Engineering education usually includes the acquisition of a foreign language for a transnational professional discourse. Engineering education also involves the acquisition of competencies to compose functional technical systems from component parts. This paper provides a conceptual and empirical exploration of a synergistic effect between these two learning processes. It proposes that engineering education draw upon and incorporates this synergy. A pilot training course confirms that this leads to a faster development of the overall engineering knowledge system. This training course implements the conceptual finding according to which the process can be integrated on the model of language learning: to learn mechanics. i.e. kinematics, is like learning English as a foreign language. The grammar of sentence formation and the grammar for the effective technical placement of things teach engineers about symbolic and conceptual order, what the language of mechanics is and how it differs from the language of electronics, and how, for example, this difference needs to be accommodated in the field of mechatronics.