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As a German developer living in Germany, I am used to write my code completely in English. In all of my former companies that was also the norm. In one company, we even talked completely in English with each other to a point where even if only German people where in a room, they would default to English at one point in a conversation because it became second nature to us.

(That company was very international and we had a lot of people from all over the world working there.)

Now, I work at a new German company that focuses on the German market. And for some reason I failed to ask them:

Do you write your code in English?

Because that's the norm, isn't it!? I just assumed it to be the case.

Nope! This time it is a mess of German and English term intermixing in glorious abysmal ways I never thought possible.

Sometimes we translate terms, sometimes we don't. So you have to wrap your mind around collections of words that COULD mean the same thing unless they don't. Best case, you have two words for the same thing, but I've seen up to five words (or abbreviations) to describe one business entity. Madness.

And don't get me started on the plurals. In English, it's almost exclusively: add an `s`.

In German, the singular and plural can be the same (e.g. all nouns ending with `-er`) so tough luck determining if you are on an object or an array of objects. (Weak typing language in use does not help either but that's an entirely different rant.)

Comments
  • 5
    Are we talking about only domain objects? Or everywhere in the code?
  • 5
    @alexbrooklyn Gladly, only domain terms.
  • 4
    Oh yeah I've seen such langauge messes too and it wasn't pretty
  • 2
    @k0pernikus I know some companies/teachings like DDD encourage using domain terms in the customer's language, how did it become such a mess?
  • 1
    Welcome to the real world. I'd give something to work on a clean (language-wise) codebase.
  • 2
    yeah mixing languages can cause problem no matter what (programming) language(s) you use!
  • 2
    that why I always ask. can you show me a typical piece of code that is used? Or asking them some of the same Questions what are the coding standards of the company. If they have none... its a red flag.
  • 9
    oeffentliche statische klasse Haupt implementiert Serialisierbar {

    oeffentliche statische leere Haupt(Faden[] argumente) {
    System.ausgabe.druckZeile("Hoelle");
    }

    }
  • 1
    Reminds me of how my teacher wants us to document our code.
  • 3
  • 1
    @devJs Mixing languages? You're going to anger @Ranchonyx. That young ragazzo adora mixing différentes languages.
  • 1
    I am Dutch but still write in English outside things that are just Dutch without English translation.
  • 1
    @Jilano why must you hurt me this way
  • 2
    Here I thought using any other language than English in code is something you only do on Programming 101 courses for some ridiculous reason I have yet to grasp. I didn't think anyone anywhere would be that much out of their mind to not use some other language... except just today I learned of a React project with a naming convention of everything in Finnish. Made it impossible to read since it was so distracting. Why would anyone do that?!
  • 5
    Nothing screams "noob crap" like code that isn't in English.

    Thanks for the hint, I'll add that to my questions in case I'd apply for a job because I really wouldn't want to work on a German code base, even as native speaker.
  • 1
    Imagine an international ending up in the dev team of such a project. How many would despair seeing a codebase entirely in e.g. Finnish? It's such a recipe for disaster... The story of the code I saw today was actually that a team inherited the project through a business acquisition, and the new team working on it is international. Dude just posted a snippet on Slack like "holy shit, look what we have to deal with - and I'm the only one in our team who actually speaks the language!" I feel bad for them...
  • 0
    @100110111 I recall there were rants about people ending up working on such projects
  • 2
  • 1
    @electrineer oh my... What a story, and a good laugh. Proves the point tho
  • 3
    @Ranchonyx fucking hell. If someone were to design a language with the sole purpose of making me angry it would be this. Java in german.

    Fuck java and fuck everyone who doesn't code in english. At uni we even had some mixed terms like baukloetzchenCount 😠
  • 1
    @Ranchonyx Because you secretly like it.

    (I also do it inadvertently when speaking)
  • 2
    @eval well, I like java but what the fuck and why in gods name would you "baukloetzchenCount"?!
  • 1
    I feel the same. But not just about code but also about anything which is dev related and non English.
    German IDEs, German docs for libs/frameworks, hell... even the German keyboard layout.
    I am a native German speaker but as soon as it has something to do with development or coding, I prefer English.
  • 1
    @Lensflare Really anything computer related for me.
  • 2
    As someone who works on ABAP and has to debug some standard SAP programs that are usually German based code I can sympathize with the pain. There are moments I have to paste blocks of code to Google translate just to get the gist of what it may be about.
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