There are language learning programs on the market, and tools like Google Translate have come a long way to bridging the gap between different language speakers. There are even apps where you speak in your native tongue, and it outputs your sentences in a different language. The progress that the industry has made in regards to translation is awesome, but what about those actually teaching the languages? What has become of the developers who are making language learning software?
Learning Vs Translating
Just because the quality of translating has become a lot better, it doesn’t mean that learning programs are in less demand. There is this misguided belief that one day we will have universal translators that translate any language right there, similar to the sort of thing you saw on old Star Trek episodes. However, that day is a long way away, and it is going to be an AI device more than a pure translation device. In this day and age, and for decades to come, people are going to need programs that help them learn new languages. There may already be thousands of learning apps, but they get old and outdated pretty quickly. People still want learning apps and they will still want them in the decades to come.
The Learning Industry is Still Thriving
Was there ever a truer word said. Some people think that the global community is relying on translation software to bridge the gap, but that is not even close to being true. Since China decided it is going to be the world’s manufacturing hub, the sheer number of English-to-Chinese software to come into existence is massive. Companies are building their own, apps are competing, Universities are competing, and learning courses are building their own language-learning software. The world is becoming smaller thanks to easier travel and the Internet, and so people are looking to learn new languages out of necessity rather than simple curiosity or intellectual endeavor.
What Are We Teaching Our Kids?
If you want your child to learn coding because you feel it offers a lucrative career, then you are half right. Coders will always be in demand in the future, but how lucrative the career is may be a matter of discussion. Nevertheless, if you are out looking for books about coding for kids with the hopes your little Jimmy or Jenny will become a language learning software developer, then your child will probably grow up with some valuable and marketable skills.
The Size of the Market
At the moment, the size of the language learning market in the USA alone is about $4 billion. The part that software plays in that is obvious simply by the fact that most schools, colleges, Universities and online learning courses rely on at least some varieties of language-learning software. What makes this interesting for software developers is that at no point is a language-learning course going to turn away good language-learning software. While learning courses exist, so will the desire for language-learning software. Plus, given the sheer number of different platforms for language learn and the sheer number of ways to learn a language, there are always going to be a diverse number of ways for software developers to make an impact. The future is bright for software developers who specialize in language learning apps and software.