There are various approaches to learning a second language. With technology and the Internet at the helm, learning languages have become even more accessible. Consequently, technology has also presented a dilemma to people who are interested in learning a foreign language. There are currently different automated translation services which can translate a set number of words into its counterpart when typed or spoken in another language. The caveat of this is that language, no matter how hard people try to contain it in grammatical rules and structures, is evolving. In addition to this, language is also greatly affected by colloquial and cultural contexts that computer program algorithms are still unable to place. Regardless of a computer’s capability to translate, there are still plenty of compelling and rewarding reasons to spend time and effort to learn a secondary language. Here are some examples.
- Get better at native language.
Familiarization with a native language is supposedly the foundation for fluency when learning other languages. However, the irony of it all is that; native languages are usually learned by ear. Learning a secondary language introduces a person to the technicalities of grammar syntaxes. This will then help them recognize the equivalences of the syntaxes of the foreign language to their own. Eventually, the learner will grow more confident in using both languages.
- Keep the brain healthy.
Just like household work, technology is making everything automated to the point that very little participation is required from actual human beings. The parallels of automatic translation and robotic household helpers are that the body becomes less capable of doing the usual things that are expected from it. Without small, household activities the body becomes sedentary. In the case of computerized computations and translations, the brain becomes slower at processing thought. Learning a new language is a great way to keep the brain working. Not to mention that it’s a fun way to do so as well.
- Increased career options.
Just like learning skills in trading stocks or running a business, spending the time, money and effort to become fluent at a second language is an investment. Having a skill that isn’t that common will open up new career possibilities, whether if it’s as a translator or a writer, one can explore different options once a new language is mastered. And then there’s the option of actually going to a country where the language is spoken primarily. It’s an adventurous thought, but isn’t beyond the realm of possibility for someone dedicated enough.