Language of Math
If there is one thing I have never been great at is learning another language. I’ve worked my hardest in school, but still had a problem. It was affecting my grade and frustrating me, but with help from math I was able to find a solution.
Ever since fifth grade I have had trouble in Spanish class. Lots of times I would come after school to get help from my teachers, but it wouldn’t have a large effect on my grades. I was able to pass Spanish class in fifth and sixth grade by what little understand I had. Then in seventh grade I talked to my Spanish teacher telling her that I had a problem with Spanish and if she could spend some extra time with me to study. At first there wasn’t much Change in my skills in Spanish, so my teacher suggested that we first find out what specifically is the problem by founding out my thought process found translating sentences. I learned that I took long time to translate sentences because I, first I think of the sentence, then I translate all the words in the sentence, and then finally apply grammar rules to the sentence. My teacher said that we had to find a way for me to translate a sentence at a quicker rate. The only idea we thought of to do this was practice, but I knew the effects of practice would take a long time and I needed to improve my grade in just a couple of months.
I was depressed and afraid that I would never be able to speak or write Spanish well. I tried to think of other ways I could solve my problem, but nothing came to mind. Then one day one of my friends came to me for help in math. While telling me what problem was hard for him, he said something that I’ll never forget as I live. He said “Math is so complicated. It’s like it’s another language.” Now at first I didn’t think much of my friends comment, but I started to think about it more and more and was seeing how true my friend’s statement was. Then I realized that math was another language, one that was based on nature, and logic. That an equation was a sentence filled with numbers and variables instead of words. This thought became amazing for me because I was starting to think I couldn’t learn another language as long as I lived, when there was a language I was good in, one I understood and loved.
After the incredible discovery of me knowing a language, I started to take a look at why I was good at math, but not Spanish. I found that math came easier to me because it was a language based on order where every rule had a purpose and reason behind it, while Spanish would have exceptions to grammar rules and in how a word would sound or look. I then asked how can I take what I know in math and use it to help me in Spanish.
It took a while, but I started to think of sentences as math word problems where I would have a sentence in English and then I would take all the words that wasn’t an article or pronoun and translated the words like I was determining what information I got from a word problem. Then I added the operations by applying grammar rules. Finally I simplified the equation by putting in the articles and pronouns. It wasn’t the best means of learning Spanish, but it helped me pass Spanish classes since seventh grade.
I doubt I’ll ever master Spanish, but I hope to one day fluent in the language of math.