Non-English-based programming languages

Non-English-based programming languages are computer programming languages that, unlike better-known programming languages, do not use keywords taken from, or inspired by, the English vocabulary.

Prevalence of English-based programming languages

There has been an overwhelming trend in programming languages to use the English language to inspire the choice of keywords and code libraries. According to the HOPL online database of languages,[1] out of the 8,500+ programming languages recorded, roughly 2,400 of them were developed in the United States, 600 in the United Kingdom, 160 in Canada, and 75 in Australia.

In other words, over a third of all programming languages were developed in a country with English as the primary language. This does not take into account the usage share of each language, situations where a language was developed in a non-English-speaking country but used English to appeal to an international audience (see the case of Python from the Netherlands, Ruby from Japan, and Lua from Brazil), and situations where it was based on another language which used English (see the case of Caml, developed in France but using English keywords).

International programming languages

ALGOL 68's standard document was published in numerous natural languages, and the standard allowed the internationalisation of the programming language itself.

On December 20, 1968, the "Final Report" (MR 101) was adopted by the Working Group, then subsequently approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO's IFIP for publication. Translations of the standard were made for Russian, German, French, Bulgarian, and then later Japanese. The standard was made available also in Braille. ALGOL 68 went on to become the GOST/ГОСТ-27974-88 standard in the Soviet Union.

  • GOST 27974-88 Programming language ALGOL 68 – Язык программирования АЛГОЛ 68[2]
  • GOST 27975-88 Programming language ALGOL 68 extended – Язык программирования АЛГОЛ 68 расширенный[3]

In English, Algol68's reverent case statement reads case ~ in ~ out ~ esac. In Russian, this reads выб ~ в ~ либо ~ быв.

Based on non-English languages

  • Aheui; 아희 – An esoteric programming language similar to Befunge but using Hangul (Korean)[4]
  • AMMORIA – Open source object oriented Arabic programming language, designed especially for Arabs.[5]
  • Аналитик – A Russian-based language for symbolic manipulations with algebraic expressions used in the Soviet series of MIR computers.[6]
  • Эль-76 – A Russian-based language for symbolic manipulations with algebraic expressions used in the Soviet series of МВК Эльбрус computers.[7]
  • ARLOGO – The first open-source Arabic programming language, based on the UCB Logo interpreter.
  • AxumLight / Geez# – Amharic-based programming languages on the .NET platform[8]
  • 丙正正 – Chinese C++.
  • BAIK – C with Indonesian keywords [9]
  • BASICOIS - BASIC with French keywords [10]
  • Bato – A scripting language based on the Filipino language (Tagalog). The first Filipino programming language.
  • Changjo – A language using Hangul (Korean). It is used for multimedia and game programming.
  • ChaScript – A scripting language based on Bengali and is first of its kind. It is built using ECMAscript grammar.[11][12]
  • Chinese BASICChinese-localized BASIC dialects based on Applesoft BASIC; for Taiwanese Apple II clones and the Multitech Microprofessor II.
  • Chinese Python – a version of Python localized to Chinese.[13]
  • Dolittle, ドリトル – A Japanese programming language developed for educational purposes.[14]
  • DRAKON — A visual language in which any language may be used.
  • Drama – An assembly language for didactical purposes based on Dutch.
  • Dzintars – Ruby translated into Latvian; claims to be the first Latvian programming language.
  • Easy Programming Language (易语言) – A Chinese rapid application development language.
  • Ebda3 – A multi-paradigm high-level Arabic programming language.
  • எழில், Ezhil programming language – A Tamil programming language developed for educational purposes.[15]
  • farsinet – A Persian (Farsi, فارسی, پارسی) object-oriented programming language for .NET framework. It is similar to C# and Delphi.
  • Fjölnir – An Icelandic imperative programming language of the 1980s.
  • FOCAL – Keywords were originally in English, but DEC produced versions of FOCAL in several European languages.
  • 4th Dimension – On local versions, its internal language uses French or German keywords.
  • G-Portugol – A programming language with Portuguese keywords.[16]
  • GarGar – A Spanish procedural programming language based on Pascal for learning purposes.[17]
  • ΓΛΩΣΣΑ – A Greek programming language based on Pascal that is used for teaching purposes in secondary education.[18]
  • GOTO++ – A French esoteric programming language loosely based on French and English.[19]
  • ひまわり (プログラミング言語) ひまわり – A Japanese programming language.[20] It is used for hobby and business applications.
  • Hindawi Programming System – A set of variants of C, C++, lex, yacc, assembly, BASIC, Logo and Ada, in Bengali, Gujarati and Hindi.
  • Hindi Programming Language – A Hindi programming language for the .NET Framework.[21]
  • hForth – A Forth system with an optional Korean keyword set.[22]
  • Jeem ج – An Arabic programming language, based on C++ with simple graphics implementation.
  • kalimat – An Arabic programming language that aims to help Arab children learn about programming.
  • Karel – An educational programming language with Czech and Slovak versions.
  • Kotodama on Squeak, ことだま on Squeak – A Japanese programming language based on Squeak for educational purposes.[23]
  • Kumir – A Russian-based programming language similar to Pascal and IDE, mainly intended for educational usage in schools. The name is an acronym, which means Комплект ученический 'Мир' ('Mir' student's environment).
  • Latino – A language with a completely Spanish-based syntax (
  • Linotte – A French programming language.
  • Logo – In one of its Apple II editions, it was available in French. LOGO for the Commodore 64 had an Italian localization.
  • Loughaty (MyProLang) – A general-purpose natural Arabic programming language based on a proprietary syntax.[24]
  • Lusus – A Latin programming language. It is the first programming language to be exclusively in Latin. [25]
  • LSE (Language Symbolique d'Enseignement) – a French, pedagogical, programming language designed in the 1970s at the École Supérieure d'Électricité. A kind of BASIC, but with procedures, functions, and local variables, like in Pascal.
  • Mama – An educational programming language and development environment, designed to help young students start programming by building 3D animations and games. It is currently available in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Chinese.
  • Mind – A Japanese programming language.[26] It is used for hobby and business applications.
  • MS Word and MS Excel – Their macro languages used to be localized in non-English languages.
  • ML4 – A language for client/server database programming, with keywords in English or German.[27]
  • Nadesiko, なでしこ – A Japanese programming language.[28][29]
  • 1C:Enterprise – A Russian framework and language for business applications. English keywords can also be used.
  • Ook! – An exotic and esoteric programming language with three distinct syntax elements only, a lexical variant of Brainfuck . According to the language author, Ook! is designed for orang-utans.[30]
  • Pauscal – A language with a completely Spanish-based syntax; compiler for 32-bit Windows.
  • Lingua::Romana::Perligata – Alternative Syntax for Perl 5 that allows programming in Latin.
  • Phoenix – A C-like high-level imperative procedural Arabic programming language.[31]
  • potigol – A functional programming language in Portuguese for beginners.
  • PSeInt – A pseudocode interpreter for Spanish, like Pauscal, with a completely Spanish-based syntax. PSeInt is an abbreviation for Pseudocode Interpreter.
  • قلب (qlb) – An Arabic Scheme-like programming language exploring the role of human culture in coding.[32]
  • Qriollo – An impure strict functional programming language that compiles to C, Python and JVM Bytecode, with keywords in Rioplatense Spanish, spoken in Buenos Aires.[33]
  • Produire, プロデル – An object-oriented Japanese programming language.[34] It is used for hobby and business applications.
  • Rapira – A Russian-based interpreted procedural programming language with strong dynamic type system.
  • Robik – A simple Russian-based programming language for teaching basics of programming to children.
  • RoboMind – An educational programming language available in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
  • SAKO – A language created in the 1950s and nicknamed the "Polish Fortran".
  • Scratch – An introductory visual programming language from MIT's Media Lab with support for programming in multiple languages included as standard.
  • Sema – An Arabic CSS implementation.[35]
  • Sí – A direct translation pseudo-language for coding in C and C++ with Spanish keywords.[36]
  • Simorgh (SPL) سیمرغ – An object-oriented, general-purpose, interpreted and precompiled, portable and open-source programming language.
  • Ssiat – A language using Hangul (Korean). The name Ssiat (씨앗) means "seed" in Korean.
  • Swaram – A simple, general-purpose and procedural language designed for programming in Tamil.[37]
  • Superlogo – A Dutch creation for computer-aided instruction, based on Logo.
  • TamliLogo – A Hebrew implementation of Logo.
  • TI-Calculator BASIC – The 68000 version is localized. Unfortunately, various configuration strings are localized too, preventing direct binary compatibility.
  • TTSneo[ – A Japanese programming language. It is used for hobby applications.
  • VisuAlg – A language designed to teach programming, in Portuguese, based in Pascal.
  • W-Language – A French programming language used in the WinDev CASE Tool. A Chinese version[38] is also available.
  • YMB (Yazyk mashin buchgalterskih) – ЯМБ (язык машин бухгалтерских) (machine language for accounting) – A Russian programming language for Iskra-554, Iskra-555, and Neva computers.
  • ZhPy – A full-featured Python module which converts Chinese keywords, variables, and parameters.

Languages based on symbols instead of keywords

  • APL – A language based on mathematical notation and abstractions.
  • Brainfuck – A minimalist esoteric programming language, created for the purpose of having a compiler fit in fewer than 256 bytes.
  • G – Graphical language used in LabVIEW (not to be confused with G-code).
  • J – An APL-like language which uses only ASCII special characters and adds function-level programming.
  • Light Pattern - a language which uses a series of photographs rather than text as source code.[39]
  • Mouse (programming language) – A minimalist language created by Dr. Peter Grogono which uses ASCII characters for keywords.
  • Piet – An art-based esoteric programming language.
  • Plankalkül – The first high-level non-von Neumann programming language, designed by Konrad Zuse during World War II in Germany.
  • Whitespace – An esoteric language based on whitespace characters (spaces, tabs, and line breaks).

Modifiable parser syntax

  • Babylscript – A multilingual version of JavaScript which uses multiple tokenizers to support localized keywords in different languages and which allows objects and functions to have different names in different languages.
  • Ring – Open-source programming language, user defined syntax/operator (ChangeRingkeyword / ChangeRingOperator command; can use UTF-8 string, keywords, operators), and supports natural language programming paradigms.
  • Component Pascal – A preprocessor that translates native-language keywords into English in an educational version of the BlackBox Component Builder available as open source. The translation is controlled via a modifiable vocabulary and supported by modifiable compiler error messages. A complete Russian version is used in education, and it should be possible to accommodate other left-to-right languages (e.g., the Kabardian language has been tried as a proof of concept).
  • HyperTalk – A programming language, which allows translation via custom resources, used in Apple's HyperCard.
  • IronPerunis – An IronPython 2.7 localisation to Lithuanian and Russian.
  • AppleScript – A language which once allowed for different "dialects"[40] including French and Japanese; however, these were removed in later versions.
  • Maude – Completely user-definable syntax and semantics, within the bounds of the ASCII character set.[41]
  • Perl – While Perl's keywords and function names are generally in English, it allows modification of its parser to modify the input language, such as in Damian Conway's Lingua::Romana::Perligata module, which allows programs to be written in Latin or his Lingua::tlhInganHol::yIghun Perl language in Klingon. They do not just change the keywords but also the grammar to match the language.
  • Perunis – Python 2.6 localization to Lithuanian and Russian.
  • Ioke – Ioke is a folding language. It allows writing highly expressive code that writes code. Examples of same program in Chinese, Danish, Hindi and Spanish
  • Emojicode – Emojicode is an open-source, full-blown programming language consisting of emoji.


  1. In HOPL (History of Programming Languages), advanced search finds languages by country.
  2. "GOST 27974-88 Programming language ALGOL 68 - Язык программирования АЛГОЛ 68" (PDF) (in Russian). GOST. 1988. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  3. "GOST 27975-88 Programming language ALGOL 68 extended - Язык программирования АЛГОЛ 68 расширенный" (PDF) (in Russian). GOST. 1988. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  4. "Aheui", Esolang (wiki) .
  5. Ammoria, SourceForge .
  6. Analitik, ACM .
  7. Эль-76, Кірыліца ў сеціве .
  8. primitivorm/latino
  9. "Haris Hasanudin", BAIK Scripting Language
  10. "Marcel Labelle", Les langages de programmation (PDF) .
  11. ChaScript: Breaking the language barrier using Bengali programming system, IEEE .
  12. Chascript .
  13. "中蟒 (中文 Python) 編程語言網站 chinesepython". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  14. "Dolittle", EPlang, JP .
  15. Students, UTA .
  16. GPT, DE: Berlios .
  17. seen Manual GarGar Check |url= value (help) .
  18. An interpreter for ΓΛΩΣΣΑ .
  19. GOTO++ .
  20. ひまわり-日本語プログラミング言語 (in Japanese), Kujira hand .
  21. Hindi programming language, SKT network .
  22. hForth, Taygeta .
  23. "Squeak", Crew, JP: Keio .
  24. IA eng (PDF) .
  25. Lusus Language
  26. 日本語プログラミング言語 Mind (in Japanese), JP: Scripts lab .
  27. C/S Entwicklungsumgebung ML4, ML-Software .
  28. Nadesi .
  29. Japanese Programming Language Nadesiko, Google, Project Hosting .
  30. "Ook!", Esoteric Programming Languages, DM .
  31. Phoenix, SourceForge .
  32. QLB lang, archived from the original on 2013-01-17 .
  33. Qriollo, Qriollo .
  34. RDR, Utopia T .
  35. "Blazeeboy". Github. Retrieved 2013-08-19. |contribution= ignored (help)
  36. Sí website
  37. Ganesh (PDF), Infitt, 2003 .
  38. Windev (in Chinese)
  39. Temkin (August 2015). "Light Pattern: Writing Code with Photographs". Leonardo. 48 (4): 375. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_01091. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  41. Language Design in Maude, by matthias, 2006/06/05, LShift Ltd.


  • Pigott, Diarmuid (2006). "HOPL, the History of Programming Languages". Archived from the original on 2011-02-20. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
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