Skip to main content

First programming language in classical Chinese attracts coders

by Futures Centre, Feb 12
2 minutes read

The world’s first programming language written in classical Chinese, wenyan-lang, is attracting a community of enthusiastic coders, producing dozens of new programs in the  language’s first months.

It is the creation of Lingdong Huang, a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon in computer science and art, who previously designed an infinite computer-generated Chinese landscape painting.  Huang is hopeful that, by building a community of users around the program, it can help keep the classical Chinese language alive: “I think this might be a critical moment for its survival.”

So what?

English currently dominates cyberspace. A multilingual internet is essential to overcome the digital divide that marginalises communities by reducing their access to online resources, presenting a significant obstacle to global sustainable development goals.

As UNESCO states: “Cultural diversity and multilingualism on the Internet have a key role to play in fostering pluralistic, equitable, open and inclusive knowledge societies.”  This signal suggests a potential for linguistic diversity in computer programming to attract communities who can challenge programming norms, and perhaps even the possibility to revive lost languages through computer programming.

What implications could linguistic revival through computer programming have on cultural diversity? Could it help to put socio-cultural regeneration at the heart of digital developments?

Signal spotter: Jie Hui Kia




by Futures Centre Spotted 1994 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.