Friday, August 03, 2007

Learning Languages

So through highschool I attempted to learn Spanish. I took Spanish for 2 years, and I think I can't even count past 10 in Spanish now. I can identify the primary colors (but don't ask me what torquise in Spanish would be) and I could ask where the bathroom is.

In summary, my Spanish SUCKS.

When Shalisa and I left for France I listened to these "learn French in 30 days" audio programs, I even did it pretty religiously every day like I was supposed to. I can't count past THREE in French.

In summary, my French is WORSE.

When we traveled to Germany and Italy Shalisa decided to try and learn German (knowing my previous experience with French I didn't even bother) and I decided to be the official Italian speaker for the trip. I did okay with Italian (or at least, I could stumble through it) mainly because Italian and Spanish are both Latin derivitives and so lots of words are the same/similar. My Italian is horrendous, but better than my French.

In summary, my Italian is PUTRID.

Get the drift here, past English I can't seem to make anything stick. YET, there is a strange caveat to all this. In my recent programming foray with Brian Dickman [side note: he really needs a blog so I can link it here] he has decided to use Python as our programming language. My experience in Python is all of about... 30 seconds 5 months ago. Yet by the end of last night while I was no Python master coder, I can stumble my way through it well enough to figure it out. Give me another week or 2 and I will be owning Python like master hacker.

Pascal, Basic, qBasic, C, C++, VB, VB.NET, C#, Java, and myriads of others. All of them I can "get around in" if I needed to program something, and could EASILY read any of them. So why is it my brain can pick up a new programming language faster than most people can finish a paperback novel, yet when it comes to learning a new SPOKEN language, my brain is a complete and utter disaster.

Puzzling indeed (and somewhat frustrating for someone who highly enjoys visiting other foreign speaking countries... Imagine if it only took me a week or 2 to master a spoken language, that would be AWESOME).

1 comment:

james d said...

speak American or speak nothing