3 New Languages in Transparent Language Online: Tamil, Khmer, and Somali Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in For Educators, For Learners, For Libraries, Learning Material Updates

TLO New UI DevicesWe are very excited to announce that we have added three new languages to  Transparent Language Online: Cambodian (Khmer), Somali, and Tamil! 

Cambodian, known commonly as Khmer,  is spoken by more than 16 million people across Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Differing from a traditional alphabet, Khmer uses an abugida, a segmental writing system in which combinations of consonants and vowels are written as a single unit. Fear not, learners, Transparent Language Online includes an Alphabet Explorer to introduce you to the Khmer writing system before you dive in to the hundreds of hours of learning content!


Somali is spoken by more than 17 million speakers in, you guessed it: Somalia! It is also widely spoken throughout eastern Africa, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. There was no official writing system for Somali until 1972, when the the Somali Latin alphabet was adopted. Arabic speakers may hear a number of familiar words in Somali, as the language borrows extensively from Arabic, particularly for religious and education-related topics. Don’t speak Arabic? We’ve still got you covered on the vocabulary front. Transparent Language Online includes thousands of Somali words and phrases.


Tamil, one of the oldest surviving classical language in the world, is the predominant language of more than 70 million people native to South India and Northeast Sri Lanka. Interestingly, all Tamil consonants have an inherent “a” vowel sound. To remove the inherent vowel, a pulli is used to mark the dead consonant. Other written vowels can then be combined to create other vowel sounds. Seems complicated, right? Don’t worry! Transparent Language Online includes native speaker audio and ample pronunciation activities with voice analysis technology to help you master your speaking skills.


Find a library near you that offers Transparent Language Online.

None close by? Print this info card and bring it to your local librarians to let them know you’re interested, or sign up for the free trial!

*Note: Cambodian (Khmer), Somali, and Tamil have also been added to the CL-150 available to all U.S. government personnel.

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