Languages Of The Future – Chinese vs JavaScript

Source: medium.com/@GoBomberbot

“As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being”. This old proverb doesn’t lose its relevance over the years. While thinking about getting some new skills and knowledge, you might be considering what skills can give you a lifelong advantage. Learning a new language should be a right choice. But the next step that you need to choose is exactly what language to learn – a foreign language (e.g. Chinese) or a programming language (e.g. JavaScript). Check the blog post that will help you to decide whether you and your friends should learn Chinese or JavaScript, and why.


Accessibility

How easy is it – to learn a new language? The younger you are, the easier it is. But it works only if we’re talking about learning a foreign language. For JavaScript, the story is different.

Coding languages are less difficult for definition than human languages as coding languages were created to be understood by  computers and such simple machines as your digital watch. Kids are still better at learning new programming languages though it’s also very feasible for adults. Online courses in JavaScript claim that in 3-4 months you are going to become fluent in JavaScript programming.

For the Chinese language the situation is a bit more complicated. Kids under the age of seven months can recognize all possible sounds and tones in human languages. But once kids get older so they get beyond of the certain language group, they lose their ability to recognize unique tones in a language. Still, kids can become native speakers of many foreign languages if they hear a language often enough until they become 12 years old. Once you become an adult, you need more time to learn a language making much more efforts. Some scientists say that it can take 3-4 years of living in China for adults  to become fluent in the Chinese language.

Score: Chinese – 0 points; JavaScript – 1 point

Native Speakers and Users

Chinese is the most widespread language spoken by one fifth of the world’s population. While more of those speakers live in the Far East, knowledge of the Chinese language could be a key to many Chinatowns worldwide.

JavaScript probably can’t compete with the Chinese language in number of users but that is if you only count in human users. Take in count all the machines that use code, and it’s no contest. Just think about all the machines in a house, such machines as microwaves, washing machines, alarm clocks and so on.

Score: Chinese – 1 point; JavaScript – 1 point

Source: medium.com/@GoBomberbot
Source: medium.com/@GoBomberbot

Career Benefits

Let’s imagine that you have decided to learn Chinese. It’s considered to be a big career opportunity, but is that true? You’ll get a skill that is quite unique in the Western world. But many US and EU companies do not include knowledge of the Chinese language in their job descriptions because it’s too hard to find such a candidate. Business communications are much easier in English, in which most Chinese specialists are fluent. If you really want to get a career benefit from learning Chinese, then you have to enter the Chinese job market.

According to the numerous reports, there will be lack of 900,000 IT specialists in the EU by 2020. For the USA, there is a predicted shortage of 1,000,000 IT professionals over the next decade. The UK has already made teaching of coding obligatory for the primary school. So in the future, knowing JavaScript won’t be such an unusual skill as knowing Chinese. If the future job will require coding skills, and the generation of the future specialists will have these skills, then be sure you are on the right track.

Score: Chinese – 0.5 point; JavaScript – 1 point

Intellectual Values

What could be more “valuable” than knowing a language which is vital for communication with more than 95% people in your region, for example speaking Chinese language while living in the Western countries? Right, in this case it would not be so valuable.

As for JavaScript, learning this programming language will require you to get to the basics of understanding, such as to understand the brain of your microwave. You just have to accurately give right instructions to the machine, if you want it to operate correctly. Thereby, this trains logical thinking, creativity, problem solving and accuracy.

Score: Chinese – 1 point; JavaScript – 1 point

Fun

Imagine the situation when you’re flying from London to Beijing by China Airlines. Most of the passengers are the British and American citizens. The stewardesses are talking to each other in Chinese while using English for talking to the passengers. And how great it would be to answer to them in Chinese when they’re asking you: “What would you like to drink”? The stewardess might be impressed as well as most of the people on the airplane.

Or do you remember how great it was when Mark Zuckerberg gave a 22-minute speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing entirely in Mandarin Chinese?

At the same time, we shouldn’t forget about fun that you can get with JavaScript. You can develop apps, make websites, and create games: just realize your creativity. For some programmers, coding is a relaxing process. Bear in mind the fact that learning a coding language will probably be more fun than learning Chinese.

Score: Chinese – 2 points; JavaScript – 1.5 points

Future Opportunities

So, is JavaScript actually the best programming language to learn? What’s about PHP, Python, C or Ruby?

Those, who speak Ukrainian, can easily learn Polish. A native Portuguese can read in Spanish. The Dutch can easily learn German. In the same way, programming languages form their own groups. If you know the basic rules and concepts that appear in every code, such as loops, then you can apply it to every programming language and so the study process will be easier.

Score: Chinese – 1 point; JavaScript – 1 point

Final score: Chinese – 5.5 points; JavaScript – 6.5 points.

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