If you could study a new language to learn more about go, which one would you choose?

I disagree slightly. Studying a programming language doesn’t directly improve your game of go, but it does greatly improve your abstract thinking and problem solving abilities. It is surprising how often you can apply those skills to non-programming situations. I’m pretty sure some of the heuristics are almost directly applicable to go problems.


Despite being called “languages”, programming languages are very different from human languages. The former is about instructing a machine to perform tasks, while the latter is at the core of human interaction. Hence, it seems to be quite off-topic to jump from asking about one to making suggestions about the other.

However, while we’re meandering, here are some other off-topic suggestions that could have indirect benefits for improving one’s understanding of go:

  • Playing/studying other abstract board games or puzzles (like chess or sudoku)
  • Regularly exercising and sleeping well (since both of these have been shown to produce cognitive benefits)
  • Quit drinking, smoking, and/or abusing other harmful substances (for the health and cognitive benefits)
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I’m not arguing that they are the same kind of language, I’m just disagreeing with your statement that learning a programming language is not helpful for learning more about go. In my opinion learning a programming language might be more useful than learning an East-Asian language.

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Unless of course after you learn an East Asian language you start to watch go reviews/games and or read go books in that language.

After learning a programming language at best maybe you’ve replicated leela zero, fine art etc and have it teach you. Then maybe it’ll help you get better at go.

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If you learn Korean then you can watch Yeonwoo's Korean channel :D

There are a lot of valid answers before so I would just add an advantage for Chinese: It’s cheaper (books, videos, even life if you project to move later.)

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Just a reminder, if you’re learning Chinese for go, perhaps you should learn ‘Chinese simplified’ instead of ‘Chinese tradition’ because most go material is written in simplified Chinese characters (Chinese mainland, Malaysian-Chinese and Singapore Chiness use this ‘simplified version’ and Hongkongness and Taiwanese use the tradition version)
Although this two sounded the same and many characters looked similar, some looked vastly different and can cause confusion for beginners (even I’m not very good at reading Traditional Chinese Characters)
For example the word ‘BECAUSE’ is written as ‘因为’ in simplified Chinese and perhaps ‘因爲’ or ‘因為’ in traditional Chinese
So if you’re learning Chinese only for go improvement you should learn Chinese simplified and if you’re learning for go culture perhaps you should also learn the tradition version.

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Maybe even 文言文 useful for Go :grin: