Acting Library Director Millicent Price has obtained a trial version of Mango Languages, which makes it possible to study any of 22 foreign languages online, at your own pace and at home. Yes, even Greek.
And best of all it's free.
Making plans for travel to the Middle East or Afghanistan? Or maybe your Uncle Sam is making those arrangements for you. Get a head start on Farsi, Pashto, Dari, Arabic or Turkish.
"Reports from users of the online classes have been outstanding," said Manlin Chiu, librarian in charge of the program.
It's always helpful to be able to communicate with the locals in a foreign land. Find a hotel, a restaurant or a restroom.
Some courses are basic and some are complete. Basic is good if you are flying to the new land in a week or two and need some quick tips.
There are also 14 languages offered for English as a second language students.
In addition to the courses mentioned earlier, potential students will find Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese.
English classes tailored for speakers of French, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Egyptian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Polish, Korean, Greek, German, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
"Interested parties with questions
"It is really helpful if students have a microphone with their computer so that they can compare their pronunciation against that of the (Mango experts)."
To use the San Bernardino Public Libraries language education program go to the library's Web site http://www.sbpl.org/.
In the left column of the home page you will see a link to Mango Languages. Click on it and it will take you to the Mango page titled Mango in Your Library. There are a series of 9 links down the left side of the page. Clicking each gives more information.
When you get to the last, Start Learning Now, you will find a page listing all the languages.