‘Hello world!’ – That’s how I was greeted from my freshly installed front-end in a demo post, after I’ve done the setup of the WordPress system for my blog. First I wanted to delete that post without any further attention, but I faltered and hesitated to push the button. In fact that short text represented everything that should have a major role in this blog.
You’re not able to follow me? I’ll try to explain, what I mean.
Where has ‘Hello world!’ its origin and what is it about?
Historically considered the roots of ‘Hello world!’ are found in the history of programming languages. In the beginning everybody, who has tried to learn a programming language, has been challenged to write a simple program. It’s a small program about every needed command and element of a complete program of the chosen programming language. It’s an example to the programming novice. The function of the program is the output of an arbitrary text. Traditionally the text ‘Hello world!’ is used. This tradition goes back to the bible in programming C, ‘The C Programming Language‘ (by Brian Kernaghan).
You can see here, what such a program looks like in the programming language C:
So much for the background story.
But how is this relevant for my blog?
Like every common language, which is used for communication, programming languages are restricted to certain rules and dictated constructions. They contain special signs and signal words, which are used for interactions between humans and computers or various forms of artificial intelligence among themselves. In the same way languages have their grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. Disregarding the rules the communication often will be complicated – both for humans and for computers.
Of course it’s even possible to communicate with very limited rules in a limited way, but communication is the better and easier the more both conversational partners converge onto the same language level. Accordingly computers using different operating systems can communicate with each other. It’s less complicated, if they are based on the same operating system. They don’t need additional ports or tools.
It’s likewise with the communication between people speaking different languages. A German crushing into a local on a small island in Indonesia, who speaks no German at all, is still able to ‘chat’ with the tool ‘hands and feet’ somehow. The conversation will be a little more advanced, if both of them speak English. The probability is very high on Bali. In this case English is the tool to bypass the barriers of language. If by chance one of those two guys is learning the language of the other and is able to articulate himself, you can quickly determine how much sympathy will be shown to him. A warm smile will often be the least reward, even if the language skills are still very little. The good will itself will be highly credited.
What I want to say is, that learning a language will entail a lot more than simply the skill to speak another language. Obviously something like that is interesting for your curriculum vitae. Nevertheless nothing is more satisfying than that feeling of happiness in the moment, when you speak to a surprised native in his national language. You’ll see his eyes beaming with joy.
For me ‘Hello world!’ has a symbolic role as an initiation of a long process, which comes along with studying every single language. I like the integration of that old tradition as a symbolic role at this point to start my blog. But I promise to leave the technical aspects about programming in the future. I’m aware of not everybody being interested in programming stuff like I am.
But there is another reason?!
The language is one thing. Apparently there is another reason for the exclamation ‘Hello world!’. I’m leaving into the world. On the go. Discovering new stuff for me. Getting known to other manners and traditions. Experiencing unforgettable things. It’s a greeting to the world, which – at least I do hope so – will welcome me with open arms. Having said this: Hello world!
Feel free to stay and rummage in my blog.
Hi Thomas, it with real pleasure that we read your blog today! Cool concept, we cannot wait to read more articles from you! Good luck with your thesis too! You have such an interesting background too 🙂 Keep up the great work! In January 2017, we are taking a year off and we will probably spend 6 months in South America then we will probably go to Europe. We plan to learn Spanish and a bit of Portuguese (for Brazil). Do you have any tips that you would like to share with us?
Patrick and Cecile from http://www.travel4lifeblog.com
Hi Cecile, hi Patrick!
It’s my pleasure to have you on my blog! I’ll be in South America from the beginning of August, starting with Ecuador. I will also travel through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Who knows, maybe we meet somewhere on the way…
Regarding language learning, I’ve always something to share… 😉 Nevertheless, there is so much you can do. I don’t really know where to start. It also depends, what you’re up to. Contact me via mail, and I’ll try to help as much as I can.
Have a good start on your journey! I’ll check your blog out for some South American travel experiences.