Can You Say…? Learning a New Language

September 11, 2009 at 7:04 am Leave a comment

logoOn a recent trip to Spain, I needed to call upon the Spanish I learned many moons ago to help me get around.  My little Berlitz phrasebook saved the day many times, especially when I needed to explain that I was a vegetarian – “Soy vegetariana. No como carne, pollo, o pescado.”  Listening to Michel Thomas and his unconventional, highly effective teaching style en route to Granada was also very helpful (and entertaining!).

At hundreds of dollars a pop, the very reputable and popular Rosetta Stone software is probably a stretch for most during these difficult economic times.  Visit the Library and stock up on free resources instead.  The Torrance Public Library is an excellent place to learn new languages, whether you are motivated by an upcoming trip or just want to flex your brain muscles in a different way.

  • Check out a book to learn a language or get acquainted with the destination of your choice – we have dictionaries, grammar books, phrasebooks, travel books, and more!
  • Check out a book in the language you are trying to learn. We currently carry books in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, Farsi, Urdu, Spanish, French, Russian, and German.
  • Check out a magazine in the language you are trying to learn. Branch libraries allow their foreign language magazines to circulate. Periodicals include Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Spanish language titles.
  • Check out an instructional CD to listen to in your car or while you work out.
  • Use our new Mango Languages database. Mango is an online language-learning system teaching actual conversation skills for all the languages mentioned above plus Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Greek, and English as a Second Language for Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Polish speakers.
  • Find a conversation partner and have a conversation in one of our study rooms.
  • Use our computers to browse the many free resources online.

If you do better working with an instructor, you may also want to look into language classes offered through Torrance Adult School.  The current catalog lists classes to learn Italian and Spanish.  You may also check neighboring cities’ adult education catalogs (e.g. South Bay Adult School) as well.  Priority is often given to residents, but if there is still space available non-residents are usually allowed to enroll for a small additional fee.

If you are aware of any other local language learning resources and/or you are interested in starting and/or participating in a language club, please leave a comment and let us hear from you.

 – rs


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