Tech Trained Monkey

Everyday Problem Solvers

Why english

As you know (or not) I’m Brazilian. I was born in Brazil, studied in Brazil, I work in Brazil, and (I’m ashamed to say) never been to a English speaking country. Nevertheless my blog is written in English and more often than not I hear the question “Why English? Why not Portuguese?” and I my answer always is “Because I want to reach as many people as possible”. Reaching people is not why I write this blog (my motives are strictly selfish) but it’s the motive why I do it in English.

I also program in English. When people ask me why I reply: “If you ever need to ask for help regarding your code, the places where you’re more likely to get help are English-speaking online forums. And in order to help you, they need to first understand your code/problem, and if you use Portuguese there are 2 outcomes: A-They will have a hard time understanding your code because things like class names and variables wont mean shit to them or B-You will spend quite some time translating your code so they can easily understand it.”

Today, searching for inspiration, I read this “old” article at Coding Horror called “The Ugly American Programmer” and I must say I felt like “I got to keep writing in English”! I completely agree with the quote “In my opinion there is no reason to translate developer tools and documentation”. The problem today is not “is this information available online?” but rather “Where” and “How”.

Google sure help us with the “Where” part of the problem, but the “How” part of the problem is quite tricky! See, if by any chance the information is in Portuguese what good is to search for it using English? The search engine won’t be able to relate, and even if it does, what good is a result in a language that there’s a 97% chance that you don’t understand? Like “YES I FOUND IT!!! Now let me just enroll in a Portuguese class…” Yes you could use a use google translator… but let me tell you… it won’t help you a lot… trust me on this one…

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