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RE: [xml-dev] Transformation of RelaxNG syntax into presentation of required markup

> I think English is so dominant language in IT that each 
> developer should have at least basic knowledge of English 
> necessary to wrote identifiers/comments in English. ...
> It is probably much more difficult to learn English 
> if you have to learn new script first.

I've worked with developers in Japan, and in Spain, who had enough English
to read quite complex specifications, but not enough to write coherent
sentences. I can well understand this problem because my French is at a
similar level - I had to read and sign a complex contract in French a couple
of years ago, which was slow work but not impossible; but I needed help to
write the letter accompanying my acceptance of the contract. So I don't
think script is the major issue, it's simply a question of the level of
fluency in the language; and reading requires far less fluency than writing.

There are some countries - Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia - where the
level of English teaching and usage is such that most professionals have an
excellent grasp of the language. There are other countries, and I would
count Japan and Spain among them, where this is not the case. I don't think
it has anything to do with how hard it is for different nationalities to
learn the language, it's purely the amount of teaching and practice that
people get in the course of their education and professional life. One
unfortunate consequence is that the rest of the world is often unaware of
the quality of the work being done in those countries.

I do think that in today's IT world, programmers without good English are
operating at a serious disadvantage (just as mathematicians without good
German or archaeologists without good French would have been at a
disadvantage in the 19th century). I'm sure many of them are reading this
list, but are not confident enough to join the discussions. However much we
feel this is unfair, it is a fact of life. And I agree that if source code
is to stand much chance in the open-source world, it is going to have to be
commented in English.

Michael Kay

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