Foreign Languages in Code

Foreign Languages in Code

My experience is that English is the lingua franca in computer programming. It is rare that I come across code which uses any other language for comments and/or documentation. So here is my question: do any of you ever use anything besides English in your code?

One Plausible Situation

Years ago I wrote a Japanese-English dictionary for Windows that was remarkably similar to Gjiten. I used Japanese in the source-code comments because it seemed acceptable to use the language for a program designed with that language in mind. I could have used the same justification for writing Esperanto in the code for VortSerĉilo.

Working With Others

If you are on a team of programmers and English is not their first language then I would say that’s another situation where it is beneficial to use something besides English in the code, simply for the sake of the team. But how common is this? It is not something I have ever seriously had to deal with.

For those programmers who speak English as a second language, do you feel the predominance of English in code and documentation is a hindrance or a hurdle? Has it ever stopped you from using a particular library or piece of software? I’m very curious about this and would greatly appreciate any feedback about the matter.


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