Here at Mango, we’re still coming down from our California high at ALA Annual. A little Vitamin D does the body, and soul, good. So does hanging out with our library friends from all over the world. We hope you enjoyed our Greek and Japanese demos, meeting our new friend Libby the Librarian and of course, the Mango smoothies.
Thanks to all who stopped by the booth to chat especially those who chatted us up in a foreign language. Additionally, félicitations to Maureen Spatz from Lansing Public Library who is the winner of a brand new iPad! We look forward to a slightly colder, but equally awesome time with all of you in Seattle at Midwinter.
Weren’t able to stop by the booth? Be sure to sign up for a webinar to learn how Mango can make your library a hub for language and culture – and check out all of our pictures from Anaheim on Facebook.
“Hola. ¿Cómo le puedo ayudar?” Or in other words: “Hello. How can I help you?”
Here at Mango, we’ve met thousands of librarians over the years and have consistently found them to be some of the kindest, most helpful folks you can imagine. But we know that even the most helpful librarian would struggle when language barriers become an issue. Which got us thinking: why don’t we develop a Spanish language course designed specifically for librarians?
Enter: Libby the Librarian.
She’s resourceful, she’s intelligent, and she’s pretty darn cute – if we do say so ourselves! She’s also ready to help other librarians learn useful phrases and vocabulary to assist their Spanish-speaking patrons, like how to get a library card or navigating the reference desk.
The best part? Libby’s course is FREE. This is just our little way of saying thank you to the awesome librarian community that we love so much.
Ready to get start learning with Libby? Click here.
Librarian Andrea Mullarkey shared this story with us:
“They came to the desk together, one speaking heavily accented English and the other just hanging out. The first young man said he wanted ESL resources so we went to our ESL collection and I showed him books, kits, dvds etc. He was pleased and grabbed a bunch to check out.
Then we went back to the desk so I could show him Mango Languages and he was blown away. He put all of the physical items back on the reshelving truck and started chattering briskly with his friend in another language about Mango.
When I mentioned the iPhone app, both their eyes lit up (the friend spoke almost no English but apparently iPhone is iPhone in any language) and pulled out their phones.
One downloaded the app right there at the desk. The other went straight over to a computer and filled out a library card application on the spot.
I haven’t seen them since, and I presume it’s because they are happily learning English on their own thanks to the intuitive interface and design of Mango. It made me so happy to have something to offer them that would so perfectly meet their needs.”
I would be lying if I didn’t say that I have been counting down the days until the release of Spanish Castilian. My love for the language and culture has started with my choice to study Spanish to fulfill my foreign language requirement in high school. My high school teacher was originally from Valencia, Spain and this was when I first learned the differences between Spanish of Spain and Latin American Spanish. She shared many fascinating stories about the history and culture of Spanish (a lot of which you can find in cultural notes in the new Mango Castilian Spanish course). I realized I wasn’t done with Spanish after I graduated and decided to keep learning and majored in Spanish in college.
To this day, that was one of the best decision I have ever made since it lead me to choose a study abroad program in Madrid, Spanish for a summer. From making the perfect paella, to quickly realizing how important futbol is for the Spaniards, the culture of Spain is beautiful to say the least. Being surrounded by native Castilian speakers, I slowly started to pick up the differences.
So what exactly are the differences between the Spanish of Spain and the Spanish of Latin America? A good example is to compare it to the differences between British English and American English. Most people in the Spanish-speaking world can communicate and understand each other, however there are differences that are noticeable if comparing the two. Some of the common differences is that many Spaniards often pronounce the z and the c before i or elike the “th” in “things.” As far as grammar goes, the biggest difference is the leísmo (the use of the indirect object pronoun le in place of the standard direct object pronoun lo) of Spain and that Spaniards use vosotros as the plural of tú (the singular word for “you”), while in Latin America ustedes is usually used.
There you go, a little lesson and you haven’t even started the course.
Planning on traveling? Not to worry. Whether you’re looking to climb to the top of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (pronounced “Bar-THe-lona”), run with the bulls in the San Fermin festival, or dance the night away in Ibiza, Mango is ready to accompany you on your adventures. Through your library and Mango Languages, not only do you get access to Castilian Spanish, among 40+ foreign languages, but you also get access to our free mobile apps, available on iPhones, iPod Touch and Android devices.
Whether you walk, run or flamenco dance* to your public library, make sure to check out our new Castilian Spanish course!
Buena suerte (good luck)!
*We here at Mango consider flamenco dancing incredibly impressive, videos are welcome.
Little known fact: Sweden is actually the second largest country by area in the European Union. This Nordic land is most notable to Americans as the birthplace of Abba, IKEA, the setting for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novels, and, of course, Swedish meatballs. However, Sweden offers much more than just some of our favorite pop culture guilty pleasures (lest we forget Robyn and The Cardigans). Thanks to the brand new Mango LanguagesSwedish course, you are able to explore this country’s rich history, language and culture.
Through practical conversations, you will learn how to greet people, how to navigate around the city, and even learn how to request help with your Swedish. Users will learn how to ask “What is the word for this in Swedish” and “Can you say that again?” Mango gives you the tools to improve your language comprehension on your own, without being confined only to the phrases taught in the program. When you learn Swedish with Mango Languages, you are sure to avoid the Abba effect. Too bad our program wasn’t around in the 70s to help our favorite Swedish pop band learn English!
Judging just by its name alone, Iceland seems like the home of nothing but frozen tundra, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A hotel made of ice, sunshine at midnight, natural hot springs, a prime view of the Northern Lights and active volcanoes all attest to the fact that Iceland is a place of excitement and energy. In fact, you might say that visiting Iceland is as epic as its proud Norse sagas.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll see in the Icelandic course.
For example, to say, “Hello, how are you?” in Icelandic, you literally say, “Blissful. How do you have it?”
We are thrilled to announce the release of Mango Languages’ Religious and Scholarly Language Collection.
This means you can now learn Latin, Koine Greek, Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew for free through your library and Mango Languages, the only language learning company offering a Religious and Scholarly Language Collection.
These specialized courses focus on passages from historical books, poems and religious documents, providing insight into the cultures in which the languages were spoken.
While Latin may be considered a dead language by some, it is still alive in so many ways! Due to the expanse and longevity of the Roman Empire, Latin influenced both English itself as well as many of the other languages that influenced English years later. So, by choosing to study Latin, you’re not only connecting with texts that were written thousands of years ago, you’re also connecting with many of the modern languages we know and love today!
Learn Biblical Hebrew Travel back thousands of years to the time of the Old Testament to learn the language in which Genesis was actually written: Biblical Hebrew! Although these stories and scriptures might be familiar to you, approaching them from the viewpoint of a new language will give you a whole new perspective – you may feel closer than ever to words you’ve known for years.
Learn Biblical Hebrew
Learn Koine Greek Koine Greek was the universal Greek dialect spoken from about 300 BCE to 300 CE. Spread in part by the conquests of Alexander the Great, Koine Greek sprung up as a common language among troops of the prolific conqueror and was spoken in the many countries they conquered, all the way from Egypt to India. It is the language in which the Septuagint and the Christian New Testament were originally written as well as the language in which Christianity was spread during its early years. Koine Greek was also spoken in the Roman Empire but was later replaced by Latin in the West, while it survived in the East.
Learn Koine Greek
Learn Ancient Greek Since the Renaissance’s revival of Ancient Greek philosophy and literature, the works of Homer, Plato and Aristotle have established themselves as Western canon that is still taught today. Prevalent in more than just the arts, Ancient Greek – which was spoken primarily from the 9th century to the 4th century BCE – was also the language from which revolutionary breakthroughs in science, math and architecture were first developed. An impressive culture indeed!
Learn Ancient Greek
Already use Mango Languages through your library? Check out the course list to see these new additions.
Want to see if your library offers Mango? Visit findmango.com to find out and start learning!
If your library offers Mango Languages, we are sure that you already love the online language learning program (how could you not!?). But the real challenge is making sure your patrons love the program just as much. Well, challenge no more. Thanks to the Mango Administration Portal (MAP), you have a plethora of tools right at your fingertips to promote this database at your library.
In the MAP, you will find free resources (logos for your website, sample blog posts, press releases, customizable posters), promotional items (t-shirts, bookmarks, water bottles), and even tasks you can perform to earn more materials (host a Mango day, write about Mango in your library’s newsletter, create Mango promotional materials). Mango works with your library as a partner, so all materials in the MAP were created specifically with librarians in mind. Like you, we want to make sure that your community is aware of all of the awesome offerings provided by your library.
Still not sure how to best market language learning at your library? Be sure to contact your Mango Rep or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to chat with other librarians who have tips and tricks to share!
What is a creative way you have marketed Mango at your library?
We asked what Journeys you would take with more advanced language learning content from Mango Languages. The results are in and the following Mango fans are each receiving a free Mango Passport Journeys One, Two and Three bundle! Congratulations and happy learning to everyone who submitted a response!
Tony from Redondo Beach said:
I have completed your free trial for Brazilian Portugueses over 38 times. Over the last 17 years, I have trained in the Martial Art of Brazilian Jiu jitsu, have met so many people who are Brazilian. I am traveling Brazil in August and it has been time to finally learn the language.
With Mango, I am excited and your program is fun and keeps my attention with the interaction on screen.
With the Brazilian Portuguese bundle it will open more doors for my in Brazil this summer and help with social projects I am doing the children such as “Kites for Kids!”
I have nearly the same situation as Shawn Howe… I met and am engaged to a Brazilian who was already living in the US. She is tri-lingual (Portugese, English and Spanish) and I was completely blown away at how she picks up on language, culture, sarcasm, etc.
She also learns a new English word every day from me. Today’s word was Hiatus, for example. She taught me and my kids basic Portugese phrases, but I had a thirst for more, so I picked up Mango from the military and learned enough to have basic conversations when I meet her family in Brazil next year.
I’m doing everything I can to learn the language because our wedding is next year in Brazil and I want to be able to do my vows in both English and Portugese. I’ve considered post-military to possibly working an embassay job there. I love the Unites States and want to continue serving our great country, but I would love the opportunity to live there for some time as well. Please send me the Passport so I can futher my understanding and impress her friends and family!
After my husband died in 2000, I started to travel with two ladies who grew-up in Puerto Rico, and are fluent in both English and Spanish.
I wanted to learn Spanish and surprise my Puerto Rico friends with my accomplishment, so I began taking lessons from a college student. Unfortunately, I was having a terrible time trying to learn a new language in my late sixties.
Recently I discovered Mango Languages when it was offered through my local library. I was thrilled with the teaching method used by Mango Languages, and I was learning Spanish at age 70!
We are so thrilled and honored to have amazing fans like all of you. Your stories have touched us. Enjoy your courses and stay in touch. We all want to hear how your journeys unfold!
Warren and Betsy Talbot of marriedwithluggage.com applied what they were learning in Spanish with Mango during their first stop on their amazing trip around the world: Ecuador.
In his own words, Warren Talbot describes their Journey learning Spanish in Ecuador and interacting with locals:
“We started our trip in northern Ecuador, just outside of Otavalo. This area does see a fair amount of tourists for their huge and diverse Saturday market, but the vast majority of people speak no English. This turned out to be the perfect scenario to start to learn a language.
Our first of many funny experiences occurred when we headed into the local food market for breakfast. We were clearly the only foreigners, and from the looks of it, it appeared like we were the only outsiders to enter this area in some time. We sat down at a stall and decided to order desayuno (breakfast). We started in with the limited Spanish we had learned in our first 2 weeks with Mango Languages, accompanied by as many smiles as we could fit into the request. The woman was delighted that we were trying, though she clearly had no idea what we wanted. Through a series of pointing and finger gestures we were able to order the best empanadas we have had on this trip and some wonderful sweet coffee.
That one experience began a 6 month immersion into Spanish that we absolutely loved. We found that people were always friendlier when we tried to speak Spanish, even if we did it wrong.
A couple of months into our trip we arrived in Baños, Ecuador, a place famous for living in the shadow of a live volcano and for having plenty of hot springs as a result. By this time we were more comfortable with our Spanish and during a hike one morning we stopped at a remote guesthouse for coffee. There were no other guests, and the elderly owners showed us around their beautiful gardens, pointing out plant and animal life and telling us about past eruptions of the volcano. Had we not learned some Spanish, we would have never had this very special memory.
As we neared the end of our time in Ecuador we discovered one of our friends from Otavalo was leading a tour in Cuenca and would have a few hours free to see us. His wife was bilingual and always paved the way for any misunderstandings, and this would be our first time with him alone. He didn’t speak any English. We ended up having a great time together, taking a tour of the city, enjoying a local specialty in a roadside restaurant, and strolling around the main square with ice cream to end the day. We bonded with him like never before because there was no middle man paving the way. And believe us, when you no longer have need of a middle man, you experience a country in a completely different way.
Through the last 18 months we’ve had some wonderful interactions with locals as we work to pick up Spanish, Thai, and now Mandarin. From a Spanish-only 4-day trek in Peru, to chatting with monks in a temple in Thailand, and recently to eating with a family in China our ability to communicate, even in a small way, opens people’s hearts (and sometimes homes) to us.
For us, learning a language serves many practical purposes on this adventure: getting directions, buying groceries, asking for help on public transportation, finding the restroom. At one point we got sick and needed to see a doctor. We were able to find out where the doctor’s office was, tell him our symptoms and even engage in a bit of small talk about our travels, and go to the lab and pharmacy. Knowing some language when you travel in a country gives you comfort that you can handle most things that come your way, expected and unexpected.
However, the true benefit to learn a language is the opportunity to communicate and learn from people in a completely different culture. Even if it is just a few words in the local language, people will smile and light up your day. New experiences and opportunities will appear that you never thought possible. Inevitably you will engage in a discussion and learn something new about a person, a place, or a culture all by being able to share a common language. It does not require you to be fluent, but merely be willing to start learning. Most importantly you must be curious, as curiosity leads to the greatest discoveries.”
What inspiring stories would you like to bring back from an adventure like Warren’s? Tell us what kind of Journey you would take with more advanced content from Mango Languages and you could win a Mango Passport bundle containing Mango Passport Journeys One, Two and Three!