What is the difference between translation tools and language learning systems
Some people may seem to have an aversion to learn other languages. For Americans, this could be because English is by far the most popular second language in the world. While traveling, chances are you can find someone who also speaks English. Even if you can’t find anyone, there are plenty of translation devices that can help you.
However, there is a big difference between using a translation tool, such as Meta’s No Language Left Behind, and learning the nuances of another language through a language learning system. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to know the difference so that you can choose what is best for you.
What is no language left out
No Language Left Behind is an open source project that seeks to break down language barriers without changing the way an individual expresses themselves. It is an artificial intelligence-based translation tool that seeks to achieve global inclusion in online communities. Currently, No Language Left Behind can provide high quality translations in 200 languages.
How does AI work when applied to language translation?
From a very high-level perspective, AI recognizes patterns in datasets and analyzes how those patterns are used in different contexts to solve a specific problem. Since language is built on a series of patterns that individuals use to communicate, AI can be leveraged to recognize similar patterns in different languages to provide better translation. In other words, instead of translating “la pelota del chico” to “the boy’s ball”, it translates to “the boy’s ball”, which sounds much more natural.
Why is AI language translation better?
Meta’s belief is that using open source AI-powered translation tools will provide the context needed to understand complex sentence structure and phrases and successfully interpret tone, slang and humor. The goal is to create an online community of inclusion, where no one is left behind because they cannot adequately express themselves in another language.
What is a language learning system?
A language learning system is a systematic way of learning a language. It is a comprehensive approach that includes a wide range of skills. For example, there is much more to a language learning system than just memorizing endless vocabulary lists. You study reading, writing, speaking and listening, so you have a thorough, practical and balanced understanding of all aspects of the language. In short, using a language learning system ensures you develop a full set of skills.
AI translation tools vs language learning systems
While some people believe that AI translators could eventually replace language learning systems, there are plenty of reasons why this isn’t a likely scenario.
AI translation tools and a language learning system are two different things
AI translation tools are just that: tools. A language learning system, on the other hand, teaches you how to best use these tools. It’s the difference between going to an art museum and admiring a finished painting or knowing what to do with a blank canvas, a set of oils and brushes. Each has its purpose, and one will never completely replace the other.
The language is alive and constantly evolving
Language is constantly changing. Even if an AI translator perfected the translation between two languages, over time those languages would change, making the algorithms that were once so efficient less accurate.
The best way to understand your mother tongue is to learn a foreign language
If you really want to understand the different parts of speech and their function in communication, study the structure of a foreign language. It shakes things up and forces you to relearn what you’ve learned over the years through context to better understand how and why.
Learning a second language has benefits beyond communication
Even if you never plan to leave your hometown, there are a few important reasons to learn a second language. Learning a language engages areas of your brain that might otherwise be underdeveloped. People who know a second language tend to do better in school and reduce the risk of degenerative brain diseases. In addition to helping you gain a better perspective of other cultures, learning a second language can improve your concentration, memory, and listening skills.
The best language learning systems
Rosetta Stone is one of the best language learning systems available. This lifetime subscription gives you access to 24 languages, allowing you to switch freely between them at no additional cost.
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This lifetime subscription to Babble lets you choose from 14 languages with lessons designed with over 100 language experts. Concise 10-15 minute lessons allow you to progress at your own pace when it suits you.
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The beauty of Pimsleur is all you need to unlock the lessons is a subscription to Audible Premium Plus. These 30 minute lessons can be done in your car, on vacation, at home with Alexa or anywhere you want as you can stream or download each lesson. When you purchase a lesson, you also get an accompanying PDF.
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With Udemy, you scroll through the list of available courses and click on what interests you. This takes you to a page that gives you an overview of the course and lets you know if you’ll be receiving certificates so you can decide if it’s right for you. This method allows you to buy only the courses you want to take, so the cost can be significantly lower than other options.
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If you are not interested in learning another language but want to be able to manage on your own during a conversation in a foreign country, this portable translator is for you. The device translates as you speak to help break down language barriers so you can focus on your travel adventures.
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EdX gives you access to online learning from over 160 member universities, such as Harvard, Berkeley, MIT and more. After signing up, you’ll have access to lessons in English, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and more. Courses range from improving your grammar to helping you conduct business in foreign countries.
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Rosetta Stone offers e-learning courses in 25 languages. For nearly 30 years, he has been helping people master a second language. It offers plans for individuals, schools and businesses.
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