Does your mastery of the English language influence your coding abilities? | SoloLearn: Learn to code for FREE!


Does your mastery of the English language influence your coding abilities?

As a non-native speaker of the English language, I run into confusing terminology sometimes. A simple example: something can be "good practice". It took me a week until I figured out 'practice' is a noun and means it is the right way to do it, while I initially thought it is "a good way to exercize/improve your skill". Of course there are countless examples, dependent on your language skills. My English is relatively good, I guess, so I just wondered if other people run into these kind of problems as well.

11/28/2017 3:54:41 PM

Joeri Blomberg

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Being knowledgeable in English helps a lot during studying the documentation, so only this seems a reason good enough to learn it. My favourite programming language is heavily borrowing from English and the best thing is that it was created by a non-English man :) (Yes, I'm aware of English literacy of the Dutch, it is legendary ;) Just a note: to be honest, I think 'practice' is a noun and 'practise' is a verb, at least in proper British English. It's perhaps a difference between US and GB, as far as I can recall from my English classes :)


Response Part 2 of 2: ------------------------------------------------------------------ Regarding the Meaning of "good practice": ---------------------------------------------------- You are correct to say the word "practice" is a noun in this specific usage. I can see how this very subtle, yet distinct, difference can change the context of how you interpret the meaning. I have a tip that can help you better identify the correct part of speech for future reference. Words modified by an adjective are almost always nouns. In this case, "good" (or "bad") is an adjective that describes the noun "practice". To further explore this, consider the following verbs with their various verb tenses: - practice (practices, practiced, practicing) - run (runs, ran, running) - talk (talks, talked, talking) - walk (walks, walked, walking) - ride (rides, ridden, rode, riding) Now, see how these verbs become nouns with the use of adjectives: - bad practice - good run - funny talk - long walk - scary ride Nouns don't normally conjugate to indicate past, present, or future tense: x- good practiced (does not make sense) x- good running (could be used as a verb... maybe) x- funny talking (could be used as a verb... maybe) x- long walked (does not make sense) x- scary riding (does not make sense) Nouns can be identified as singular or plural: - bad practices (plural) - a good run (singular) - a couple of funny talks (plural) - the long walk (singular) - many scary rides (plural) Don't mistaken an adverb for an adjective: - badly practiced (adverb describes a verb) - frantically ran (adverb describes a verb) - rudely talking (adverb describes a verb) - painfully walks (adverb describes a verb) - carefully rides (adverb describes a verb) NOTE: Although many (perhaps most) adverbs can be identified with the "-ly" suffix, this isn't always required. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to these rules that could make things frustrating.


Of course, I come across some difficult words and phrases sometimes. But English helped me a lot. It helped me to understand many things about programming.


I'm fluent in English, and while I'm unable to tell you if it makes it less difficult or not ... I can tell you that sometimes knowing keywords like "for", "what", "where", etc can make a big difference as programmers use keywords like those imply an unmentioned meaning in a program, function, or piece of code. On the other hand, being fluent in English can backfire. Sometimes the logic/grammar part of your brain gets really confused when specific words are used in an unusual way. This actually was the most difficult thing for me when I started in computer science.


Thanks to coding my English getting better 🤗 But Sololearn has good influence on my coding abilities 😁😂


Response Part 1 of 2: @Joeri - Kudos to you for being as proficient in English as you are. As a native speaker of English (US), I'm certainly impressed. There is so much about the English language that can make it difficult to learn. I found a really good article that explores "Why Is English So Hard to Learn?" - A few of the issues that really stand out for me are: - It's full of contradictions - So many exceptions to rules - Understanding the proper order of words - The use of esoteric idioms


Definitely if it comes to affect. But we have to take into account that modern languages ​​opt for a more practical and readable syntax. I think it is very useful to know English, the best tutorials and books are usually in that language, so I think it is important to learn English not only for the language, also you have to know concepts of networks, design and servers that are handled in English. Concepts that in the time we live is vital to understand them.


@ true Joeri + your level of english is already way past what Duolingo could help you with, I was just storm reading questions and dropping info. Thanks for keeping your cool 😉


According to my experience, For non-english coders, if they have basic level of English, they are doing fine with their coding. They can do any kind of games and application so long as someone is there to guide them. The problem is that their process of learning is quite slow compared to those who have proficiency in english. they cannot browse updated things on the internet and read the latest reference books. They cannot easily absorb indepth knowledge of the programming. Even though they watch tutorials on youtube, it seems they have hard of hearing... Those who do not have proficiency in english usually are left one step behind. For example if i have to read computer books and references in Burmese, I am surely 2 or three years draw back. I have to wait for the translated books and references for at least a year or more...very terrible.. . I used to tease my students "if your computer teachers could not manage English very well, just forget that course" coz your teachers could never ever upgrate their programming skills to the current staff and update their level of knowledge in programming within a short time... that's why English has a massive impact on the mastery of programming..


I totally agree. I'm not native English speaker. As an anecdote I can tell you when I'm reading the book Designing object-oriented software from Rebecca Wirfs-Brock I found the expression 'inextricably intermingled'. It took me a week to figure out what is the meaning of that. Edit: no Google translator in this times Furthermore, Sololearn was a good excuse to improve my English


@Joeri Practice does mean to exercise/improve your skill. It's a verb and is simply the act of putting into action something that you know in the hopes of increasing your ability in it further. It doesn't speak for the quality of what you're practicing, or the usefulness of it in terms of improvement. However, "good" is an adjective to further describe 'practice' in this case. So "good practice" is practice that is known to assist with improvement, and is a generally accepted standard to ensure the quality of what you're practicing.




I believe so. Most of the official manuals are written in English first, then the English manual will be translated to different languages after a period of time. If you cannot read English, then you will have to wait until the translated manuals are available. This will put yourself into disadvantages.


Organizations like Duolingo can't improve my (or anyone's for that matter) understanding of a foreign language to the level of a native speaker. I'll have to move to an anglophone country for a couple of years if I want to achieve that. Maybe later.. ;)


yes. english is current lingua franca, whether we like or not. interesting thread.


yes, even writhing to your question is hred job to me to do, so yes i run into theae all the time


Although English is my first language, coding uses American spelling only, so I often have to check to make sure I haven't spelt anything the British way, as that's my native spelling. I can only imagine the difficulties when learning the English language and coding at the same time. A lot of words get used, but the definitions aren't given, so that can certainly make things harder when it comes to understanding code. That said, don't let it get to you. English has rules as a language yet also throws them out the window, so it will be confusing, but just keep pushing and learning. You'll get there, it just might take longer than you'd like it to.


Yes and coding also help me to improve my English as well. Happy coding!


Excellent aid for English as a second language students; even native speakers too.


yes it maybe but only certain specific words called keywords are generally used in languages, therefore keep coding👍