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  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    SQL Syntax in other languages?

    Hi all,
    Does anyone know if sql syntax is written in languages other than English?
    I'm talking about the syntax itself i.e., Select, From, Where etc etc..

  2. #2
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    The answer is the ever popular "it depends"!

    The ANSI and ISO standards dictate that SQL use particular byte streams (think of these as characters) for its syntax. This effectively standardizes the SQL syntax into two forms (one for eight bit characters and a derivative of that for sixteen bit characters). This means that any language that truly meets the SQL language specification will use the existing syntax, which implies that it uses the English language. There was a great deal of heated debate about this while SQL was being codified, but the idea of a single unified data language won out over other interests.

    There are derivative languages that are similar to SQL that use other languages (particularly Chinese, Russian, and French). I can't speak to the Chinese language because I know very little about it, but SQL has made the Russian and French languages very far removed from mainstream even where the language that they derive their syntax from is very strong. I don't know of any documentation or even of many references to them on the web outside of a few Russian and French web sites.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2014
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    Thank you for the detailed reply Pat. This was an important question for me. So you are saying that you think sql syntax for languages other than English has not been standardized? If someone were to create a sql syntax in an obscure langauge for submission, what would be the organization to submit for review?
    I am doing research in the area of digital language extinction.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2014
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    Hi, thanks for the great answer.
    I answered your response yesterday but I don't know why it didn't post.

  5. #5
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    See ISO 9075-1:2011 for the formal definition. I'll see if I can coax Joe Celko into commenting here, he was actually a member of the standards committee.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    354
    Does anyone know if sql syntax is written in languages other than English? I'm talking about the syntax itself i.e., Select, From, Where etc etc..
    Nope. There is but one SQL. But when SQL for Smarties was translated into French, they switched everything they could into French -- table names, variables, etc.

    The only programming language that tried to do what you want was COBOL. There was an article on this in CACM decades ago, but the problems were huge. English is very much a "<subject><verb><object>" language; this why we say "It is raining", What is "it"? "In Esperanto, it is just "pluvas", a verb without a subject particle.

    Since most of the geeks on Earth speak American English, nobody has asked for one of the 6000+ other languages.

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