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Re: Emacs i18n

From: Alexandre Garreau
Subject: Re: Emacs i18n
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2021 13:43:14 +0200

Le lundi 19 juillet 2021, 03:51:08 CEST Emanuel Berg via Users list for 
the GNU Emacs text editor a écrit :
> Jean-Christophe Helary wrote:
> > Doing the UI only is not useful. The UI and the help would
> > be tremendously useful.
> Anglo-American beat French to world dominance, accept it.

Nobody told in this thread French had any world dominance.  Although you 
may note that the concern about english is often raised by french people, 
and maybe for some sort of inconscious nationalism or rempent national 
aversion toward english due to that previous context, the concern stays 
valid, and you cannot cancel an argument validity due to the people who 
raise it.

> There is no miniature world of computers where
> everyone speaks French or any other language who badly needs
> translations, drop it.

There is, not only in france, but any non-germanic place I have been 
through.  English, just like french, is a difficult language, with lot of 
vocabulary.  You’re living is a small-world utopia that’s nowhere near 
even realistic.

Even those who *fluently* speak english are commonly *tired* with it.  Even 
I, and actually anybody because that’s natural, would choose to read 
something in their native(s) language(s) rather than a foreign one, and 
doing that would imply less effort, energy spent, hence more reading and 
work done than if done through english.

Just to be sure, you’re a native speaker of english right? so how could 
you even *know* that? or have you tried to work in mandarin on the ground 
that its syntax is said to be simple and flexionless, to say it’s as easy 
as in your native language? otherwise, do you have studies showing the 
opposite? since you’re not the one bringing the argument, the burden of 
proof should fall on us, and currently I’m being lazy at it, but if anyone 
brings such studies (which shouldn’t be any more difficult to find than any 
study, but I’m bad at searching) I doubt you would have anything to oppose 
to that u.u

There are everywhere teachings of CS in english *as a special matter*, 
that’s a way to *train* for english because that training is *needed* 
because it is nonnatural, and it is a difficulty and people try lowering it 
by confronting to it… yet most of courses are in the national language, 
not english.  Some vocabulary obviously comes from english, and 
englishisms are present more often than not, but the grammar, phonology, 
orthography, syntax, and most of vocabulary we use stay our national (or 
even sometimes, with luck (that means not in france) the local one) 

It is up to the point I’ve personally observed that something translated 
is perceived as more “user-friendly” than something graphical, variable-
spaced and colored, up to the point that this common cliché of white 
monospace text on black background with no graphics, no mouse and none 
input but keyboard, that scares many outsiders, newcomers, etc., stays 
less deterring than an all english interface.  In this respect emacs still 
performs badly, and I can’t recommend it to many people I know, especially 
non-programmers, because of that (and it would be sad for you to take as 
argument “emacs is only for programmers and CS-ists”).

That would be the kind of “user-friendliness”, btw, that may have an 
effective impact on making more women or minorities join CS, and moreover 
less occidental, as that concern has come more into fashion recently.

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