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Re: Re: International Perl Resources

by Lexicon (Chaplain)
on Jan 31, 2001 at 05:35 UTC ( #55418=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: International Perl Resources
in thread International Perl Resources

I have to agree with Mirod on this one to some extent: translating the language itself isn't that important and probably would be for the worse.

1) The English is easy, and utilizes basic gramatical constructs found in most (probably all) languages. This at least applies to your basic things like Use, If, While, etc... There's only a couple dozen key words in most languages that can be picked up quickly, and (speculation) probably the majority who has access to computers have had at least some exposure to English (/speculation).

2) More complex commands often don't even make sense in English. My strongest example is map. Hell, that one's so confusing at first you may be at an advantage by not having predefined concepts of what it should do! ;)

3) Imagine if you couldn't read/maintain code except from your own country. (I believe this is really the big important one.)

4) The character set might be an issue, but:

  • The cyrillic character set is closely related
  • I believe all asian countries use the Latin character set to type anyway because they have too many letters (even just the phonetic ones (I base this on my Japanese experience, YMMV)).
  • India's second language is English.
  • This covers damn near everybody. ;)

    As for documentation, the Japanese take a mandatory 4 years or so of English, and the average person has little hope of tackling a technical manual. Moreover, programmers are generally bad with langauges, and I wouldn't want to force quite that much English on anyone.


  • Replies are listed 'Best First'.
    Re^3: International Perl Resources
    by tadman (Prior) on Feb 01, 2001 at 05:01 UTC
      While using a "translated" language is perhaps a bad idea, the idea of using a "filter" such as mirod's "french.h" file is more in line with what I was thinking. Perl makes it so easy to implement such a system, and still maintain full compatibility with other code.

      When it comes to maintenance, I have found that some German and French code is hard to "decode". While all the regular keywords are there in plain English, everything else, variables, functions, and comments, are not. Babelfish comes in pretty handy when trying to discover the meaning of some of the comments. I also notice quite a bit of Japanese SJIS-enhanced code that I can't even edit properly without a UNICODE-compliant editor (i.e. not 'vim'). So much for "portable" code!

      A "translated" Perl would be used as a crutch of sorts, to ease the learning programmer into the language.

      In any event, Perl should at least allow you to use Japanese and French style quotes so that you don't have to escape your code!
      print I am tired of 'escaping' my "quotes"!;

      Curiously, do the "4 years" of English that the average Japanese take leave them with an understanding that is any more useful than, say, the 4+ years of Spanish or French that an average student from Britain, America or Canada would have? Probably, as many have pointed out, this brief introduction would be enough to get a handle on the syntax with proper supporting documentation available in the primary language of the learner.
        OK, there is this var/sub naming problem. To be extra confusing, the Japanese seem to like to mix it half-English/half-Japanese in the code I've seen. I also havn't seen them writing it in actual Japanese, just romaji, but that's just due to where I work (mostly web stuff).

        OT: IANJ but I think students take 6 years of English. College entrance exams have English components. The average American takes 2 years of a language (that's what I took anyway) and they're about equivalent to the Japanese English in skill. I don't find that relavent though, as going from English to Spanish is a hell of a lot easier than from English to Japanese or back. So I forgive them some. (^v^)

        OK, enough rant. This is certainly enough that they can read all basic syntax without any issues. But one of my tasks is to help with the translation of English technical references into Japanese. That was more about Japan than anyone ever expected to learn on PerlMonks. If anyone has any questions though, feel free to CB me.


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