In a world with a global travel and tourism industry worth more than $8 trillion, and a migrant population (people who reside outside their birth country) of 250 million, the interconnectivity of the planet is at an all time high, and is only expected to rise. However, one large barrier in global connectivity still prevails, communication. Or from a technology vantage point, a device that translates whatever we say, accurately and precisely, into the language of our choosing, in real-time. The tech giants of today have not only spotted this opportunity, but are investing heavily into this new reality via existing software and hardware platforms.
What can we expect? High-tech translation capabilities built into platforms such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. We will be able to form relationships and intimate connections without ever having to think about communication as a barrier again. Imagine how much this will enhance our travel and exploration experiences, and our ability to communicate uninhibitedly with and across the incredible array of cultures within our home countries.
However, we need to keep in mind the effects that this may have on the importance of language as a whole. What if this makes us become so immersed in translation technology that we take language for granted? Will it diminish our desires to actually learn about different cultures? It is definitely too early to assume any detrimental effects that this new technological capability could present, but one thing is for sure - the convenience of communication should not be prioritized over the essence and value of language itself.