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Re: (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right.

by zentara (Archbishop)
on Oct 08, 2004 at 11:50 UTC ( #397612=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right.

I had a "self-defense instructor" tell me once, that if I was an amateur, and couldn't devote myself to full-time training, to "learn 1 blow, and concentrate on throwing it well".

That is my approach with programming too. I like Perl, Perl can do just about anything I want, so I figure I'm better off learning Perl well, than being half-ass at 5 different languages. Even after 5 years, I'm only three-fifths-ass at Perl. :-)

I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
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Re^2: (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right.
by dimar (Curate) on Oct 08, 2004 at 16:12 UTC

    Which brings up an interesting point, is it possible for *anyone* to be 100%-ass at *any* language?

    Oh, sure, every community has its 'gurus' ... but even if you spend every waking moment mastering your chosen 'school of thought' the wheel keeps turning and inevitably your goal becomes a moving target.

    If you want to become a master of the English language, why study English exclusively? English is changing subtly and overtly right from under us (jargon, slang, cultural trends, values)

    You may benefit more by comparing it to Esperanto, French, Arabic and Japanese ... comparing differences helps you see the forest for the trees.

    No matter where you go in the world, you can never know *everything* about a given city, so why not try to visit a new one each year, and take some souvinirs back to the place you call "home"

      For any reasonably complex field of study, you'll eventually hit a point of diminishing returns on what you can learn further. You can keep figuring out new things, but it'll take more effort.

      A lot of programmers brag that they can learn a new language in a day. That's only true if you squint enough. Getting the full use out of a language will take years of study. That's especially true of systems like LISP, Unix, and Euclidian Geometry, where the basic system is made of a few simple parts that combine in incrediably complex ways. It's easy to learn the basics of such a system, but the combinational explosion cannot be grasped so easily.

      "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

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