Ready to learn

Lauren Brockmeyer, desk clerk at the Princeton Public Library, gets acclimated with the new Mango Languages program.

PRINCETON — Card holders with the Princeton Library now have access to learn more than 60 languages from French to Biblical Hebrew for free.

The library launched the Mango Languages program on July 1. Anyone with a Princeton Library card can sign in to the program and get started.

The library is offering a Mango workshop on Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. for anyone interested in the program.

“We love it," said Rebecca Marrs, children’s program coordinator.

The program has seen about 45 percent growth with about 30 new users in the past month.

Marrs said library director Brittany Rothausen was looking for ways to expand on things to offer the community,

"We sat in on a webcast (for Mango) and loved it so much," said Marrs. "It’s so user friendly."

When the library launched the program there were 46 languages to choose from. Now there are 63. Mango also offers classes in 19 languages for people learning English as a second language.

“Their growth rate is astronomical,” said Marrs.

The program is designed for both students and adults, using practical and interactive applications.

Lessons are offered in several formats including reading and audio. The program also offers movies that offer color-coded subtitles to help learners follow along with pronunciations and see how the language flows.

Marrs said students learning language in school can use Mango as a study tool.

“If I had this in high school it would have made language a lot easier,” she said.

There are even learning options for younger children called Little Pim that offers a cartoon format for children ages five and under.

Even fun languages for children are offered including basic pirate.

Patrons who are looking to learn bits and pieces of a language for the purpose of going on vacation also have an option.

The program will break the language down into categories like eating at a restaurant, seeing a show, or for traveling to specific events like Octoberfest in Germany. It even had a World Cup option earlier in the summer that taught basic Portuguese.

"Mango has been really good to update with what is current," Marrs said.

Those knowing the basics of a language and want to learn more have the option to take a quiz to see what they know and where they need improvement.

The program also has a free mobile app available for smartphones and tablets, allowing for learning on the go.

There is also a translator option available on both computers and the mobile app.

Marrs said the library's feedback has been positive and they are still working to get the word out.

She added that September is new library card month, which gives people in the community who don't already have a library card even more reason to sign up and check out the new program.

— Contact Jackie Puglisi at jpuglisi@ptonline.net

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