3 minutes reading time (500 words)

Ĝumla goes International

Ĝumla goes International

How international can you get? Joomla! comes in many flavours, and now it's starspangled green too. You might assume that J! has been 'international' from the start - it's in English, isn't it? - but that is, in my opinion, a fallacy. The need for something else is mirrored in the list of translations. We have more than 50 translations of J!2.5 to date.

Many believe English is still on the rise, but it has been surpassed by other languages, and in former colonies less and less people are actually learning it. According to the CIA World Factbook only 4.83% of the world's population speak English as their first language. Chinese (12.44%) and Spanish (4.85%) are bigger.

In a world that for ever more is trying to make things more efficient and lean, we are still stuck in our human physicality with the constraints that this entails. Technology in itself does not connect us. We need a human language as intermediary. Without it there will only be lots of flapping of arms and gestures. In this regard, English as communication tool does not suit most of us. It is cumbersome, quite hard to learn (even for it's native speakers) and does not create a truly international environment. It is still, after all, a native language. It belongs to a specific geographic region, even if it has spread over the globe. In its wake it has left quite a mess. Some linguists even call it a 'killer language'.

During the last hundreds of years English has spread over four continents, but there are quite a few who still believe that this does not constitute an 'international' language as such. English belongs to a specific people and a specific culture. Or cultures, really. It has split into different dialects where the speakers sometimes have trouble understanding one another. There are three 'Englishes' for Joomla, for example. Some native speakers even say they don't want foreigners to use it. We trash it, in their opinion.

So, what's the alternative? An 'international language' that makes everybody, from every native language group, go half-way in their interhuman connections would be nice. A language that is easier to grasp and use than English would be a boon. A language with clear rules and no exceptions would be awesome, and a concept any programmer could adhere to. A language where any letter has one unique sound and a sound is represented by one unique letter, yeah! Too good to be true? Not really.

At a 'Joomla moment' in Reykjavik, Iceland in July 2013, I had the privilege of officially presenting: Joomla to the truly multinational/multilingual group where I belong, our translation of it and how it might help our international network function better together. So I proudly present you with one of the latest newcomers to the Joomla 2.5+ family - 'The International Language'. Or Esperanto, as it's usually called. If you didn't know already, it's got all the traits listed above. And no, it's not dead.

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