Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

You received another interesting answer. My native language is General American English, and I grew up in what was essentially a monolingual immediate family and neighborhood of English speakers, although both of my parents had had some instruction in other languages. All of my grandparents were born in the United States, but three of the four spoke languages other than English at home, and my two maternal grandparents had all of their schooling in German.

German as a second language was mandatory for all elementary pupils in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade in my childhood school district, very unusual for the United States. I had more German in junior high and senior high (in two different states) and then Russian in senior high. I entered university as a Russian major and immediately began taking Chinese, switching my major to Chinese as I grew in delight for that language. I have had formal instruction as an adult in Modern Standard Chinese (a.k.a. Mandarin), Cantonese, Biblical Hebrew, Literary Chinese, Attic Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Japanese (first in the medium of Chinese, then in English), Taiwanese, and Hakka, and various courses in linguistics (also in the mediums of both English and Chinese). I have engaged in self-study of Biblical Aramaic, Mongolian, Spanish, French, Latin, Hungarian, Malay-Indonesian, Esperanto, Interlingua, etc., etc., etc.

I have to respectfully disagree with the strong version of the linguistic relativity hypothesis. Within each language grouping, people differ far more in their personal thinking along the dimension of visual thinker or not, or auditory thinker or not, than people differ from one another in thought patterns based on language background. But it is useful to learn another language and to live in another culture for exposure to new basic assumptions, and the same applies to learning computer language paradigms. Besides the book mentioned in another reply, I like the books

http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Language-Pragmatics-Third-...

http://www.amazon.com/Essentials-Programming-Languages-Danie...

too as overviews of various programming languages.




Those look like two fun books to read. Thanks for the links.




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: