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Written By Patience Anitta Namanya

(This title right here should earn me a PhD!! (If you do not get the joke, ask the next PhD student you meet.))

When people ask me how many languages I know. My brain goes into analysis mode deciding what languages they really mean; could they be referring to the spoken languages or programming languages? I do not think that I am the only geek whose mind goes there every time someone asks that question.

Since Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs (RIP) and Sheldon Cooper made being a geek so cool, there is one thing that we would like everyone to acknowledge; “We, the programmers, are linguists of the highest level!” For example in my case, and I know I am very low level compared to all the greatest, I know 9 languages in the computing world (java, C, C#, C++, python, VB, Assembler, SQL, bash), I can read PHP, javascript, lua and powershell mainly because I have not found the need to write something in them yet.

Going by the same definition that Trevor Noah uses in defining how many spoken languages he knows, I speak 6 languages in total. My English, going by this blog is clearly amazing (I can confidently say that my grammar is as posh as it gets thanks to my primary and Secondary school education while my spoken is heavily affected by Ugandan intonations. Citing the World Linguistic Society, I speak better English than all nationalities in Africa).  I know 5 Ugandan dialects, I can ask for food and say other survival sentences in Swahili and say good morning, goodnight, kisses and safe journey in French thanks to my former crush and now very good friend who is French.  I can say “I am sorry” and “Thank you” in South Korean thanks to all the K-drama I started watching because I am such a stupid romantic who still thinks Cinderella stories are beautiful though reality gaggles push me to be more of a feminist.

Since I know 9 computer languages and 6 spoken languages (Not counting the 2 languages where I am below par), I should confidently say I know 15 languages which makes me an amazing linguist.  While the world catches up to my line of thought, I will continue learning the different languages whichever type takes my fancy. I might not be very good in them but if I can work my way into learning the basics and improving over the years then I should confidently say that my eulogy should state the number of languages I learnt in this world by adding both the spoken and programming languages. Why? Well, because we the geeks are cool and rule the world while being generous, making the world a better place and being rich. All of those last three things, I am aspiring to.

As I reach for my ‘R for dummies’, anyone know a place to get ‘Dothraki for dummies’? Why? Because in the programming world, we like to learn the new and interesting languages and what is cooler than Dothraki right now? I will tell you. Big Data in the computing world and apparently ‘R’ should help me because I got ‘python’ down. I know, who names these languages? Yeah, well, cool brains can be very disturbed sometimes. Who cares about the name as long as the language makes life easier (shrug)?

Let me go geek out on Coursera.org and codeacademy.com for now (for all the geeks, those are the 2 places I start from to learn any languages and then I go to stackoverflow.com to get some code snips and geeky answers and github.com gives me all the bigger open source codes of stuff I need to get done). I will stop here for now because I need to stop boring you. Let me go be me and I will let you be you. L8rs!

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