Attention all foreign language learners: Free library resources


Are you hankering to learn a new language and don’t know where to begin? Did you learn a foreign language at one time and want to brush up on your skills?

Learning a new language can be as easy as uno, dos, tres:

1.  Hang out with a native speaker 24/7.

2.  Live in the country where the language is spoken.

3.  Enroll in a class, hire a tutor.

None of these work for you?  Then try any of the  Library resources listed below:

Spanish audiobookLanguage CDs or Playaways (a pre-loaded audiobook or language course on a small device) which include a huge selection of languages to choose from.

French language audiobook

Downloadable audiobooks:  Go to the Digital Media Catalog (also accessible from our website).  Try the Advanced Search mode and under the All Subjects heading, find Foreign Language Study – French (or any other available language)


Foreign film bookmarks

You can have fun watching foreign language films while munching popcorn at home – a simple and painless way to learn.  Browse our new Foreign Language DVD section.   Look for the brightly colored Library bookmarks shelved nearby. These “finding aid” bookmarks include selections of movies in various languages.


Foreign language DVDs


While hanging out with your computer, go to the Minuteman Library website, find the Database option (under e-resources), and click on the Mango Languages database.  You can Log in or Create a Profile  or  you can skip these steps –  and –  just  Start Learning. 


Foreign language books and dictionaries

Come up to the second floor where you’ll find language learning books and/or dictionaries galore – from Finnish to Yiddish to colloquial Turkish.

The second and third floors are  home to  collections of  books penned in Chinese (2nd floor),  Russian, French, and Spanish (3rd floor)  – another way to hone your reading fluency in those languages.


Private Lessons file

Located right near the Reference Desk is a little known “Private Lessons” file which contains info. on local tutors, teachers, and coaches.

Many towns have Community Ed programs that have rosters bursting with foreign language courses.

Any interest in French or German:

Discover the French Cultural Center in Boston where you can browse magazines and books in-house for free…and maybe practice a little French while you’re there.  Courage le diable est mort.  German speakers may want to check out the Goethe Institute, also  in Boston – for a shot of German language and culture:

You may even come to realize that your dream is to begin a language conversation group  – right here in Arlington.

Finally, if you are totally gun-shy about learning a new language, try the “lazy-man’s” method:  Let a language learning CD run continuously while you are sleeping.  While an untested method,  this might just be your ticket.  Let us know if it works.


If you have questions, or need help on your quest, stop by or contact the Robbins Reference Desk at 781.316.3233,, chat, or talk to Ellen.

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