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Discussion on: Is coding a lenguage like english or portuguese?

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

Hello, I'm a polyglot and a programmer and I find that there are lots of common points:

  • both have a grammar - for a programming language that's the syntax
  • both have a vocabulary - name of functions, APIs, ...
  • once you know one foreign language / programming language, learning one more is way easier
  • both are used to express yourself
  • both only makes sense if you can write in a way that is clear and understandable for others
  • both are shaped by how the community use it - you have design pattern, "idiomatic" way of writing things, ...
  • both are best "learned by doing" - sitting at school is way less efficient than opening your mouth and speaking in the street, just like if you don't build a project, you will forget soon what you have "learned"

One big difference is that programming languages are much easier to learn than human languages. Programming languages were designed to be easy to learn, consistent. They don't have tons of irregularities.

With the possible exception of JavaScript among programming languages and Esperanto among human languages :P

jana profile image
Jana Author

Thank you so much for this complete analysis!
It's awesome to know that makes sense to relate one to another because i was always told and therefore told myself that science is hard and lenguages are easy. Now I can see the other way around and it makes me feel more confident :)

kallmanation profile image
Nathan Kallman

Computer languages also come in "families" like human language. Just like Spanish, Italian, and French are all "Romance" languages and have similar grammar, because they all originated from the same Latin root; languages like Java, C#, PHP all read similarly, because they all were majorly inspired by the earlier C language.

And like those romance languages are totally different from oriental languages; those three languages appear totally different from languages like Haskell and Lisp.

jana profile image
Jana Author

Thanks! This link between the origin of lenguages helps a lot my understanding of it :)