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Natural language of monks.

by zby (Vicar)
on May 12, 2003 at 15:30 UTC ( #257460=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I am curious how many of the monks here are not native english speakers. I think it might be an interesting subject for a poll. And a question for those that have learned english as a foreign language - do you participate in Perl fora in your native language?

For me it takes a bit of effort to express myself in english especially when it is to be on a public forum - but the only polish fora I know are usenet and one IRC chanel. There is really not enough participants to be interesting.

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Re: Natural language of monks.
by valdez (Monsignor) on May 12, 2003 at 16:38 UTC

    You can find a list of italian monks on larsen's home node and I'm in that list. I'm the coordinator of and partecipate in Perl Mongers group.

    I have the same problem you have when writing on public forums; sometimes I need half an hour to write a node here :( The only time I asked help to my sister, who lives in Philadelphia, she gave me a wrong translation :) (see Re: OT: A link to enlightenment); when I asked my first question at Revision of a Configuration class, I wasn't able to express my thoughts clearly. And when I asked Where is $NORM?, merlyn made fun of me :)

    Ciao, Valerio

      Don't worry. merlyn makes fun of a lot of people. ;)

      Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

      Sometimes I see posts (usualy not here) that are rather illegible because the poster's english is not good enough. If the person is a Czech or Slovak I wish /s?he/ would have posted in Czech/Slovak. I think if one feels his/her english is not quite up to the task he/she should write the post in both languages. Often there is someone speaking the non-english language that can either help or at least translate.

      On the other hand, I think that if the "usual" language of a forum is english you should try to write the post in english (as well). To give the ones who do not know your language a chance. Often even bad english is good enough and it's a little uncomfortable not to understand a tiny bit in a post.

      Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
         -- Rick Osborne

      Edit by castaway: Closed small tag in signature

Re: Natural language of monks.
by nite_man (Deacon) on May 12, 2003 at 16:00 UTC
    My native language is Russian. There are many Perl resources in the 'RU' zone of Internet but I use only Perl Monks and some Perl news (Those are English too) because this place is the best place (at list, I didn't see better :-)) for communication of Perl developers, I think, and our monastery has both nice content and good site architecture and tools. And, of course, foremost property of our monastery is brothers and people who come to us.
    SV* sv_bless(SV* sv, HV* stash);
Re: Natural language of monks.
by zby (Vicar) on May 12, 2003 at 15:32 UTC
Re: Natural language of monks.
by crenz (Priest) on May 12, 2003 at 15:41 UTC

    Take a look at the recent thread Polyglot Challenges. It has some very interesting answers. As for me: I don't participate in German programming forums, but my CS education mostly is in German :) (I do attend one class in English, though, done by a very funny professor from Indiana). For more, see my comments at Re: Polyglot Challenges.

    I think it would be an interesting poll question, but I dimly remember there has already been one about continents of origin.

      Ah - that was really close. Although I concentrate more on the participation in discussion than learning Perl in general.

        The issue of the community's language was raised in a few posts during the discussion. It certainly helps a lot to learn a programming language when you have peers to talk to.

        Have you thought about attending a PerlMongers group? There seems to be no group in Warsaw yet (or even in the whole of Poland, for that matter). Maybe you can find a few local Perl people and start a group of your own.

Re: Natural language of monks.
by stefp (Vicar) on May 12, 2003 at 23:37 UTC
    I am French and was very lame in English at school. I really learnt English reading Sun Microsystems manuals 15 years ago which were mostly unadultered BSD manuals at this time. Jokes were still there like "you can tune a file system but you can't tuna fish". I learnt Perl soon after. Having read Unix manuals in English just before made the task far easier. There was no documentation in French, and the Perl documentation assumed knowledge of Unix.

    The first time I went to the states, to a technical meeting at Palm Spring, I could talk about computers but had a lot of trouble to ask my way to the toilets. For the toilets, spanish could have been helpful (employees are often mexican in south of Weat Coast hostels) but I don't speak it.

    -- stefp
    Come to YAPC::Europe 2003 in Paris, 23-25 July 2003.

Re: Natural language of monks.
by vladb (Vicar) on May 13, 2003 at 00:16 UTC
    Probably would have been an easy guess from my nick.. but in order not to keep you in suspence, I can talk Russian/Ukrainian and pretty much understand any other Slavic language (Polish, Belorus, etc). I much prefer conversing in English however.

    Despite of the fact that my first language is Russian, I had a feel for English since the early days of my attachement to computers. The way I learned English is by reading a lot of technical articles and books written in, well, English :). Frankly, I find it exceedingly hard to discuss matters related to computers/software in my native language ;/. Many of the terms, albeit borrowed from English, are unintuitive and sound foreign/weird to me.

    "We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce
    the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."

    Robert Wilensky, University of California

      I know that feeling. Talking about computers in German or English is no problem, but then they’re both Latin-derived/influenced languages with a lot of very similar vocabulary. Greek is another beast altogether, and talking about computers in Greek feels extremly odd as you end up using an English term for about every other noun. It gets even worse for verbs because they can’t be inflected, so one resorts to using “make” and the English verb’s infinitive – therefore sentences end up with constructs sounding roughly like “make click the mouse on the button” or “make copy the file to the other disk” (italics for English terms used verbatim).

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Natural language of monks.
by Jenda (Abbot) on May 12, 2003 at 16:18 UTC

    I don't participate in Czech Perl related fora. While there are a few programming related servers in Czech that have a Perl section it's pretty silent there. Which means that everyone tries to learn enough English to ask in a "global" place and as soon as he does he doesn't see any point in wasting the time in the deserted "local" places.

    There's simply not enough people to form a community.

    Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
       -- Rick Osborne

    Edit by castaway: Closed small tag in signature

      There's simply not enough people to form a community.

      Or not enough, that are interested enough - that is. When was the last Prague PM meeting? Or even a glimpse at the ML?


        Well I don't remember. I guess we should try to arrange a meeting again. I'm simply not the right person to manage a PM group :-(

        Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
           -- Rick Osborne

        Edit by castaway: Closed small tag in signature

Re: Natural language of monks.
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on May 12, 2003 at 19:53 UTC
    I'm a non-native English speaker. There are two Perl forums I participate in that have non-English postings. One forum is the mailinglist of the largest Perlmongers group in this country. It does have posts in English and the local language. The monthy meetings, including the talks, are often in English, sometimes in the local language, depending on who shows up. We have several members who don't speak the local language well enough to participate otherwise, and there's only one person who objects to using English.

    The other forum is the usenet group comp.lang.perl.misc. Unlike some people think, it's not an English only group (after all, it's not en.comp.lang.perl.misc, is it?). Every now and then, there's a post in German, French, Swedish or some other language. Unfortunally, such posts often get flamed - usually by some dumb Americans who think the world ends at the US - Canada border.


Re: Natural language of monks.
by Juerd (Abbot) on May 12, 2003 at 22:05 UTC

    My native language is Dutch. I use Dutch to discuss Perl only in Rotterdam.PM meetings (which, unfortunately, are rare) and when helping people in Dutch IRC channels. It's hard to combine Dutch with Perl because you end up using maybe as much as 30% English after all :)

    Although most people understand what I try to say, my English is not quite fluid :) When it comes to non-technical words, my vocabulary is amazingly small. For example: I didn't know what the word "Easter" meant, until last Easter. People in #perlhelp on EFnet thought it was funny, but I felt rather uncomfortable.

    My spoken English is even worse. I have no problem understanding spoken English (as long as it's not in some dialect), but when I have to speak it myself, things go wrong. My brain isn't fast enough to supply English words to my mouth at a reasonable speed (I think something similar would happen on an 8-bit gigabyte-ethernet card).

    Juerd # { site => '', plp_site => '', do_not_use => 'spamtrap' }

Re: Natural language of monks.
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on May 12, 2003 at 21:17 UTC

    I’m Greek but grew up in Germany, and speak both languages fluently – although I’ve been told that from looking at my posts, you’d never know English is not my native language.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      although I've been told that from looking at my posts, you'd never know English is not my native language.

      Ah, so it must be full of misspellings and grammatical errors, said the guy with the Appalachian accent. Congratulations, knowing the right mistakes to make is when you REALLY know a language.

      Ain't enough 'O's in 'stoopid' to describe that guy.
      - Dave "the King" Wilson

Re: Natural language of monks.
by Sigmund (Pilgrim) on May 12, 2003 at 20:48 UTC
    hello man,
    i'm italian, and i'm devoted to the Monastery.
    so i'm forced to use English as my Perl-discussing language!
    it seems that is down since a couple of years ...
Re: Natural language of monks.
by Biker (Priest) on May 13, 2003 at 12:13 UTC

    Well, my natural language (or my mother tounge, if you want) is Classical C, so I had only a medium effort to convert to Perl.

    It was my mother pointing me to that redirection the first time I said Hello to the World.

    Oh, yes. She gave me many pointers of that type. Some of them didn't have any real value to me and I ended up in Cyberspace. She also passed me some pointers that actually pointed me to areas with no name. She called them anonymous, but they still provided the funkshion she had intended. Those were the days.

    Nowadays, she gives me references to the sub, as they say in the US. (That's an underground effort, if you live in the UK.) I'm not always sure what's the name of the sub entry, but it almost always brings me to new places in town. The result is sometimes undefined, but very often it's a true experience to evaluate a negative outcome and realize I just came back to where I started.

    Everything went worng, just as foreseen.

Re: Natural language of monks.
by benn (Vicar) on May 13, 2003 at 10:11 UTC
    I guess this as as good a time as any to start revealing my master-plan to introduce Latin as the primary language in the Monastery...


    :) Ben.

Re: Natural language of monks.
by moxliukas (Curate) on May 13, 2003 at 11:00 UTC

    Well, I am Lithuanian, so one might say that I am your neighbour ;)

    There is a list of other Perlmonks from Lithuania on my home node

Re: Natural language of monks.
by YAFZ (Pilgrim) on May 15, 2003 at 10:58 UTC
    I´m from Turkey and being a native speaker of Turkish is not problematic for me since I'm accustomed to use English (both for computing and communication in other areas) for so many years.

    However I know many young programming enthusiasts take this foreign language thing as an important obstacle. Generally I can understand what it feels like not being able to communicate fluently.

    I´ve never heard about a Perl organization or a society in Turkey, nor have I met a local Perl event in Turkey´s biggest city Istanbul.

    We´ve got a couple of Turkish Perl books at our bookstores but I don´t think they can match the style and quality of "Learning Perl" or "Programming Perl". It would be very nice to see their Turkish translations however people are rather interested in Java / C/C++ / VB / .NET / ASP.NET books (I know Perl can be used in .NET but you´d be surprised at the number of people who knows this fact).

Re: Natural language of monks.
by rruiz (Monk) on May 14, 2003 at 02:41 UTC

    My natural language is Spanish, I am Mexican. I feel more confortable reading techincal documents about computers in English, as that was the way I begin to learn programming back in 1985.

    As to forums about Perl in Spanish, there is one in the UNAM at this link, it appears to be down this very moment, but it is normally up. If there are more Spanish-speakers here, you are invited to subscribe, the list is low-volume and the people there are very friendly.

    I also think that a poll could be a good idea.

    God bless you

Re: Natural language of monks.
by CountZero (Bishop) on May 28, 2003 at 19:53 UTC

    My language is Dutch as I live in the northern part of Belgium. Sadly there is almost no "Dutch" discussion on Perl, although we have a local Perlmongers group (""). I will probably go to the YAPC in Paris in July and I wonder what language will be spoken there. Perhaps I may even meet some of our Flemish or Dutch brothers in the flesh!


    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

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