How we learn a language

A session at Scottish Ruby Conference 2012

Friday 29th June, 2012

3:30pm to 4:15pm (GMT)

We all use language in fun and interesting ways, even when we don’t think about it. Our industry brings us together with people from all over the world, even some of the folks attending this conference will speak English as a second or even third language.

In a past life I was a teacher of english as a foreign language, and these days I’ve kept that passion for languages alive by becoming multilingual myself.

I’ll speak about how we pick up a programming language in much the same way as we learn to speak a natural language and then integrate ourselves in the culture surrounding that programming language in much the same way.

I’m not going to talk at boring lengths about language theory, but instead evaluate how we learn a language as humans – regardless of its origin. I hope to make it clear that you can apply some of – if not all – the same skills you use to easily pick up a new programming language to give you a real leg-up in learning a foreign language.

You’ll never think about abstraction or obfuscation in exactly the same way again, and hopefully leave with a desire to test my assertion and learn another language, and that would be just great. 
Why would I want to do this? Well, I’m biased but I truly believe that the world would be a better place if people understood each other better – and that means more people becoming multilingual.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Ryan Stenhouse

Rubyist, Writer, Engineer, Linguist. Crazy about communication and localisation.

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Time 3:30pm4:15pm GMT

Date Fri 29th June 2012

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