The Real Reason Your Translation App Will Never Replace Language Learning

This article is for all our second language teachers. No doubt the author shares very good advice here. Students; keep learning foreign languages, and if you need a reason, here is why;

By Talene Boodaghians, Mar 3, 2018 whole article found here

Of all the classroom subjects technology is poised to change, perhaps none stoke the imagination quite like language learning. As wearable tech and machine translation become increasingly sophisticated, many see them as the future. In-ear technology promises to make 40 languages comprehensible in approximately two seconds lag time. Wearables and translators are undoubtedly handy tools. They make life easier. If you’ve ever communicated solely with facial expressions, gestures and onomatopoeia, then you understand their value.

Recently, I’ve seen real-time, in-ear technology used to suggest that language learning, beyond a certain age, is somehow a waste of time. “Learn culture, not language” might seem like advice for the future, especially since wearable tech is increasingly capable of doing our linguistic heavy lifting. But, this couldn’t be more misguided, and here are the four most compelling reasons why.

Language learning is good for your brain.

Being bilingual offers a variety of cognitive benefits. Research strongly suggests that bilingual children have better working memories compared to their monolingual counterparts. Plus, bilingualism has even been found to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Language learning gives you power.

When you know another language, you are not dependent on people or machines for translation. You own your successes and your failures. You can be sure they won’t come from someone else’s bad translation.

Language learning makes you a more successful negotiator.

People are more inclined to agree with you if they like you. And what makes someone likeable? Shared interests. Common ground. When shared language, without wearable tech, is the starting point, there’s trust from the get-go.



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