Language Matters

For some reason, I enjoy learning languages, no matter it is the language of daily life sense, or computer sense.

I can read and write in:

  1. Chinese
  2. English
  3. C/C++
  4. Java (a little bit)
  5. JavaScript (Not to compare it with Hax)
  6. PHP
  7. ASP/VB/VBScript
  8. C#
  9. Propositional Logic
  10. Mathematics

I am looking forward to learn more. Some language I started a little bit (but I put some serious effort behind) are:

  1. Italian
  2. German
  3. Python
  4. Perl
  5. Lisp
  6. Objective C
  7. Japanese

I found how hard it is to maintain two blogs at the same time, one in English, and the other in Chinese. I found I tend to write in Chinese for long enough before switching to English, and vice versa. It is the same in programing languages. To switch from PHP to Python really took me some time these days.

Language is an expression of thoughts. But it cannot be separated from thoughts. I realized when I think of issues in startup, and technology world, I tend to use English in my mind, and when I think of feelings, mathematics, and local matters, of cause my preferred language is Chinese. When I write anything related with web, PHP is still by far the most natural choice for me, but for algorithm, I still prefer C (not even C++). I never liked Java. Never.

Because I swing between languages in daily life, I started to observe the impact of language on my thoughts. Some very long sentences can be easily constructed in English, but not in Chinese. But the spirit of many things can be so concise and precious in Chinese. I just like to use them interchangeably. I also use many English word in my Chinese, just like HTML inside PHP. Because there are many definition and history origins for certain word. For example, Hacker is a well defined world in startup world in English (I mean startup world, and the word hacker sounds scary for normal people who speaks English), but the 黑客 does not translate. I have to stick to that word, even in Chinese.

I hope I can continue to learn more language (Did I mention that I got 900 in the entrance exam for universities in 1995? The score range from 100 to 900). I learn

(sort (1, 4, 2, 3) #'<)

in LISP, and I feel I am a better CEO today when I talk with Joanna. I said:

A company is a sort function, and you have to decide what the second parameter is.

Maybe only LISP programmers can understand what I am talking about.

3 Comments

  1. Jianshuo is so interesting a boy and 我很嫉妒你的才华,never:)

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