Learning a foreign language can not only be fun but can lead to personal growth as well.

Over the years I have tried to learn a second language without much success. I always found studying a foreign language to be extremely tedious and requiring a great deal of effort. All this changed when I discovered Mango® languages. Not only is the Mango program easy and fun to use - it is free. And free es bueno! The best part is, it is easily accessible through your local library. All you need is a valid library card and internet access. Your library in conjunction with the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) offers 40 Mango language courses in such languages as Spanish, Chinese, French and Italian. Some of the courses are in exotic languages such as: Urdu, Farsi, Pashto and Tagalog. There are also a couple courses that one might take just for the fun of it such as: Hawaiian and Pirate. Arggh! Yes I did say Pirate. At first I thought it silly to offer a language course in Pirate but the more I think about it, it makes more sense to me. What a fun way to expose your child to the concept of learning a foreign language than to make their first experience at learning a language a fun one. And when your kids are ready to take a foreign language in school they will be ahead of the game since they already have some experience in learning a language.

The Mango courses are great for students that are taking their first course in a foreign language. The lessons are short, simple and easily understood. Some school courses can be so rigorously structured that students can easily become discouraged and lose interest. With Mango the student who spends just 10 minutes a day using the program can be a step up on other students.

But, learning a foreign language is not just for students. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language is one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp, no matter what your age. It may even help prevent or at least slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

With our ever shrinking world learning a foreign language can be a great asset in the business world. Even small internet startups are doing business worldwide and learning the language of  one or more of the countries that you are doing business with makes good business sense.

Even if you are not in business chances are that you are being exposed to other languages, most notably Spanish in your daily world. Almost every branch of government and a large number of stateside businesses now offer customer assistance en español.

As America becomes a more ethnic diverse country it is not unusual to encounter immigrants from foreign countries in your own back yard. I mean that literally. I have a family from India living behind me and chances are that you too have close encounters with someone from a foreign land in your day to day activities. What better way to make someone feel welcome than to be able to greet them in their native language.

Many people might be interested in learning a foreign language to connect with their ethnic heritage. Both of my grandfathers were immigrants - one from Greece and one from Hungary. Ironically neither one taught their native language to their children or grandchildren. Both of them felt that they had become Americans and should speak English. To many this leaves a void in their understanding of their family history and learning the language that was spoken by past family members can bring a greater understanding of that history.

Most of all, learning a foreign language can be a fun experience! One that can lead not only to a fun time but to personal growth as well.

To get started with Mango have your library card ready and click here. I promise you - you will not regret it and it just may be the start of a great learning adventure.

Wãnshàng hão, y’all!






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Dominic Caruso April 17, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Great post! Mango has a gorgeous interface, too. It's easy to navigate; it looks great, and uses real human voices to demonstrate pronunciation. If you're lucky enough to have a vacation abroad planned this summer, Mango is also a good way to get basic conversational skills prior to your trip.


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