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               Status quo is the easiest state, for one to stay. Change brings about disruption into the present state of affairs. However, in life it is change which is the status quo.

               Now and then, we are faced with a disruption in world of technology which results in replacing the existing best-practices with new ones. Till a while ago, I felt there is no better way to maintain data than by normalizing tables and introduction of HANA and NoSQL just turned it upside down. A normal behaviour in particular period of time could turn into abnormal in future. I was faced with this dilemma when I had to learn Deutsch. My experience of learning Deutsch gave some insights into learning the other language i.e. JavaScript. I wish to share them with my fellow members of SCN esp. the ones who belong to non-Java community. My intention is to find a pattern which could be useful in learning the new language.


Deutsch Lernen JavaScript
Initial Feeling Decision to learn Deutsch was enforced as part of the company policy. I took it up with a positive intent but internally, I was not fully committal. I used to question the need or importance of it in my life. However, with the lack of alternative I started my lessons. Introduction of UI5, Mobile Development and Web made JavaScript the recommended programming language. As a Web Dynpro developer, I had no option but to take up learning JavaScript and UI5. My feelings were same as it was with Deutsch: I was faking it on outside but non-committal in the inside.
Refer to status quo English was my language of reference. So, I started to look for words and grammar in deutsch which had parallels in english. Wort was word, fliegen was to fly, mussen was must; subject verb and object – Ich bin gut i.e. I am good. The new world of deutsch seemed easy 🙂 . Java(tossed with a bit of ABAP) was my language of reference. I started to look for keywords which had parallels with my reference programming language. Var was to declare a variable, “break, catch, continue, for, return, switch” were the same as ones in Java. It felt like a walk in the park 😉
Selective amnesia In the process of finding parallel elements of deutsch with english language, I started to ignore aspects which did not confirm. The famous being, the various forms of pronoun: ich, du, er/es/sie, wir, ihr, Sie/sie. Everytime, I had to find the forms of the verb, I just skipped it. 😀 Functions as an object is something which is difficult to fathom. Its not always sequential execution of statements, it could be haphazard. I was slowly ignoring it as abnormal.
Dead End I could no more ignore the rules of deutsch pronouns. No more could I avoid various forms of verb. Then the dead-end: A word can be masculine, feminine, neutrum and plural. Tee is masculine and Flasche(bottle) is feminine, how? 😯 Everything is a variable, variables can be reassigned, it is interpretor based language, functions can be passed as objects, and many other unique aspects of JavaScript meant, I was stuck. I did not know where to go next. 😕
Accept the new language in the independent form I started to treat Deutsch independent of references to English. I stopped translating everything in Deutsch to English. Accepting the new paradigm and treating in its original form helped me to move forward. ➕ JavaScript is not Java. JS brings in scripting into the static HTML and runs on the browser client. It does not follow the strict syntax rules of Java or ABAP. It is unique and had its unique characteristics. ➕
Get deeper into the new language Practice the lessons without the fear of embarrassment. It started to expose my mistakes and in return helped me improve my language. 🙂 Started to write JS programs. With the abundant browser based editors, it was easier to practice JS on the runtime. It improved my skills and in-forced confidence. 🙂


               I am still taking baby steps with my Deutsch. I would look to improve on my language skills. However, my focus is more on JavaScript. I am like the novice swimmer, now looking into the ocean and feeling ready to dive in. We will never be completely ready at the start. We should be adequately prepared. More importantly, we should be ready to fail and learn to keep moving forward.


               Thank you for your time and ich freue mich(I look forward) to your feedback.


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5 Comments

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  1. Kedar Tingikar

    Hi Sharath,

    Your blog resonates with my path exploring UI5. I like you analogy of learning a spoken language and a programming language.

    Accept the new language in the independent form part of your blog shall help all those who want to learn new language to enhance theire skillset.

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  2. Margot Wollny

    Nice way of learning.

    Small remark on the german part:

    Bottle = Flasche

    and

    Bag = Tasche

    But your are right, Flasche is femin. Guess I do not have to mention that so is Tasche 😉
    Keep on practice: languages broadens ones horizont !

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