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Cat in the Stax: What about Duolingo?

By Ethan Shea

"Spanish Study Book"

As you may have seen in a blog published earlier this week, the Booker Prize was recently awarded to Shehan Karunatilaka. This prestigious award is given annually to an outstanding work of fiction written in the English language. The Nobel Prize in Literature, however, can be given to an author who works writes in any language. This year, Annie Ernaux, who writes in French, won the highly coveted Nobel Prize in Literature.

The announcements of both these award recipients who work in different languages led me to look into Falvey Library’s resources that can help you learn new languages.

On Falvey’s website, you can find a Subject Guide for the Spanish language. This guide also includes resources on other Romance languages. A particularly helpful resource you can find here is Mango Languages, an online language-learning website that all Villanova students, faculty and staff have access to. You can access the Mango language database here!

"500 Day Duolingo Streak"

Ethan’s Duolingo streak

But what about Duolingo? In addition to Mango, you can also make use of the free version of Duolingo, something I have been doing for a while to keep my French skills in tact. If you do not already know, Duolingo is a language-learning app known for its uniquely threatening yet comedic social media presence. You can even compete with friends and other online learners on leaderboards in the app.

Not to brag, but last week I reached a 500 day streak on Duolingo. Am I fluent in French? Absolutely not, but I am certainly more capable than I would have been if I never started this streak.

In addition to these resources, you can check out this recently published blog to learn about Ugegbe: Jọnalụ Ụwandịigbo, a new academic journal that publishes work in Igbo.

Lastly, here are some books you can find at Falvey, either in the stacks or online, that can help you learn various non-English languages:

Conversation Guide: Spanish – Eduardo Rosset

Irish Nouns: A Reference Guide – Andrew Carnie

Beginner’s Mandarin Chinese Dictionary: The Ideal Dictionary for Beginning Students – Li Dong

An Independent Study Guide to Reading Latin – Peter V. Jones

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.

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2022 Nobel Prize in Literature Announced

By Ethan Shea

"2022 Nobel Prize in Literature Books"

Earlier this month, Annie Ernaux was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Ernaux is French writer who has always been open about the intimate details of her life. Her ability to communicate these personal highs and lows in such lucid fashion is what won her the most coveted of all literary awards.

Even at the age of 82, Ernaux says this award motivates her to continue writing. As someone whose activism for women’s rights is often at odds with French President Emmanuel Macron and American political counterparts, Ernaux’s work is still very much steeped in and relevant to contemporary politics.

"2022 Nobel Prize in Literature Books (2)"Only 17 out of 119 writers who received the Nobel Prize in Literature have been women, so it is significant that Ernaux has been the second woman to receive the prize in the last three years.

If you would like to learn more about last year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah, check out this blog on Falvey’s website.

Additionally, Falvey has a few of Ernaux’s books, such as La Place, La Honte, and her first novel Les armoires vides, available for pick-up in the stacks. If you consider yourself a Francophile or someone who enjoys French literature, you should certainly give them a read.

To learn more, use your access to the New York Times granted through Villanova University to read this NYT article!

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.



Last Modified: October 18, 2022

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