The title of this blog is in part why I’m learning a language at the moment. I’ve wanted to go to Japan since I saw that film. I was due to go this year (well in theory) for our honeymoon. Never booked anything and very glad we didn’t.
I have never had much luck with languages. I always feel dreadful when I rock up in a country with the bear minimum of please and thank you. Even after 7 years of French, I can barely string a sentence together.
As Japan is due to be an adventure 2025, I’ve got a decent while to repeatedly try and fail.
What I’ve noticed, other than I’m a severe sucker for gamification, is that I try and treat learning a language like a puzzle. I see patterns, form ludicrous links to help me remember what a word means. I apply context to weave in something that makes sense to me.
Regardless of how well I know a language, this is a thing I automatically do while I’m on holiday. I read everything and try to understand. It is, in it’s natural habitat, surely this which makes the puzzle easier. Sometimes it does, other times I’m forming wild associations. Most of the time I’m wearing myself out and becoming overwhelmed.
I am currently taunted daily by a green owl while I attempt to grasp vague amounts of Japanese. So far, so mild success. I can count to 9 and be polite. Some days I can marginally manage that in English.
I have a similar problem learning coding languages too. It is a mystery and a riddle with rules I can’t seem to unravel.
I am exposed to code much more in my new role. Previously I looked at the odd pull request but mostly the comments. Lately I trawl through every file in every PR I’m assigned to begging my brain to understand or at least see a pattern. Some days my brain fires up and spots something out of place but mostly I’m willing it to absorb the mystery.
I am committed to chipping away at all these perplexing puzzles and quandaries. I hope eventually to craft enough competence to say I don’t understand or to ask for more coffee.
“I memorize the basics, making strange faces. Tread slowly for I know, there’s a thousand miles to go, without blinking.”Warm Machine – Bush