Learn a Language with the BBC

In my role as the librarian for Foreign Languages and Literatures, I get questions all the time from people who are looking for materials to help them learn a foreign language. So I’m always on the lookout for free online resources to which I can direct people. One that has just come to my attention is the BBC’s Languages site. This site offers a wealth of free language lessons and tools, for a variety of languages. You can watch videos, see vocabulary lists, subscribe to phrase-a-day RSS feeds, sign up for email tips, and more. It seems to have the most content for French, German, Italian, and Spanish, but there are 40 languages for which they at least offer lists of useful phrases. So, if you want to do some language prep for your study abroad trip or your international co-op (or spring break!), you may want to see what the BBC has to offer you. You can also check out my subject guide for Foreign Languages & Literatures for other helpful language links. And buena suerte / bonne chance / viel Glück / good luck with your language study!

Try Mango Languages to Learn a New Language Online

Buongiorno! Guten Tag! Ni hao! As the librarian at Snell for foreign languages and literatures, I’ve received quite a few requests for the library to provide online language-learning products to the NU community. So I’m very pleased to report that we are currently offering a free trial of Mango Languages, a completely web-based language-learning system that focuses on actual conversation skills. The trial will last until the end of October. The languages currently available from Mango are Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and English as a Second Language for speakers of Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, or Polish. They plan to add more languages in the future. Mango is a very popular product with many public libraries and is supposed to be very easy to use. We are running the free trial now with the hope that we will be able to buy either this product or one like it. So, we need your feedback! Try Mango Languages and let us know what you think!