This article is from the alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ Frequently Asked Questions. Compiled by Sunil Rao firstname.lastname@example.org.
The answer to this depends on your own inclinations. C is a smaller, less complex language than C++, and is consequently easier to master. However, it is probably easier to get up to speed with C++, if you make effective use of the standard library. Some find C to be more elegant than C++, others think it to be too "unsafe". C++ programmers generally feel that it has features that make it easier to write good, robust, readable and maintainable code in than in C.
If you do decide to learn C++, there is little point in learning C itself first. See also question 19.
If you have little or no programming experience, be prepared to face a real challenge. C and C++ have enough quirks and subtleties to catch out even expert programmers in other languages. It's not impossible to learn to program with C or C++ as a first language, just more difficult than with Turing, Pascal or a structured BASIC, for instance. Programming in C or in C++ is generally considered to be a more pleasureable experience than doing so in beginners' languages by those experienced in either, but the very fact that your freedom is limited and restricted by these languages makes them easier to learn.