Why Major Programming Languages are written in English?

Getting started in Software testing

Most people have tried different kinds programming languages, but you never would have paid attention why major programming languages are written in english? Today, we will cover it.

1. English as a connecting language.

  • Not all programming language is written in English but most of them are.
  • This is because English is currently the Lingua Franca of the technical and scientific words.
  • It is the most common language that was and is used worldwide.
  • It has been learned and spoken internationally by hundred thousands of people every day since centuries and now people have been habitual to this language.
  • When it comes to programming, English is preferred because it breaks the communication barriers that might be existing between different programmers and coders.
  • For several years, scientists, as well as common people from different parts of the world, have been using English as the main language of communication.
  • This is important especially when we consider the fact that programming is an international language and not a local stuff. In other words, English is a boss language.

2. History

  • Ever since the invention of Charles Babbage’s difference engine (in 1822), computers had required a means to instruct them in the form of a particular language to do a given specific work.
  • If Babbage had been successful in building the differential engine and gone on to build something akin to ENIAC, then programming would have been performed in Russian or German, as these were the international languages of the time.
  • However, the USA was the biggest market for computers during the age when computers were being invented.
  • This simply pointed to the fact that the programming language has to be developed as per US demands and needs.
  • This compels us to jump to the conclusion that of the majority of programming languages were to be in English only.
  • Another problem that came up was the difficulty in finding a suitable keyboard, as setting up symbols was a problem.
  • The generation turning towards technologies has made English even more demanding than ever and that is why most of us have English as our second language, the first one being our own tongue (mother) language.


  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) are used in most electronics devices to represent texts and styles.
  • These texts were most compatible with the English language and its grammar for a long time as ultimately what we need is to assign one-to-one instruction label in a language.
  • As we all are working on one or the other electronic devices, this English language comes into play for a better understanding of the tools and gadgets, thus its speech cannot be neglected.
  • Even non-English speaking background programmers began sticking to this language due to its simplicity and prosperity.

4. English Speaking countries

  • In early days, most of the English speaking countries were homes of computer science.
  • Programming languages emerged from these early theoretical computer teaching which was designed in the English language.
  • many consider this that, from here the English language has gained its pace as being a global language.
  • At that time English was considered a simple and a royal language and therefore people had an urge to learn it.
  • Unlike old programming languages like COBOL, SQL, FORTRAN which were case-insensitive, English grammar gave a proper attention to uppercases and lowercases.

5. Character code representation

  • A six-bit character is easily written in English.
  • Roman character (without having any accent marks) had been set up in the English Language.
  • It made it very simple and devoid of any accent marks.
  • This feature made English a perfect language for six-bit character code, which is being used in the majority of programming languages even today.
  • Being simple to read and easy to understand, relative to other languages, English was therefore preferred.
  • Case sensitivity was taken care of in the English language, unlike other communicating languages the world spoke in the ancient time.

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Ayusha Singh

Ayusha has been put on board to help out with the creative quality content of latest programming trends and programming history related stuff.

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