My first language is English, and since all of my formal education has been undertaken in the USA, I have learned mathematics entirely in the English language. However, I have spent a fair amount of time abroad and I speak two other foreign languages, quite proficiently, one of which is Bahasa Indonesia. While searching Wikipedia for several math topics today (in English), I decided to compare the answers in Indonesian. I was surprised to find how little information was given on the corresponding responses, here are a few examples: Measure Theory, Abstract Algebra, Set Theory. There are many more examples like these. I then compared these same topics in western languages such as Deutsch, French, Russian and Spanish and I found that there was a lot more to be said about these topics there (though I couldn't comprehend anything written there).
I am now asking myself how important is it to be able to study mathematics in our first language? I know that most mathematicians and scientists these days are able to speak English very well (at times better than native speakers) and often publish books in English. So, I wondered is it worth while to even try to expand scientific literature into different languages. Or, should people from other parts of the world just be forced to deal with the fact the the language of science and mathematics is English (or at least some other western language)?
I personally find it a bit disheartening to think that in order for someone in Indonesia (or any other country with a similar issue) to get a first class education in Mathematics they must first learn English, or another language. I would like to hear what other peoples point of view on this? Thanks!