a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

The Ugly American Programmer


#161

Yep. We should all use English. In Java.


#162

English is the de facto language for Computer Science simply because of the number of computer languages invented where English is the native language.

Here’s a short list:
x86 Assembly
x86-64 Assembly
COBOL
Fortran
Common Lisp
Scheme
BCPL
B
C, and any language based on C (C++, Objective C, etc…)
BASIC
Perl
Java

These are just the languages I can think of off the top of my head.


#163

The MS supported VB6.0 Korean reference. but they did not supported VC++ Korean reference. I am not bilingual elites but I don’t have free to choice in this kind of situation. If I need VC++ , I should read VC++ MSDN written by English. I have no right to select language.

I think that Computer and programing sciences are born from America just like movie. Computer and movie are invented by Americans.

If you want to know a core of the Taekwondo. You must learn korean language.
because of every Taekwondo terms are own korean words.

Same reason If you want to know a core of computer programing. You must know English. Because The Best of Best computer experts are American or English native speakers or bilingual Europeans. At least they usually write document by English.


#164

The MS supported VB6.0 Korean reference. but they did not supported VC++ Korean reference. I am not bilingual elites but I don’t have free to choice in this kind of situation. If I need VC++ , I should read VC++ MSDN written by English. I have no right to select language.

I think that Computer and programing sciences are born from America just like movie. Computer and movie are invented by Americans.

If you want to know a core of the Taekwondo. You must learn korean language.
because of every Taekwondo terms are own korean words.

Same reason If you want to know a core of computer programing. You must know English. Because The Best of Best computer experts are American or English native speakers or bilingual Europeans. At least they usually write document by English.


#165

Lady Lovelace, being the first programmer, spoke English as her native tongue. We must remember that computer languages are true languages that are in turn based on a spoken language, English. To fully understand the evolution of computer languages, one will have to understand English.


#166

Yes, I personally agree all developers should understand English or to be a good developer you need to be good at English.

But the fact is that’s not the case right now when we talk about developers all over the world. Actually, to be a developer doesn’t require so much knowledge in English, and there are so many developers in China can’t speak or understand English very well. They don’t read English books, and most of their time they don’t visit websites in English. That’s why Chinese book market have good sales on foreign languages books tranlsated in Chinese, especially books of computer science. SO is one of the most popular developer community websites and users are from all countries. But I believe the percentage of visitors from China and other non-English speaking countries are very low.

So I think the problem is how to help these developers who are lack of English skills?


#167

I agree with Leonel and Nick Fortescue: it’s not exactly English that developers speak. It’s English-based computer-related language.
It’s good that most programmers across the world share the same language.
But why stop at programming? It would be good if all people in the same profession (any profession, not only in programming) shared the same language.
In fact, that happens already. The number of natural languages shrinks with years and languages are getting similar to each other.


#168

East End brewing makes the best stuff in town. Very difficult to get outside of the region.


#169

Excellent article, thank you.


#170

This website helped me a lot from the very begining…and this post about stack overflows serves my long pending issue…thanks a lot.


#171

I also comment everything in English, as well as reading technical articles in English, essentially for the same reasons as Slawomir.

Since I switched to DVORAK-DEV I also left accents and proper punctuation in the dust. I don’t miss them.


#172

Obviously, if you write this post on an English language blog with an English readership, you will be preaching to the choir. Although most Western Europeans attain an impressive level of fluency through their work as a programmer, this is hardly a universal phenomenon. You undoubtedly have heard about the site CNProg, a carbon copy of Stackoverflow (both in design and usage) but in Chinese. I think this is a good example that adopting English as the lingua franca for all programmers is not very realistic.

As I am living in Japan, I can tell from experience that many Japanese do not have a sufficient level of English to read/converse about programming in English despite many many years of experience.


#173

Thanks for this discussion, Jeff.


#174

Its an open source project http://code.google.com/p/cnprog/


#175

Jurgen Appelo wrote a great post entitled Thank You, Stupid Americans which covers similar ground.

At one point he states:
I think most software developers are now glad that the unique combination of American imperialism and stupidity has resulted in all computer languages and frameworks being presented in one simple language: English.

For more check out:
http://www.noop.nl/2008/04/thank-you-stupi.html


#176

That is right!We must learn English before learnning program.Terrible!


#177

Why are British people so snobbish about the spellings of certain words? I mean, seriously, wanting to stab the compiler because of a slight difference of dialect? Seriously?


#178

@MKR I could learn another language, but where would I use it? Have you ever been to Miami? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Here (South Miami), Spanish is the real lingua franca of the street. .


#179

English is the standard language for science, period.

I study electronic engineering, in Italy. As I go on I find always that most of the informations I need are written in English, and that’s not a problem, at least for me.

Anyway, every paper in every scientific journal is in English, it could be math, electronics, physics and programming! Everything you read about science in a language that is not English is old. Research is done in English.

And last but not least, is there someone of you who prefer the localized version of the DD handbook?

PS:
At least English is easier than Latin :stuck_out_tongue:


#180

Great discussion.

Here in Brazil professionals often choose to program in English. One advantage of english is that it makes variables, class and methods names shorter. For example, in english you can use AccountManager instead ManagerOfAccount, while in portuguese the first case don’t exist, so it would be GerenciadorDeConta. Moreover, words in english are in most cases shorter, like get, set, run, save, find, etc.