Spanish and programming

For the past ten months, I have been learning Spanish with  flash card and language applications. I have been very pleased with my progress that I could not in my Spanish 1 class that I took several years back. As I have made strides, I can see that learning a programming language is virtually the same.

After learning words to make up a solid base (I have almost 500 at this time) and the syntax of the language has become more clear; I have begun to make contextual sense of sentences that I couldn’t  before. Now I have begun to form my own sentences, whereas before I could only read them. It is still early, but is progressing nicely.

The same could be said of learning a programming language. First, learning the vocabulary (variables, reserved words) and then seeing how they are structured into statements (sentences). Next, the beginning of hopefully writing down the same code that is seen in lessons. I do this with the flash card application by typing out the words in both English and Spanish. The other application previously mentioned has me write or pick the cards to make sentences in either language. Applying similar methods regarding the structure in computer programs leads us to coding literacy as well. Finally, creating original writings (code) will begin to slowly emerge and will improve with practice and continual learning.

I realize that I have a long way to go in Spanish, but am buoyed by the fact that if I can remember approximately 500 words in this foreign language, then I can certainly learn the average 100 words of a computer language that Amy Hirotaka stated  in her article about computer languages, “Computer Science is Not a Foreign Language” 2014. I see myself becoming a great programmer because of my taking on the challenge of learning a foreign language. Though speaking in Javascript or C is not necessary to converse out loud with the native programmers, I believe that the aptitude to decipher the context of another programmers terse code or the ability to explain what a piece of programming is doing can be helped by my current studies. Talking like a native to get better directions and understanding the writings can lead to better accomplishments! Until next time, continue the journey!

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