mango Gifts for Anyone: Gift the Give of Bilingualism with Mango LanguagesIf someone on your list has ever expressed the desire to learn a new language, fulfill that dream with Mango Languages. You’ll not only be giving a really cool and unique gift, but you’ll also be giving them an edge in the world! Hey, if you really want to go all out (and have a bank account bigger than mine), give them tickets to another country so they can practice their knowledge! Um, if you need someone to send on a vacation, I’d love to go to Italy. Just saying!

Mango Languages is an easy way to learn a new language. They offer a wide variety, including all the basics-like French, Spanish, and Italian-plus a slew of other languages from around the world. They even offer a course in talking like a pirate! I’m definitely going back to check that one out.

I decided that since Sal’s family is Italian, I would try to learn that. I know the dialect differs from place to place, but I figure at least I can get the basics down. I love how easy it is to get started with Mango Languages. Basically, you pick your language, then your lesson, and dive right in.

After selecting “Italian” on the main dashboard page, I was taken to a screen that lets me choose my level. I needed to start at the very beginning, but those who have already taken the basics can skip ahead. Notice that they even have a Little Pim section for young kids? I think I’ll get Jake on here next!

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Since I didn’t even know how to say “hello” in Italian, I started with the very first lesson that covered greetings.

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The first tile explains the overview and objectives, then as you slide the player to start (or press the arrows, because I’m daft and didn’t even realize they had a purpose), it goes through each tile with a narrator in the background. Hearing the language spoken made it much easier to absorb than just reading about it.

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Each part of the lesson has a Cultural Note card, which really puts it into perspective. Just like Americans have different ways of greeting people based on the formality of our relationship with them, the Italians also greet different people with different words. It’s not enough to learn a new language; you really need to understand the cultural nuances too. I love that Mango Languages includes this.

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After each part of the lesson, you are given a conversation to practice so you can put your new knowledge into play. Listen to the conversation, then try it yourself.

Mango Languages is so much fun to use, and I love the gorgeous interface. It would make a great gift to anyone who has ever expressed a desire to learn a new language. Mango Passport lessons are available in Journeys One, Two and Three at www.mangolanguages.com. Purchase any one Journey for $79 or all Journeys for only $176.

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