whats te best way to make a language easier to learn for indigenouspeople

Discussion in 'C++' started by Greg, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Lately I have been Customizing C commands into another language
    (Shona) to facilitate easier learning of C by Shona speaking people
    using pre-processor directives i.e. (#include define)

    is there a better way to have C or C++ available in another language.
    Greg, Feb 12, 2008
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  2. Greg

    Sam Guest

    No. Face it, C, and pretty much all other programming languages, are written
    in English. Trying to hodge-podge a translation of the programming
    language's grammar to another (non-English) native language may seem like a
    worthwhile idea at first, but will prove to be counter-productive in the
    long run.

    What you will essentially accomplish is making them learn a programming
    language that only they will know. Even if they master their own nativ-ized
    version of C, as soon as they see a real C program, that's it. They won't
    make heads and tails of it. So, what have you really accomplish?

    You'll just have to bite the bullet, and give them a crash course in basic
    English, concurrently with studying the C programming language. English has
    become, through a series of historical events, lingua franca of all
    programming languages. Learning basic English is crucial to being able to
    communicate with other programmers.

    Occasionally I come across people trying to communicate on various technical
    topics, in my native language. It's … not a pretty sight. Trying to converse
    on programming topics in anything other than English is very painful.

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    Sam, Feb 12, 2008
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  3. Greg

    Kai-Uwe Bux Guest

    I did that once. The only consequence was that the code got totally
    obfuscated and unmaintainable. I gave up on it very soon.

    I guess, what would really help is a good text book on standard C++ in that


    Kai-Uwe Bux
    Kai-Uwe Bux, Feb 12, 2008
  4. Greg

    Jim Langston Guest

    I remember years ago when I was quite younger, in my teens I think, I
    happened across a French magazine. Written entirely in French. I flipped
    thorugh it just becuase and I came across a little comic. Liking comics I
    tried to figure out what was going on.

    In the first panel a woman was talking to a boy obvoiusly her son. In the
    second panel he replies with something. In the third panel she's reading to
    him in bed, so obvoiusly she asked him what story he wanted to read that
    night. The thing that got me was the third panel the "story" she was
    reading him was a basic program. In English. Something like (my basic is
    very rusty, especially 80's era)

    10 I = 10
    20 INPUT A$
    30 FOR J = 1 TO I
    40 PRINT J
    50 NEXT J

    Or whatever. What got me was that this was a magazine entirely for French
    people, yet here were English words. Input, For, Print, next. Didn't they
    have their own version of Basic? Then I realized that if they used
    different words they wouldn't be able to read American programs and

    Many years later the ramifications of this showed up, I was working as a
    progrmamer/analyst and the owner's neiphew from Brazil came to work there in
    the IT department. Not a problem, he was actually pretty smart, knew
    computers and spoke pretty good English considering he learned it in Brazil.
    But one day he mentioned something about an "Esk" key. I couldn't figure
    out what he was talking about, what was an esk key. You know, the key in
    the top left corner. Oh, the Escape key. He never heard it called the
    Escape key, they had no diea why it was "ESC" so they just pronouced it.

    But, they were able to use their computers just fine.

    I wonder how the conversation would of gone, however, if he wsa talking
    about an "Escapar" key or "Espaço" key.
    Jim Langston, Feb 12, 2008
  5. Greg

    HT de Beer Guest

    The language problem is twofold (or threefold, see your next point). First
    of all the programming language itself. They seem to be in some kind of
    english with words like `for', `then', `if', etc. On the other hand, these
    words are just symbols, they could have been `:', `-', `?' for example or
    any other words.

    So you could translate them easily into Shona, no problem there. However, as
    other people have pointed out, they will not able to read programs written
    in the original programming language or programs written by people using
    other symbols.

    But given the fact that these english words are no more than symbols, not
    knowing english is not a problem: you can teach your pupils in Shona
    programming while using the symbols which are named `for', `then', and `if'
    with a predefines meaning you can explain in Shona.

    The second language problem is in designing and documenting a program,
    especially writing comments and names in the source code. You can design
    and document a program in every language you can express using ascii
    symbols (I do not think C is able to process UTF?), may be even Shona,
    French, German, Finnish, whatever.

    Of course, you have now almost the same problem as before with using
    translated symbols: other programmers (not speaking Shona) are not able to
    understand your documented code. This will not be a problem as long as your
    pupils will not have to communicate (about their programs) with non-Shona

    I know that when I was learning programming, the courses, the names, and the
    comments were in my native tongue. Did I learn programming? Yes. Do I
    program in my native tongue nowadays? No. English is indeed the lingua
    franca of programming and once you start participating in the real world
    knowledge of english is just a necessity.
    I agree. On the other hand, if the language does have the right words to
    express these technical topics and these words are used as well, you get
    used to it. The french, for example, are well known for defining ``native''
    words for all kinds of alien words. Does it work? In France, may be, but
    when you have to communicate with french people, it is often very
    HT de Beer, Feb 12, 2008
  6. Greg

    Greg Guest

    point taken thanx plenta for that. what of the case of the chines/
    Japanese and the like. after reading all r comments i think a book in
    my native language with the english symbols intact is a good option. i
    am a proponent of ICT4D.


    Greg, Feb 15, 2008
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