Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Events

Pasco libraries offer classes for French, Japanese, ASL and more

RECOMMENDED READING


NEW PORT RICHEY — The members of the French-language group Bonjour Mes Amis settle in to the library downtown on Thursday afternoons to talk about all things French — the landscape, the Tour de France, their relatives and invariably, food.

At a recent meeting, a pair of chocolate bars sat in the center of the table alongside a box of Raffaello candy, which, they discovered with laughter, is actually a product of Poland.

Angele Graser smiled proudly as she showed off a photograph featuring four generations of her family. The group talked about how nice it is to be able to see relatives' faces in France during video chats.

But the group congregates for more than just fellowship and food.

For the French-born members, Bonjour Mes Amis — which means "Hello, my friends" — is a place to celebrate their heritage.

"It's nice once a week to talk in our own language," Marguerite Pautard said.

The group recently celebrated Bastille Day with cake and champagne and a chorus of the national anthem, La Marseillaise.

Nonnatives have been drawn to the group to brush up on their French skills in an immersive environment.

Terri Fricke learned French while attending Catholic school in her native Vietnam.

"I didn't practice since 1968," Fricke said. "Since I joined the group two years ago, it's come back to me."

American-born Elaine Dunning comes to brush up on the language to prepare for regular trips to France, where she bicycles with her husband.

Bonjour Mes Amis is just one of many opportunities to learn languages at Pasco County libraries.

USF student Brittany Christensen is wrapping up teaching the first run of a seven-week basic Japanese class at South Holiday Library.

Christensen got interested in the language the same way many young Americans do — by watching anime. The Japanese animated movies and television shows, as well as their printed comic book counterparts (manga), were the impetus for most of Christensen's students to sign up.

"The majority of them come in and they know words because they've been watching anime," Christensen said. "They pick up a couple words, and some of them know a little bit of kanji," the Japanese writing system.

Christensen is considering offering another session of basic Japanese next summer or possibly a continuation of the first class.

Paul Stonebridge, teen services manager for the Pasco County Library Cooperative, has been conducting a Japanese language class at Land O' Lakes Library since 2009. Participants can join at any time and if they attend regularly for a full year, they will have experienced all of Stonebridge's 22 lessons.

For those interested in a more hands-on language, Aynne Rosenberg, the Signing for Everyday Living program coordinator at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, offers sign language classes at several locations, including New Port Richey Library. Signing for Everyday Living is designed to teach participants useful signs without teaching the entire language. The class is appropriate for all ages; Rosenberg has taught children as young as 8 months old and adults as old as 101.

Would-be foreign language learners looking for a more cinematic approach to their studies will enjoy New Port Richey Library's August and September Friday Flix themes. Visit the library on Fridays in August for foreign art house films and swing by in September for Argentinian and Brazilian films.

The libraries also offer a chance to learn languages through several computer-based programs. The language learning system called Mango is offered by both Pasco County Libraries and New Port Richey Library.

"Language learners who are familiar with Rosetta Stone will feel very comfortable using Mango," said Angelo Liranzo, branch manager of Dade City's Hugh Embry Library, who has used the program to practice French and German.

The online service uses visuals, sound and text to teach learners to speak, listen and read a foreign language. The program provides feedback on users' pronunciation, provides grammar and culture notes, and covers topics like greetings, clothes shopping, eating out, using the train station and expressing courtesy and gratitude.

Library members can use the software in the library or can gain access to the program with a library card number on personal computers at home or through an Android or iPhone app. Pasco County Libraries offer access to 10 languages on the program, including a course in English for nonnative speakers. New Port Richey Library offers access to 62 languages through Mango and offers Rosetta Stone for use in the library.

New Port Richey Library members have access to Hillsborough Community College's language learning resources through the library's website. New Port Richey Library also offers an option for those looking to learn English. Nonnative speakers can make one-on-one appointments with the 150 tutors who focus on English for Speakers of Other Languages and literacy.

Samantha Fuchs can be reached at (727) 869-6235 or [email protected]

Comments
Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Plan your weekendShoppingBlack Friday: Avoid the madness of the malls at a variety of indie shopping experiences this weekend. Skatepark of Tampa has one of the best sneaker selections in Tampa Bay and free skating all day Friday to celebrate. Theyíl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Here's where to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

Here's where to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, you can stop grumbling about it being too early for Christmas lights and decorations. Let the grand illuminations begin! Despite our tropical climate, or maybe because of it, Tampa Bay goes all out when ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Meet Amazonís bawdy, opinionated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Meet Amazonís bawdy, opinionated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Miriam "Midge" Maisel seems to have it all.Itís 1958 New York City, Upper West Side, and sheís a quick-witted Jewish housewife with two kids. She and her husband live in a plush apartment just a few floors below her meddling yet endearing parents.Heí...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 24

St. Petersburg Tree Lighting: Mayor Kriseman flips the switch to illuminate the city’s Christmas tree at this celebration with live entertainment. 5 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 893-74...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Legendary guitarist John McLaughlin talks about his last tour

Legendary guitarist John McLaughlin talks about his last tour

As you might imagine, quite a lot of thought goes into planning your final tour ever. "It’s not a light decision to not tour again, but that really is the situation," said John McLaughlin, the guitarist behind legendary jazz-rock fusion outfit...
Published: 11/21/17
10 things to do for fun in Tampa Bay on Tuesday

10 things to do for fun in Tampa Bay on Tuesday

Ice Skating at Tampa’s Winter Village: Even in Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by ice skating on an outdoor rink in the park. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. Stop by the cafe for themed drinks and holiday snacks. 10 a.m...
Updated: 7 hours ago
11 fun things to do in Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving day

11 fun things to do in Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving day

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: More than 2 million twinkling lights transform the park into a holiday wonderland with Rudolph, Sam the Snowman, Christmas-themed entertainment and visits with Santa. Included with admission on select nights through D...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Fun things to do in Tampa Bay for Wednesday, Nov. 22

Fun things to do in Tampa Bay for Wednesday, Nov. 22

Much Ado About Nothing: William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy gets an update by placing lovers Beatrice and Benedick against the backdrop of the Florida Keys as World War II is drawing to a close. Through Dec. 10. 7 p.m., American Stage Theatre...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Nov. 20-26

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Nov. 20-26

Thanksgiving Day races: Get those calories burning early on Thursday, so you won’t feel as guilty about that second piece of pie. The Times Turkey Trot kicks off at Clearwater High School and features a buffet of races, including the 1-mile Gob...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape

Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape

East Hillsborough residents will have three holiday-themed events to help brighten the season this year.Christmas Lane, the long-time holiday celebration that started on an area farm, launches another season of festivities at its current spot, the Fl...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17