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Library resource makes language learning easy

| Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 4:24 p.m.
Pam Richter is the technology and marketing librarian at the Baldwin Borough Public Library. Follow the library on Twitter @BBPL, on Facebook Like the Baldwin Borough Public Library and you can email Pam at

Remember the days of walking into your library and checking out CDs to help you learn a new language? Libraries still do have a select number of language-learning CDs but not as many as they used to offer.

Now, language learning is just a click away using a library e-resource called Mango Languages. You can access Mango on the database page of your library's website. Then you need to create an account with an email address, password and your library-card number.

Mango offers courses in 64 languages, including everything from Spanish to Mandarin Chinese to the newest addition to the database, Cherokee. There also are English-as-a-second-language lessons offered in 17 different languages.

In addition, there are some courses that focus on a specific subject matter. My personal favorite was the French Wine and Cheese course, where you can learn how to say the names of different cheeses in French.

What Mango strives to do is focus on people gaining basic conversation skills rather than a complete foundation for each language.

This makes it a perfect resource to learn some phrases before heading off on your next trip. In the lessons, the customs of other countries are presented. So while you're learning a new language, you also can learn about the country you are heading off to visit. There also are several foreign films that you can watch through Mango. You can watch one just as you would a regular movie, or you can watch it with tools to help you follow along.

If you are on the go, you can take Mango with you. There is a Mango app for Apple and Android devices, where you can download your lessons. Whether you are learning through the app or the computer, your progress is tracked, so you know what lesson to move onto next.

Mango is a resource to explore today, whether you are traveling and want to learn a new language or just because it is something you always wanted to do.

Pam Richter is the technology and marketing librarian at the Baldwin Borough Public Library. Follow the library on Twitter @BBPL; on Facebook, Like the Baldwin Borough Public Library; and you can email Richter at

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