English and other languages

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 22:12:48 +0200

Richard Stallman wrote:

> English is the principal language of
> computing

Indeed.

People who speak English as their first
language sometimes express understanding when
people do documentation in their own,
non-English languages or even write comments or
code in some language other than English.

While I understand the desire to be
non-nationalistic and non-whatever this is an
incorrect approach. To have people be anything
less than fluent in (written) English is to
wish for them never to reach their potential as
hackers, for their programs never to reach the
global village of computing... Ah, what I mean
to say is: not good!

Note that this doesn't mean books (manuals),
webpages and perhaps some parts of
documentation shouldn't be translated and/or
produced in different languages.

E.g., books that can end up in public libraries
should be translated - I know the "book flow"
so let me tell you, even books in very wierd
subjects end up in public libraries, if they
are in the spoken language of that country!

This is more like a "charm offensive" tho - to
attract complete newcomers etc. and give the
movement as broad as surface as possible to the
general public - to give them a soft start -
for anyone aspiring to dig deep it should be
clear he or she needs to pick up English,
starting today...

And the best way to do it is to do it while
doing computing! As always, you shouldn't let
school disturb you studies!

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