Language Learning with ChatGPT 5 Ways AI might be HURTING Your Portuguese

Language Learning with ChatGPT: 5 Ways AI might be HURTING Your Portuguese

I asked ChatGPT what are the disadvantages of learning a language with Artificial Intelligence – this is the answer:

Hello, hello! I know that everyone is speaking about ChatGPT, and the many ways it can help us solve problems, overcome obstacles, and create amazing things. I’ve also heard people saying that ChatGPT can revolutionalize how we learn languages.

But really, can it?

Although I believe it to be an amazing tool to ask small questions and help us somewhat with the tasks at hand – including when we are learning a language, like Portuguese – I also know it comes with its limitations.

At least, so far.

And, surprise, surprise! I am not the only one who thinks it. Apparently, ChatGPT itself also thinks so. I know because I asked it what are the disadvantages of learning a language with ChatGPT, and below is the answer I got.

So, ChatGPT what are the disadvantages of learning languages with ChatGPT?

Language Learning With ChatGPT – What are the disadvantages?

1. Lack of Interactivity

One of the biggest disadvantages of learning a language with ChatGPT is the lack of interactivity. While ChatGPT can generate responses to your questions, it cannot adapt to your learning style. This means that if you’re struggling with a particular aspect of the language, ChatGPT may not be able to provide the personalized feedback that a human tutor or language partner could.

2. Limited Vocabulary and Contextual Understanding

ChatGPT is a powerful tool for generating text, but it is not infallible. It relies on a vast corpus of data to generate its responses, and it may not always have the most up-to-date or accurate information. Additionally, ChatGPT may not be able to understand the nuances of certain words or phrases in their proper contexts, which can lead to confusion or misunderstanding for language learners.

3. Inability to Correct Spelling

Another disadvantage of learning a language with ChatGPT is that it cannot correct your spelling. While it can provide written responses to your questions, it cannot listen or read your writing and offer feedback on your spelling errors. This can be a significant hindrance to language learners who want to improve their writing skills.

4. Limited Cultural Exposure

Language learning is not just about memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules; it’s also about immersing oneself in the culture and customs of the language. While ChatGPT can provide some information about cultural practices or historical events, it cannot replicate the experience of a local living in a country where the language is spoken.

5. Lack of Motivation

Finally, ChatGPT may not be the most motivating tool for language learners. While it can provide answers to your questions, it cannot provide the human connection and support that many language learners need and like to stay motivated and engaged. Without the encouragement and feedback of a human tutor or language partner – even if it is just in writing -, it can be challenging to stay committed to learning a language with ChatGPT.

Well, I could not agree more! ChatGPT is right in this! So, my advice is that you do use ChatGPT to ask small questions and to research small topics, but always take the answers it gives you with caution, and if possible, verify the sources and check the correctness of the answer with a language teacher, or partner, or a native speaker of the language.

For example, one thing I’ve realized with ChatGPT is that it often uses Brazilian Portuguese instead of Portuguese from Portugal, even after I specifically ask it to use Portuguese from Portugal. Another thing it does is give inaccurate translations, which sometimes means big mistakes, and sometimes small ones. Still, ChatGPT is really not that accurate at times.

Let’s check an example:

When I asked it:

Can you write the following sentence in Portuguese from Portugal?
Do you want to eat dinner at that amazing restaurant we know?

This is the answer I got:

Queres ir jantar a esse restaurante incrível que conhecemos?

Language Learning With ChatGPT

So, in this case, the problem is that it didn’t use the demonstrative pronoun correctly. In this case, the correct translation would have been:

Queres ir jantar àquele restaurante incrível que conhecemos?

I am not getting into details on why it is like this in this video, because of lack of time, but if you want to know more, you can check out my All-In-One Portuguese Course where I explain the demonstrative pronouns and their use, and much more!

Another bad translation was the following:

I know everyone is talking about ChatGPT.


Eu sei que todos estão falando sobre o ChatGPT.

Here the problem is with the verb, because in Portuguese from Portugal, we tend to use the form “a + infinitivo”, instead of the Gerund. So, in this case, to more accurately translate the sentence into Portuguese from Portugal, we would have to say:

Eu sei que anda toda a gente a falar sobre o ChatGPT.

Again, I won’t get into details about the why’s and why not’s here, but feel free to check the course I mentioned, where I explain everything.

Sometimes, ChatGPT gives completely wrong answers. For example, when asking it about the meaning of the expression “arco da velha”, in Portuguese, it answered the following:

The Portuguese expression “do arco da velha” is an idiomatic phrase that means “out of the blue” or “out of nowhere” in English. It is used to describe something unexpected or surprising that happens suddenly and without warning. It’s similar to the English expression “out of the blue,” which refers to something that comes as a complete surprise or without any prior indication. “Do arco da velha” is a colorful way to convey the idea of an unexpected event or occurrence.

This is completely wrong, as this expression is used when speaking about something amazing, out of the ordinary, sometimes even weird, and not to speak about something that just suddenly happened, which means it is not the equivalent of “out of the blue”, in English. 

And, I know, these examples only show small things that ChatGPT didn’t get accurately, but believe me, they can be important. Besides, if you try to translate a bigger text, the inaccuracy also grows, as I could already understand when using ChatGPT. 

Finally, also use it with care if you want to learn grammar with it. It also sometimes gives wrong or inaccurate answers, so you should always check it with a human – be it a teacher, a native speaker, or someone that knows Portuguese well.

Can you learn a language with ChatGPT? – Summary:

To sum up, I agree with ChatGPT!

While it is a remarkable tool for generating text and answering questions, it has some significant limitations when it comes to language learning. Its lack of interactivity, limited vocabulary, and contextual understanding, inability to correct pronunciation or spelling, limited cultural exposure, and lack of motivation can all hinder the language learning process.

Therefore, it’s important to remember that while ChatGPT can be a helpful supplement to language learning, it should not be relied upon as the sole method of learning a language.

If you want me to guide you through the world of Portuguese, I invite you to check my Portuguese courses or also this free training where I speak about 10 secrets to learn Portuguese fast and effectively.

I’ll see you in the next article!


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