I am lucky to have been exposed to many languages as a child. I lived in a city where almost everybody was from a different country. On the average day I would hear at least 4 languages being spoken. French and Fulani at home, English on TV, Arabic on the street and various other languages ranging from Bengali to Swahili from my peers. If you are at least bi-lingual then you know how jokes lose all their substance when translated. A language is more than just being grammatically correct. Words that make up a language not only come with connotation but there is a culture associated with it. With all the baggage it carries, the language makes you think in a certain way. Programming languages do not escape this rule. Each programming lingo comes with it's own set of rules, syntax, and culture.
C and C++ are the classical languages. They have been around long and have passed the test of time. Although they are the main languages taught in schools, the entry barrier is pretty high. If you happen to master them however, it is much easier to get learn all the rest. You can look at a language like PHP or Java and spend only a little time learning the syntax and use them. But you won't. Why would you want to learn how to use a less capable tool when you have the ultimate weapon already. At least that's the vibe I get from C and C++ programmers.
PHP is by far my favorite language. It works for most my needs and I rarely think about optimization, unless I see really bad code like this one. Most people that use PHP, at least the very experienced ones, don't brag about knowing the language. They accepted that it is the most popular language on the web and there is no need to start language wars. There are confusing naming conventions in PHP but not very different from the English language itself: Did you know that "Ghoti" can be pronounced "fish"? or even better it could be a Silent word. I will call it the Pyramids language. Even though the slaves built the Pyramids of Gizah, we only talk about the Grandeur of the finished product.
How do you pronouce Ghoti again?
Tu pues, comme la rosée qui s'échappe des aisselles d'un marchand ambulant.
In programming or in speech, learning a new language exposes you more then just new syntaxes and sounds. You learn to say things differently. You learn a new culture and new ways of thinking. In my philosophy class, we were told that Greece was the birth place of philosophy because Athens' port was a place where people from all around the world came to trade. Their difference in culture brought new ideas and new ways of thinking. Language is culture's mean of transportation. So when you are ready to learn a new language don't be surprise when you see that there is a lot more to it then just placing the noun and verb in a sentence correctly.
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