Bonjour, Guten Tag, Hola! You might recognize those popular greetings from France, Germany and Spain, but have you ever wanted to dive deeper into the languages to carry on a conversation while traveling or writing to your international pen pal?
The Burnham Library is now offering a new digital service for patrons to learn a new language through Mango Languages. The software is free for library card holders and can be accessed at home through iTunes or Google Play, as well as at the library computers.
The library hosted a free training session in February for interested patrons as part of its ongoing tech teaching program, which just started up this year, said young adult services librarian Kelsey Psaute. Last month, the library hosted a training program for its online e-book and audiobook services, and will continue offering programs throughout the year, she added.
“We’re reminding the community that we have online services free at their library,” she said. “We have them here so you should use them if you want them, and [let us know] if there are different services that we could be offering.”Patrons can access over 70 different language programs through Mango Languages. Psaute said these include different languages by country, including two courses that cover Spanish from Spain and Latin America. The software also divides language courses by dialect, and offers multiple versions of languages like Japanese and Greek.
Psaute said in addition to the basic language courses, speciality courses are also available, like a French wine and cheese course that specifically teaches the language in a culinary context.
“They have so much to offer that’s all free,” Psaute said. “There’s audio and text, there’s so many things to click on and look at and it’ll guide you through, or you can sort of piecemeal, choose what you want to do.”
“It’s very adaptable, very user friendly, which we like,” she added.
The software touts itself as easy to use for all ages, from students or adults just getting started with languages to those who might have learned a language years ago and want to get back into practice.
Resident Joe Heyer attended the free training to really buckle down and starting learning a language he said he’d find useful living so close to Canada.
“I’ve made meager attempts at French in the past,” he said. “But I love Montreal so I feel like I need to be a little more on top of the language they speak.”
Library director Kelly McCagg said patrons who missed the free training session can always schedule an appointment with a librarian to get help with Mango Languages or any of the library’s other digital services.