Is there anything you’ve been dying to ask someone of another culture? Let us know and we’ll try and get your questions answered!
Yesterday I explained why I bother learning a foreign language. Now let’s hear from you!
Here are a few responses we received when we asked our Facebook fans, “When it comes to learning a language: “What’s the point if you know you are ‘never going to go there [to a foreign country]‘?
“There’s a ton of reasons. Learn about another culture and depending on where you live being able to converse in their language. If it is a in demand language you can get paid more at your job or be hired cause you know it. You can enjoy movies and reading materials in another language.” –Emily Dills
“Learning another language helps you to understand your own native language even better.” –Deb Meinke
“You can keep secrets in another language with your friends!” -Donald Seaman
“When I was young I never thought I would be married to a Russian…” –Kevin Jefferson
“Even though we may never visit another country, it doesn’t mean there aren’t people in the US who are multilingual. I want to learn Vietnamese just to be able to say “Hi” to someone I work with in her own language. Plus, it’s just fun. I learned French in high school and college because I thought it was beautiful.” –Beth Hatch
“Sometimes it is about your family heritage…My father is Irish, where his language was persecuted for probably a hundred years, now it has been brought back, and I want to be part of that process.” –Pj Royer
Why is learning a language worth it for you?
“Why should I learn a language even if I never plan on visiting a place that speaks that language?”
It’s a simple and innocent question. But one that got me thinking.
I’ve been studying French for 11 years and I’ve never been to France. Here’s why I bother:
I bother because learning a foreign language changes you. For the better.
I don’t mean learning how to say hello in a language. I mean learning a language: getting to a point where you no longer translate from your native language-you’re able to digest news reports and literature, engage in conversations about abstract topics and form profound thoughts in that language.
That’s when you change.
So much of who we are is based on how we express ourselves and the thoughts we form. When the language in which we think and express ourselves changes, so do we. We learn to think differently and to listen differently. We grow.
Some people look to music or art as forms of self-expression. Others, more literally, look to foreign languages for self-expression. A song may speak to you. A painting might speak to him. The French language speaks to me. And that’s why I bother.
The key is to stick with it. Artists have to learn techniques before they can use their art to communicate. Musicians have to learn to play before they can use music to communicate. We have to learn vocabulary and grammar rules before we can use another language to communicate. But you will get there. And getting there is half the fun.
It’s all about the journey of learning a foreign language, not the destination where you’ll speak it.
P.S. Don’t worry. I’m finally planning a trip to France this year.
Check out our open positions here: www.mangolanguages.com/careers !
Here’s a sneak peek:
Human Resources Coordinator:
You will develop a world-class human resources department aligning to Mango’s six world-class core values. You will provide HR support to 50+ employees based in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Your support extends to the 200+ contractors in our course editor and developer network. Your entrepreneurial spirit will help you drive, develop and implement. Sound like a perfect match for your skills? Learn more about this HR job!
Content Development Manager:
The Content Development Manager is responsible for managing the Content Development Team which consists of a Content Editor, Quality Manager, Linguists and a Project Coordinator. Sound like fun? Learn more about this Content Development Manager job!
A little bit about Mango Languages:
Mango Languages is one of Metro Detroit’s most up-and-coming workplaces, offering a unique blend of cutting-edge technology, cultural appreciation, and office camaraderie.
It’s a little piece of both Silicon Valley and the United Nations right here in Farmington Hills, Michigan! Mango is language-learning software that teaches practical conversation and cultural awareness for many of the world’s languages.
Mango Languages offers team members a culture that is laid back and fun, while at the same time promoting a sense of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.
Mango is becoming an internationally recognized and respected self-study language learning company. We are looking for talented and dedicated rock stars to work at Mango Languages!
Let’s have a little fun and check out the linguistics behind our favorite interweb felines! While cats might not really be able to learn a foreign language, LOLcats have won our hearts with their endearing language.
Check out this fascinating video by Lauren Gawne: “I can has language play: Construction of Language and Identity in LOLspeak.”
Do you speak Texan?
Mangoes traded the snowy Michigan weather for some southern hospitality (and sunshine) while attending ALA Midwinter 2012 in Dallas, Texas!
While we got a little taste of the south, we gave a taste of mango smoothies to stoppers-by at the Mango booth. Attendees could also check out demonstrations of the Mango iPhone app, Little Pim and learn some Hindi!
We even got a short lesson in “Southern English” from a few true Texans, y’all!
Check out some pictures from our adventure and let us know: did you drop by the Mango Languages booth at ALA Midwinter in Dallas this year? Do you still remember how to say, “where is the bus station” in Hindi?
Though us Michiganders cannot complain about the winter this year (it has been the mildest winter that I can ever remember), the prospect of escaping the snow and heading towards the sun is enough to get us packing… quickly. Needless to say, we are quite looking forward to getting to Dallas, Texas this week for the American Library Association 2012 Midwinter Conference!
The office is going to seem pretty empty, as 14 Mangoes will be heading southwest to participate in the bi-annual conference. From Mango smoothies to giveaways to demonstrations to typical Mango insanity, our booth will be bustling. Be sure to stop by Booth #2253 and say “howdy” to our staff! We are looking forward to another exciting show.
Is anyone attending the show? Is this your first time at ALA Midwinter? What conferences/exhibitors are you most looking forward to seeing?
We are so excited to announce the launch of our Feedback Feature. This feature is now available in all of our courses that are available to our library customers. The Feedback Feature is available as a tab on each slide of each course on the left hand side.
We really value all the feedback we get from our customers. We have created a feature that allows anyone who is using Mango to submit feedback, ask questions, or report any issues directly from the course. You can now submit any feedback without interrupting your studying! This features allows us to streamline all the awesome feedback in a timely manner and to make sure your questions are answered and your suggestions are tracked and recorded.
Happy Friday Everyone!
Here is a fascinating lecture from linguist Steve Pinker on TED Talks about Language and Thought. Pinker looks at language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds — and how the words we choose communicate much more than we realize.
In his lecture, Pinker says, “Languages is a collective human creation, reflecting human nature, how we conceptualize reality, how we relate to one another. And then by analyzing the various quirks and complexities of language, I think we can get a window onto what makes us tick.”
What are YOUR thoughts on the subject?