My personal opinion is that Perl is better to learn first, then Python. This is mainly because Perl is, if not more flexible in general, it is at least in form more flexible. I found the constantly repeated mantra of “There’s more than one way to do it” in the Perl community very helpful when I was learning the language. Use the lines
at the beginning of all of your Perl code and it will help out tremendously. They enforce certain programming guidelines and provide more verbose reports when something isn’t quite right.
Python is also a very powerful language, and it may be easier to learn in some ways. But, in my opinion, it’s better to start with Perl.
I /know/ that there are many many people out there with different opinions on this, so whichever you choose you’ll have a large community of people out there able to help out. My personal experience was with Perl first, then a bit of Python, then some Ruby, and I’ve come back to Perl each time. But many people have a completely opposite reaction, which is why there are so many choices in the first place
Good luck either way!