Tuesday 20 September 2022

Is it possible to learn computer coding in Yoruba?

The question above came from a Facebook friend recently.

Yes of course. It is possible to learn computer coding in Yoruba. In fact, there is a Yoruba based programming language called Yorlang (https://anoniscoding.github.io/yorlang/).

Computer coding can be learned in any human language even though English is the lingua franca of computer programming. 

I learnt computer programming during my university days in Russian albeit, the programming languages (Fortran, C, Pascal and Basic) are English based. 

There were some Russian based programming languages (e.g. Рапира [Rapira], Аналитик [Analitik] etc) in the USSR but they were not in widespread use.

It is a fact that 99% of all programming languages (8,500+) used worldwide for writing software are English language based nevertheless, the best coders in the world are not native speakers of English.

This is not by accident. Elite programmers and software developers are able achieve this feat because the language of instruction in their countries is in their mother tongues.

Below is the world rank of countries with the best programmers (according to Hackerrank):

1. China

2. Russia

3. Poland

4. Switzerland

5. Hungary

6. Japan

7. Taiwan

8. France

9. Czech Republic

10. Italy

Currently, Nigeria is number 48 (see below) but we can do better. If our children are introduced to computer programming in their mother tongue then nothing says we can’t be number one on this list.

Also included below are screenshots of the same C program in English, Russian and Chinese. The code is the same but the explanations are in different languages.

Some of the main programming languages in use today across the world are: C, Python, Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, PHP, Perl, Visual Basic, SQL, Fortran, R, Ruby, Swift, Objective C, Matlab, Go, Prolog, Rust, Julia, Ada, Lisp, Dart, Scala, Cobol, Kotlin, F#, Lua, D, Nim, TypeScript, Bash etc. They are all English based.

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