“Bonjour!” to French Language Day and Transparent Languages!

March is a month that is full of cultural celebration. From the celebration of Mardi Gras on the 1st to St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, tradition, festivities, and excitement will be on full display this month. But did you know that March 20th is also a day for celebrating French culture? March 20th is French Language Day!

French Language Day is one of six “language days” that were created by the United Nations in 2010 to celebrate the cultural diversity and multilingualism of the world. Each year, the United Nations acknowledges these language days with a specific day that is dedicated to each of the six official languages of the United Nations: French (March 20), Chinese (April 20), English (April 23), Spanish (April 23), Russian (June 6), and Arabic (December 18). For over a decade, the United Nations has celebrated all six language days to encourage equal use of all official languages throughout their organization and to increase awareness and respect of each culture’s achievements and history.

Today, the French language is spoken by over 300 million people and is considered to be one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. With this in mind, French Language Day is not only a day to celebrate and speak French, it is also a day to acknowledge the impact and influence that France and French culture have had on the world and the links between culture and language that we experience every day.

Why not celebrate French Language Day on March 20th by learning French through the Transparent Languages database here at Hamden Public Library? Transparent Language is a database that can be accessed for free with a valid Hamden library card! It is a great way to learn a language at your own pace; each lesson involves listening and reading activities, critical-thinking exercises, and notes on culture and grammar. For French language learners, Transparent Language helps users learn common phrases for French life, nights out in French-speaking places, and French festivals. There is also a specialty courses in French for kids (KidSpeak). Transparent Language  can be accessed from the library or from home with a valid library card; iPhone and iPad users can also download the database as an app from the Apple store and Android users can download the app from the Google Play store.

We also have items in our collection related to French language and culture that you can come in and check out! French language instruction books and audiobook CDs are available and can be found on the third floor of the Miller library near the elevator. E-books that are related to French language instruction can also be found in our Hoopla and Overdrive collections. To find a specific item in our collection, visit our Online Catalog and search by “Subject” for the term “French language” and click GO. Available materials in the library and online will be shown under the “Available Now” and “Available Online” tabs; after clicking on either tab, you will then find both physical and digital materials that are ready for check-out and are related to French language instruction and learning!

To find more French materials in our collection, click the following links:

French Language and Instruction Materials for Adults

French Language and Instruction Materials for Children

Fiction Books in French for Adults

Fiction Books in French for Children

DVDs in French with English Subtitles

Happy French Language Day! Au Revoir!