The Perks of Combining Call Centers and Foreign Languages

If you ask anyone beyond the age of 50 to operate an iPhone, change the channel on XM Radio or read the instructions in a computer setup manual, the responses tend to vary drastically. Some people will adapt to the technology right away, some may even teach you a few pointers and for some, it will understandably take a few wrong turns to get where they want to go.

Indeed, technology can sometimes seem as complicated as a whole new language. And yet when it comes to learning a whole new language, it’s technology to the rescue – especially now with the development of a new iOS app from Rosetta Stone that offers practice exercises to linguistic novices.

In the process of learning a language, recognition and memorization activities are a go-to method. And while those are helpful, the next step has to be speaking practice; more specifically, conversational speech with another person. Does any new app have the ability to teach a brand-new language while maintaining that necessary back-and-forth between people?

Cue the call center. Some newly-developed language apps – in addition to exercises in reading and listening in a foreign language – connect their users to human translators with questions or clarifications regarding speech. One such virtual call center employs more than 8,500 certified translators, each having passed a proficiency exam before being considered for the position. Having human responses for questions of speech plays a crucial role in language learning, where translators are equipped to understand different dialects, inflections or emotions that may impact the meaning a new student gathers from a word or phrase.

Call centers are going increasingly technologic in this modern day and age, yet when it comes to proficiency in a new language – a process that remains crucial in our global society – there are elements of learning for which computers just may not be suited. Having a call center available for questioning and understanding could be a major plus for language-learning apps. After all, languages can be frustrating for newcomers; creating a user-friendly experience that combines human interaction with technological advantages may be just the ticket to making the language-learning process one that remains relevant for generations to come.

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