Wie viele Sprachen können Sie sprechen? That is my favourite thing to say in German, thanks to Mr. Dunstall who taught me at Lakeview High School back in the 1980s. It means: How many languages can you speak? I took French at school when I had to, and also by choice, and was excited to have the opportunity to take German.
Learning other languages can enrich your life by expanding your connections with other people, and increasing your understanding, thoughts, and perception. Learning other languages is good for your brain as well, as it forces you to think in new ways. Knowing a few words in a language of a country you’re visiting can make your travel experience richer, and help you order what you really want for dinner! Other languages can also help broaden your English vocabulary, deepen your understanding of words, and help with spelling. If you have a bit more time on your hands these days, and a computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access, why not learn a new language?
You can learn a language, online, for free, with your Library card. If you don’t have a Library card, email email@example.com, and we’ll be happy to issue you a card number and PIN you can use to access our online resources, including Transparent Language. Go to http://www.tbpl.ca/learnalanguage to get started.
Transparent Language is an online program which can teach you over 100 languages. You can make your own account, and track your progress. You can spend five minutes a day learning, or hours at a time, then go back and pick up where you left off. Transparent Language courses use a variety of fun, interactive methods to help you learn quickly, and remember what you have learned. You can learn on the go with the Transparent Language app.
Since January of this year, forty-three people have logged in to Transparent Language 711 times, and together have spent over six days learning languages! A quarter of those people have been learning Spanish. Italian and French are tied for second place, followed by Belarusian, German, Portuguese, Arabic, and Objiwe.
Speaking of Ojibwe, Transparent Language includes dialects of several Indigenous languages. You can learn Cree, Ojibwe, Central Ojibwe, Northwestern Ojibwe, Oji-Cree.
Many languages are available for non-English speakers as well — like English for speakers of Chinese, Polish, and Russian (and many others languages).
KidsSpeak is a great feature of Transparent Language. KidsSpeak lessons are designed especially for children and are available for many languages. These lessons would make great additions to home schooling plans! They are also fun for adults, to practice your skills, or for a different approach.
If language learning is not for you, why not explore all the other resources available online from your Library? Start at www.tbpl.ca/onlinestuff, and follow the links to eBooks, streaming music, car repair, and much more. Don’t forget that although our buildings are closed, our staff is here to help.
Joanna Aegard – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.