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André de Leiradella wrote:
is someone using LUA as a programming language for
never-programmed-before students? Is someone experimenting it as a
teaching language?
Enrico Tassi

Not yet, but I have plans to translate its keywords and the libraries' names and their functions' names to Portuguese to help my students learn algorithms. You know, not everybody in the world speaks English ;-)

I hope that the dynamic typing and the associative arrays make it easier to newbies learn programming.

I have mixed feelings about this translation stuff.

You are right as manipulating more familiar words can help learning. It can be OK if your students just learn programming as a hobby or as general culture.

But if you are teaching to future professional programmers, it is not a so good idea:

- The number of keywords is quite small, so it isn't such a big task to learn them. Million of non-programmers across the world use(d) English Basic without too much trouble.

- Programmers have to search information, either on the docs (you have to translate them as well!) or on the Internet (here!). Most of this information (or code snippets) is written in English, which is the default technical language de facto.

I remember the times of 8-bit computers. Some models in France has Basic with French keywords. The idea didn't survived these computers...

Microsoft translated Visual Basic keywords for some languages, including French, mostly for VBA, probably because it targetted non-professional programmers using localized versions of Office. MS when back in the later versions of Office, delivering English version only of VBA. I guess it was too hard to maintain. Theoritically, you could load a document with French keywords into an English version of Office and make it run, but it had issues. And things got confusing with some versions, as you hit F1 to get help on a given keyword, and see the help in French, but about English keywords, so you had to guess the French version of the given parameters...

Just some informations, in case it can be useful...

Philippe Lhoste
--  (near) Paris -- France
--  Professional programmer and amateur artist
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