Language Lab

By , April 7, 2010

Alma Language Lab with "Vern the Library Buddy" learning Chinese

Learning French at the Language Lab

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

- Ludwig Wittgenstein

Welcome to the Alma Language Lab, established in 2007 by a generous donation from the Ethel Mae Kreutz Foundation.  The Lab is located in the Reference section of the library and has over eleven (11) languages available in various media for various age groups.  (See the list below)


All are available for checkout with the exception of the Rosetta Stone Languages which are for In-Library Use Only.  Patrons are welcome to use any of the Rosetta Stone Languages at our Language Lab Station.  You will be able to select from four different methods to learn the language.  A microphone on the headset allows you to repeat the words and sounds.  An indicator shows you if you have made a close match.


Sign Language                     Russian                          Farsi (Persian)

German                                Chinese                           Italian

French                                 Japanese                        Spanish

Norwegian                           Lakota                            Portuguese


Slangman Language Fairy Tales:

For a fun introduction to foreign languages for children, checkout our collection of Slangman Fairy Tales in three levels of six popular languages with a Read-a-Long CD!

Choose from Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, German, or Spanish.  The whole family will have fun reading along with these classic Fairy Tales.



The Limits of My World:

This library collection was inspired by a quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein:  “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”  With our young people graduating and going out into the world, it made sense to help arm them with tools to meet and appreciate other cultures.  And, as retirees find time to visit other lands, they too need sufficient language skills to feel comfortable in the country of their travels.  No sooner had the idea formed to open a language center, than patrons began asking weekly for one language or another.  Some Buffalo county residents are experiencing travel to China for their companies and are requesting instruction in that language.


A Generous Gift:

The Kreutz Private Foundation granted the library $3,000 in 2006 to start the collection which took several months to evaluate, purchase and prepare for checkout.  The Kreutz Foundation has been a faithful partner in funding special projects for the library since 2002.


From Our Open House in March 2007:


“The Alma Public Library is now happy to announce the opening of the Ethel Mae Kreutz Language Learning Center.   There are 11 languages to choose from.  The Romance languages include German, French, Spanish and Portuguese.  We have Norwegian and Russian.  Perhaps you will want to learn Farsi, the Persian language spoken throughout the Middle East.  Oriental Languages include Chinese and Japanese.  Or you might try your hand at Native American Lakota.  We even have sign language, especially for children.

The more popular languages begin at toddler level, early elementary, junior high and high school level and can be checked out in Cassette, CD, DVD and read-a-long format.

Rosetta Stone:

We are so happy to add four Rosetta Stone interactive languages:  Spanish Levels 1, 2 & 3; French Levels 1 & 2;  Chinese Levels 1 & 2; and Farsi Levels 1 & 2.   These are used only in the library as their costs run from $350+ each.  But you will be thrilled with how quickly you can pick up the language with only a 30 – 45 min session.

These wonderful interactive languages are on CDROM with the ability to match pronunciation through use of a headset and microphone.

There is one computer at the library dedicated to languages at all times, and the other public computers will read the CDs or DVDs also.

What has been the most requested language so far?   Why Chinese, of course!  The children are fascinated by it.

The library has added dictionaries, phrase books and travel guides for some of the countries’ languages.”

© 2010 Marie Marquardt, Alma Public Library

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