Portrait photo of Aditya Mukerjee

Aditya Mukerjee

করো: Translating Code to Other (Human) Languages, and Back Again

Javascript runs on nearly any platform. Most languages can compile to Javascript. It’s well-positioned to become the lingua franca of programmers, with one problem: Like most programming languages, Javascript is based on English. 89% of the world’s population doesn’t speak any English. Many of those people can’t even read the Latin script. If we want Javascript to be a lingua franca, we need to ensure it is accessible to all people, regardless of their native language.

Let’s look at the barriers that non-native speakers face when contributing to OSS Javascript projects and what it would take to remove them entirely, so that two developers could collaborate without speaking the same language. We will see what techniques Javascript can borrow from other languages by taking a look at করো (koro), a project which adds Bengali support to the Go compiler. And, we will learn enough about compilers and character encoding to answer the eternal question: “Could we do this in Javascript?”