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The library will be closed on Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day.

Free Language Learning With Your Library Card

Anne Olivier, Adult Librarian, Woodland Hills Branch Library,
 Free language learning resources with your Los Angeles library card

¿Habla español? Parlez-vous français? No?

Now is a great time to learn a new language! Let's take a look at several different resources for language learning, available for free with your library card. Each has different strengths, so one of them should be ideal for you.

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Mango Languages

Mango Languages offers lessons in a unique variety of over 70 languages. You can choose popular languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, German, or Japanese; however, there are some specialized courses too, such as Spanish for Legal or Medical workers. If you feel like learning something more exotic, there are courses in Scottish Gaelic, Shakespearean English, and even Pirate! Sorry, no Klingon lessons as yet. Here is a complete list of languages. Watch an introductory video to get started.

The format is straightforward, as Mango takes you through each lesson with plenty of repetition and drills. It’s a great way to get your feet wet in a new language, and there’s even a mobile app for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire.

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Transparent Language Online (RB Digital)

Transparent Language Online features over 100 languages You can find out how to get started here. There’s also an introductory video.

You’ll need to create an account with RB Digital the first time you use it, and then you’re ready to choose a language! Like Mango, there’s a mobile app available for iOS and Android.

Transparent Language comes with loads of extras to help you learn, like downloadable workbooks and readers, and a resources section with blogs, more downloadables, social media groups, etc. These resources add to the language learning experience!

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Gale Courses

Gale Courses is another option, with classes in Speed Spanish, Conversational French, Spanish for Medical Professionals, Italian, Conversational Japanese, and sign language.

These classes are a good option if you want a more traditional classroom structure since the courses are taught by instructors and include assignments and homework, and classes last six weeks, with new sections opening up each month. You can look at the syllabus before actually enrolling.

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Other Resources

Finally, check out our audiobooks and e-books on Overdrive and Libby. E-books can round out your language learning with dictionaries, grammar books, and phrasebooks. Or, if you prefer audio learning only, you can find many language learning audiobooks on Overdrive or Libby. Overdrive recently added Pimsleur which are considered some of the very best titles for language learning through audio.