This is the first classical Chinese programming language

This is the first classical Chinese programming language

Wenyan-lang is a general-purpose programming language developed in December 2019 by student from Lingdong Huang (China) in Pittsburgh, USA.

It is written in grammatically correct classical Chinese and allows machines to read code in the Confucian language.


Wenyan-lang uses both traditional Chinese characters and classical Chinese grammar. A challenge in language development was how classical Chinese does not use spaces to divide sentences into words .

To overcome this challenge, Huang points out that programming languages ​​only have a certain number of keywords. As such, wenyan-lang goes from the longest to the shortest keyword in each program to figure out what the programmer wants.


There are already dozens of programs written in wenyan-lang. Many of them are implementations of mathematical algorithms found in ancient Chinese math books. For example, pi liuhui.wy recreates how the 3rd century AD mathematician Liu Hui calculated pi. Crt.wy is the Chinese remainder theorem. Pascal triangle.wy calculates Pascal’s triangle, which was described in Chinese books before Pascal’s discovery .

Guessing.wy is a guessing algorithm described in the I-Ching, the oldest of the Chinese classics.

Growing up in Shanghai, Huang learned basic classical Chinese in school. "I was quite fascinated by the language and read more books in classical Chinese on my own as a teenager," he recalls. ‘I am currently reading the Huainanzi’, an ancient Chinese exploration of philosophy and statecraft compiled at the court of the Huainan king in the 2nd century BC. C.

The developer of the new language, Lingdong Huang, previously designed an infinite computer-generated Chinese landscape painting. He also helped create the first and so far only AI-generated Chinese opera . He graduated with a degree in computer science and art from Carnegie Mellon University in December.