Foreign Language Acquisition

Standard

When I was younger (read: high school), I thought it would be awesome to speak at least three languages. As I got older (read: college), I thought it would be awesome to read French and Spanish for the sake of Les Miserables and Don Quixote. Now (read: past those fantasies), I’m realizing that there are more immediately useful foreign languages that I’d never heard of in high school or college.

Take javascript for example. Flash. HTML. RSS feed.

Foreign terms.

And the worst part is that when you try to learn about them, like on wikipedia, the lingo is so technical that you have to already know what it means in order to learn what it means.

It’s like that catch 22 about how to get job experience when getting the job requires already having the experience. How do you learn the lingo when learning the lingo requires already knowing the lingo? I guess I need Techno-jargon for Dummies.

But I can italicize and unitalicize [<i></i>],  so I guess that’s something, right? Sort of like being able to say, “Hola.”

What happened to DOS, by the way? In middle school, I was enough of a nerd that — get this — I wrote my own “Choose Your Own Adventure” story as a DOS program, so that you could click on your choice and be transported to the next few paragraphs, rather than having to flip to page such-and-such. I wrote all the code for it myself.

It just makes me wonder how I got so far behind. Maybe it was all those college years studying classic (read: old) literature rather than keeping up with the cyber texts.

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2 responses »

  1. I completely agree with you: computer languages are like super literal foreign languages! Every couple of months or so I take an interest in my husband’s programming and get him to explain some to me. Usually he’s working with object-oriented languages which fascinates me to no end. The “instances” know who they are and who their parents are! How does that work? o_O

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  2. Oh sister, can I tell you the anxiety I feel over this? It took me the last twenty minutes to figure out how to provide a link to Goodreads on my blog. It shouldn’t be that hard, I think everyone else gets it and I’m the super idiot that isn’t catching on. Sort of like in my Spanish classes. Let’s all just speak English (disclaimer: completely kidding). Also I’m leaving this comment to tell you that I have a blog and you can subscribe to it or not but I thought I’d try to like it and start using it since I’m being forced to for class. : )

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