Reviews

Hundreds of resources to help you teach yourself

Digital Dialects: Some Cute and Actually Useful Games, in Many Languages

4 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Multimedia, Tests, Vocabulary, Websites, Kids

The Digital Dialects website is an unexpected online pleasure full of free language games for 60 languages, from popular ones such as French and German to less widely studied ones such as Zazaki (spoken primarily in eastern Turkey) and Oromo (which…

Schoenhof's Website Is a Window to the World

5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Websites, Bookstores/Libraries, Kids

Founded in 1856, Schoenhof’s claims to have the “largest collection of foreign books in North America.” As a student at Harvard, I used to shop at their main store in Harvard Square for my language and literature course materials. I…

Central Park: An Autumn Day

5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Parks, Kids

Central Park draws international visitors year round, but if you really want to hear other languages, walk around here during the three non-freezing seasons: spring, summer, and fall. Summer especially is crazy with tourists. You can hear dozens of languages.…

The Greenpoint Public Library

5 Polish, Bookstores/Libraries, Kids

Greenpoint’s public library is full of Polish books. When I visited in 2011, I met librarian Izabela Barry, who is originally from Poland and who had at that time been at the library for nine years. During her tenure she…

Älskling Has Onesies in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese...

5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Shopping, Kids

Älskling, which means “darling” in Swedish, sells baby clothes online in dozens of languages. When I first encountered this product in an Upper West Side shop some years ago, I was fortunate enough to be given a tour by…

For the Kids: Polish Memory Cards

5 English, General, Polish, Bookstores/Libraries, Kids

This lovely independent bookstore in Greenpoint has all kinds of books in English, but what caught my eye when I stopped by in 2011 is that it also had Polish books for children. Not huge numbers of them, but between those…

FlashcardExchange.com: Find Flashcards for Your Target Language

4 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Apps, Flashcards, Vocabulary, Websites, Kids

FlashcardExchange.com claims to be the “world’s largest flashcard library.” It was founded in 2001 by a guy named Culley Harrelson, who was studying for an exam using a giant stack of paper flashcards. Apparently he didn’t find…

Mid-Manhattan Library, at 40th and Fifth

4-5 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Bookstores/Libraries, Kids

The Mid-Manhattan Library, at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue, is the main language-learning repository of the New York Public Library. I used it a lot in 2009 and 2010, mostly for Pimsleur audio lessons, but also borrowed books and other resources as…

CafePress Sells Hebrew Alphabet Mugs!

4 Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish, Shopping, Kids

According to its website, CafePress has “the world’s largest selection of artist-designed t-shirts, clothing, accessories, housewares and gifts.” I have included this company here because they happen to sell numerous foreign-language items, such as mugs, hoodies, posters, clocks, and…