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Learning American English for Computer Science

  • #1
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4

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello,

When using computer programs (such as Microsoft Office), the default User Interface (UI) language is American English. Since this variant of English is common on computer programs, should I learn American English as ESL for Computer Science?

Cheers, Bagas
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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8,755
If it should happen you end up in France, this won't be of any help.

Computer Science is a science like all the others: best learnt in your native language. Papers, and a couple of books will be in English, but normally you learn the amount of language needed anyway. The gui language of any product is completely irrelevant and can easily be changed, at least with serious products.

I have seen an IDE where statements like
IF a <> 0 ALORS a++ ELSE a-- FIN
are possible.

It is always a good idea to learn as many languages as possible, and especially English since most people understand it at least a bit. But it is not a requirement to study a certain subject, any subject, if the university uses another language.
 
  • #3
35
4
If it should happen you end up in France, this won't be of any help.

Computer Science is a science like all the others: best learnt in your native language. Papers, and a couple of books will be in English, but normally you learn the amount of language needed anyway. The gui language of any product is completely irrelevant and can easily be changed, at least with serious products.

I have seen an IDE where statements like
IF a <> 0 ALORS a++ ELSE a-- FIN
are possible.

It is always a good idea to learn as many languages as possible, and especially English since most people understand it at least a bit. But it is not a requirement to study a certain subject, any subject, if the university uses another language.
So should I learn American English for it is the most used UI language in computer programs?
 
  • #4
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OK, thank you for anyone that move this thread to Academic Guidance forum.
 
  • #5
12,359
8,755
So should I learn American English for it is the most used UI language in computer programs?
No, because you can use it on half of the globe to communicate.

The language option of software is completely irrelevant, not of interest. It can a) be changed and b) has only a handful of words for commands. Learn the words for the software and the language to travel!
 
  • #6
35
4
No, because you can use it on half of the globe to communicate.

The language option of software is completely irrelevant, not of interest. It can a) be changed and b) has only a handful of words for commands. Learn the words for the software and the language to travel!
Seems like your statement is contradict to the answer of my similar question on Quora forum:
Since most programming languages use American English as their base, it would probably help you, yes. The syntax of the code uses American English (think of the [color] tag in HTML), and most on-line manuals are written in English (here, the flavour of English chosen won’t stop you reading and understanding it). I expect translations are available, though I’ve never looked myself, but the English version will be out first, and translations are never as good as the real thing.
Note that the answer above is in the context of programming languages, but can be applied to using programs.
 
  • #7
12,359
8,755
Seems like your statement is contradict to the answer of my similar question on Quora forum:

Note that the answer above is in the context of programming languages, but can be applied to using programs.
Why? The first line was "Strictly speaking it is not necessary."

That's what I said. It depends e.g. on the amount of books available in your native language. If there are none, then you will probably use English books. If there are, then use your native language. I also said that articles in journals ("papers") will be in English. None of it has to do with a user interface. So in order to study something, then it is the best to use the language which is used at the university. You will have to understand them! Then comes english. But tech speak is often different from speaking the language. It also makes a difference whether you want to understand a textbook for your study which is written in English, or whether you want to understand Shakespeare.

A programming language only uses a couple of words. They are quickly learnt and it has nothing to do with the language itself. You will automatically learn a bit english. And for the science this could be sufficient.

Learn languages in order to communicate with people! Or if you only have access to English books - depends on where you study. If I'd studied in Russia, I'd rather learn Russian than English.
 
  • #8
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
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fresh_42 makes his points well enough. The difference in value between American English and some other like British English as applied to computers or computer science or computer programming is largely meaningless.
 

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