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Re: Localized Programming Languages 💻

Localized Programming Languages

Nowadays I don't care about doing everything in English. I work with people from many countries only in that language, and it has become the natural 'lingua franca' for any tech organization (even if that's not so fair). But it is always interesting to think and discuss it.

Some context

My main language is Latin American Spanish. And these are the main coding languages I've learned through the years:

GW Basic/Q Basic/Logo (1993), Visual Basic/VBA (1995), HTML (1998), ASM and C for Microcontrollers (2006), C# (2008), Java/SQL/CSS (2009), Python (2010), JavaScript (2012)

Learning Programming Languages in English

Well, it was difficult for me to learn a new spoken and written language, learn how to program the 'grammar' (procedural first, multiparadigm later), and the keywords and syntax for each language.

I remember in my first years with Basic, believing that WEND and ENDIF meant something in English. As marginalia.nu tells, a high-level programming language was like assembler to me (a bunch of meaningless words but which helped me to make the computer do something)

Programming in Spanish

I remember watching in magazines that Office had Visual Basic for Applications in Spanish. I haven't seen anything like that again, not even in forums or any online resource. If there was any possibility, it's gone now. Everything is in English now.

Working with computers in German

Later, in one of my first employments, I had to use software designed in Germany, so having to learn basic words like 'Abbrechen' was very helpful. Most of the documentation was in German, so for us was like kids looking for keywords we knew and following the drawings.

Again, you didn't know what they meant but was useful to finish tasks. By the way, what do you think 'Abbrechen' meant?

Teaching how to program (in English)

Now as a professor I have a similar problem. I got to teach a lot of stuff, syntax, grammar, keywords. All at the same time.

I was looking for versions of popular Languages (Python for example) in Spanish, that could be recompiled into valid code in English, but haven't found anything useful.

I found Latino, but I think the learning with it is not easily transferred into a more popular lang.

Wikipedia - Latino (Lenguaje de Programación)

And finally, it makes no sense, the young programmer has to learn how to work with an international team, so perhaps the initial pain is going to be useful to become a proficient developer, or a barrier for programmers which don't know how to communicate with computers, with other programmers and with humans in general.

My current rant is with students or young people in the team, using the programming language in English, and naming variables and writing comments in another language. It's messy for me, and the language does nothing to avoid it.

// Comentario en español, para que los que solo saben inglés no entiendan nada
string nombreDeVariable = 'dog'



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