When is a scripting language not a language?

Some weeks ago, I started a new contract for a pretty monstrous MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) 2007 project. The thing is, this is my first pure Francophone environment since I first came to Canada four years ago. As the agency is part of the Canadian Government -- and located in Quebec -- most of the software installed is the French version. The keyboards are fr-ca, Windows is French, and yep, SharePoint is installed in French. It's proving quite difficult to find my way around as the translations are not really comparable. Sometimes they are not even close. It's worse though, because a lot of the idioms are France-French, not Quebec-French. As Quebecers (and confused French people) will tell you, it can be quite a different language sometimes.

Today, it got a lot worse.

I found myself having to define a calculated column - that is to say, a cell in a list that performs calculations based on other cells in the row. You've got the usual SUM, AVG etc functions available. Only except this time I don't. After several frustration attempts, I discovered that the scripting language itself has been translated into French. At first my reaction was incredulity - what is the point of that? They don't translate C# for other cultures, so why do that? Surely this kind of functionality is aimed at power users, like Excel users! they don't translate the Excel formulas in other locales of Office?!

Except they do.


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About the author

Irish, PowerShell MVP, .NET/ASP.NET/SharePoint Developer, Budding Architect. Developer. Montrealer. Opinionated. Montreal, Quebec.

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