Whether you're vacationing in Greece, dating a Peruvian, or helping your Vietnamese aunt with her English skills, Mango Languages is an easy and free language-learning resource available to all NYPL cardholders from home.
Mango is divided into two types of language courses: one for English speakers interested in learning a new language, and one for non-English speakers who have come to Mango to improve their English.
English speakers have many languages to choose from: French, German, Italian, and Spanish are the four most popular lessons (no comment on Pirate), but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Farsi, Arabic, Korean, Tamil, Brazilian Portuguese, Yiddish, and more are there for the taking, or should I say talking. The basic courses cover all that is necessary for practical, polite conversation.
For most of the languages offered, there are two course lengths; the briefer Mango Basic courses cover essential words and phrases while the 10-unit Complete 2.0 courses provide a more in-depth introduction to the language. All the material from the Basic courses is included in the first two units of the Complete 2.0 courses. Depending on the language you choose, you may also see a Complete 1.0 course listed. This is an older version of the course that offers fewer interactive features. It’s usually best to go straight to the 2.0 course to begin your language learning.
For those users interested in honing their English skills, Mango offers English language classes for Arabic speakers, Armenian speakers, Cantonese and Mandarin speakers, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese speakers.
While not required, creating a profile can help patrons keep track of their language learning progress. For example, Mango includes a tool which—if you have a microphone—records your voice and then compares your pronunciation to that of a native speaker.
So for those curious about new cultures and new languages, consider exploring Mango at home or at any New York Public Library location.