5 Transparent Language Online Libraries Named America’s Star Libraries

Posted on 30. Nov, 2015 by in Company News, Language News

America's Star Libraries by state

America’s Star Libraries by state

Library Journal recently announced the results of their 8th Index of Public Library Service. Of the 7,663 libraries scored on the index, only 261 were named “Star Libraries”. We were thrilled to find 5 Transparent Language Online libraries among them!

The LJ Index was designed to acknowledge and promote public libraries in America. It also encourages libraries to self-evaluate, as all data is self-reported. The Index compares public libraries on four figures: circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer use. Libraries are then organized by expenditure, compared to others in their spending range, and ranked accordingly.

The top 30 libraries in each expenditure group are named the year’s Star Libraries—the first 10 receive 5 stars, the next 10 receive 4 stars, and the final 10 receive 3 stars. Among this year’s recipients are 5 libraries with whom we are proud to work:

  • Arapahoe Library District (Englewood, CO)
  • Elmhurst Public Library (Elmhurst, IL)
  • Ramsey County Library (Shoreview, MN)
  • Seattle Public Library (Seattle, WA)
  • Snow Library (Orleans, MA)

Congratulations to each of you! We know that libraries strive to provide a wide range of quality resources for their patrons.

We work with public, academic, and special libraries worldwide to bring learning materials for more than 100 languages to their communities. You can learn more about Transparent Language Online for Libraries at http://www.transparent.com/libraries, or see it in action in our case studies.

The Single Most Important Arabic Word

Posted on 25. Nov, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Itchy Feet: Inshallah

Listen, I like procrastinating as much as the next guy. I like to live in the moment, you know? And sometimes that means not doing things that would make that moment boring and unmemorable, and pushing that burden on some future version of yourself that will hate you. I’m not the worst procrastinator in the world, but it’s not often that I’ll decide to get a jump start on my taxes or pay my bills early or do next week’s work this week. Life’s too short! Sometimes living in the moment means wasting what precious little time is given to you by binge-watching the latest garbage TV show.

Fair enough. We’ve all done it. But in the Middle East, they have taken procrastination to a whole new level, and it all comes from one little innocent-sounding word: inshallah.

Inshallah literally means “if God wills it,” though it’s not really used the same way we use “God willing.” It’s closer to “we’ll see.” It’s stuck at the end of any kind of declaration about the future, large or small, good or bad, accompanied by a humble shrug and a resigned smile. “I hope it doesn’t rain this afternoon.” Inshallah. “Next week my parents are coming to town!” Inshallah. “Yes, I will absolutely, definitely, positively pay you back those 10 bucks I owe you tomorrow.” Inshallah.

Basically, inshallah absolves you of any kind of responsibility about the future so that you don’t break any promises. After all, it’s the future! You can’t control the future, can you? I’d love to be able to come to your birthday party on Wednesday, but anything could happen between now and then! I might get hit by a truck and fall into a coma, and then I will be breaking a promise I made to you that I would be there. Better to just leave it in the hands of fate. If it’s “decided” that I will attend your party, I will of course attend. All I can do is express my desire to be present and hope that the Powers That Be agree with me. If not, it’s not my fault!

As you might imagine, this can quickly get frustrating, especially when relying on others to get something done. Westerners are used to a more goal-driven, self-motivated attitude in which God more or less minds his own business. In the Middle East, you’ll find that God often wills it that you spend your day chatting idly over sugary tea with your friends and neighbors than getting anything accomplished. If something needs doing right now, it’s up and at ’em, no time to waste! But if it needs to be done in an hour, well . . . inshallah.

The thing to realize about this slippery little word is that it’s a two-way street. That’s right, you get just as much right to inshallah yourself out of promises and commitments as anyone else. Being pestered by a local merchant to spend some expensive time in his shop? “I’ll be back in an hour, inshallah.” Can’t pay your rent on time? “I’ll have it next month, inshallah.” The wife wants you to get off the couch and do the dishes for once? “Absolutely, I promise, I’ll do them today! Inshallah.”

After all, those dishes might need to stay dirty for a very good reason. God works in mysterious ways.

30 New Languages Now Available in Transparent Language Online

Posted on 23. Nov, 2015 by in Company News, Language Learning, Language News, Product Announcements

new languages

You can never know enough languages. That’s why we add a few new languages to Transparent Language Online each year. Over time, our language scientists have experimented with several dozen languages that we never released to our individual consumers (though you may have seen these languages before if you were ever registered through a subscribing library, school, or corporate organization).

Today, we’re opening up our not-so-evil language laboratory! 30 new languages are now available in Transparent Language Online for our independent learners, including:

Afrikaans Esperanto Maori
Arabic (Levantine) French (Canadian) Mirandese
Balinese Hausa Nogai
Baluchi Hawaiian Oji-Cree
Bengali Icelandic Ojibwe
Breton Kalmyk Quechua
Buriat Koasati Scottish Gaelic
Cree Koyukon Tajiki
Dakota Latin Welsh
Denesuline Malagasy Yoruba

Language lovers can now purchase a subscription in any of more than 100 languages, including those listed above. Content will vary by language, so we recommend signing up for a free trial first to see what’s available!