Programmers must learn English?

A popular site for programmers on the internet, Stack Overflow, recently openned a new site in Portuguese. This caused a lot of controversy among the users of the site. In their view, the beauty of Stack Overflow is that when you have a problem, all the solutions are there in one spot. They feel that by supporting other languages, the answers to questions will be more fragmented and more difficult to find. On the other hand, Stack Overflow was recieving a lot of internet traffic from Brazil but was not seeing very much participation from Brazilians. They felt that there were a lot of talented programmers in Brazil who would participate more if they were allowed to write in Portuguese. The text below is from one of many programmers who learned English through programming and feel that it’s a bad idea to support other languages.

Should All Programmers Learn English?

I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if I’m just repeating the same things (on another note, I hope I am).

This is a horrible idea, if you ask me. Language barriers are there because there are languages. If you keep supporting languages, there will still be language barriers.

English speakers, especially Americans, feel bad about “making people speak their language”. I have seen this many times. But it’s just ridiculous. We don’t need more than one language. Having more than one language:

1) Creates a language barrier, thus slowing down advancement.
2) Gives people a reason for discrimination, just like nationalism, racism, and religion.

When you say that “If just one little girl in Brazil sticks with programming because an answer on this site helped her finish her first project, well… that’s not good enough!”, it sounds like a really humble thing to do, but it in fact is the opposite. You are overlooking the fact that there’s a lot of information regarding programming and many other things in many different languages already. I’m not a native speaker of English, and I learned English thanks to my interest in programming. First I started with reading stuff in my own language, then I realized that I could learn much more if I read stuff in English. And that’s how it should be.

I don’t care if it’s English or any other language, but we only need one language, not three, not two, only one. The rest is just noise.

To wrap it up, disguised by a seemingly humble thing, you are supporting language barriers, by supporting languages. I’d expect better from you guys.

Continue reading…


Key Terms…
  • spot ↔ local
  • on another note ↔ por outro lado (passando aoutra questão)
  • sticks with ↔ continua com
  • humble ↔ humilde
  • overlooking ↔ ignorando
  • regarding ↔ sobre
  • thanks to ↔ graças a
  • noise ↔ blablablá
  • To wrap it up ↔ Para resumir / Em resumo
  • disguised by a seemingly humble thing ↔ disfarçado por uma coisa aparentemente humilde
  • supporting ↔ apoiando


spot local
Various examples of spot below…
He consented on the spot. ↔Ele concordou de imediato.
Hundreds of people were on the spot. ↔Centenas de pessoas estavam no lugar.
He understands everything right on the spot. ↔Ele entende tudo na mesma hora.
He blotted his shirt with ink spots. ↔Ele borrou a camisa com pingos de tinta.
I’m looking for the perfect spot to hang this picture. ↔Estou procurando o lugar perfeito para pendurar este quadro.
That hit the spot. ↔Estou satisfeito. Estava perfeito.
The woman said the spot was hers. ↔A mulher disse que aquele lugar era dela.
sticks with continua com
to continue to do or use something, and not change it
Stick with me and you’ll be all right.
They’re going to stick with the same team as last Saturday.
We had a tough time for a few years, but we stuck with it.
I think you’d better stick with Tom. ↔Eu acho que você deveria continuar com o Tom.
overlooking ignorando
I hope he will overlook it. ↔Espero que ele não preste atenção.
Shouldn’t you overlook his indiscretions and forgive him? ↔Você não pode omitir suas indiscrições e perdoá-lo?
I overlooked the mistakes in your paper the first time I read it. ↔Deixei passar os erros no seu relatório quando o li pela primeira vez.
regarding sobre
Scientists regard the discovery as important. ↔Cientistas consideram a descoberta importante.
I have nothing to say with regard to that problem. ↔Não tenho nada a dizer em relação a este problema.
Do you have anything to say with regard to this matter? ↔Você tem alguma coisa a dizer sobre esse assunto?
Today everyone regards education as a right for all. ↔Hoje todos veem a educação como um direito de todos.
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the matter in question. ↔Obrigado por seu e-mail a respeito do assunto em questão.
With regards to music, he is one of the most famous critics. ↔No que diz respeito à música, ele é um dos mais famosos críticos.
Making use of fire may be regarded as man’s greatest invention. ↔A manipulação do fogo pode ser vista como a maior invenção do homem.
noise blablablá
There is some good information on that forum if you can see past all the noise.
To wrap it up Para resumir / Em resumo
Wrap it up already! ↔Arruma logo esse negócio! / Termine!
supporting apoiando
I’ll support you as much as I can. ↔Eu te apoiarei o quanto eu puder.
Show me a fact which supports your idea. ↔Mostre-me um fato que apoie sua ideia.
At your age you ought to support yourself. ↔Na sua idade você deveria se bancar sozinho.
He cannot support his family on his monthly income. ↔Não consegue sustentar a família com o seu salário mensal.
I’ll support him. ↔Eu vou apoiá-lo.
The walls supported the entire weight of the roof. ↔As muralhas suportavam todo o peso do teto.


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