Developers band together to create Mandarin Chinese translation of Apple’s Swift programming language

“Like other smartphone makers, Apple is trying to keep China happy. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has made a half-dozen press-swarmed visits since taking over the company in 2011,” Kyle Chayka reports for Bloomberg Businessweek. “Apple began painting its iPhones gold in 2013 explicitly to appeal to the world’s largest smartphone market, Cook said in an interview in June.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple does not “paint” their iPhones.

“Apple is also benefiting from work it’s not doing. Since June 2014, more than 100 programmers have contributed to an open source Mandarin Chinese translation of Swift, the in-house programming language Apple uses for iOS development,” Chayka reports. “A round of finishing touches was added last month, making it easier for 850 million native Mandarin speakers to build iOS apps. The project’s originator is Jie Liang, a student at BeiHang University in Beijing, who wrote in a celebratory blog post that he began translating Swift to ‘synchronize China and the world.'”

“It remains unclear whether learning programming in one’s own language is truly easier, says Andreas Stefik, a computer science professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas,” Chayka reports. “Maintaining English as the language of choice has helped coders around the world easily swap tips and algorithms, he says, and problems of comprehension ‘might get worse as natural programming languages get increasingly different.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of efficacy, this highlights the worldwide popularity of Apple’s Swift.

Apple’s Swift breaks into top 20 in dev language survey; bad news for Microsoft’s Visual Basic – July 2, 2015
Apple’s Swift: The future of enterprise app development – June 10, 2015
Apple previews iOS 9 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – June 8, 2015
Apple prepares for major enterprise push by making Macs, iPhones, iPads easier for IT to support – June 2, 2015
Apple+IBM: Enterprise apps go wearable on Apple Watch – May 24, 2015
Apple’s iOS continues to dominate the enterprise with 72 percent of all device activations – May 11, 2015


  1. Actually, all translated code in languages are easily translated back as there is hard/strict correlation between each original command/function and translated one, so there should not be an issue with that.

      1. Yes, but there is a system to transcript any Chinese hieroglyph and its combination to Latin alphabet (Japanese have Romanji for that), so even this can be tackled. But yes, I agree it will still be hard.

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