Learning a New Language with Technology

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? I personally love the idea of knowing at least enough to get around in several languages, but I don’t always the extra money to spend on classes or on services like Rosetta Stone. I also love to travel and think it’s important to at least make an effort to speak the local language instead of just walking around and hoping someone in the vicinity speaks English. For that I want something practical that I can use in conversation. The last time I tried this I was going to France and wanted to learn the basics. Instead, the CD I bought wanted to teach me to count. I just needed to know where the train station was, not show off my ability to count to ten!  That’s why I was really excited to learn about Mango Languages. Mango is a fast and effective way to learn to hold practical conversations in a new language. It’s got both audio and visual elements which helps me follow along. And the best part? It’s free with my library account!

Mango Languages has lessons available in 63 different languages, including languages you’d expect to find like Spanish, French or Italian. But Mango doesn’t stop at the expected languages. They have also have languages like Arabic, Yiddish or even Hawaiian. There are special languages as well like Biblical Hebrew, Latin, or Ancient Greek. You can even take a course on speaking Pirate! (I have to admit: I've added that one to my own personal list.)

Mango also has English lessons available for anyone who speaks English as a second language and wants to learn more. There are English lessons available in 17 different languages! 

To access Mango for free, go to our website at www.bossierlibrary.org and find the Mango Languages link on the right hand side. There are links to access from within the library or from home, so you don’t even have to be sitting at a library computer to use Mango.
Once you’re on the site, it will ask you to enter your library card number and PIN. Your library PIN is the last four numbers on your card. Once you've entered that, Mango will ask you to create an account with an email. This lets you keep track of your lessons so that you can pick up where you left off.

Mango even has apps available for iPhone/iPad and for Android devices. You can learn on the go or on your lunch break. You can even use it to entertain yourself and your family on those long boring car rides.

We want to know what you think! Will you be trying Mango? Do you have an idea for a topic or a question you'd like us to address? Leave us a comment here or tell us on Facebook or Twitter. Links to those accounts can be found on the right hand side of this page.