Need for Children to Learn More Languages?


Would you mind rating my IELTS essay on a scale from 1 to 9? Thanks in advance.

Technology has advanced to the point where people can simply have sentences translated on Google Translate with merely a click of a mouse. Such a remarkable technological achievement is worth complimenting on, but it has also started raising a question of whether there is still a need for children to learn more languages in the future.

Whilst it is true that computers can do translation for people, sentences translated by computers are usually not properly constructed. Often times, sentences are translated word-for-word, which means that they will be studded with grammatical errors. Besides that, computers may not be able to give accurate translation of a language whose words have multiple meanings, such as English words. For instance, ‘rich food’ may be translated as ‘expensive food’ instead of ‘food that makes you feel full quickly’ in another language - this could lead to miscommunication. Translations that give an offensive meaning in another language may also upset the listener in spite of the speaker. Therefore, it is advisable for children to learn more languages to ensure that they can convey their ideas squarely.

Convenient as computers are, they do not, in any way, facilitate communication between people who speak different languages. This is especially so if computers have to be relied upon to do translation throughout the whole conversation. Translation via computers is time-consuming as each person will have to take turns to type their messages on a computer to have them translated. This onerous process has to be repeated until the end of a conversation, which will, more often than not, cause more trouble than one can ever imagine, particularly in a business environment in which people have tight schedules. Therefore, people have to learn more languages since young to ensure smooth communication with other people.

Computers are a double-edged sword. There is no denying that computers have helped humankind resolve many problems. They do have flaws, nevertheless, notably in the area of translation. Thus, people cannot bank solely on computers in getting their messages across, but they should learn more languages since young to promote better communication with other people who speak a different language.

TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between a professor and his assistant

Hi Leong, I thought your essay was very good. It sounded quite natural for the most part, except for the “since young” phrases. You addressed the topic well and have communicated your ideas very clearly and effectively with some good vocabulary. Overall, I would rate this one a band 7.