“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” – Rollo May, Psychologist.
As the world grows and technology advances, so too does the globalisation of human communication. Struggling to advance however are the language barriers that stop us from being able to talk to someone who speaks a different language. Although English is established as the lingua franca, many countries still rely heavily on their mother tongue and its residents are only able to speak one language.
That isn’t to say that tech developers aren’t trying though. Dotalk is a new communication app that tries to break down language barriers, bridge the gap between people and recognises the fundamental importance language has in forging relationships.
Although it may appear to look like any another messaging app, like Whatsapp or Messenger, what separates DoTalk from other messaging apps is its ability to translate messages in real time. Equipped with 90 languages, the app allows you to send a message in one language, while the recipient receives the message in their chosen language.
An easier alternative than putting sentences through Google Translate, you won’t always need to have a translator present when engaging in basic conversation with someone who speaks a different language. Use it to chat with friends you’ve made over the internet, family members who may not speak the same language as you do or even for business purposes if the need arises!
The app is at its best when users put through messages with sentences that are short, succinct and less complex with translations being near-perfect. What DoTalk won’t always be able to deliver on, however, is the ability to translate slang. It can also be sometimes quite specific with how you use punctuation, particularly with apostrophes.
Still, the app offers a great incentive for students learning a different language to develop their reading and writing as translations appears directly underneath a message. It is also useful for other international students who may need help understanding certain phrases or instructions in their everyday lives.
While DoTalk doesn’t quite move us past the language barrier, it does bring us one step forward towards freely conversing with anyone in the world without the need for language skills. Particularly beneficial for international students and children within migrant families who face language problems with family and friends from other countries, DoTalk’s useful applications in real life will no doubt help in avoiding some embarrassing language blunders and can even help form and strengthen relationships.
DoTalk is free to download on iOs and Android, however additional functions like group chats will cost money. For more information on the app, you can visit DoTalk’s official website.