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Programming In Non-English Speaking Countries


Senior member
Apr 11, 2001
I've been in a discussion with some people about how, for better or worse, English seems to have become the "universal language" and it got me to thinking about programming languages, such as C++. Do programmers in a non-English speaking country, say Japan, program C++ in Japanese, or do they have to learn English before they can learn C++? Do they use the same compilers such as Borland or MS Visual Basic?
If it's the case of Japanese hardware with English software, then I guess this could be used as an example of the imperialism of the English language. Not that it's entirely bad, I suppose there are good points and bad, but it's certainly interesting to consider.


Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
The Japanese, or whatever other country, might have their own version of C++ for their own use. For instance, I don't think their keyboards have standard english letters..its made for their own language. (Correct me if i'm wrong)


Jul 24, 2000
Most programming languages were developed in the US, so they were English, which became the standard. It's not bad to have one standard language, especially not such an easy language like English (just imagine that everyone would have to learn a language like French just to understand the programming language).

You can use a programming language without learning English, though, but it will be much harder. The same counts for all different languages (non-programming), you can always understand each other, even if you speak different languages, but it will be more difficult than when you both used the same languages.

With that said, I can not think of any good reason to not make one language a required language to learn for everyone, if everyone in the whole world would (for example!) be able to speak English, the benefits would be more than just some added convenience for tourists. But that's all way too OT.


Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
I've never heard of any compiler that would understand translated keywords. The standard for the language is the same. Programmers usually use their native language to name variables, functions, etc. I'm curious to learn about languages that do not use the latin alphabet, but I'd think they have to use the same characters we use.


Oct 10, 1999
I've worked w/ many foreign developers, and although some of what they code resembles English, it usually isn't :)

It doesn't really make working w/ the code more difficult, as you're not really dealing w/ English anyway. As long as the purpose of a given variable is clear, I could care less what language it's in.

[edit]I'm more annoyed by Hungarian Notation extremists than I am foreign developers. I worked on a bit of code the other day that had functions (and their parms) labeled like this:

fcnFoo(var1_in, var2_in, var3_out)