found it particularly interesting because surely the language these taikonauts (usually called 宇航員; taikonaut is a hybrid of 太空 ("space") and the Greek word "naut", and is commonly-used in English) were speaking wasn't English, it was Chinese
. Indeed, China's space program would seem to be one of the first great scientific undertakings of the recent era to be conducted entirely in a non-English language
. Obviously NASA conducts operations in English, and English is the primary language of the European Space Agency, so it makes me wonder, does the success of 国家航天局 herald a new era in which Chinese is as useful a scientific language as English? Obviously there are a lot of factors at play, and there doesn't yet seem to be much of a movement among 外国人 to learn Chinese for scientific purposes, but collaborations between Chinese scientists and others are on the rise. A current hot topic of debate in the US is cooperation with China on space-related issues, with some saying none should occur at all and others advocating extensive cooperation and coordination. NASA's chief administrator Charlie Bolden said this week that "Some level of engagement with China in space-related areas in the future can form the basis for dialogue and cooperation in a manner that is consistent with the national interests of both our countries". Surely such dialogue will initially be conducted in English, but could the scientists, astronauts and even administrators of the future be speaking the mix of English and Chinese often seen in cosmopolitan China? We hope to find out sooner rather than later.
P.S. this ChinesePod lesson on one of China's previous launches should help shed some light on the terminology commonly used in this field.
Published by admin @ November 04, 2011.