Here is the initial sketch for a new programming language, umana. I know, I know: the world has already enough programming languages, and it seems to be every programmer’s wet dream to create a new one and join Guido van Rossum and Dennis Ritchie in the Halls of Eternal Fame.

umana, though, is a little different. It doesn’t want to be the proof of great intelligence and technical acumen. Instead, it aims to translate the way computers do things into terms readily understood by humans. Hence the name: while it sounds derived from an African language (think Ubuntu), it is actually the Italian word for, “human.” The analogy here is the term, lingua franca, or Frankish language (in Italian), which was what people used around the Mediterranean to speak to each other when they had no better language in common.

Let me give you an example of how umana translates. Take a class definition from Java:

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