ⓘ Non-English-based programming languages


ⓘ Non-English-based programming languages

The use of the English language in the inspiration for the choice of elements, in particular for keywords in computer programming languages and code libraries, represents a significant trend in the history of language design. According to the HOPL online database of languages, out of the 8.500+ programming languages recorded, roughly 2.400 of them were developed in the United States, 600 in the United Kingdom, 160 in Canada, and 75 in Australia.

Thus, over a third of all programming languages have been developed in countries where English is the primary language. This does not take into account the usage share of each language, situations where a language was developed in a non-English-speaking country but used English to appeal to an international audience, and situations where it was based on another language which used English.


1. International programming languages

The concept of international style programming languages was inspired by the work of British computer scientists Christopher Strachey, Peter Landin, and others. It represents a class of languages of which the line of the algorithmic languages ALGOL was exemplary.

ALGOL 68s standard document was published in numerous natural languages. The standard allowed the internationalization of the programming language. On December 20, 1968, the "Final Report" MR 101 was adopted by the Working Group, then subsequently approved by the General Assembly of UNESCOs IFIP for publication. Translations of the standard were made for Russian, German, French, Bulgarian, and then later Japanese. The standard was available also in Braille. ALGOL 68 went on to become the GOST/ГОСТ-27974-88 standard in the Soviet Union.

  • GOST 27975-88 Programming language ALGOL 68 extended – Язык программирования АЛГОЛ 68 расширенный
  • GOST 27974-88 Programming language ALGOL 68 – Язык программирования АЛГОЛ 68

In English, Algol68s case statement reads case ~ in ~ out ~ esac. In Russian, this reads выб ~ в ~ либо ~ быв.


2. Languages based on symbols instead of keywords

  • Hoon – A systems programming language for Urbit, compiling to Nock.
  • J – An APL-like language which uses only ASCII special characters and adds function-level programming.
  • APL – A language based on mathematical notation and abstractions.
  • Whitespace – An esoteric language based on whitespace characters.
  • Brainfuck – A minimalist esoteric programming language, created for the purpose of having a compiler fit in fewer than 256 bytes.
  • Mouse programming language – A minimalist language created by Dr. Peter Grogono which uses ASCII characters for keywords.
  • G – Graphical language used in LabVIEW not to be confused with G-code.
  • Piet – An art-based esoteric programming language.
  • Light Pattern - A language which uses a series of photographs rather than text as source code.
  • Plankalkul – The first high-level non-von Neumann programming language, designed by Konrad Zuse during World War II in Germany.

3. Modifiable parser syntax

  • Ioke – Ioke is a folding language. It allows writing highly expressive code that writes code. Examples of same program in Chinese, Danish, Hindi and Spanish
  • Perl – While Perls keywords and function names are generally in English, it allows modification of its parser to modify the input language, such as in Damian Conways Lingua Romana Perligata module, which allows programs to be written in Latin or his Lingua tlhInganHol yIghun Perl language in Klingon. They do not just change the keywords but also the grammar to match the language.
  • Perunis – Python 2.6 localization to Lithuanian and Russian.
  • Component Pascal – A preprocessor that translates native-language keywords into English in an educational version of the BlackBox Component Builder available as open source. The translation is controlled via a modifiable vocabulary and supported by modifiable compiler error messages. A complete Russian version is used in education, and it should be possible to accommodate other left-to-right languages e.g., the Kabardian language has been tried as a proof of concept.
  • AppleScript – A language which once allowed for different "dialects" including French and Japanese; however, these were removed in later versions.
  • IronPerunis – An IronPython 2.7 localisation to Lithuanian and Russian.
  • HyperTalk – A programming language, which allows translation via custom resources, used in Apples HyperCard.
  • Babylscript – A multilingual version of JavaScript which uses multiple tokenizers to support localized keywords in different languages and which allows objects and functions to have different names in different languages.
  • Maude – Completely user-definable syntax and semantics, within the bounds of the ASCII character set.

  • is a programming language in Spanish for learning and teaching object - oriented programming It compiles on the Net Framework Non - English - based programming
  • Encoding System is a non - English - based programming language written for Polish computers XYZ, ZAM - 2, ZAM - 21 and ZAM - 41. K PROGRAM DRUKUJE NAPIS HELLO
  • languages It was released on 1 April 2003 April Fool s Day Its name is a reference to whitespace characters. Unlike most programming languages
  • notable programming languages grouped by type. There is no overarching classification scheme for programming languages Thus, in many cases, a language is
  • Fjolnir also Fjolnir or Fjoelnir is a programming language developed by professor Snorri Agnarsson of computer science at Haskoli Islands University
  • Natural - language programming NLP is an ontology - assisted way of programming in terms of natural - language sentences, e.g. English A structured document
  • a programming language developed at the Osaka Electro - Communication University Unlike the majority of programming languages it uses keywords based on
  • English based programming languages Ezhil is the first freely available programming language in the Tamil language and one of many known non - English - based
  • English as a second or foreign language is the use of English by speakers with different native languages Language education for people learning English
  • The Frisian languages which together with the Anglic languages form the Anglo - Frisian languages are the closest living relatives of English Low German Low