change in the names of scientific terms in marathi textbooks

Today, discussion over lunch made me curious to find out who decides the changes in the scientific terms that are used in the textbook.

We were discussing about the Marathi Vishwakosh Project that HBCSE is involved in. In the early years of HBCSE, V G Kulkarni (Founder Director, HBCSE)  instigated the project on language in science. Since then, there are a few members who are working in this area.

Deshmukh explained the volumes of work that the project is coming up with. It has been decided to bring a separate volume for biology subject and produce it in three parts. Related to the scientific terminology, he mentioned that a few scientific terminology in marathi textbook has been changed and hence the members have to pay heed to the latest usage of the term. He gave two instances of such change: the marathi term for auricle has been changed from karnika to alind; for ventricle it has been changed from javanika to nilay;  the other instance of marathi term for skull has been changed from kavati to karkara. I was anxious to know why the name of the terms got changed, who decides that such change is required in textbook, what is the rationale behind it. May be the textbook bureau decides about these changes. Jayashree too agreed, and she added that it could be that they want to give a more specific word for a very specialized part.

But i am not yet convinced. Can a name of a scientific term change over a period of time. Well of course, if the meaning that is implied to it changes. But in this case, atleast the meanings of auricle, ventricle, skull  are not yet changed, and their english names of terms are still the same. So what makes the marathi language textbook bureau to change it. Then we thought we should check the bodies/organizations who possibly could be involved in this work. We all headed to the library, and referred a few books related to Vishwakosh, Paribhasha Granth, etc. We could find atleast two bodies who have been involved in this work since the 1970s: Bhasha Sanchalanalay (Directorate of Language); and Maharashtra Rajya Sahitya-Sanskriti Mandal (Maharashtra State Board of Literature and Culture). Perhaps one can write/meet these people and find out more.

As i am also interested in the language of science, all this discussion has made me more curious, and i am into finding out as to who decides the changes in the scientific terms and what is the rationale behind it.

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7 Responses to change in the names of scientific terms in marathi textbooks

  1. Upon discussing this with Prof. H.C.Pradhan, he mentioned that these changes in the terms could be just because these people may want to follow the terms from ayurveda. But he also pointed that there does not seem any rationale behind it, and yes this could be difficult.

  2. […] to the biology encyclopedia.  Since i had some curiousity about it which i have also mentioned in my earlier post related to change in biological terms, I participated in their discusison. Chaunde was showing how […]

  3. I like the way you write, few parts I had to read twice 😀 but still good stuff.

  4. Vijay Padhye says:

    Since this writing is pretty old – as old as 2009 – I’m rather curious to know if you have received any authentic and trustworthy response from anyone concerned with the terminology – maybe those from Vishwakosh Karyalaya/Experts Team or from Bhasha Sanchalanalay under whose guidance the experts in the respective field come together meet, discuss and finalize the terminology for their Shabdavali Kosh.

    I too had curiosity to know who and why the earlier popularly known terms such as Pranavayu (प्राणवायु for Oxygen), Karbadwi pranil vayu (कर्बद्वि प्राणिल वायु Carbon dioxide), Natravayu (नत्रवायु Nitrogen) which we used to follow in our school days (1958-1964) were changed to the transliterated terms. I am of the firm opinion that the terms coined in our languages do convey the appropriate meaning and functioning, while it is absolutely Greek in case of foreign terms that are simply imported, mugged up and thrust upon, not bothering whether the child understands its meaning and use.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Actually, I have blogged a post about my visit to Vishavakosh and trying to get some answers about it. You may read here: https://okeanos.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/vishwakosh-vai/

      Regarding the terms that you are mentioning about the period of 60s, I think Vishwakosh may be able to provide some historical reasons.

      • Vijay Padhye says:

        Thank you for your very prompt response, Meena! I much appreciate it.

        Your post about Jayant Naralikar’s thoughts and his strong recommendation that children must learn science subjects in their mother tongue is indeed an excellent and very useful reference that we can quote in the face of numerous educationists’ strong recommendation children must learn maths and science subjects only in English medium, English being the only Jnanbhasha.

  5. Thanks for your comment.

    Actually, I have blogged a post about my visit to Vishavakosh and trying to get some answers about it. You may read here: https://okeanos.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/vishwakosh-vai/

    Regarding the terms that you are mentioning about the period of 60s, I think Vishwakosh may be able to provide some historical reasons.

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