John McWhorter's talk about languages faces an uncomfortable fact: English is poised to become the world's universal language. Further, he states that research indicates the over 6,000 languages spoken around the world will drop to less than 100 within the next few centuries and automated computer translators will soon become impeccably accurate. With all those facts, McWhorter raises the question, "Why should we learn foreign languages?"
Unless that foreign language is English, such a question might become as common as kids asking, "Why should I learn math when my phone is a calculator?" In his talk about languages, McWhorter gives several compelling reasons for learning a new language. One of those is that people's native languages allow them to be most comfortable, so learning that language gives foreigners the ability to better absorb true cultural interactions. Further, dementia is less likely to afflict people who speak two or more languages.