Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thinking In Any Language

When I work on an in-depth project, one that takes all of my concetration but that I understand thoroughly enough that I'm borderline fluent in the language, I find I can start thinking in that language and work much more throughly.

It's not any easy effect for me to explain.

I've heard that when you learn a new language, you have to translate from the new language to the language your brain speaks. Your brain comes up with a response and then has to translate back into the new language, French, Spanish, whatever. It's very inefficient. In order to truly learn a language, you have to think in that language; there, your brain doesn't have to do two steps of translating. Far more efficient.

I don't speak French or Spanish, but I do know a few coding languages. Verse also works remarkably well to this, except when I get stuck with my thoughts rhyming and can't get them to stop.

I've never been very good at explaining how this feels except to other people who've "got the t-shirt." Until I found a book that describes it far better than I could ever hope to. The best part of it is that the book is published under the Creative Commons license, so it can be read for free.

I found it through Aldiko.

Roo'd by Joshua Klein comes highly recommended. The description happens largely inside Chapter 22, but I highly recommend giving the entire thing a read-through, at least once. I enjoyed it so much I'm thinking about getting a hard copy. I know I'll end up with a ratty copy, but isn't that how you tell a book has been well loved? You don't get that with ebooks.