It may have been a long time since those high school language classes that you were required to take. You might not have even seen the value in learning a foreign language at the time, but the world is shrinking as people from many nations interact on social networks, on the college campus, through travel, in the business world, or just in everyday life. If you regret not taking it more seriously, have forgotten more than you remember, or the options were limited to just a few choices, you have a second chance to learn nearly any language you can think of, and probably a few you did not know existed.
Mango Languages is the library’s newest and most interactive database. It offers lessons in 72 languages from the most popular European and Asian languages to the more obscure, such as Igbo, Javanese, Dzongkha, and Tuvan. There are even a few unexpected choices, like Shakespeare English, American Sign Language, and Pirate (this one is a lot of fun!). In addition, short specialty courses have been designed for many of the languages which complement the lessons and enrich the experience. For example, Wine and Cheese (France), Flamenco (Spain), Oktoberfest (Germany), and many more.
Mango Languages uses what it calls intuitive language construction methodology to teach conversational vocabulary that is most useful for common everyday situations. Each course consists of units divided into chapters, starting with the basics and moving up to more complex conversations. You learn at your own pace as the narrator guides you through a series of slides. Listen to pronunciations by a native speaker then repeat and record using the voice comparison feature. Grammar lessons pepper the slides helping you better understand the language and its rules. Cultural notes are woven into every language, giving you a feel for the country and its customs as you learn the language. Review and repetition throughout each lesson help to reinforce what you have just learned. This short tutorial demonstrates the many features of Mango Languages, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FuwcmdMWiY.
Whether it is because of your heritage, your interests, your job, or just to challenge yourself, Mango Languages has something for you.
Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than Books, V. 20 No. 4, Fall 2017.