The rapid progress in Science and Technology today has necessitated the introduction of new scientific and technical terminologies. However, there are differences in the terminology introduced in different regions of the Chinese community. This non-standardization of the Chinese Terminology has led to much confusion and inconveniences in education and scientific research as well as technological development. It is therefore imperative that this matter be solved urgently.
Inconsistent translation of scientific and technological terminology remains rife within different regions of Mainland China. This issue is further aggravated through the lack of communication between academics in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the past. Scientists from these regions therefore often need to resort to English to express certain concepts more clearly. The conundrum in the terminology is clearly not conducive for the dissemination and sharing of scientific and technological advances within the Chinese community, hampering effective academic exchange and teaching.
In mid-2011, Professor Yang Guo-zhen, President of the Chinese Physical Society, and Professor Phua Kok Khoo, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Singapore at Nanyang Technological University, met in Beijing for an in-depth discussion concerning the current non-standardization of Chinese terminology in Physics. This meeting has led to the organization of a tripartite workshop between Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore, to be held in Singapore, to discuss the Standardization of Physics terminology in Chinese.
A famous Chinese scholar and translator Yan Fu (严复) once described the difficulty in the creation of a new name: “One needs to spend a long period to establish a new name or word.” We hope that this workshop will successfully initiate a program for the standardization of Physics terminology in Chinese. Such a program will certainly benefit the Chinese community at large around the world.