The tower fish in the hitchhiker’s Guide to the Milky way seemed to be an unreachable sci-fi reality until Google launched the pixel bugs with real-time translation function in 2017. The latest iteration is pixel bugs 2. Maybe we can expect a symphony like the iPhone to appear in the model?
Many companies have put their hats into the field of translation technology. The latest portable technologies in the form of headphones, handheld devices and applications have surpassed web translation software, all of which enable users to quickly navigate our multilingual world. Recently, American Airlines announced that it was testing the interpreter mode of Google assistant to help its employees communicate with travelers who speak different languages.
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has greatly improved the accuracy and quality of foreign language translation – so that machines can help break the language barriers of customer service teams and tourists. However, it is worrying that people will increasingly rely on emerging technologies for translation. Will future airline employees and passengers rely only on translation equipment when boarding or ordering drinks from catering trolleys? Is ai the enemy of language learning?
These are several reasons why language learning will not disappear in the technological age. Globally, English language skills are the key to higher education, business world and international travel. Needless to say, compared with other people who can speak without any technical help, having to rely on translation equipment for English communication will bring you disadvantages.
In non English speaking countries, learning a language is not just a hobby. Learning English is the way to success. This is why more than a billion people around the world learn a language, and they spend a total of more than 40billion pounds a year to improve their language skills. Therefore, English accounts for more than 50% of the global language learning market.