Review of Mango Passport & On the Go and Free Product Giveaway for Twitter Users

Last fall, I included Mango Languages for Libraries in my review of language learning websites. If you do not have access to Mango through your library or would like your own personal copy of the program that is not dependent on an internet connection, Mango Languages now offers Passport software and On the Go mp3 downloads for individual users, available in the following languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English as a Second Language, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

The Mango Passport software includes 10 chapters with several lessons each and a review at the end of each chapter. Some languages have more lessons than others; for example, the Italian program that I reviewed has 52, while Czech has 67, Vietnamese has 76 and Japanese has 84. You can try one lesson for free online to see what the program is like, or if you do have access through your library, the Passport software is the same as the Mango for Libraries Complete 2.0 course. Each lesson provides dialogs and conversations in the target language, with color-coded vocabulary, phonetic transcriptions when you hover over the word, voice comparisons for testing your own pronunciation, and timed “cards” so that you must recall the target word or phrase.  Each chapter builds up vocabulary, grammar and culture without being too explicit (especially for grammar) for basic conversation and traveling needs.  The ten chapters in Italian are: Greetings, Gratitude, Goodbyes; Do you speak English?; What’s your name?; Where’s the station?; How much does it cost?; I’d like to order; Can I pay by credit card?; I need help; How do you say Thank you in Italian?; What is it?; plus the course review.

The On the Go product is the audio version of the Passport software. The Main Course mp3s are in the same order as the 10 chapters in Passport, and there is also a Quick Course which doesn’t include the memory exercises so the time is cut in half if you prefer a faster version. Three Review sets of mp3s are also included: Cultural, Phrase and Vocabulary; as well as a nice PDF booklet with all the transcripts.  The booklet does also include the cultural and grammar notes plus the phonetic transcriptions of each word.

The program does not claim that you will gain fluency (and I really don’t believe that any one program will make you fluent) and remember that these products are for beginners. If you already have knowledge of the language, it will probably be too slow and not extensive enough for increasing your vocabulary beyond the basic conversational level. Only neutral accents are used for the recordings, which have been scripted and rehearsed, so it is not the best bet if you are looking for advanced authentic audio with regional accents.  Please check out Mango‘s website, read the FAQs, and try the free lesson to see if the program will suit your needs. The introductory price per language for the Passport software is $150, while the On the Go mp3s are $100 – however, if you buy them together as a Bundle, the price is $200.  If you are interested in mobile apps, Mango Languages will be releasing an iPhone/iPod Touch app this summer.

THE TWITTER GIVEAWAY

I have one free copy of Mango Passport & On the Go Bundle to give away, a value of $200!

To participate in this Twitter giveaway, follow these instructions:

1. Either comment on this post or send me an e-mail at ielanguages [at] gmail [dot] com with your Twitter name and e-mail address.

2. Follow both @ielanguages and @mangolanguages on Twitter, if you have not already done so.

3. Tweet the following phrase “I just entered the @ielanguages giveaway of a Mango Passport Language Bundle from @mangolanguages http://ht.ly/3XrCU” before Sunday, February 20, 2011, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. One entry per person.

4. After verifying the follows and tweets, I will choose one entry at random on Monday and contact the winner through e-mail with the promo code for redeeming their free copy of Passport Mango & On the Go in one language of their choice.

Thanks for participating! [This giveaway has ended. Please check newer blog posts for further product giveaways!]

More French Cultural Vocabulary: Proprietary or Brand Names

Proprietary or brand names are also a cultural aspect of learning languages. Many times people aren’t even aware that a word they use for a certain object is in fact a brand name and not the generic name. In English, we have several brand names that have become more common than the original terms, such […]

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Culturally Relevant Photos of French Objects: Learning the Cultural Significance of Words

Following up on my recent post about cultural differences in photos, I have begun taking pictures of culturally relevant objects in France as an extension to my realia project that originally included written objects in French, such as signs, brochures, menus, receipts, etc. Now I want to add realia pertaining to visual differences among cultures and […]

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Brainscape Flashcards: Website and Mobile Apps

Brainscape is a website that offers flashcards on a variety of topics – more than just foreign language vocabulary – using graduated intervals for maximum repetition and reinforcement of least-known items.  This learning technique goes by many names (spaced repetition seems to be the most common among language learning sites) and it is indeed based […]

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Spanish Resources for Teachers and Learners

Hi guys, my name’s Andrew, and I’ve been teaching myself Spanish on and off for over 3 years now, and in the process of doing so I’ve learned an enormous amount about how to learn a foreign language on your own and Spanish in particular, and of course I’ve accumulated a very large collection of […]

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Cultural Differences in Photos: USA and France

In my English classes I taught at the university, we used flashcards with a photo of an object and the English word written out to teach and/or reinforce vocabulary. For most objects, there were no problems with the images provided but every once in a while, my students didn’t quite understand the connection between the […]

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Italian & French in Aosta Valley, Italy

For those who love both Italian and French, I recommend a trip to the Aosta Valley of Italy. It is an autonomous region in the northwestern corner of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Both Italian and French are official languages, though the majority of the inhabitants speak Italian as a first language. Valdôtain, a dialect […]

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In Search of More Multilingual Vocabulary & Verb Conjugation Lists

In my never-ending search for websites that provide multilingual vocabulary lists for comparative study, I came across Poliglottus last week. They have two main sections: Basic Vocabulary of 1,300 words in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian and Basic Verb Forms in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Sardinian.  Yes, Sardinian! You choose two languages, […]

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The Power of Babel by John McWhorter

The Power of Babel is a book about the natural history of language that I read recently while getting over my Christmas cold. (As you have probably noticed from the lack of website updates, I’m still recovering and not doing much besides sleeping and reading.) The book is rather inexpensive at Amazon though it is […]

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Namke Learn Quebec French: Canadian French made in Quebec

I have previously mentioned the Namke Learn Quebec French site because they offer the wonderful software KitQC2 which includes 4,500 mp3s of Quebecois French. Lately they’ve been updating their Learn Quebec French blog more and more (filling in the void left by the demise of learncanadianfrench.com) with more useful tips and resources on learning the […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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Buy My French Books

My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at Amazon.com.

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is now available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.

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