3 Reasons Why We Should Learn Foreign Languages
Many people say that we don’t need to learn languages anymore because AI (artificial intelligence) technology is developing, and more and more translation / interpretation tools will be available near future. However, I cannot totally agree with this opinion.
1. Machine cannot translate everything
Machine translation is very convenient and I don’t deny to use machine translation at all. It is very useful and sometimes it’s enough to understand minimum basic information. However, even if AI technology develop a lot more, it will never be able to translate everything because there are uncountable amount of untranslatable words in the world.
For example, do you think “apple” can be translated to any languages? If apple doesn’t exist in the community, they don’t need the word, “apple”. if we want to explain what is apple to the people who has never seen it, we need to describe that “It’s a round shape fruit. The skin is red or sometimes green…etc.” In this case, it’s difficult for the machine to translate.
Similarly, rice has 3 different name in Japan. Rice crop before cropping is 稲(Ine), rice before cooking is 米(Kome), cooked rice is ご飯(Gohan). It’s important to specify the condition of rice in Japan. in Mongolia, horse has many different name by age, sex, castrated or not…etc. The Eskimo had 52 names for snow.
Vocabulary is created when it’s necessary. That’s why we cannot translate everything to every language. If you know the language, you can understand much better what people want to say.
2. Learn new way of thinking
By learning languages, you can learn not only languages but also cultures and new way of thinking. You can see things from different angles, understand different concept, and view things in perspective. Especially untranslatable words show their culture and characteristic strongly. Finding untranslatable words is one of the most interesting part of learning languages.
3. Never-ending exciting game!
Learning languages is not easy, but when you encounter unknown words, you discover new world! Knowing new cultures, ways of thinking are like a playing exciting game. Isn’t it more interesting than playing computer game? Another good thing is this game never ends! Once you understand how fun to learn languages, you will be addictive and can continue to play it whole your life.
Even if AI technology develop a lot more, it definitely worth to learn languages. Let’s start language learning journey with LingoCards!