Languages Are Nifty-Awesome!
August 26, 2011
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Habla usted español? Parlez-vous français?
Are you scratching your head and wondering, "What in the world is this crazy librarian is asking?" Then, you’re right along with me, because languages aren’t my strong point. I’m an English major, and sadly sometimes, I can barely speak that—makes me ponder why they let me call myself an English major at all, but I digress.
Have you ever run into someone who spoke an entirely different language than yourself; and desperately, you tried to communicate, but the language barrier was just too steep? I certainly have; check out this nifty story.
I used to work for a grocery store in my younger days. Once, a gentleman from a country twelve time zones away walked into the store. Little did I know then that looks can be deceiving, because he looked quite the normal, English-speaking grocery store goer, but sure enough, I was surprised when under the austere white lights of the store this man, for the life of him and me, tried to ask specifically if we had 50 kilogram bags of food while looking at dog food. But stranger still, I distinctly remember hearing him say the word "cat," or at least that’s what I thought he said. Now I know some strange kitties, but I’m not too sure how keen they’d be on eating dog food. I now realize I was probably completely, utterly wrong; it was a total communication disaster, but I digress again, my apologies.
Had I known of this nifty database called Mango Languages, I could have saved myself the confusion and him the frustration. It’s a beautiful database filled to the brim with a panoply of languages to learn. It has courses from French, to German, to Spanish, to Italian, and MANY more!
Each language has its basic courses for beginners, courses for intermediate-level learners, as well as courses for the more advanced language learner. There is even a fantastic translation tool for those caught in a situation as I was; you can type in English and translate it to the language you need and vice versa.
So don’t let yourself be caught in frustration or lost in translation, and have some fun while you’re at it, too.
Remember, languages are nifty-awesome!