Mango-Not Just a Fruit Anymore
December 21, 2011
Estoy Norteamericana y mi nombre es Debbie. Soy habla de ingles y habla un poco de español.
If you can read and understand Spanish, you know that I have just introduced myself as a North American named Debbie. I also stated that I speak English and a little Spanish. This phrase is one that I used quite often on my recent 10-day trip to Chile. Traveling to different parts of the world is exciting, but it can be very difficult if the people speak a different language.
I have never learned a foreign language. I managed to attend two different middle schools and two different high schools that didn’t require a foreign language in order to graduate. I have a "Dora the Explorer" and "Sesame Street" knowledge of the Spanish language—meaning that I can:
- Count to twenty.
- Name most basic colors.
- Say, "hello," "goodbye," and "thank you."
- Name a few foods.
- Say the word for "dog" and "cat."
These things are nice to know, but I realized that it wasn’t going to be enough to carry on a basic conversation. With no time to enroll in a class, I logged into the Mango Languages Database, which is available free of charge through MCPL, and started learning a new language.
After just about an hour, I was able to get through all of the basic lessons, which enabled me to offer a proper greeting, introduce myself, ask how the person was doing, find out where they were from, and find out what language they spoke. There are several more comprehensive modules offered through Mango Language, and many different languages to choose from. I have about a year to learn Portuguese, since my next scheduled trip is Brazil.
If you’re not a computer person, that’s okay. We have many other resources to help you learn a new language, including books (i.e. visit the 468.3421 section for Spanish phrasebooks and language learning CDs). We also have a large selection of bi-lingual books and DVDs, as well as materials for English as a second language.
Experts say that children can easily learn multiple languages, but it’s not impossible for adults to learn too! There are many techniques that can be used to learn a new language, and I highly recommend using the materials the library has to offer.
Blue Ridge Branch