Re: compiler for Chinese development language

Hans-Peter Diettrich <DrDiettrich@compuserve.de>
23 Oct 2005 00:32:02 -0400

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From: Hans-Peter Diettrich <DrDiettrich@compuserve.de>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 23 Oct 2005 00:32:02 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 05-10-08505-10-096 05-10-107 05-10-122
Keywords: i18n

Jürgen Kahrs wrote:


> > Ok, one basic question. Why is that the programming languages (like
> > C++) have reserved keywords in English? Why not some other
> > language/alternative?
>
> Do you really think that the language (English) matters ? In the
> 1980s, here in Germany, someone offered BASIC interpreters with
> keywords in German. Nobody wanted these interpreters.


I remember an homecomputer (Laser?) with editable keywords. My little
brother was excited about it and immediately translated everything
into German :-)


The advantage of that system was the transparent translation, the
stored byte code was language neutral. Now replace byte code by
Unicode...




> If you think about it, you will notice that the natural language of
> the keywords doesnt matter.


Perhaps you are too tightly associated with the Latin alphabet. Users
of different "character sets" (Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Tigrinia,
Japanese, Indish...) just have problems to figure out the spelling and
meaning of such strange Krikel-Krakel. I remember problems just with
finding words in my Greek or Russian dictionaries, due to the unusual
sort order of the strange characters. Even worse with single glyphs
for words, like in Chinese...


BTW, I doubt that characters really are the best means for written
communication or documentation. In many languages (English!) the
pronunciation often is very different from the spelling, so that one
effectively must learn two different "languages", one for
reading/writing, and one for hearing/speaking. If there were not the
need for comfortable entering of text (keyboards...), glyphs for words
might be much more convenient and "natural".


I've heard that Chinese from different locations often converse with
"hands and feets", painting their commonly understandable glyphs into
the air. With the globalization and the opening of the Chinese market we
may have to face more Chinese documents; add a common syntax to those
glyphs, then we may have a much more accepted and useful "global
language" than the old Esperanto or Volapük attempts.


DoDi


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