But what’s the point in learning languages? Technology is almost there so we can have simultaneous conversations in two different languages…
Yes, it’s true that translation tools have made incredible progress recently and will continue to impress and amaze with what they can do. But it’s what they can’t do that lies at the heart of language learning.
You need your own voice to get across not just meaning but how you feel about something. Try saying “thank you” in different ways.
- Genuinely giving thanks
- With relief
Never forget that a translated meaning is only part way there to intended meaning.
And then there are the words that just don’t make it from one language to another.
This article in the Guardian has some fun examples of words that don’t translate into English. Worth a read.
Language is not perfect. It’s invented by humans and we’re not perfect. Understanding each other is best done by learning about each other and learning each other’s languages.