Another thing to consider is that Perl 6 is symbol-heavy: that is, keywords
are often symbols (such as &&, <=>, or $_) rather than words.  AFAIK, those
symbols are not English, and I would not expect them to change under a
natural language transformation of the setting.  And to elaborate on Aaron's
point, I'd expect such things as function call syntax, operator syntax,
method call syntax, and the like to remain the same, as these things aren't
English either.

As for seeing a "natural language variant" of Perl, my own thought is that
the first such variant might be most useful if it mines a decidedly
artificial "natural language" for its keywords, such as Esperanto or
Interlingua.  Given that Perl is not English, and merely uses English loan
words whenever it needs alphanumeric keywords, I suspect that an
Interlingua-based variant might be close enough to, say, a Spanish- or
French-based variant that the latter two might possibly end up not being
worth the trouble of writing.

Not being a linguist, I could be wrong about any or all of the above.

As for Aaron's concerns about the use of alternate natural languages
complicating the use of modules: note that this really isn't any different
from any case where you change the underlying grammar.  Perl has a robust
module system that assumes that each module is written in the Perl dialect
that the module specifies rather than in the dialect that the script is
written in, and vice versa; so aside from the optional hassle of translating
English-based modules into the preferred natural language setting when you
import them (or vice versa, in the case of modules that are written in other
natural language variants), there is unlikely to be much of a problem from
Perl's perspective.

In terms of the Perl community, I suspect that we're best off assuming that
most Perl modules and scripts should be written using the default
English-based setting for the foreseeable future; the use of natural
language variants should be considered to be a niche market.  When and if
English gets supplanted by some other language as the technical language of
choice, this notion can be revisited.  Assuming that Perl is still in
reasonably wide use when that happens, it will have the flexibility to make
the transition.

Jonathan "Dataweaver" Lang

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