Science in Catalan

Catalan language in scientific publications is almost non-existent, as in most cases researchers write in English and publish in scientific journals written in this Language. As David Jou says in its article «Science in Catalan: a perspective», 85% of scientific papers are published in English. However, in some areas, such as botany, geology, zoology ecology and marine sciences, the use of Catalan as a scientific language has been more intense. We cannot forget scientific works from pre-and post-graduate students, as well as doctoral theses written in Catalan, which are fairly numerous despite they are conditioned by the composition of the committees.

However, when we try to write science in Catalan with high quality, we frequently have terminological doubts. The task of TERMCAT is key to solve these doubts. TERMCAT is a consortium of the Catalan Studies Institute and the Government of Catalonia, which elaborates terminological dictionaries, offers terminology resources and provides advice to write dictionaries and textbooks.

A recent initiative is a webpage elaborated by the Language Services of the University of Barcelona (UB) with the support of the commission of language policy of the School of Pharmacy. This webpage, termed «Rebotiga lingüística de farmàcia» (which could be translated as linguistic back room of pharmacy), aims to improve the quality of texts written in Catalan in the area of Pharmacy, and is specially addressed to students who must deliver written or oral works belonging to this academic ambit.

It is organized in several parts which are named using pharmaceutical terms such as «generic» (links to resources elaborated by the Language Services of the UB through webpage Vocabulària), «active ingredients» (about diverse text styles used in the academic domain), «magistral formulae» (brief comments on controversial points), «concordia» (resources such as on-line TERMCAT dictionaries), and «excipients» (links to similar webpages of other related faculties).

Initiatives such as this undoubtedly facilitate the use of Catalan in science.  To quote David Jou, science is a very efficient means to consolidate the international prestige of Catalan language.


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