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InfoQ Homepage News Bridging the Japanese/English language gap in Ruby?

Bridging the Japanese/English language gap in Ruby?

This item in japanese

Ruby was already widely popular in Japan when it was still largely unknown in the rest of the world. The best demonstration of this occurred at RubyConf 2002 where a stack of 23 japanese Ruby books was displayed. This was at a time when Programming Ruby and Matz' O'Reilly book were the only ones around for English speakers.

The problem wasn't just about printed books, it stretched to documentation as well. Both problems have been addressed in the past few years, with many Ruby books published in English (and many other languages). English documentation has been made available as well.

Charles Nutter points out one problem still left: the Ruby core team around Matz still uses a Japanese mailing list:
As many of you know, Ruby was created in Japan by Yukihiro Matsumoto, and most of the core development team is still Japanese to this day. This has posed a serious problem for the Ruby community, since the language barrier between the Japanese core team and community and the English-speaking community is extremely high. Only a few members of the core team can speak English comfortably, so discussions about the future of Ruby, bug fixes, and new features happens almost entirely on the Japanese ruby-dev mailing list. That leaves those of us English speakers on the ruby-core mailing list out in the cold.
The topic of the language gap is also being discussed on the ruby-core mailing list.

What are your experiences with bridging language gaps in international teams with automatic tools? Is the standardization on a single language for a team unavoidable?

Note: InfoQ now also publishes a Japanese version of InfoQ at

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