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In my opinion, someone should be able to learn all of a language in a few days, including every corner case and oddity, and then understand any code.

"Understanding" what each individual line means is very different from understanding the code. There are always higher level concepts you need to recognize, and it's often better for languages to support those concepts directly rather than requiring developers to constantly reimplement them. Consider a Java class where you have to check dozens of lines of accessors and equals and hashCode to verify that it's an immutable value object, compared to "data class" in Kotlin or @dataclass in Python.




Sometimes a language introduces a concept that's new to you. Then you need way more time. For example, monads : I understood it (the concept) rather quickly, but it took a few weeks to get it down so I could benefit from it.




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