So you’ve got that big trip to South America coming up but you haven’t really spoken anything but Drunken Taqueria Spanish since freshman year of college. Which means you know enough Spanish to navigate your way around say, San Diego, but it probably won’t do you much good in somewhere like Peru where they’re not really huge on tacos. (The ceviche is great though.)
So now that you’ve decided to become a better person and less of a fat, dumb American, you’re wondering how you can work on your second language without going dropping too much coin. Enter the San Francisco Public Libraries Online Resources where thanks to the miracle of Socialism, you can get FREE access to Rosetta Stone Online Language Lessons – that same software fancy businessmen drop a couple hundred bucks of corporate expenses on so they can pick up a language in months instead of years. All you need is your library card and a computer with internet access* (and probably some headphones).
Finding where to access Rosetta Stone on the SFPL site is a little tricky because they tucked it away in the “Articles & Databases” section. But you can access it directly here: SFPL Rosetta Stone Login Page.
You’ll be asked for the barcode number from your library card and your PIN and you’ll be asked to make a Rosetta Stone account. And once you’re past that, you’ll be greeted with a list of courses you can take in a range of handy languages. You can take up to 19 units of Mandarin, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean or Spanish. Holy crap, that’s a lot of units! (There are also 3-unit courses for Italian, Greek, German, Russian and you can even take English lessons if that’s what you need to brush up on.)
Even if you’re not in SF, check with your local Public Library to see if they offer it as well. My tiny hometown PL actually offers the same service, although the number of units available varies.
That link again: SFPL Rosetta Stone Login Page
*You’ll have to make sure you have Shockwave installed on your computer, which gave me a little hiccup with the newest version of Safari.
Photo via vagabondjourney.com