See You in the Stacks Adult Newsletter

See You in the Stacks brings you items of literary and local interest written by Rio Rancho Public Libraries staff. Rio Rancho Library's new adult newsletter will publish every Monday by 10:00 am.

New Year, New Language

New Year's resolutions can be either a chore or a goal, depending on the plan and follow-through of said resolution. Most people think of the big resolutions like weight management, money management, drink more water, etc., which can cause more anxiety than excitement. Good Housekeeping has a great list of easy, accessible, and thoughtful ideas including things like cleaning your cell phone once a week or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This edition of See You in the Stacks has its own resolution, to inform readers about some of the great language learning tools out there! 

Recently there was an article in the Albuquerque Journal about a new Navajo language app through Rosetta Stone. It is a project with Rosetta Stone and the Navajo Language Renaissance (NLR) to help users learn Diné. Diné is considered an "at risk" language by the Endangered Languages Project because of the low number of fluent speakers. Now this is not an ad for Rosetta Stone but the program does offer a wealth of resources for learning a language. This particular language app sees all the revenue going back to the NLR, a nonprofit organization that works to continue preserving the Navajo language for future generations. The Rio Rancho Public Libraries is periodically asked if we can get Rosetta Stone and we wish the question had a simple answer, but it is a resource that we watch with regularity to see if we can add it to our database collection.

A great resource that is free and fun and can be accessed right now is Duolingo. One only needs to create an account to get started. Duolingo offers over 30 languages including Navajo (Diné) and, while they do have a paid version, the main difference is that the free version has ads. Their main goal is to offer language learning for free, forever. Their strategy is bite sized lessons that are fun (think video game with timed exercises and rewards) that work on retention instead of memorization and regurgitation. Duolingo has become so popular that they created a plan specifically for schools and teachers to aid with language learning in the classroom. One of the best aspects of Duolingo is that it is accessible to all age groups.

Another resource that the library offers is (of course) books and audiobooks. This includes dictionaries, leveled learning courses, dual language books, and audio books designed specifically for the commuter. If you are thinking about, for instance, tackling French this year, here are three books to get you started: Short Stories in French for Beginners by Olly Richards, The Ultimate French Review and Practice by David Stillman, and Learn French the Fast and Fun Way by Theodore Kendris.

Now that you’ve got some great resources, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride to learning a new language. Buena suerte, bonne chance, and viel Glück!