Learn a New Language – Free

Like many other people, I've tried my hand at learning another language.. only to become bored and give up on it. I had a spanish class in middle school, and took a couple years of german in high school. I remember almost nothing that I learned for either language. Some german has stuck with me, mostly insults, but that's about it. Over the last few years I've also attempted to learn some japanese and russian. I can say "excuse me" in russian and sometimes I'll come up with a phrase in japanese, but won't be able to remember what it means.

There's a new web service call Mango, and I'm very impressed with it. It's currently in beta, which mean the bugs aren't all worked out.. it could stop working, or steal your foot, you never know. Mango is a flash based application, that's completely free, and uses a format that seems superior to anything that I've ever come across (language classes included.)

Each lesson is broken up into slides (like a powerpoint presentation) that you can go through at your own pace. The slides include audio pronunciation, you can mouse over words to see a visual pronunciation guide, and you can skip forward or go back at any point. There are also slides explaining any oddities of a part of speech, and explaining important concept in detail. It's about as close to a 1-on-1 tutor as you can get, not to mention a lot cheaper.

The following languages are currently available in the beta: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, French, Greek, English for Spanish Speakers, and English for Polish Speakers.

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  1. spudart said,

    das ist gut.

    September 23, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  2. unlikelymoose said,

    Mango is a funny word. Every time Mango makes an appearance on the Food Network, the people on the show get very excited. Mango must hold some mystical powers in the world of cooking and food preparation.

    September 26, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  3. unlikelymoose said,

    There are a few German phrases that I use on a semi-regular basis. My favorite is "Mach Schnell" which means "hurry up". Or "Mach Schnellen Sie" which has something to do with telling a higher authority to hurry up.

    September 26, 2007 @ 9:46 am

  4. spudart said,

    You ever eat a Mango? From what I recall (I might be mistaken) the mango by itself is not very tasty.

    September 26, 2007 @ 11:18 am

  5. unlikelymoose said,

    It depends on how ripe the Mango is. I never had any decent mango here in the States. However, I had ice cream and mango in St. Lucia and the mango was awesome! It was so good. oh man. I want to go to St. Lucia right now and get some good mango.

    September 26, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  6. sparx said,

    I've had a few really good mangoes. The majority have been unripe and taste something like a bad christmas tree.

    September 26, 2007 @ 11:23 am

  7. spudart said,

    moose– you and your mangoes and st. lucia! bahhhh. *waves hand*

    sparx– bad christmas tree. hehehe. needles are rough going down.

    September 27, 2007 @ 12:23 am

  8. Chaim said,

    This looks awesome. I am going to have to look into it. I was just wondering the other day if such a free service existed. Thanks for pointing this out.

    September 27, 2007 @ 12:32 am

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