I have used processing before however am having trouble using the syntax associated with the arduino.
leads me to suspect that you are confusing the languages and the IDE.
C syntax is not the same as Java syntax.
Processing, which is based on Java, has nothing to do with Wiring, which is based on C and C++.
The Arduino is "inspired" by Processing, but compiling Processing code in the Arduino IDE will produce the sort of errors you reported.
but its my understanding that the platform was based on processing
No, the IDE is.