Get me to speak with cats and computers…

…and leave human languages to me

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: If you could be instantly fluent in another language, which one would you choose to know?

Thanks, but no thanks

As I explained yesterday, I value hard work and dedication when it comes to learning a new skill. This, of course, applies to languages as well. Of course, I would be thrilled to become fluent in, say, Japanese, a language it would – and, hopefully, will – take me years to learn. But it would be so much more satisfying to become fluent in Japanese after years of efforts and commitment than instantly through science or magic – unless I had invented the said science or magic, I suppose.

It’s not all ones and zeros

While considering “non-human languages”, I initially thought of the language of cats. However, cat communication is a complex system: it can be vocal, visual, tactile, olfactory, and sometimes occurs in ways that humans can’t perceive. While I would love to be able to communicate with my cats in a more precise and meaningful way, I don’t really see myself sniffing the furniture in search of cat pheromones – let alone produce any.

The next stop of my train of thoughts was more realistic. Remembering an article published a few weeks ago on learning to code vs. learning to speak a new language, I figured that if I could instantly master a computer language, it would be PHP. I know HTML, CSS, and Python, and picked up some Javascript, Perl, and PHP, but never felt like diving in. I would love to make a dynamic website using PHP on my own, but I would much rather focus on human languages for the time being.

Featured image: New developments in tech: cat as heat sink by brownpau on Flickr, resized and cropped by me.


One thought on “Get me to speak with cats and computers…

  1. Pingback: Where have all the bloggers gone – Third-week NaBloPoMo roundup | Keeping Track

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