“U.S.A. Learns is an outgrowth of a project that was conceived by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL). DAEL promotes programs that help American adults get the basic skills they need to be productive workers, family members, and citizens.”–From the Website. This is a free site to help adults learn English and improve basic reading, writing, speaking, and life skills.
This Voice of America guide is a database of pronunciation keys and audio files (mp3) with guidance for pronouncing names of people and places in the worldwide news. Four search types are available: exact search, near search, list lookup or origin browse.
This is a fairly comprehensive list of sources for free language lessons, generally in the form of podcasts. Most are beginner-level, but some of the more popular languages have much more in-depth lessons. And, of course, there’s always the “Nightly News in Latin.”
According to the site, “[t]he Global Music Archive is a multi-media reference archive and resource center for traditional and popular song, music, and dance of Africa and the Americas.” Currently, only East African music is available, but you can read about plans for expanding the database. Users can search by region, language, instrument, etc. From Vanderbilt University.
This is a wonderful tool for business folk or anyone who has ever stumbled over a foreign name. How To Say That Name.com allows the user to listen to a quick sound file of a native speaker saying given names and surnames. Of course, not every name in the world is included, but an impressive number are!
These days, most keyboard characters are available in Microsoft Word (Insert>Symbol). But what if you need to insert a © in an email? Or write the word español? That’s where this site becomes helpful. Click on the symbol you need and it is automatically placed on your clipboard. Then, just go to where you want to type it, and press Ctrl+V. Voilà!
Thanks to Kay Due (Public Services) and Wang-Ying Glasgow (Serials) for passing this along!
This is a wonderful tool that translates frequently used words and phrases from the library world into 49 different languages. It is also possible to request a phrase that is not currently included.
This is the home for foreign language courses developed by the United States Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. All courses are free and in the public domain.