A post on the Domain-Driven Design mailing list got me to reflect on a recent project we did in the domain of accounting. This was a completely new and unknown domain for us as a team and it sure took us a while to grasp the different domain concepts. After some meetings with the (Dutch) clients and as soon as we had enough understanding of the domain, we started developing.
(On a side note: I couldn’t help but notice that our client was pretty inpatient whilst teaching us about accounting.)
As a company-department standard, we program all code in English since it feels the most natural given the fact that most (if not all) API’s we use are also written in English. However, we quickly faced the following problem: What are the English translations of the different domain concepts we just learned as part of this accounting application? As a result, I spent a fair amount Googling around to find dictionaries with accounting terms and finally wrote down a translation scheme for the domain objects.
Although I’m pretty sure we got the correct translations of the domain objects, it felt awkward at times to work with the API we were creating. In fact, it made developing quite a bit harder because we had to constantly translate terms when we were talking amongst developers and when we were talking with the domain experts/the client at iteration meetings.
On the other hand, mixing Dutch and English code is also pretty awkward and could make the code hard(er) to read. So I’m still kind of undecided about what option to choose. I guess it depends on how transparent the translations of the domain objects are and how easily they are interchangeable.
Does anyone have any experience with this? How are or would you be handling this situation? Do you prefer sticking to English with the added complexity of dealing with domain object translations or do you develop in the language of the domain experts?
Damn you tower.
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