Mango Languages

Deliciously simple language and culture learning.

Recent Posts

Mango is hiring!

By Mango Languages |   Aug 8, 2014 11:59:47 AM

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 |   Aug 7, 2014 10:46:37 AM

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 |   Aug 1, 2014 1:57:17 PM

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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Vive la France: Happy Bastille Day!

By Mango Languages |   Jul 14, 2014 11:36:21 AM

Francophiles, we know you’ve had your Bastille Day plans set for months. The day has finally arrived, and you’re ready to get French. Your record player is blasting the Les Mis soundtrack, the crêpes sucrées (or crêpes salées; we’re not picky) are bubbling in the pan, and your favorite Godard film is downloaded and ready to go. French days are the best days. We do our best to fill our calendars with global celebrations all year long, and we’re rounding out July’s independence festivities with France’s own national holiday, Bastille Day. Break out your blue, white, and red (again!), La Fête Nationale is here – and we've got three reasons why you should be celebrating.

1. History buffs, this is your day.

Dive into the rich history of Bastille Day and you’ll immediately get lost in the fascinating politics, personalities, and high stakes surrounding the 1789 Storming of the Bastille, a notorious fortress-prison in Paris. Whether you get your history fix via books or film, there are endless accounts of the events surrounding this historic day and its global impact. We’ll give you the short version for now: Le quatorze juillet marks the beginning of the French Revolution, and France’s first major step towards independence. Just weeks later, France took important steps toward freedom and unity with the abolition of feudalism and implementing new citizen rights and liberties. A year later, the people of France celebrated the event’s 1st anniversary with a huge four-day feast, fireworks, wine, and running naked through the streets. What’s not to love?

2. Eat your way through the celebrations.

Need we explain the glorious miracle that is French cuisine? Probably not, but humor us while we indulge in the hors d'œuvres, fromages, and pâtisseries of our dreams. Bastille Day is the perfect excuse to visit that enticingly fancy French place in your neighborhood, go to one of the many Bastille Day celebrations across the U.S., or throw your own three-course French dinner party. Whatever you do, treat yourself. After all, today’s all about celebrating the unique and often delicious traditions of France, and we’re extremely grateful for French delicacies. Croissants, macaroons, cassoulet, and even the famed escargot – we love all of it. Why not make this the year you finally try snails? If you do, please take a video and send it our way – we wouldn’t want to miss that.

3. Get authentic.

Language lovers, this is your time to shine – but you already knew that. Our most notorious French fanatics are up close and personal with their lessons all year long, and days like this are the big pay-off. This Bastille Day, use Mango’s ® French courses to learn about authentic culture and pick up relevant, useful conversation skills. Learn how to describe your culinary masterpieces, introduce yourself to new friends, and make plans for later (“Let’s meet at the Fireworks! I’ll bring wine.”) Really though, bring wine. That’s one of the greatest perks of celebrating Bastille Day in Paris – you can wine and dine in the parks, with fireworks from Trocadéro illuminating the Eiffel Tower. C'est si beau!

Celebrate Bastille Day, celebrate La Fête Nationale. Celebrate in two languages and you’ll have twice the fun – that’s how it always goes for us.

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Summertime Mobility: Learn Anywhere, Anytime with Mango Mobile.

By Mango Languages |   Jul 11, 2014 11:09:50 AM

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 |   Jul 1, 2014 10:16:44 AM

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 |   Jun 16, 2014 11:40:55 AM

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

By Mango Languages |   Jun 10, 2014 1:44:07 PM

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 |   Jun 6, 2014 10:48:09 AM

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 9:37:24 AM

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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