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75% of the world doesn’t speak English

We are surely lucky to have all the rest of us around to learn from. Children don’t experience the discomfort that adults feel when confronted with a person who looks different and makes unintelligible sounds that clearly have meaning. Kids don’t care if they don’t understand, it’s just par for the course.

In the Children’s area at the Library we have a World Languages section you might have missed. This is not the language learning area, but contains books in non-English languages. I counted 27 languages, alphabetically, from Arabic to Vietnamese, including Braille! Some are only represented by 1 or 2 books, others by hundreds. A number are bilingual, meaning that they are in English and another language, so a learner or speaker of either can enjoy the story while being introduced to the look and (maybe) sound of the other language.

Children are fascinated by different alphabets. Enjoy a book in Hindi and see the lovely flow of the script. Look at a Harry Potter book in Chinese and marvel at what the human brain can learn.

Read a bilingual book in Hopi or Navajo, get out the map and point out the southwest United States, talk about Haskell Indian Nations University right here in our town. How’s your Spanish? We have everything from Good Night Moon  to Diary of a Wimpy Kid , to Eragon.

Check out this list of children’s books in many languages!  The languages are arranged alphabetically.

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One Comment

  1. Great info on learning languages early. What is it that they say it is easiest to learn a new language before the age of 7? I’m sure part of it is that no one has told you yet that learning language is hard! Sounds like you try to make learning new language and culture fun; such an important thing in this ever smaller world that we live in!

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