I agree with John L. Graham ("Learn Foreign Languages . . .," Op-Ed Page, Oct. 8) that American science and industry need to pay more attention to innovations published in foreign journals, but I do not agree with his solution. He proposes that students should learn more foreign languages in order to read this literature. With valuable research appearing in languages as diverse as Japanese, German and Russian, however, requiring science and engineering students to learn these numerous languages is not a cost-effective solution.
I suggest a two-part approach instead:
1. Make students aware that tens of thousands of translated articles and whole translated journals are already available and indexed in sources such as World Transindex and Translations Register-Index (available in most large science libraries).
2. Secure funding--private or public--to translate additional journals of value to American science and industry.
MARCIA J. BATES