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Mango Languages software


I recently ran across a new web site for learning languages called Mango Languages, which like every other web application on the Internet right now is in beta.  But that doesn’t mean it’s broken or useless.  Quite the contrary.  And it’s totally free.  The courses they currently offer are Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Italian Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish as well as English for Polish and Spanish speakers.  Oh, and Pig Latin.

For example, for the French language, they start out with introductions which you can read as wells listen to inside your browser thanks to the wonders of Flash technology.  You can then listen to a conversation and click on a line to repeat it.  You can also see the pronunciation spelled out phonetically.  Following that are some exercises so you can see whether you’ve learned or not.  A few dozen slides make up a single lesson and for the French language there are 100 lessons so far.

This may not be enough to make it the best language learning software out there although to be honest there isn’t much good language learning software.  I’ll see about reviewing some language learning software and writing a review blog post.  But you can’t beat the price, availability, accessibility, and ability to share with friends or students that Mango Languages offers.

Since it’s all online and not software you have to install the developers have the ability to fix bugs and add new features to the software that you use without you having to do anything yourself.  They are also planning on adding more languages, with people requesting Cantonese, Arabic, even obscure synthetic languages like Elvish.  And they have a forum on the web site where you can not only communicate with the people behind the software but also with other people who are trying to learn foreign languages just like you.  And I believe they will continue to be able to offer the software for free by relying on an ad-based business model, which should work just fine as long as people click ads every once in awhile.

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« Americans increasingly learning Chinese
» Vietnamese pronunciation guide with audio samples of the six tones