I see a large dissonance between the abstract “it would be respectful of each culture if there was a programming language in that culture’s native spoken tongue”, and the many replies providing concrete, technical and/or amount-of-work arguments; even with lots of first-hand experiences.
I agree in general that cultural diversity is something worth fighting for; however, I do not think that transliterating a programming language will help that goal.
If our goal is to let programmer A communicate with the computer; any spoken language will do; and I would argue that it is up to the individual programmers to write their own programming languages in whatever human language they like (like this one in Arabic).
However, programming, like virtually any other undertaking these days, is a very social activity. Discussing with peers, both on-line and off-line; reading documentation written by others, writing my own comments to explain things for maintainers five years from now, etc…
All of this is human-to-human communication, via the medium of either written prose, or source files.
For all forms of human communications, agreeing on a common standard is imperative.
There are no credible automatic solutions for translation, and I doubt they will come in the next decade.
Automatic translators WILL lose information, or even mistranslate to provide actively wrong instructions.
Meaning: there is no replacement for a skilled translator.
Meaning that it either takes extra resources, or happens at the expense of something else.
There is already (too) much to do with a single-language Rust, so I am not in favour of adding a Dutch-Rust…
To share my own experience: As a Dutchman working and programming in Germany both I and my Native-German colleagues use English in our shared codebases; The Germans started with English codebases even when they were still a German-only team.
Since then, our team has had Russians , Dutchies , Portugalians and Germans working on it; and we work closely with, and program for, departments employing North- and South-Indians , Pakistani , Brits , Frenchpeople , USAmericans , Canadians and Koreans
All of this at the German Cancer Research Center.
In my experience, there is hardly any field where the argument “but it will only be used by X-speaking people” applies, aside maybe from teaching. (And even when teaching, I’d argue for preparing your pupils for what “the rest of the world” does).
I’m all for i18n in the compiler, and non-English documentation, but to me, doing
s/keyword/trefwoord/ replacements in source files is madness. (You’d only end up with a horrible mix of translated keywords and non-translated (or even worse, badly translated) identifiers.
Of course, there’s also all the fun of (negative) connotations and their differences between languages. (e.g., with apologies to our Mongolian Rustaceans, English “Mongoloid”, “of Mongolian descent”, and the Dutch “Mongoloïde”, (outdated) psychiatrical term to signify “person with IQ below 60”, used as an insult these days)
Don’t forget: “naming things” is one of the biggest problems in IT… I don’t feel that adding cultural baggage on top of my
O(log(n)) vs O(n^2) deliberations is a productive change.
English might not be the best language for everyone, but having any single language beats having a מִגְדַּל בָּבֶל (see what I did there? )
(I deleted my previous post because it only rehashed things others have already said, and was not constructive because it was written before I counted to ten)