In both my actual and my “armchair” travels, I dream of conversing glibly on Belgian trains or chatting amiably in the local restaurant, Drogheria della Rosa, in Bologna, Italy.
You, Too, Could Order a Meal in Italian!
All one needs is his/her library card number to access the magic of Mango, a free online language learning site on the San Mateo County Library website.
With the ease of online use and audio enhancement, you can dabble in basic Pashto or undertake 100 lessons in conversational Japanese. Initially, you need to create an online account with the library system, then click on “Research” and find Mango Languages under “M.”
Twenty-two languages have learning modules. A native speaker leads you through helpful phrases, with a built-in testing component to see if you’ve mastered the lesson.
Helpful for People Working on English, Too
Moreover, there’s an English as a second language component to Mango so Russian speakers can work on polishing English, for instance.
And There’s More--A Translation Tool . . .
A handy-dandy little component is the translation tool where one can type in a phrase and see it instantly translated. I decided to work on my freshman year of college-level French. I keyed in “I want to eat at the restaurant by the train station.” Voila--the sentence was instantly translated into French for me, saving me the arduous effort of dredging phrases from years ago.
As a member of two book clubs, Karen Y. reads frantically, looking for structure, meaning and the author's intent. Materials related to Japan, food, arts and crafts, travel, and style attract her like a magnet.