English is my second language. And I set my locale to English because it makes everything easier for me. It makes me feel as part of a larger, more referential community. I know, for instance, that I can google error messages and find help easily that way.
I’ve seen bad attempts at translating keywords and key mappings which completely obfuscate usability when you switch from a language to another. What’s the Italian for a while loop? How do you write the SUM() function in Excel in ? What should the shortcut for Bold be in French when the translation for Bold in that language starts with G?
Informatics is its own language. Most of the time, it’s based on English. Can we do better? How about Latin? Esperanto? What kind of perspective would a new tongue bring to programming language constructs?
The problem with anglophones is they are used getting their way and stick to it, even when it sucks. Americans continue to impose feets and inches and miles to the rest of the world even though most of it has moved to metric. English holds a monopoly on novelty because it’s more widespread, marketable and less likely to go out of its way. At the same time, anglophony is an affluent of many cultures where cross-breeding does happen. In the end, everyone learns to accommodate to English, while English grows better by letting the world come to it instead of the other way around. Some people are worried about that, but that’s for another discussion.
Other cultures act as a counter-environment to Americana, breeding new insights. I used the word informatics earlier. In some languages, a programmer is someone whose work is to literally automate information. I’m convinced native language introduces a bias in the way that we use it, much like Java vs Python does. Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if the computer revolution happened in a different language…