5 Comparisons of English to Computer Linguistics

Ever wondered how a linguist can listen to an individual speak and piece together what part of the world he or she may have come from? Accents, syntax, and joining words are clues to the linguist who can usually guess within a reasonable amount of time where the speaker is from. Translating computer languages can act much in the same way to computer programmers. What similarities are there between human linguistics and computers?

1. Logistics - Much like speaking or writing English, a computer language needs to have a certain logic pertaining to it. A sentence with words jumbled in a nonsensical order makes as much sense to us as incorrect coding has to a computer system. However, while computers take translation of coding literally, we as humans can discern what is intended by the speaker, even if it is a bit garbled.

2. Structure - As a structure of a sentence using words can discern the meaning, so does similar structures work in a computer language. Much like how a sentence starting with How or When and ending with a question mark creates a question, certain statements are added to a computer language to start and end its version of a sentence.

3. Punctuation - In English, punctuation is used to usually end a sentence or separate subjects to create a comprehensible flow of thought. In a computer language, punctuation can be used to separate commands and end statements in much the same manner. Instead of a period, the computer language could use a bracket like in JAVA.

4. If, Then - In several computer languages, English words are understood by the computer system. For instance, a statement starting with IF followed by THEN and ending with END tells the computer that: if a certain command is processed, then do a particular task, and then end the job once it is completed. Just like English, computer languages like Visual Basic take from other languages to create its own. Actually, I sometimes think computers are much better communicators than people. You always know exactly what they are talking about!

5. Universal Constant - All languages can be broken down to a mathematical constant and turned into a string of numbers. While versions of these strings could consist of binary, computer programming languages take the same measures with mathematical equations. This mathematical constancy allows us to use computers as extensively and worldwide as we currently do. No matter what language or background you have, a computer can use binary to communicate with other computers around the world.

While speaking to your computer in its comprehensible languages does not cause it to respond, creating files written in a language it can understand may cause it to react - once the file is accessed. As AI technologies advance, there may be a time where speaking JAVA could actually inherit a response from your computer and warrant yourself purchasing an English to JAVA dictionary. Can you imagine a world where you could talk to your computer like you would another person and it could not only understand you but perform functions based on your words?

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of Liveinnanny.com. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: - jdebra84 @ gmail.com.


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