Coding is for Everyone as Long as You Speak English

September 17, 2022


It’s true that software programs and social media platforms are now often available in some 30 to 100 languages—but what about the tools that make us creators, not just consumers, of computational tools? I’m not even asking whether we should make programming languages in small, underserved languages (although that would be cool). Even huge languages that have extensive literary traditions and are used as regional trade languages, like Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic, still aren’t widespread as languages of code.

I have always wondered how folks that speak other languages deal with programming languages and coding, and now I know they simply are doing it in English. It seems especially strange that Ruby, the language that I use which originated from Japan, is in English. Now I learned there is no technical reason for this, it is just a matter of convention and maybe laziness.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.