The value of learning multiple languages
Last night I was talking with a 13 year old who is creating some impressive works in Photoshop. He created some very cool graphics for his Counter Strike clan web site. I have to admit that I was really blown away by what he created.
What struck me today is the shift in learning to "speak" different "languages". Decades ago, or even hundreds of years ago, it was seen as important to learn to speak other languages from around the globe. People in non-English speaking countries learned English. Most of the schools here in the USA taught middle and high-school students Spanish, French, German, and other languages. (I actually spent years learning Spanish ... although it is very rusty at this point!) It always seemed to me that the intent was to give me a leg up on interacting with people of other countries and origins. I have, from time to time, found value in my Spanish learning.
Today it now appears that the future is more in "talking" to computers and the Internet. And so now it seems there is more value in learning "computer" languages ... then "foriegn" langauges. As I thought about this today, I realized that this is probably true. More and more people from around the globe are learning English, and much of the Internet - and computer technology in general - is based on English. So where do children turn? To "interacting" with computers. And so understanding the languages used by computers is becoming more and more important.