It may well be that I was the only one who was not particularly fond of language teaching when I went to school. Not because I had a particularly difficult language (nor was it unique), but it never caught me right.
That is why I only came from medium grades in both English and German. I could understand the languages, write them reasonably well and make myself understandable orally. Or at least until the conversations were a little more than ordinary topics.
Today, there is still focus on children and young people learning languages, but studies have shown that the level has not become much higher than it was for example. 30 years ago. But how can it be? Today we have the Internet as a great help and many things are in English. If nothing else, then one should expect that the young people had at least been better at reading English.
They may be too (I do not know if anyone has done any research on this), but in return they have stopped talking so much. When traveling, it is possible to travel to destinations where all the other guests are of the same nationality and therefore, in principle, you never have to speak anything other than Danish. Even the staff at the different hotels can do a lot of Danish as most of their guests just come from Denmark.
Someone also has the argument that Google and others today can translate almost anything. Through various tools you can take a text and have it translated into an almost correct (and in any case understandable) language so you can read it.
The same will soon happen when people speak. We have seen science fiction movies where people keep a translator up in front of their mouths and their speech comes out in another language. So a kind of automatic interpreter.
That reality is not far away. Today, speech recognition is so developed that almost any language you speak, it can be recognized. If it can be recognized, it will also be translated by a machine and read aloud.
So, should we learn more ourselves?
All these things suggest that we do not need to learn other languages. Still, I think it is super important to be able to. Especially if you want to trade with others. It gives far greater respect and goodwill if a business partner has tried to learn your language rather than just letting a machine take care of it. And it doesn’t matter if what you say is not quite as correct.
It’s about some personal and human relationships that one just can’t get through a piece of electronics.