Globalization of Science: Why You Should Learn a Second Language

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There are no limits or borders for science. The things we discover in Denmark are also valid in Spain. Scientists from all over the globe use the same laws and calculations. People work together on all kinds of projects but from different locations. Technology and the internet allow us to do that. This was not the case twenty or a hundred years ago. We’re in luck that the globalization of science happened.


Still, not everyone can be a part of the global scientific world. Students and scientists need to communicate with others. And, if you only speak one language, you’re limited. What kinds of barriers will you run into? Should you learn a second language? Let’s find out.

Magnifying Glass on Top of Document
Image Credit: Nekrashevich

Table of Contents

Isolation in the Academic World

If you’re a STEM student, you need to be open to others. Student networks are key for:
– doing research
– exchanging ideas
– learning from others
– staying updated


If you only speak one language, you could feel isolated. Academic isolation is bad for your education. Why? Simply, you are limiting yourself. Here’s how:
– a limited set of printed resources
– a limited number of websites and academic magazines


But imagine that you can speak one more language. This would open so many doors.


You could read more books and articles. You could listen to more science podcasts.


All of this would help you write better STEM essays. An essay writing assistant could help with the technical part. But, more sources will improve paper quality. You’d receive better grades.

Image Credit: Samkov

Attend More Events

Globalization means exchange. In science, we exchange ideas and knowledge. But language helps you be more involved in it.


To exchange and receive ideas, you must communicate. The more languages you speak, the better.


This would allow you to attend more scientific events. That includes:
– seminars
– webinars
– conferences
– fairs


You’d be able to listen and even speak more freely. That would help broaden your knowledge. It might lead to making new friends. Who knows, you may find someone to collaborate with.

Write Co-Authored Papers

Did you know that 25% of WoS (Web of Science) papers are internationally co-authored?


Imagine that you met a foreign student or scientist. You want to work together on a co-authored paper. But there’s a language barrier.


If you spoke their language, your joint effort would be more successful. Here’s how:
– you’d work faster
– you’d explain your ideas easily
– you’d get their ideas more clearly
– you’d be more synced


Just imagine how many people you could work with. Also, your contribution to science would be bigger.


Plus, working with more people would inspire you. You would have more motivation to keep learning. This is very important in the STEM world.


It’s clear that learning a new language is a great idea.

Cheerful diverse women with copybooks at table
Cheerful diverse women with copybooks at table, Credit:

Scientific Network

Networking is important. The global science world is huge. It’s your job to find your place in it. And, to fit in, you have to network.


To interact with people, you need language skills. You could use one of the best translation services. This would help you collaborate. But speaking the language is a simpler option.


Even the basic knowledge of a language is helpful. It’s enough for you to:
– introduce yourself
– present your scientific portfolio
– exchange ideas
– share interests
– develop contacts


If you could speak another language, you would be better at networking. Your social skills would improve. It would help you move up in the scientific world.

International Collaborations

Finally, you should learn a second language to be a part of international collaborations.


Scientists from all over work together. There are projects, papers, and research they are working on. To be invited to one such circle, you need to fit in.


Language can be that connection.


If you could speak a second language, that would be your link. You would be invited to more international collaborations. You wouldn’t need a translator to find out what projects would welcome you.

Students Working on Calculations
Students Working on Calculations, Credit: Grabowska

How to Learn a Second Language?

It’s clear that speaking a second language is beneficial for scientists. It opens many doors and helps them progress.


But how can you learn a second language?


There are different options you could try. Below, we’ll list the most successful ones.


–  Language App

Learning the basics of a language isn’t complex. You don’t need a teacher right away. You could first do some work on your own.


A language app is a great choice.


All you have to do is choose the language you want to learn. The app will do the rest. It will:


– provide study materials
– test your knowledge
– correct your mistakes
– grade you


You’ll be learning how to speak, write, and read.


Hire a Tutor

You could hire a tutor if you want to learn more than just basics. This is great, especially for conversation. If your goal is to speak more, tutors are a smart choice.


You could have your classes online. This way, you can even hire a native speaker from another country.


– Use Scientific Sources

It’s smart to focus on learning scientific vocabulary. You can do this through different scientific resources. That includes:


– interviews
– podcasts
– TV shows
– documentaries
– books
– articles
– academic papers


You’d be learning all the important words and phrases this way.

Final Thoughts

Learning to speak a second language is hard. There’s no question about it. But, as a scientist, you should give it a go. It would be helpful and beneficial for you on so many levels.


We hope we inspired you to start learning. Choose a language and improve your scientific status.

Two People Working in a Lab
Two People Working in a Lab, Credit: Fring


Globalization of science means we’re all connected. You need to communicate to be a part of that global scientific world. This article explains why learning a second language is a great idea for scientists.


Globalization – The process of moving ideas, knowledge, information, goods, and services across the world.


Essay – Short piece of academic writing.


Co-authored – Created by two or more people.


Networking – Interacting with people to develop contacts and exchange information.


Portfolio – A collection of one’s work.

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  • William Fontes

    William Fontes is a mathematician and a blogger. He blogs about the potential career paths for people in STEM and the wide application of STEM skills across businesses today. His goal is to inspire and educate.