Review 101 Languages of the World CD-Rom by Transparent Language

is a CD-Rom made by Transparent Language. It includes dialogues, vocabulary and grammar, all with audio samples for 76 different languages, as well as vocabulary lists and a flashcard program for an additional 25 languages. Because it is not focused on a single language, it can't compete as a language learning method with other products such as textbooks, all-audio learning methods or software products. However, this CD-Rom makes a great supplement to any other language method, especially for someone studying several languages.

On the surface, it appears to have all the bells and whistles of any software-based language learning method. It has text and audio, dialogues, several thousand words of vocabulary and hundreds of common phrases, games and a recording feature for interactivity. And all of this for 76 different languages, from the most commonly learned languages, like Spanish, German and Chinese, to some less common languages like Danish, Swahili and Estonian and even some very rarely studied languages like Breton, Galician, Wolof, Zulu and Tahitian.

It's an astounding product for the price and a fantastic resource for the language enthusiast or would-be polyglot. Having said all that, it does not make a great primary learning source, at least in my opinion. There is no clearly defined lesson plan, you are expected to just jump in and start looking at things that interest you. This may be effective for some people, but most (including myself) learn better with a clear plan. The wide variety of features allow you to approach the material in a number of ways, and this makes for an effective learning supplement to a more clearly defined method.

If you are even mildly interested in at least 2 or 3 of the languages on this product, then it is definitely worth the price. It is very hard to find good all-purpose resources for many of the less commonly studied languages and I have found this product useful for not only Spanish and French (when I get a little tired of textbooks or all-audio like Pimsleur) but also for Swedish, Breton, Catalan and Lithuanian when specific needs popped up. I've had 101 Languages of the World for several years and it remains useful.

Two of my favorite languages with almost no products available at all are Cornish and Provencal. Both of these languages are included in the Vocabulary of the World section. This is simply vocabulary lists and a flashcard program (which can be user modified for your own word lists or languages), but the gesture is appreciated. Also included are some other rather obscure languages like Blackfoot, Maya and Maori.

101 Languages of the World from Transparent Language is a useful supplement for a structured language learning method, particularly for the student of many languages. The interactivity, text, audio and other extra features will be useful to an enterprising and motivated student.

Here is a list of the languages with full text, audio, dialogues and games : Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belorussian, Bengali, Brazilian Portuguese, Breton, Bulgarian, Canadian French, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English for Spanish Speakers, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, Flemish, Galician, Greek, Guarani, Haitian Creole, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luganda, Luxembourgish, Malagasy, Malay, Norwegian, Pidgin English, Polish, Portuguese (European), Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Somali, Sotho, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Thai, Tswana, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wolof, Xhosa, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zulu

These are the languages included in the Vocabulary of the World section : Asturian, Aymara, Bemba, Blackfoot, Cebuano, Chamorro, Cornish, Ecuadorian Quechua, Faroese, Frisian, Inuktitut, Kongo, Macedonian, Maori, Maya, Mohawk, Nahuatl, Papago, Provençal, Romany, Romansch, Ruanda, Samoan, Sepedi, Shona, Sicilian, Sorbian, Swazi, Tongan

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"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart"

- Nelson Mandela

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