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Learn a New Language with the Library's New Online Program

Want to pick up a few useful phrases for that upcoming trip to Paris, Berlin or Madrid? Have you always wanted to have a conversation with your Italian grandma, or your Spanish-speaking neighbor?

You can now, with a fun, easy online, self-study language program offered through the library. The district purchased the subscription service so our patrons can use it at no charge on library computers or at home with their library card number.

Mango Languages offers a basic and advanced course for everyday phrases and conversations in 34 languages, including the common romance languages to the less- common Hindi, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese.

Mango is an effective way to learn a language because it uses real-life situations and actual conversations. One useful aspect is the ability to listen to and repeat material, record your voice and compare it with the speaker’s.

A typical lesson begins with a simple greeting or phrase, and builds to a typical exchange between two people.

“It’s not intimidating,” said Renee Brumett, electronic resources librarian. “It breaks language down and takes it step by step.

“It incorporates a lot of learning styles,” she added. “So as opposed to just reading it in a book or hearing it, you can see it (phonetic pronunciation and spelling), hear it and record your own voice. No matter how you learn, they incorporate that learning style into the instruction.

Throughout the lessons, a grammar note appears, explaining why a phrase is constructed a certain way. Other times, a cultural note puts in context when or how you would use the phrase. The Hindi lesson, for example, includes a cultural note that when greeting someone with the phrase that sounds like numuSTAY, “it is customary to press both palms in front of your chest and bow your head slightly.”

By learning how to converse using the right expressions and gestures for the right occasions, Brumett said, “You’re learning not just how to say something, but how to communicate.”

Try it by going to, scroll down to Mango Languages, click on it and follow the directions. You can start learning immediately and select a language, or you can create a password so each time you return to the page, you can pick up where you left off.

Hasta luego!

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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