Which languages are better?

Programming v. Foreign

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#1 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:22 AM

Hello all,

I have been thinking about this recently and I thought "What would be a better place to ask this question then DIC!?" Well, I just want to get your opinion if you think learning a foreign language like French, Spanish or German is harder than learning C++, C# or Java (Actually, any language). In my personal opinion, anyone can learn a foreign language, but not all can learn to write programs. I think some even struggle with HTML... So what do you guys think...

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#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:25 AM

It really depends on how your mind works. I can pick up a new language (programming) fairly quickly, but I have always struggled with foreign languages. I just don't see the point in learning them.
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#3 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:09 AM

Anybody can learn a programming language. There's absolutely nothing to them. Everything is straightforward. You want to declare create a variable? Declare type, declare name, declare value, done. Want to create a loop? Follow another set of rules. Etc.. etc...

I know, some people like to think that learning a programming language is not for everyone . That they have a "gift" that nobody else possesses. Sorry, not really. Learning a programming language is about the easiest thing to do in the professional world.

Now, human languages, on the other hand, are extremely hard. Each has an immense amount of stuff to learn - grammar, syntax, pronunciation, words, a bunch of rules and exceptions to those rules. They have an immense complexity to them. Seriously, there shouldn't even be a debate about this.

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anyone can learn a foreign language.


What a joke. Try learning Russian or Korean.

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 07 June 2009 - 11:19 AM

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#4 krisku  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:15 AM

The programming languages are easier than from the foreign languages, becouse they (basicly) have a few keywords, few syntactic rules. The rest of it is the programmers minds, how to do perfect algorithm to solve some problem. But libraries, functions, APIs and other are hard to learn. I think that no person, who knows everything about some program language, because human brain isn't stone, and our knowledge aren't something eternally.
But in the foreign languages things aren't the same. Learning of grammar rules, syntactic rules, lexical rules and all language words is very hard.
---
The begining is ever hard...

Edit:

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What a joke. Try learning Russian or Korean.

Or Hebrew?

This post has been edited by krisku: 07 June 2009 - 11:21 AM

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#5 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:21 AM

Heck, learning any human language is an immense accomplishment.

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 07 June 2009 - 11:21 AM

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#6 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:27 AM

Yea, I know what you guys are saying. But what I meant with the programming languages, people that learn it and they don't often have to go back to a tutorial and look things up. Foreign languages are pretty useless unless you plan on going to a country that speaks that language. Programming basics such as the loops, data types, etc... can all be learned, sure, but some people can't always retain that information easily. All of the experienced programmers will say that it is easier to learn a new programming language because they understand a lot of other languages (they are all based off of BASIC, so they all are at least somewhat similar... some aren't, but a lot are) but I'm speaking of the kids in high school that don't have experience in either!!! But it does depend on the person!
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#7 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:36 AM

Yes, some people can't retain information about the programming language. Because they don't care and never bothered actually remembering it in the first place. This usually applies to people who take a programming language course in school just for the credit.

Programming languages are just like Math - they require almost zero memorization. Everything just makes sense. I have never memorized the table of sines, cosines, tangents, etc... Why? Because whenever I need them, I can draw a circle and reconstruct the table in 10 seconds. Same thing applies to programming languages, there's really no need to memorize the forms, because they logically make sense.

Human languages, on the other hand, have such a vast amount of information for a person to remember and understand, that only a few select ones have a gift of learning them. That's why learning even a single language, takes us years. We learn English, every year, from kindergarten up till we're adults. And some of us still suck at it.

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 07 June 2009 - 11:43 AM

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#8 eZACKe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:31 PM

I'd have to say it's definitely easier to learn a foreign language. In order to learn a foreign language you only need a few basic skills: Reading, writing, speaking. If you can do all of those you're well on your way to learning a foreign language if you put enough time into it.

Programming languages on the other hand, you need even more skills: Reading, Writing, Knowledge of Computers, Math Skills.

Not everyone has the knowledge in all of those areas to truly succeed at learning a programming language.

So really, it may be easier to learn a programming language, but it's definitely harder to master it and truly exceed in being a programmer.
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#9 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:43 PM

View PosteZACKe, on 7 Jun, 2009 - 11:31 AM, said:

I'd have to say it's definitely easier to learn a foreign language. In order to learn a foreign language you only need a few basic skills: Reading, writing, speaking. If you can do all of those you're well on your way to learning a foreign language if you put enough time into it.

Programming languages on the other hand, you need even more skills: Reading, Writing, Knowledge of Computers, Math Skills.

Not everyone has the knowledge in all of those areas to truly succeed at learning a programming language.

So really, it may be easier to learn a programming language, but it's definitely harder to master it and truly exceed in being a programmer.


Learning a programming language has absolutely nothing with being a programmer. Just like becoming a master at swinging a hammer up and down won't get you any closer to being a carpenter.

Read the first quote of my signature.

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 07 June 2009 - 12:44 PM

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#10 fooboo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:43 PM

I'd say it depends on the type of mind you have.

I know people who pick up programming languages almost on first glance but I've seen people who even struggle with the concept of a variable and have to be re-told about it several times for it to mean anything to them even though they genuinely want to learn the language and use it.

Likewise I have met people who can pick up a spoken language just by sitting around with people that speak it and for others it requires years of research.

You use spoken language every day (unless you are a loner recluse with no job) so for some people substituting the words they are using for another set and tweaking the rules slightly seems straight forward but then some people use a programming language every day so substituting the commands and syntax to achieve the same basic concepts is natural.
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#11 eZACKe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:48 PM

View PostDantheman, on 7 Jun, 2009 - 11:43 AM, said:

View PosteZACKe, on 7 Jun, 2009 - 11:31 AM, said:

I'd have to say it's definitely easier to learn a foreign language. In order to learn a foreign language you only need a few basic skills: Reading, writing, speaking. If you can do all of those you're well on your way to learning a foreign language if you put enough time into it.

Programming languages on the other hand, you need even more skills: Reading, Writing, Knowledge of Computers, Math Skills.

Not everyone has the knowledge in all of those areas to truly succeed at learning a programming language.

So really, it may be easier to learn a programming language, but it's definitely harder to master it and truly exceed in being a programmer.


Learning a programming language has absolutely nothing with being a programmer. Just like becoming a master at swinging a hammer up and down won't get you any closer to being a carpenter.


I disagree. Being a programmer isn't something you are just born with. It takes years of studying, practicing, and being taught. One of the first things you have to do in order to eventually be a good programmer is learn the basics. The basics include math, logic, and programming languages. You are not going to make programs without knowing the language.
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#12 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

The scale is so vastly different it really doesn't makes sense to compare the two.

Computer languages are cake. Once you know a couple, learning another one is simply a matter of syntax. Learning the first one might be challenge, mostly due to the underlying concepts that need to be grasped. You never really know that much vocabulary of a computer language; you're always in front of the magic box that will happily remind you and check your grammar.

Human languages, wow. No comparison. They say for literacy in China, you need 8,000 to 10,000 characters out of the estimated 50,000. Let's go with that. Raw words, raw memorization, at least 5,000? But that's just vocabulary, now there's grammar. Rules of context, thousands of little exceptions. The basic level of memorization so vastly outweighs the most complex computer language that's is not even close.
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#13 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 01:42 PM

I find both to be quite easy to learn, but that's just me...
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#14 Dantheman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 02:13 PM

View PosteZACKe, on 7 Jun, 2009 - 11:48 AM, said:

I disagree. Being a programmer isn't something you are just born with. It takes years of studying, practicing, and being taught. One of the first things you have to do in order to eventually be a good programmer is learn the basics. The basics include math, logic, and programming languages. You are not going to make programs without knowing the language.


We're not talking about becoming a programmer. We're talking about learning a programming language versus learning a human language. Anybody can learn a programming language. It's easy. Nothing is hard about it. Absolutely nothing. Everything is straightforward. Being able to learn a human language is very hard. Those who can do that with ease are extremely gifted. Pure and simple.

If you want to start arguing about becoming a programmer then I'll start talking about becoming a writer. But that is a different topic that is not relevant to this thread.

This post has been edited by Dantheman: 07 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

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#15 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which languages are better?

Posted 07 June 2009 - 02:25 PM

As I stated above, I think, for a person to just start programming vs. a foreign language, would be easier to learn to program. But, you all have really brought this into prospective for me. I never really thought about the foreign language side of the argument. You all are quite insightful, and that is why I love this place!
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