Nothing can replace the teaching of a language?
Let it be said now, thanks to a simple little device invented by two Japanese, we can now communicate in more than 40 languages without almost any effort. No, but what a great revolution!
At that time, it seems, there is no need to learn a language for weeks, or even months, in a language school.
Language teachers of all stripes, take it for granted, the Japanese genius has just struck a blow to lighten the weight of our existence and make life easier by trying to make us believe that your job is no longer a necessity.
Thanks to their new invention (this new gadget), they will try to demonstrate the uselessness of your profession. But is not this one of the most rewarding professions that are.
For my part, I taught French as a second language in immersion schools in Nova Scotia and Quebec. The joy and privilege I had in sharing the love of my language with Anglophones or immigrants from different countries was one of the most beautiful stimuli I have ever had.
Teaching French in immersion schools was an extraordinary experience, since students have the opportunity to learn a language through various activities such as theater, song, poetry, cinema, etc. We are talking about a real human and cultural immersion in the heart of a new language.
But here we try to sell us everywhere and especially on the web a new device that translates languages automatically by telling us that from now on we will no longer need to master or learn another language to communicate.
The promoters of this device push the audacity and the pretension to say: “why waste time and money to learn a language in a school when you can, thanks to this new invention, communicate instantly in more than 40 languages”.
So I say to myself: “here is an invention that invites us to the slightest effort, here is another invitation to make us idle and which is offered to us on a silver platter”.
By asking a simple question in his language to the device, it immediately translates your sentence into one of the 40 desired languages. Your interlocutor can answer you in his language which is then translated back to your own language. So, why waste a lot of time learning a language other than his own?
But I strongly doubt that this device can adequately translate the nuances of a foreign language. Certainly, its practical side can help to communicate summarily with interlocutors of another language, a point that’s all.
It makes me think a little bit of no less famous Google translation on the web, which translates from one language to another in a very clumsy way by making unforgivable errors of syntax. For example, if we translate a song text from English to French, we run the risk of seeing major inconsistencies and sometimes we risk laughing so much the translation is bad and almost ridiculous.
So, dear language teachers, you can sleep in peace. Your knowledge is still a safe and essential value. These are not gadgets that will take your place. Your profession remains more than ever essential, in order to offer quality learning.
And what is more, for its part, the French language, which is one of the most beautiful of all and one of the most complex, requires a rigorous teaching to master it well.
I tamed her during my early years in elementary and high school, I learned to love him during my studies in literature in college and university and I still happen to discover new words and ideas. to be always charmed by its nuances, its rigor and its subtlety. Then, I will always have the taste to share it with the rest of the world, and this without the recourse of any kind of technological invention that could pretend to do it for me.