Translation into any natural language of the error messages generated by any computer program [article]

Bertrand Roehner
<span title="2015-08-20">2015</span> <i > arXiv </i> &nbsp; <span class="release-stage" >pre-print</span>
Since the introduction of the Fortran programming language some 60 years ago, there has been little progress in making error messages more user-friendly. A first step in this direction is to translate them into the natural language of the students. In this paper we propose a simple script for Linux systems which gives word by word translations of error messages. It works for most programming languages and for all natural languages. Understanding the error messages generated by compilers is a
more &raquo; ... or hurdle for students who are learning programming, particularly for non-native English speakers. Not only may they never become "fluent" in programming but many give up programming altogether. Whereas programming is a tool which can be useful in many human activities, e.g. history, genealogy, astronomy, entomology, in many countries the skill of programming remains confined to a narrow fringe of professional programmers. In all societies, besides professional violinists there are also amateurs. It should be the same for programming. It is our hope that once translated and explained the error messages will be seen by the students as an aid rather than as an obstacle and that in this way more students will enjoy learning and practising programming. They should see it as a funny game.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">arXiv:1508.04936v1</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:b6wfikghv5fwbos7aejgz6l3g4</a> </span>
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