Anyone can learn a language. We’re born into at least one. More often than not, you will run into someone who speaks two languages. Studies show that 43% of the world’s population is bilingual compared to 40% who are monolingual. The remaining percentage accounts for those who speak more than two languages. On the other hand, about 5.8% of the world’s population can solve a Rubik’s Cube. This number is quite low and there’s no reason it should be. There’s this idea that a Rubik’s Cube takes a high IQ or you need to know tons of math while being a genius all at once. It’s blatantly false. Even the overexaggerated pre-1982 ads paint this false depiction.
Knowing two languages and the ability to solve a Rubik’s Cube may seem impossible to link together to most people, but people may not realize that this fully functional twisty puzzle is exactly like learning a language. The goal is to understand how the world’s most popular puzzle is solved by explaining it in a way that people who understand more than one language, can grasp the basic concept, and can even try it out for themselves.
People who are willingly learning a second language, or are even immersed around another language every day, don’t see language learning as an impossible task. It’s something you pick up over time as your brain comprehends a situation. It may be challenging at first but once you learn a few things, you start to keep a subconscious log of information that will eventually stand out. You may only understand a few words in the beginning. It then comes down to basics, grammar, and then the ability to read, speak, and write the target language that’s being studied, while maintaining progress. The more you practice, the easier it gets, and the more fluent in the language you become.
Some people talk about their experience with a Rubik’s Cube being something they attempt to figure out on their own to pass time. To this less than 6%, “Cubing” is more than just a pastime puzzle. Included in that percentage is myself. I’ve been cubing for nearly 11 years. One of the most common statements people make about a 3x3 Rubik’s Cube is “it’s impossible,” “I’ve only ever solved two sides,” and “I just take the stickers off and put them back on.” Cubers and speedcubers all around the world know these as the…