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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.
(Click on the quotes to zoom in).
April 30th is National Hairstyle Appreciation Day, and we’ve got you covered. Here at Mango, we try to take every single opportunity to celebrate, and ever since we missed National High Five Day (April 17th, we will meet again…) we’ve been devoting extra attention to the fun and obscure holidays that take place all year long. So linger in front of that mirror a little longer this Wednesday, because you’re having a great hair day.Read More
This is your week. April 13-19 is National Librarian Week, and communities around the country are sharing how their lives change at the library. There’s no better time than NLW to celebrate the powerful and positive impact librarians have on our daily lives. If you’re a librarian, bask in the glow of your well-deserved accolades. If you’re a patron, join the conversation. ALA is encouraging library-lovers to use social media to share how the library has changed their lives for the better with the community hashtags #LivesChange and #NLW14. Search the hashtags on Twitter and enjoy a stream of heart-warming stories all about the most lovable and life-changing institutions and people around: our libraries and librarians. What’s your story? We’re tuned in to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all week reading stories, and we can’t wait to hear yours.
Speaking of librarian lovers, we’re the unofficial Fan Club President. Don’t believe us? We’re always looking for creative and, uh, interesting ways to show libraries and librarians our love, and this time we’ve taken over OKCupid to A) Demonstrate that we’ll go to great lengths to express our love for our librarian friends, and B) Meet new libraries and librarians on the “best free dating site on Earth.” Can you blame us? Librarians are the smartest, coolest, most fun people around, and we want to mix and mingle with you. Find us on OKCupid here and start a conversation.
Trust us, you’re going to want to check this one out. Sneak preview: our anthropomorphic Mango admits the six things she can’t live without, dishes on her favorite traits in a partner, and reveals a blush-worthy secret confession. Message us, rate our profile, or simply share the link with your friends and brag about how much Mango Languages loves you. Because we really, really do.
Happy National Librarian Week, you're the greatest.
In response to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heart Bleed Open SSL bug, Mango Languages has performed a thorough review of the bug on our service and how it impacts the security of our customers.Read More
Language lovers, rejoice! Mango Languages is sponsoring a free webinar on April 15, 2014, and it’ll be just as fascinating as the name suggests. Join language expert John de Mado for a conversation on language acquisition, learning environments, and how the academic library can help patrons increase literacy through language-learning. If you're anything like us, that sounds like the best conversation ever.Read More
When it comes to our clients, we’re all ears. We took our own advice and started a conversation with schools, English language learners, and their families, and we’re proud to shine a spotlight on our 17 unique English courses in 17 different languages – that’s more than any language-learning resource on the market.Read More
This St. Patrick’s Day, have a more authentic celebration with a little throwback to the holiday’s Irish roots and origin. It turns out there’s been some misunderstood facts behind the tradition, so Mango Mythbusters is here to set the story straight. Here’s five ways you can celebrate this year’s St. Patrick’s Day with stunning historical accuracy.Read More