Learn a language and exercise your brain

Learning a new language has multiple benefits: you can communicate with people at home and around the world, and at the same time you also exercise your brain.

Although scientific studies vary, there seems to be agreement that learning and speaking multiple languages is good for your gray matter. It may even delay the onset of dementia*. It will certainly improve your je ne sais quoi.

Here are a few of the language learning resources available to you from Multnomah County Library:

  • Mango Connect: This online app is easy to use and full of quick exercises for learning over 50 different languages. You move through lessons at your own pace, and you can spend a lot of time on it or just a little bit each day.
  • Language Exchanges: The library offers in-person language exchange programs in Chinese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese. These events are intended for both English speakers and English learners. Half of the event is spent practicing in the non-English language, and the other half is spent practicing English. All levels are welcome! These programs are informal, fun, and a great way to meet people in your community.
  • Books: The library has lots of books (and audiobooks) for learning languages! The best way to find these is by asking a librarian - they will guide you to the books and resources that are perfect for you.

For even more language learning ideas, take a look at the library’s Language learning topic page. If someone you know is working on learning or improving their English, be sure to also check out the library’s Learn English webpage.

You’re never too old to learn something new!

*: For more information about the science of languages and the brain, read “Delaying Onset of Dementia: Are Two Languages Enough?” (2014) in the online journal Behavioural Neurology.

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Is a Russian language exchange being considered? I'd be very interested in that!
I like to learn a new language. I speak three already.....
Would love to study Italian....is there a group or class affiliated with the library? What do you suggest? Ciao, Angelo
There are not currently any Multnomah County Library in-person programs for learning Italian or Russian, but we would be happy to help you find such groups or classes outside of the library! Use the Email a librarian form (https://multcolib.org/email-librarian) or give us a call at 503-988-5234.
I see Spanish Intercambios; is there anything similar for French? (Eastside)
There are no French conversation groups at the library at this time, but this website lists others in the area: https://www.afportland.org/community/french-conversation-groups-in-portland
I'm looking the spanish learning class for the beginner , please give some advises where I could apply for the class , or can I study online by myself ... whete can I get any materials for the study
If you need help finding local language classes in the community, or if you need help finding library books and CDs for language learning - or if you need help for anything else! - please contact the library via phone, chat, email or text: https://multcolib.org/contact