Mango Languages

Deliciously simple language and culture learning.

Recent Posts

Mango is hiring!

By Mango Languages |   August 8, 2014

Have you always dreamed of working at Mango Languages? Well, we can’t wait to meet you.

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Five language and learning myths, debunked.

By Mango Languages |   August 7, 2014

Language lovers are a unique bunch. They seek out new cultures, embark on wild adventures, and willingly study grammar concepts – all because they see the globe as one great big learning opportunity. It’s a good life, and we’ve found that most people become language lovers the moment that they start studying a new language. But in our line of work, we hear some pretty wild language and culture myths from would-be language rock stars. It’s time to put a stop to it.

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Meet Your Mangos: Hamsa Daher

By Mango Languages |   August 1, 2014

Last week, we shined the Mango spotlight on in-house designer and resident creative genius, Eon Rodrigo. This week, we are continuing the tour de Mango by catching up with our endlessly beloved, endlessly awesome COO (Chief Operating Officer)/Integrator, Hamsa Daher. Some call her a superhero, we call her Hamsa the Hammer. But mostly, we call her a superhero. Here’s her side of the story, and trust us, it’s a good one.

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Summertime Mobility: Learn Anywhere, Anytime with Mango Mobile.

By Mango Languages |   July 11, 2014

Campfires by the lake, cross-country road trips, and sailing the seven seas – wherever your adventures take you this summer, bring your language learning along. Mango Homeschool families are known to book action-packed summers, filled with enriching activities for the little ones and memorable experiences for the whole family. Like a perfectly assembled s’more, nothing goes together better than summer adventures and language learning. After all, learning a new language is a journey in itself, and wherever your child’s busy life takes them, Mango goes too.

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Happy 147th Birthday, Canada!

By Mango Languages |   July 1, 2014

Our neighbors up north are celebrating Canada’s 147th birthday, and we’re breaking out our red and white face paint and maple leaf attire to salute the True North strong and free. Oh Canada, you've given America (and the world!) some of the finest talents, people, and pastimes around, and we’re honoured (let’s never face-off in a spelling bee, Canada) to celebrate our shared independence with you this week. You kick off the celebrations, and we’ll provide the grand finale. Sharing a continent with you is the best, and this Canada Day we want to tip our hat to some of the finest, quirkiest Canadian contributions that we’re grateful to have here in the States. Happy Birthday, Canada – this one’s for you.

1. Ice Hockey.

As Canada’s official winter sport, hockey is profoundly Canadian. British soldiers and immigrants brought the traditional stick-and-ball game to Canada in the early 1800's, but they played it in the snowy, icy conditions typical to a Canadian winter. We can thank Montreal for birthing the modern archetype of ice hockey in 1875, followed by the 1924 expansion of the NHL into the United States, starting with the Boston Bruins. Today, there are 30 teams in the NHL, with players hailing from around the world. So next hockey season, when you’re jumping on the band wagon for your local team (Happy first day of free agency, hardcore NHL fans!), thank Canada for steer-heading one of the most brutal, fast-paced, and addictive games in North America.

2. Actors and Musicians.

Canada, you've got talent. Some of North America’s most famed celebrities are from Canada, and they are quick to rep their country on talk shows, press junkets, and even in their slight accent. We’re here to thank you for the likes of Seth Rogen, Ellen Page, Jim Carrey, Pamela Anderson, The Rock, Michael Cera…the list goes on. Despite the recent Justin Bieber backlash, we were all singing “Baby, Baby, Ohhh…” just a few years ago, and we’re willing to negotiate his joint custody during this difficult time. Canada’s home to some of the world’s most prolific and legendary talents, and we’re forever in your debt for gifting us Feminist Ryan Gosling. Seriously, thank you.

3. Sweet escape.

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Have passport, will travel – and we’re always grateful for a sweet escape up north. For Michiganders (Mango HQ calls Michigan home), Canada is just a short trip away – and for the rest of the country, it’s worth the trek. Canada truly has it all: big cities, serene natural landscapes, French culture, and rustic campsites. Many a young American remembers trekking across the border (pre-passport regulations!) for glorious under-21 drinking escapades, but even more fondly, we look to Canada for an opportunity to explore new culture, unique traditions, and the best poutine in the entire world.

4. Dogs.

Here at Mango, we love dogs. It’s come to our attention that some of our most beloved breeds originated in Canada, and we couldn't be more grateful. For example: you gave us the Labrador retriever. More affectionately known as a “lab,” these dogs are not only man’s best friend, they are world-renowned service dogs, providing therapy and assistance to people with sight disabilities, autism, and other physical and emotional challenges. They’re not just sweet, playful, Youtube stars, they are heroes – and Canadian, through and through.

5. Exceptional Mangos.

Here’s the real kicker: some of our favorite Mangos are Canadian. Both in office (Hi, Julian!) and in our customer and client database, lovable, inspiring Canadians make up a crucial part of our Mango world. They are quick to navigate us to the nearest Tim Horton’s (Timbits, anyone?), first to hold the door open for others, and we look to them daily for language-learning motivation. Canada’s two official national languages are English and French (swoon!), but the country is home to over 200 global languages. Powerhouse institutions like the Quebec Bibliotheque Archive, Westmount Public Library, Winnipeg Public Library, University of Ottawa, and Alberta Library (to name just a few) work every day to serve the public with language-learning opportunities (including Mango!), community building, and Canadian culture gems in the form of influential literature, history, and entertainment.

O! Canada, we salute you. Neighbors to the north, border-buddies, and one of the coolest (sometimes literally!) countries around, we wish you a very Happy Canada Day.

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5 Ways to Master Outdoor Learning this Summer

By Mango Languages |   June 16, 2014

Photo by: Alison Christine
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World Cup 2014: Mango's Soccer Celebration Course

By Mango Languages |   June 10, 2014


The World Cup is here, and we’re celebrating. We’re also taking bets, building out our brackets, and choosing sides. Here at Mango, we’re as international as we are competitive, so World Cup 2014 has understandably taken over our office – and we’re totally okay with that.

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Mango's Five Must-Haves for International Business Travel

By Mango Languages |   June 6, 2014

If there’s one thing we know about our Mango users, it’s that they are globe-trotters. For both business and pleasure, you’re taking the world by storm, and you’re using Mango’s language and culture learning to support and fuel your adventures.

Our business users face unique challenges (dare we say that word? Just this once.) while traveling internationally, and we’re excited to share our corporate-approved checklist of international business travel must-haves. Whether your trip is a short stint overseas or you’re preparing for long-term ex-pat status, these tips will ensure that your transition is smooth, simple, and a lot of fun.

1. Do your homework.

We know you swore off all varieties of homework the minute you graduated – we did too. But this is the fun kind: you’re in the driver’s seat, the rewards are measurable, and you can have a glass of wine while you work. Don’t believe us? Before you resort to your destination’s Wikipedia page, consider the benefits of immersing yourself in your new language and culture before arriving. Instead of depending on new acquaintances and co-workers to show you the ropes, you can wow them by immediately integrating with your seamless introductions, cultural know-how, and relevant conversation skills. So pour that glass of wine and dive into Mango’s fun and easy courses – mobile, desktop, Kindle, MP3; we’ll go wherever you go.

2. Start off on the right foot.

Now that you’re well-equipped with language and cultural knowledge, it’s time to pack and prepare. Your smartphone is about to get even smarter by becoming your one-stop shop for directions, emergency numbers, translation aids (gasp!), and of course Mango’s mobile learning app.

Remember to check in with your supervisors and your cell phone provider about your phone’s coverage and data roaming fees (they can be staggering) and shop around for the most cost-efficient options. Many opt for keeping their smartphones for Wi-Fi purposes, but use a calling card or locally bought cell phone for phone calls. Whatever you do, have a technology-free back-up plan. We love our smartphones, but history shows that having a good old-fashioned map on hand is a best practice: just ask Magellan.

3. Power up.

Here's what you don’t want: you're stranded in a new country, with a dead cell phone, limited language skills, and vulnerability written all over your face. More likely than not, kind locals will help you out, but eager taxi drivers will see you coming from a mile away. We’ve learned our lesson the hard way a few too many times, so heed our advice and power up. Now we pack on-the-go power sources so that we can charge up no matter where we are. Helpful tip: pack the appropriate adapters for your new country and avoid a dead computer right before the big meeting. A second helpful tip: turn that "limited language skills" into "smart, useful problem-solving" by using Mango's courses, targeted for travelers and real-life conversations. We teach you how to ask for directions right off the bat.

4. Expect the best, pack for the worst.

We're sure that your trip is going to be great. Whether you’re settling in to a new country long-term, or just for a few weeks, all good stories start with a hilarious anecdote – hilarious five to ten years from now, when the wounds have begun to heal. Let’s troubleshoot some rookie mistakes now by optimistically preparing for the worst (we do it all the time!).

First off, just assume your airline will lose your luggage. Somebody has to draw the short stick, and for your own sanity, assume it will be you. The odds are forever in your favor, but you'll feel like the smartest traveler around when your carry-on is stocked with your essentials: a change of clothes (business appropriate!), toiletries, medicine, and anything you'll absolutely need for work.

Second: the jet-lag will catch up to you. Pack your own portable alarm clock to back up your phone’s alarms during those weeks of sleep-deprived adjustments. And on that note, pack your own umbrella, too. It will rain, maybe as soon as you step off of the plane, and it's easy to forget to pack that in your carry-on, stocked with essentials. Street vendors have a monopoly on the umbrella market, but do NOT pass go, do NOT collect $200 – more importantly, don’t spend it on an umbrella. Just bring you own.

And an important safety note: keep a photocopy version of your passport on you at all times. The original is too precious to keep with you 24/7, but it’s crucial to have your papers handy at all times, along with a few emergency contacts and your embassy’s address and phone number. Leave the same important documents with a trusted family member or friend back home, so that if something happens, you're not stranded abroad (Unless you're in France, in which case that would be great).

Do they give out awards for the most savvy traveler? If so, you’ll be on the short list.

5. Communicate with confidence.

Your journey with Mango begins now. With your personal or corporate subscription (get your entire company on board!), you’ll remedy those pesky little gaps in language and culture learning that have persisted for years. Many professionals find they're just steps away from conversational fluency in their target language. Mango is designed to close those learning gaps by providing business leaders with the skills necessary to turn proficiency into fluency.

Practice makes perfect: all of our journeys rapidly build crucial skills, but Journey 4 is specifically designed for those quickly approaching ex-pat status. Based on the everyday scenarios of locals, you’ll learn to expertly navigate introductions, business social conversations, and important presentations.

Sound like a dream come true? It gets better. We’re flight attendant approved. Your flight (and your layover) just got a lot more productive and fun: our mobile app doesn’t require Wi-Fi, so you won’t get kicked off the plane for using an app on your phone, Alec Baldwin style. When you do it our way, international business is a breeze.

We can’t wait to see what Mango (corporate style!) can do for you, wherever your business may take you.

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Bigger, Brighter Desktop Backgrounds from Mango

By Mango Languages |   May 15, 2014

Mango lovers, we've got good news. If you've wanted Mango to adorn your desktop background or shine as your Smartphone wallpaper, then you’re in luck. Whether you’re a veteran user, a newbie, or simply have us on your To-Do list, now’s the perfect time to put Mango’s bright, fun wallpaper on your various technological outlets.

We don’t mean to outshine Sparky (that’s your dog’s name, right?) or bump that Creative Commons photo of the Eiffel Tower off of your desktop background, but when you see Mango’s wallpaper designs, your inner language lover’s heart will skip a beat, we’re sure of it. That’s because we designed these free, fully downloadable backgrounds with you in mind – who else could be having such a great hair day? By now, you should know that we love our users in a big way, and we think it’s best if you’re reminded of that every time you log onto your computer, and whenever you check your Smartphone. Have a friend who could use some Mango loving? Pick out one of our extra-affectionate wallpapers and send it their way – we’re happy to spread the good vibes around.

So, have you downloaded your free Mango swag yet? Our designers have labored (but it’s a labor of love, right?) day and night (they have weird work schedules) to bring you Mango’s finest creative work, designed specifically to put a smile on your face and a love of language learning in your heart. From us to you, may your wallpapers forever be Mango.

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Mangos love their moms!

By Mango Languages |   May 9, 2014

Mother May I….go to Europe? Hey Mom, can my friends from Montreal sleep over – for the next six months?

Mother’s Day is Sunday, and around the office, we quickly realized that Momma Mangos deserve an extra helping of thank-yous. We planned big adventures that we couldn’t afford, we called you from across the globe for directions, and we forgot the languages you tried to teach us again and again. But hey, look at us now. Early on, you instilled in us a love for language and culture, and now we've made a career out of sharing it with others. And you know what? We blame you.

The truth is out: we hold the maternal figures in our lives entirely responsible for the bright and happy language-lovers that we are today. This year, we've collected some pretty incriminating stories about Mango Mothers from around the office. They've been supportive, selfless, and inspirational – and we’d put money on your moms having some pretty similar offenses.

This Mother’s Day, Mangos from around the world are sending gratitude to their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, fellow mothers, and maternal figures through stories, language, memories, and laughter. And if one of these heartfelt messages is in a language you don’t speak, you know the drill. Break out a Mango course and study up until you’ve translated it yourself. Better yet, send your mom a thank-you message in a new language this year, and work together to learn and decode it together. It's your time, Mangos: make your momma proud.

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