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JavaScript For the Rest of Us 285

Posted by timothy
from the error-messages-go-universal dept.
First time accepted submitter my2iu writes "The JavaScript programming language is both widely available and very powerful. Unfortunately, since only 6% of the world's population are native English speakers, the other 94% of the world are forced to learn English before they can start using JavaScript. Babylscript is an open source project that aims to translate JavaScript to all the world's languages, including French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. The project has recently completed its 12th translation, enough so that the native languages of over 50% of the world's population are now supported!"
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JavaScript For the Rest of Us

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  • VBA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:14AM (#40697151)

    Because having local-language versions worked out so well for VBA - and that isn't even on the internet.

    • Re:VBA? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by multicoregeneral (2618207) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:44AM (#40698543) Homepage
      I don't see what the problem is. Outside of the US, most anyone in business speaks english anyway. If you're educated, anywhere, you speak english. Most every programming language is in english. It's a misstatement to say that 94% of the world doesn't speak english. It's factually incorrect. It doesn't actually matter what the language they speak is. Foreign born programmers can look up the docs like anyone else when they don't know what a function does. This project is neat, because it's technical, and nobody actually needs it (as every fun project should be). But I see it as causing a more complex problem than the one it's trying to solve. Amazed it's still running though...
      • Re:VBA? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by savuporo (658486) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:48AM (#40698591)
        >>If you're educated, anywhere, you speak english
        You should go visit Japan and Korea. EVERYTHING technical is done in local languages. Good english speakers are actually very hard to find even in top technical teams.
        I suspect the same is the case in mainland china, although i have no first hand experience ( in Taiwan and Hong Kong english is everywhere )
        • Re:VBA? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by multicoregeneral (2618207) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:08AM (#40698917) Homepage
          Never been to Korea, but I have been to Hong Kong, Israel, and India. To the best of my knowledge, it's never been a problem in any of those places. The problem with a project like this is that the nature of code is international to begin with. And support across the board sucks as it is. You have to write different code like they're proposing, your support is going to waver, and you're going to have an internationally fragmented Javascript unless everyone adopts some variation of their engine (unless they're running a moore machine to convert it back to mainline js. Ref website isn't clear at a glance).
        • Re:VBA? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Rei (128717) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @11:10AM (#40698945) Homepage

          Even here in Iceland where everyone is quite fluent in English (much moreso than in Japan), technical terms still are often handled in Icelandic. Aka, if you read the news about the Higgs announcement, it's not the "Higgs Boson", but "Higgs Bóseindin". It's not "centripetal force", but "miðflóttaafl". It's not "electromagnetic radiation", but "rafsegulbylgjir". Yeah, people sometimes use the English terms too (even for common words, some English words have become pretty much embedded in the language unfortunately), but in general, Iceland strives to avoid that. Even words for new products - computer is "tölva (number-prophet), phone is sími (old word for "line"), etc. The other Nordic languages don't do this sort of thing nearly as much.

    • I've seen programming languages using keywords in my native language (Dutch), and I found it silly, funny, and hard to be taken seriously. I just expect it to be English.

      I also think way more than 6% of people, especially in software development circles, knows enough English to understand programming language keywords, compiler error messages, etc... And I'm sure there exist enough books in any spoken language about each programming language.

  • by Grashnak (1003791) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:15AM (#40697181)
    How is this different than every other programming language I've ever encountered? And doesn't writing javascript in, say, Arabic, just make it inaccessible to 99% of the people who like look at your code?
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:28AM (#40697411) Journal

      I'm pretty sure that, aside from its dependence on Latin characters(which is, all in all, a good thing, Unicode would probably allow it to achieve malign sentience), TECO has no basis whatsoever in any human language.

      GZ0J\UNQN"E 40UN ' BUH BUV HK
        QN
        QQ/10UT QH+QT+48UW QW-58"E 48UW %V ' QV"N QV^T ' QWUV QQ-(QT*10)UH >
        QV^T @^A/ /HKEX$$

      • At least learning English is useful outside using JavaScript, whereas that is an exercise in masochism.
        • I love progamming in TECO. Because it feels so good when you stop!

          Remember, EMACS was originally written in TECO. Does that tell you something about its author?

        • But learning TECO allows you to write a brainfuck interpreter and get into a state where writing in brainfuck feels like a blessing at the same time!

        • by kuiken (115647)

          Not to mention that you'll have to learn English to use any library or are they going to translate all those as well.

          As a non-native English speaker that has had the torture of seeing dutch and french VB/excel I can only hope that this never takes off.
          Even localized EDI's are a silly idea.

          If you want to learn to program learn English, you can do both at the same time and have access to so much more information.

          • Pascal was once a popular programming language. I've always felt one of the reasons C beat out Pascal is English, but maybe not. In Pascal a block is delimited with BEGIN and END, in C it's { and }. Pascal uses IF THEN and ELSE, C uses "if" and "else" but not "then", and these can be avoided with the ? : operator. C uses "for", Pascal uses FOR and TO (or DOWNTO). Pascal unnecessarily adds two more keywords with this REPEAT UNTIL structure, C gets by with one more keyword with "do while". In Pascal, ha

    • Quick question: What is more important?
      1. Writing code
      2. Being able to read code AFTER it has been written?

      Sheesh... Most people in this world already face the problem you are talking about when they see everything written in English. And they are trying to fix it!

      PS: Hopefully Slashdot fixes its commenting system. Months have passed since I posted anything and it is complaining that I have reused this form already!

      • Honestly, if you can deal with the character set, the names of the internals are irrelevant. You'll spend long enough learning their idiosyncrasies that you won't be able to help memorizing the tiny fraction of English you need to write and read code. Your biggest problem will be the documentation not the code itself.
        • by Rei (128717)

          Agreed completely. You don't need to go around translating internals. Just let me name my variables, function calls, etc properly, dang it! How hard can that be? Yet few programming languages seem to support that.

          It's not even just about wanting to "write in a non-English language"; sometimes you're referring to actual proper nouns, and currently, the only solution is to mangle them. If I wanted to write a variable that holds data that gets sent to a system in (TH)orlákshöfn, I can't use any

          • And of course I can't even call it that here on Slashdot, because Slashdot mangles the thorn for some inexplicable reason, so I have to substitute letters. And this is just a comment website!

            Slashdot's web server and webpages claim to support UTF-8, but the Slashdot backend treats it as ASCII and will helpfully display the ASCII 2+ character representation (sometimes these characters are unprintable).

            For instance, here's a Euro currency symbol (U+20AC): â

            However, HTML entities work. Here's a Euro currency symbol (€): €

            As for thorn, I believe Þ and þ will give you the characters you want: and respectively... although I don't seem to see those, so maybe n

    • by jginspace (678908) <jginspace@ya3.14hoo.com minus pi> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:35AM (#40697497) Homepage Journal

      And doesn't writing javascript in, say, Arabic, just make it inaccessible to 99% of the people who like look at your code?

      Yeah - it'll be interesting to find out what the LibreJS people think about it: https://www.gnu.org/software/librejs/ [gnu.org]

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Yeah - it'll be interesting to find out what the LibreJS people think about it

        Since LibreJS doesn't let you easily define your own version of Arabic, RMS will probably throw a hissy fit.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      They should be able to have a program "translate" JS!Arabic to JS!English with relative ease. You just parse the script, replacing Arabic keywords with English keywords (that's even how I suspect they're doing it). You could probably even have an interpreter that can mix several languages.

      I actually had a similar idea myself, years and years ago. Never did anything with it, though, and my plan was for C, not Javascript.

      Oh, and in any case, comments and filenames often *are* in other languages already. So th

    • by marcello_dl (667940) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:45AM (#40697643) Homepage Journal

      IIRC applescript had localized versions. There wasn't a problem in reading foreign scripts because keywords were translated (at one point keyword must be recognizable to the interpreter, that makes it relatively easy to translate them.

      It is still not a good idea, of course. You need to copypaste a script from a blog and have it translated by the interpreter before understanding it.

      And as a foreigner I can attest that the translation of keywords is a non-existent problem. Either you know the syntax of the whole command (parentheses, colons, semicolons, tabs, whatever) or you look it up. Once you have memorized it, could be english, your tongue, or LOLCODE, doesn't matter.

      I'd possibly endorse localized versions of Logo and Smalltalk for basic teaching to kids. Everything else is overkill.

      • Once in a while I come across something that I know a little about, and then I wonder if everything I ever read and took as a wisdom was written but ignorant people on Slashdot.

        Yeah I know... am I new here?

        Have you ever been to China? Have you ever seen the code they run? Ever seen FORTRAN in Chinese characters? You think they should have learnt English first?

        And you a foreigner! Really... I bet an Indian/European who already knew the Latin characters before he/she heard about JavaScript. There are billions

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @01:28PM (#40701237) Journal

        And as a foreigner I can attest that the translation of keywords is a non-existent problem.

        As another foreigner, I can second that. I didn't know English when I started coding. I actually learned the basics by coding, and reading the docs. Similar ideas were floated then and some were actually implemented, and every time they were tried they were found to be an epic fail in practice, and most programmers (even those who didn't speak English beyond keywords in their favorite language) laughed at them.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      How is this different than every other programming language I've ever encountered? And doesn't writing javascript in, say, Arabic, just make it inaccessible to 99% of the people who like look at your code?

      That depends on whether it'll be 99% read by Arabs or not. There's several older code bases I've heard of here in Norway that's been written in Norwegian, simply because it was easier since it's our native language and you can use native terms the business side use in dealing with customers and they had no international ambition or plans to outsource. Well not the programming language, but the functions, the variables, the comments and so on. Changing the language itself would probably seem more natural, no

    • by jhol13 (1087781)

      1. The keywords are localised, no other programming language I know have this capability.
      2. Who cares? The point is not to give access of your source to others, it is to give easier access to the programming language itself to those who do not speak english.

      I see this as an interesting idea. Why should I write "if" instead of "jos" (i.e. Finnish)? The latter is easier for Finns to understand and learn, especially if they are very young (or very old).

      BTW, did you even read the article?

      • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:34AM (#40698389)

        > I see this as an interesting idea. Why should I write "if" instead of "jos" (i.e. Finnish)? The latter is easier for Finns to understand and learn, especially if they are very young (or very old).

        Except this idea was designed by people who have no clue how interpreters/compilers do their parsing.

        So now I have to add *all possible potential translation words* as reserved for identifiers??

        Using your Finnish example...

        "English";
        var jos = 1; // OK, jos is not a reserved word IN English
        if( jos ) console.log( "jos = " + jos );

        "Finnish";
        var jos = 1; // FAIL, jos is reserved as 'if' in Finnish
        jos( jos ) console.log( "jos = " + jos ); // ERROR: AMBIGUOUS

        • Except not really? You just have a preprocessor step where you specify which language you coded it in and everything is translated to some canonical form. You could even do this in everyone's precious favorite language C using macros.
    • by Eraesr (1629799)
      Just going out on a limb here, and I'm not sure if this is the case with this newfangled i18n-ed javascript nonsense, but we're basically talking keywords here. Single tokens without any of the grammatical complexities we have to deal with in natural languages. So basically, if I'd write a project in Dutch as:

      functie test(i) {
      als (i == 0)
      retourneer waar;
      }

      Then your IDE could parse that and translate that to

      function test(i) {
      if (i == 0)
      return true;
      }

      I'm not really in favor of this bec
  • by OleMoudi (624829) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:16AM (#40697185) Homepage

    Considering current situation with XSS prevalence, javascript obfuscation techniques and content filters bypassing, this will only make matters worse

  • by bool2 (1782642) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:17AM (#40697205) Homepage
    Javascript keywords are English words but it's quite a leap to suggest you need to know English to learn Javascript! In fact, it might be an advantage to have the keywords as foreign words because they represent abstract concepts that ought to be considered apart from their real world meanings. IMHO.
    • Exactly. I learned programming in France, at a time when there were some (rather bad) national programming languages like LSE where the words seemed too grounded and loaded with double meanings. Also there were several translated versions of Basic. Some commands were much longer to type, some others didn't translate directly and the equivalent was unintuitive at best, and finally you couldn't type listings found in programming magazines.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:31AM (#40697443) Journal

      Luckily, all human languages are isomorphic, so we can just draw up an unambiguous list of localized equivalents to each keyword, allow automated localization of javascript code without any possible ambiguity! What could possibly go wrong or undermine this glorious scheme?

      (Other than comments, variable names, and the fact that languages are far from isomorphic?)

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:17AM (#40697209)

    The programming language is the language, not the english language. You need to learn keywords, they could be klingon, do not need to make any sense for you. On the other hand, documentations are usually written in english.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    C'est pas vrai!

  • Nonsense (Score:3, Informative)

    by fragfoo (2018548) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:18AM (#40697245)

    Someone pulled this idea out of his ass and thought it was a genius idea.

  • by Rhaban (987410) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:20AM (#40697271)

    I just took a look at the french translation:

    charAt carÀ
        charCodeAt codeCarÀ
        indexOf indiceDe
        lastIndexOf dernierIndiceDe
        split fendre
        substring souschaîne

    I foresee thousands of text encoding bugs appearing everywhere this is used.

  • function calls, classes, etc which use letters that are not in the English character set. :P No translation needed, just let me type them without getting spammed with syntax errors like happens in most programming languages. And for that matter, I'd be happy if I could even *type* a thorn here on Slashdot without having it magically disappear.

  • Yeah, let us all hide in our ghettos again, very good for the world.

    While very noble, all this native translation stuff and UTF-8, what I see is that more and more people stop trying to reach out and stay in their own culture/circle.
    The internet 10 years ago was much more international oriented than it is nowadays.

  • Misguided (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:23AM (#40697335)

    Unlike other multilingual programming languages, Babylscript allows people to write programs in a mix of different languages. A programmer can take a library written in French, mix it with their own program written in Spanish, and use code snippets they found on a Chinese help forum.

    I would hazard a guess and say that it's easier for a non-English speaker to learn normal JavaScript than it is for anybody to deal with this kind of nonsense.

    I don't really see the advantage in this. You would be deliberately segregating yourself from the wider development community, and for what? Anglophones have to learn a lot of this stuff too. An asterisk doesn't mean multiplication to us, yet we learn that. Double ampersands don't mean "and", yet we learn that. Parentheses don't mean "do something", yet we learn that. The equals sign means "equals" in English, yet it's the assignment operator in JavaScript.

    There are languages which are designed to more closely match natural language. AppleScript and Basic, for instance. There care also language which aren't very readable at all in English, such as LISP or Perl, that are still very successful. Natural language isn't really valued in the programming world for a variety of reasons. Sure, function calls might have some correspondence with English, but in the end, they are labels, not sentences, and everybody needs to learn what the labels mean precisely, even English people.

  • If your assumption is that only people in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia speak English, then yes, you can say that only 6% of the world's population speaks English. But your assumption would be very, very wrong. Also, as Javascript is not and never claimed to be a natural language, I don't understand why you think you need to learn English before using it. The definition of "for" in Javascript is so far away from the definition of "for" in English that knowing English doesn't help you grasp how it
    • by Grave (8234)

      I've always hated the argument that English is not the most widely spoken language because of "native" speakers. It is the most common second language that is learned throughout the world. And honestly, is the idea of having a single language that can be understood across the world so bad?

      I'm all for translating documentation into a native language for more people to learn, but the programming language itself needs to be consistent across all uses. Otherwise, it's not the same programming language--just

      • English is also the language in which most of the computer-related neologisms originated. Leaving the terms in English makes them unambiguous whereas translating them has constantly been shown to do nothing but confuse people. This guy probably things he originated the idea of translating computer programming languages, but this has been done before many times and all such efforts have pretty much died out and for good reason: they suck.

        • by jgrahn (181062)

          English is also the language in which most of the computer-related neologisms originated. Leaving the terms in English makes them unambiguous whereas translating them has constantly been shown to do nothing but confuse people.

          Yeah. I always argued that we in the rest of the world got the better bargain. The English had to dilute their language by giving new, high-visibility meanings to everything from Apache to zip.

  • The translations look terribly inconsistent and even completely erroneous. The German one, for example, strangely mixes verb forms: "throw" is "wirf" (informal imperative) but "catch" is "fangen" (infinitive). "char" is translated as "aeichen", which isn't even a word in German. Are the "translators" just people with no knowledge of the target language who are simply looking up words in a dictionary? If so I don't see how this project is possibly going to be of use to anyone.
    • by LourensV (856614)

      "char" is translated as "aeichen", which isn't even a word in German.

      It's just a typo, the German word for "character" is "Zeichen", and the A and Z keys are next to each other (on a German keyboard as well as an international one). I wonder why it's not been capitalised though, nouns in German are supposed to be. If you're going to translate things, go all the way...

      • by pne (93383)

        the A and Z keys are next to each other (on a German keyboard as well as an international one).

        They're nowhere near one another on a German keyboard; the key below A is Y, and Z is next to T. Perhaps you were thinking of the French keyboard (AZERTY)?

  • by phayes (202222) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:26AM (#40697385) Homepage

    Decades back I used a research OS that was developed pretty much along UNIX lines except that it was written in this Pascal variant where all the keywords were in French (Pascal was popular back then as a first language). It never achieved any traction & disappeared because neither the OS nor the language proposed anything really useful that you couldn't get already from Unix/C or just plain Pascal.

    On a more recent level, one of the biggest PITA I and many others have with Office in non-english locales is that they translate the function names.
    =sum(a1:a6) becomes =somme(a1:a6). I'ts easy enough to find websites that will help perform actions in Office, but I often spend twice the time finding out lust what wierd name MS has come up with for some VB function.

    Is "pour" so much better than "for" for someone who is not a native english speaker? No, as by the time you have become proficient in the computer language, the subset of a foreign tongue it uses become well known & the difference irrelevant.

    It looks to me that Babylscript is just a tool for the language bigots out there. Give it a few months & people will have forgotten it.

    • by wjousts (1529427)
      While I think this whole exercise is a waste of time, and that there are a lot more English speakers than TFA claims, I would quibble that there is a difference between being an "official" language of a country and being widely spoken in that country. For example, Romansh is an official language of Switzerland, but is only spoken by about 0.5% of Swiss. French, German and Italian are the other official languages of Switzerland for those keeping score, and yes, a lot of Swiss people learn English.
  • STOP! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:30AM (#40697437)
    For god's sake! Please lets stop translating computer languages.
  • Presumably these 94% will have put for foray into the javascript dom on hold until that gets translated.

    The Japanese like to put their verbs at the end - are they going to accommodate that?

    About half the planet like adjectives after the noun - so is going to be array new?

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Are they also going to translate numbers?
      In my native Dutch (nl-NL) locale, floating point numbers use a comma as decimal separator. So english "123.45" should be "123,45".
      As I understand it, other locales also have differing floating point notation.

  • I learned programming in BASIC way before I learned English (my mother tongue is German). It didn't pose a problem at all, you have to learn the keywords character-by-character anyways, since you aren't allowed to make any stylistic modifications to the text. I don't quite see the point in this exercise, especially for languages that use the same writing system.

    Additionally, programming nowadays is also about getting more information and help online. When you don't know English, most of the information onli

  • This is a really stupid idea!

  • Idiocy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pinkeen (1804300) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:34AM (#40697481) Homepage
    This is the most idiotic idea I've ever saw.

    Will they also translate all the libs, the docs, the books out there?
    IMHO This makes JS even less accessible and seriously increases the confusion factor.
  • Just think how many jobs this will add in the future, all those former COBOL coders retrained to fix Y2K, er, I mean, other-than-English version bugs...

    Is it April 1 already? Surely they wouldn't really name it Babylscript, knowing what happened to the Tower's progress after language-splintering, would they?

  • Finally use English programmers change the appearance of GUI widgets by their colour property!

    This might be a bit imperialistic, but is a programmer who is not comfortable with English a good programmer? Since there is so much technical info in English, if your English skill aren't they good then you are going to miss out on a lot of good info. I seem to recall an interview with Linus Torvalds where he said that because all source code, etc, he ever saw was in English it never even occurred to him to code i

    • It's not imperialistic. English is the language of trade and science and is also the language from which the vast majority of computer-related neologisms originated. To have programming languages use English for its keywords makes it unambiguous to all users rather than you having some sub-par translated version that makes it impossible to use, say, MDN because you can't match up the keywords from the English version to your own.

      • English is the language of almost all the people who came up with the stored program digital computer. That is the overriding reason.

        There are other important trade languages and, during the period when computers were getting started, German was still the language of chemistry and our R&D library had lots of engineering textbooks in German. If you don't know basic Italian and German you won't go far with opera. Musical notation is still Italian and I haven't noticed any moves to replace p and f in music

  • when a native English speaker learns a computer language, you might have to learn a function like, say for example, concat()

    array1.concat(array2,array3,...,arrayX)

    ok, I get it that concat is from the word concatenate. but concatenate, in English, can have all sorts of meanings, and in the context of javascript, that the meaning of the word concatenate should lend itself ONLY to the scenario of arrays, and ONLY to the meaning of joining arrays together... this is rather arbitrary

    such that knowledge of Englis

  • Wow. I've read all the comments (that have been selected) and not one thinks this is a good idea.
    Amazing to see everyone agree for a change.

    "6% native English speakers" - is that relevent to anything? How many people can *read* (or write) English, as a 1st, 2nd, or nth language? - I'd guess somewhere over 75%, even higher if you consider the simple keywords used in javascript (not that knowing their meaning in real English will help enormously, as has been pointed out). Are there any complicated keywords? I

  • It's the new Lingua Franca! No, wait...

  • That's bullshit, i learned javascript in Colombia as a native spanish speaker.
  • by Infernal Device (865066) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @09:58AM (#40697833)

    in the original Klingon.

  • Oh god, this is such a horrible idea. So they fixed the VBA problem where code developed for the German version of Excel fails to run anywhere else. Good for them. But then they claim that you can mix and match French and Spanish code. This is good how? As a German native speaker I was exposed a Java program written in German. For example, getters and setters were prefixed with "nimm" and "gib". My eyes start to bleed just thinking about it.

    If you learn programming you have to deal with complex abstract pro

  • I can't wait to see the result of the code for the project that my company decided to develop offshore, in India. I am sure that our clients will be pleased to learn that we will not be able to debug a fucking line of code on site.
    What a fucking great idea ! yeah !

    Why don't you just write it in our beloved Universal Language "Esperanto" ? It should be even easier to maintain... It is UNIVERSAL !....

    I believe that sometimes, if nobody invented a specific thing, maybe it's because this thing is fucking
  • Once upon a time, when computers were not available to all, when it required an investment and expertise to write software, the higher barrier to entry essentially insured that, basically, only well qualified people were writing software.

    Today, when anyone with 25 cents can write and compile software, it shows, I believe, in a lower overall quality of software and documentation. In those days I loved my software job; today the software overall sucks so bad I can't stand my job anymore.

    This javascript 'enha

  • This would be and incredibly stupid move. One of the greatest strengths of code is that it's a shared, common language. You can easily debug someone's syntax on usenet/blog/whatever without having to know their native language.

    Sure it's nice to localize and cater to individual cultures, but the reason computer languages are so accessible to beginners is because they don't need to learn the language through google translate. Ever try and debug HelloWorld() in Arabic?

  • Unfortunately, since only 6% of the world's population are native English speakers, the other 94% of the world are forced to learn English before they can start using JavaScript.

    I'm a "native" English speaker and guess what? I had to learn English too! I wasn't born that way!

    Since 100% of JavaScript programmers have to learn at least some English, I demand they translate JavaScript into baby talk! It's not fair that my daughter will need to learn English before she can program.

  • There are just about 20 or so keywords one has to learn in most of programming languages and one has to learn them anyway, even if they are in one's native language. And if they translate all libraries and APIs -- this makes it harder to learn, because one will only find a subset of forums, stackoverflow posts, etc. while googling about the problem at hand.
  • Now, if we can only translate Javascript into a less painful scripting language, we'd have REAL progress! *insane laughter*

  • Now, if they'd only translate Javascript into a less painful scripting language, we'd have REAL progress. *insane laughter*

  • This is not the first time somebody does this either, there is an entire industry in Russia built around a business platform (1 s) that prides itself by the fact that they have translated BASIC into Russian, I shit you not.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @10:57AM (#40698769)

    The German translation isn't good. They could've easyly improved on the syntax. let ist translated into 'sein' (to be) rather than 'lasse' (let). There are a few other instances were they could've actually improved on the language as a whole but messed it up.

    Besides, as others have pointed out: The PL being in a different language than the native is an *advantage*. Less mixing of words. It's great to have native Variables and english keywords - it gives you way more flexiblity with your code.

    My 2 cents.

    • by Cow Jones (615566)

      Exactly. The German translation is horrible. It looks like one person just went over the keywords and translated them without considering the context they'd be used in. I'm pretty sure that nobody else checked on that translation before they decided to go with it.

      The main problem seems to be that the translator decided to use the infinitive verb form for command/method names, when the imperative form would have been more appropriate.
      E.g., arr.zerteilen(x) literally means arr.to_slice(x), not arr.slice(x

  • Aside this Babylscript, I sometimes wonder if there's already way too much redundant translations in the engineering world. For example, who needs a crappy article about mini-ITX [wikipedia.org] in Finnish at Wikipedia. That is so special technical information that you oughta learn English anyway. I understand technical articles like Huuto.net [wikipedia.org] (Finnish eBay-like site) that describe a local speciality. Then some game makers strive to have the menu texts in all possible languages, which again is a bit questionable. For games
  • Unfortunately, since only 6% of the world's population are native English speakers

    I've been to countries where the people do not speak English "natively" and I have been very surprised that most of the people speak English (as their second language) better than many people here in the US. While English may not be the first language of a significant portion of the world, English is spoken and understood by a very significant portion of the world's population.

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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