Is Learning a programming language similar to learning a language of speech?

There are similarities, but programming and coding is essentially very different from speaking and understanding a human language.

Programming is mainly about solving a particular problem.There is an initial situation and an end situation. You must create a flowchart before starting the actual coding.

An example of a flowchart created by Ahmed Raisan Hussein [1

You then have to convert this flowchart into a code in a certain programming language.

It has more with logic than with a human language.

A human language is a form of communication.There are active and passive skills, these are read, hear and write and speak, respectively.

In a programming language, it is mainly about the active skill, converting the flowchart to a good code.

I hope to have answered this question.


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There are many technical reasons why a spoken language is something other than a programming language.Let me compare it emotionally. The first time learning a programming language is tricky. I still know that as a 13 year old boy I have been sucked to learn BASIC and a little assembler in the early years 80. It’s an abstract and mathematical process to give a stupid device instructions to move a cursor over a screen, make a calculation, or draw a chart. It’s a bit similar to instructions that you have to give a blinded person over the phone to bake an egg in your kitchen. You will talk as if only the imperative exists: 鈧?艗do a step forward. What do you feel? If you feel a light button, click it, otherwise it’s another step forward and feel again. ETC Etc 鈧?娄 鈧?p>

Each programming language you learn has a syntax and grammar that are relatively simple compared to any spoken language.It is the algorithms to solve problems that make programming difficult. A little experienced programmer can learn the syntax and grammar of a new programming language in a weekend or a week. To learn how to solve algorithms or learn to use software libraries ask a lot of time. Just try the question 鈧?艙how to win exactly a chess match 鈧?in words to solve. That is an algorithm and just as tricky to put into words, because it requires an algorithm.

And then the interaction.You need a programming language to speak to a computer. But, this will answer noii in a programming language. The only thing a programmer reads is 鈧?艙error: I understand you niet 鈧? And then you have to look for what you have done wrong.

The most important thing in a computer language is the ‘ debugging ‘.You have to make sure that there are no folds in the code.

When you talk to someone, the other often has a half word enough. 鈧?艙you Have that seen 鈧? 鈧?艗yes it was really so huh. “

A computer ‘ understands ‘ nothing.You have to explain everything all the way, and that is very precise, step by step. It looks more like logic and mathematics, than on language. The computer language itself, as a language, is very simple and looks more like a toddler language.

Unlike mathematics, variable values can sometimes or may not change, which is different in every language.

You also need to work very structured.If you write a function to change a value, you should not immediately change a different value, because that is so easy, because then you can lose the thread and you will not know exactly what the code does later.

Function change (x) {x = 2; y = y + 1; return 7;}

You can now see that coding has more punctuation than with language.

There is often an extensive library with all sorts of features you can use.No one knows that out of his head, except what you use regularly. It’s much more the art to find out what you can use to solve a problem.

The best thing about coding is that you can write functions yourself and you can also add comments.It is then the art to give the functions and variables such a name that is immediately clear what the function does. In the comments you write where you use the function.

You first write blank functions that you fill out later.

If you write the program at once then you can say thunder that it crashes.Where is the error? That’s the programming. Why doesn’t the program do what I want?

If the program does well, you often want to add something.That’s easy, or the code is so messy that you get rid of the the plot.

With language it has to do so that you have to be able to write well and clearly what the program does.Programming has to do with language proficiency.

Have fun.

A programming language is not a natural spoken language and therefore difficult comparable.In fact, the principles of programming is simple to explain as a combination of 鈧?艙Statements, conditions, loops and structure 鈧? Even an Esoteric programming language has these characteristics.

If you look at a programming language like Brainfuck you will see that there is little in it which corresponds to a natural language.It comes closer to mathematics than speaking language.

And that’s the secret behind programming languages!There is more agreement with mathematics than language because you can often learn the syntax quite quickly but then you have to come up with formulas and solutions where logical and analytical thinking is very important.

Learning a programming language is thus similar to learning higher math…

A programming language has a number of specific features.For example, it must be unambiguous, it should not be ambiguous, it must be logical, it must follow a specific grammar. Within a spoken language you can afford some freedoms, there is often context and the message you want to convey does not have to be unambiguous. For example, Dutch has a number of exceptions to the grammar, complex constructions are allowed and a certain ambiguity is allowed. So also for example German knowing her name to fall. The ways in which we adapt words for the past tense, or the present. I do, I did.

Programming languages are a whole lot simpler, the grammar sleek and clear, the structure clear and straightforward.The words unadjusted. The whole is purposeful and comparatively minimalistic. There may therefore be little poetry in code.

In doing so, programming languages often also limit themselves in the conventions of how words are chosen, usually in the domain.The solution domain to which the code is intended. There is no thick van Dale for every programming language, there is often a green booklet and little more.

For a spoken language, it is often the grammar that we have less difficulty with, but the vocabulary that surrounds it, in most languages there is a lot of overlap here.That makes it so fundamentally different for me that I would say that they are not comparable, even though there are many similarities between them.

It strikes me that the other answers all assume that the one who poses the question cannot program.Incidentally, I agree with the other answers that programming is a whole different branch of sport than speaking language. …

Provided the translation (pun intended) is made to the abstract thinking of programming, learning a new/different programming language is similar to learning a different language of speech.

The basic principles remain the same, the same (not the same!) structure and the ‘ cookbook recipe ‘ idea remain.As in a spoken language the concepts of grammar and spelling, however, vary by language. Idem with programming languages. Some have some special things like object oriented, but that money for speaking languages also so German has more name than Dutch.

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