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The Technological Destruction of Languages.

  •  Posted on Mar 18, 2014  by  | No Comments

Language is not simply just a means to an end; it is more than simply just ordering your lunch whether it be on your lunch break from work or on holiday. Language is identity and culture, is has true depth. But with a vast majority of the world tapping into the digitalisation era, languages seem to have been forgotten along the way in many aspects.

 

Technological infrastructure now dominates our working and private lives and therefore has given a high percentage of the population across the idea that technology can replace interpersonal communication in various languages. Why? Because language technology advances mean it will be possible for people to communicate with each other and do business with each other, even if they don’t speak the same language.

 

This can lead language learning into dangerous territories causing languages and more specifically minority languages under threat especially as English has been reinforced once again as the lingua franca.  A number of these language technologies rely on imprecise statistical approaches that do not make use of deeper linguistic methods, rules and knowledge. Sentences are automatically translated by comparing a new sentence against thousands of sentences previously translated by humans. [1] Thus leaving minority languages in a danger zone as they have traditionally relied on informal use to survive.

 

However, nothing can replace the beauty of communication between two people for whatever reason (business related or personal), once a language is perfected by a human. Although inventions over the years are wise, such as Google translate, they can never replace the elegance of real life communication. So don’t allow technology to get to your head, realise you potential and learn a language to help you, your future and your career!

 

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/17/languages

 
 

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