Global Lingo: Learn a Foreign Language Month

Learning another language is good for you; it allows you to communicate with people from another culture and learn more about their experiences. It gives you the opportunity to see the world from another perspective. Making your world a little bigger is all the more important in our increasingly interconnected world.

Learning more than one language is also beneficial for your brain, as it increases the size of the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex. The area of the brain responsible for processing language and information can develop denser grey matter, which means there are stronger connections between neurons in the brain. Being bilingual has also been found to improve memory and enhance your attention span. Research is even beginning to show that speaking more than one language can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what are some good ways to learn a foreign language?


Stop by the library and check out our foreign language books (many of which also have accompanying CDs). Languages in our collection include Spanish, Arabic, French, Italian, Korean, Hindi, German, Chinese, Urdu, Polish and Japanese just to name a few. Materials about learning a foreign language can be found in the 430-499 area of our nonfiction section.

Online Resources

Mango Languages – Learn a new language with fun and interactive lessons, including important cultural contexts and realistic conversations. Over 70 different languages are available. Use your Canton Public Library card to access this resource for free. 

Gale Courses – Discover online courses on a wide variety of topics for general users, students and professionals including courses for Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese language learners. Use your Canton Public Library card to access this resource for free. 

Websites and Apps

Duolingo – This popular app offers thousands of bite-sized lessons in 40+ languages. You can complete the lessons online or on your phone. While you can upgrade to a "pro" account to go through lessons faster, all of the lessons are free.

Open Culture – Open Culture has catalogued free resources all over the web (including video, audio and interactive lessons) for 48 languages.

Babel – Babel offers lessons in 13 languages and requires a monthly subscription, but you can pick your lessons based on level or time commitment. You can complete your lessons either on the app or a computer, and there is an option to take classes in real time.

Rosetta Stone – Rosetta Stone, widely considered to be the gold standard in language learning software, offers courses in 23 languages and provides an immersive language learning environment for computer users. It also used to be quite expensive, but now only requires a monthly subscription to access content.

Mondly – Not only does Mondly offer 33 languages to learn, but it does a fantastic job of providing exercises to help learn the essentials. For those wanting to learn phrases just to get around while on vacation or to be able to ask for simple directions in a foreign language, Mondly is a go-to option. It has premium features available with the purchase of a subscription.

Memrise – This is an app that teaches practical and conversational vocabulary that you will actually put to use by building upon what you’ve already learned. It also features videos of native speakers saying phrases so that you’re able to hear how each word is properly pronounced. It features a monthly as well as a lifetime subscription.

Now that you know all the benefits of learning a foreign language and how you can practice, all that's left to do is to pick which language you want to learn. What will you choose?