Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
It’s not very often that I start my blog with a quote from Genesis (actually I think it’s the first time I’ve ever referenced the Bible.)
But it seemed to fit in with this gadget I came across today.
The Bible quote is a reference to what is popularly known as the Tower of Babel.
According to the story, a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating westward, comes to the land of Shinar. There they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world.
While there are different interpretations of the story, it is generally understood to be an origin myth meant to explain why the world’s peoples speak different languages.
Which leads me to this gadget I came across today while on the Internet, the MUAMA Enence.
This device, created by two Japanese scientists, can easily translate real-time speech into over 40 languages using only a few finger-taps.
Here’s a video showing it in action:
While I have no idea if it really is as powerful and easy to use as the video makes it seem, but even if it’s close to an accurate representation of how it works, it seems like a game changer.
It would seem to make traveling in other countries much easier, and less likely that something gets lost in translation. And even though MUAMA Enence was created mainly for travelers, it has started gaining popularity among people of different occupations. More and more social/emergency workers, as well as volunteers, are choosing MUAMA Enence to make their work easier.
When combined with Google Translate, the Enence would seem to knock down the language barrier that now exists between people from different countries.
If you are not familiar with Google Translate, it is an app that enables you to either type in a word or phrase in one language, and see it translated into a different language. But what is really cool is that you can also just hold your camera phone up to the text you want to translate, and it does so instantly.
I wrote about how useful Google Translate was when we visited Barcelona last year, and I’m sure I would have found the Enence to be quite helpful as well.
I still think there is tremendous value in learning a second language since I think doing so will help you better assimilate into the culture of the country you are visiting.
However, it would be nearly impossible to become fluent in every language that is spoken around the globe, and that’s where these two tools could come in quite handy.
While there may be valid reasons for wanting people to speak different languages, I think God would be pleased with the development of the Muama Enence and Google Translate.
I think such tools can help bring the world a little closer.
P.S. The only thing I found confusing is that the device shown in the video above looks quite different than the one shown in this video. I’m not sure if one is just an updated version.
*image from Wikipedia