Robo-Tutors and Translating Megaphones: It's the Future of Language Learning

Copy of judith m.png

Welcome, weary language learner. Your brain might be tired after reviewing vocab lists for hours. Your voice is straining to pronounce strange foreign sounds. Your mind longs for a miracle.

Behold, we have uncovered the future of language learning. In today's podcast, it's all about technology, brain power, and everything that you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

Listen in and don't forget to leave us a rating and a review on your iTunes-enabled futurephone.

The Future of Language Learning

When a device translates what you say directly into another language, is there even a need to learn languages anymore?

We discuss

  • Gadgets and stuff that translates our language into other languages
  • How AI has made language learning apps a lot more useful
  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as learning aids

Gadgets That Translate

Think the dream of the universal translator, like in Star Trek.

Some gadgets still look like very early things in the making (the megaphone and the pixel buds) - will they ever be able to get over the hurdles of being in the way of human interaction and spoken nuances?

Question for you, listener: Would you want Siri to dub all your movies? Would you want it to dub your world?

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

This is where it gets interesting!

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Things like the new Glossika bring reactive learning to what used to be a book, adapt to how quickly you say you learn something. SRS is an old system that also aided our learning on paper, but assisted beautifully by technology

Our verdict on AI is that it's useful, here to stay, and more utility than fun.

Augmented Reality (AR):

AR can add interest and fun, can enhance your learning experience and do what we often dream of: make the language more RELEVANT

  • You can have a lot of fun with the Flashsticks & Memrise apps
  • Wearables are coming, though they’re not quite here yet.
  • My paranoid self is worried that I’m 3 years away from having a chip implanted into my brain.

Virtual Reality (VR):

This is where you wear a headset (often a curiously named "Oculus Rift") that can give you immersive experiences in a digital world. Language company Mondly is working on a VR app for language learners. We weren't 100% convinced.

A few more points to think about..


How does the online world influence us when it comes to learning languages? Are people boasting on YouTube motivating, is online community a new type of community?

People have always met and connected based on their interests, but isolation has been reduced by the internet.

How will social media look in the future?

Many Questions Remain..

On the show we concluded by answering the most important one...will it ever be possible to learn a language in 3 weeks?

Are you a futurist? What do you think the future of language learning looks like? Give us a shout in the comments below and share your vision.