Ramsey County Library will be closed on Monday, January 20.

Open Maker at RCL-Roseville will be unavailable on Saturday, January 18.

Language & Writing

Research Databases

  • MN Writes MN Reads

    Local authors – indie, self-published, aspiring, and mainstream – can now create ebooks and share them with readers across the state and potentially across the country using free tools provided by Minnesota libraries.

    Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA).

  • Transparent Language Online

    Transparent Language® Online (formerly Byki) is a powerful and personalized language-learning system. It locks foreign language words and phrases into your memory so that you can recall them perfectly and remember them forever. Available in over 74 languages.

    NOTE: You will be required to create an account. Once you have created your account you will be able to access Transparent Language Online from any computer with Internet access.

    Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA).

Selected Websites

Dictionary and Thesauri

ESL Resources

  • ECHO Minnesota

    As a leader in multi-language health, safety, civic engagement and emergency readiness communication, ECHO bridges the gap for immigrants and refugees in Minnesota.

  • English as a Second Language

    A comprehensive and well organized ESL Web directory. A good starting point for ESL learners who want to learn English through the Web.

  • Minnesota Literacy Council Class Finder

    Easily search for available ESL, GED and other Adult Basic Ed classes near a particular Minnesota zip code with MLC's class finder.

Foreign Language Dictionaries

  • OneLook Dictionaries

    Quickly searches a number of dictionaries for definitions or translations of a particular word.

  • WriteExpress Online Rhyming Dictionary

    A helpful resource for poets and songwriters. Find rhyming words with six types of rhymes: ending rhymes, last syllable rhymes, double rhymes, beginning rhymes, or first syllable rhymes.

  • YourDictionary.com

    Dictionaries for dozens of languages; provides links to information on over 280 additional languages.

Foreign Language Instruction

  • BBC Languages

    Free lessons and resources for learning Spanish, French, German, and Italian, as well as limited reources for a few other languages.

  • FSI Languages

    Offers free instruction in more than 30 languages (including Spanish) with text and audio resources. Developed by the Foreign Service Institute for teaching Foreign Service employees.

  • How to Learn any Language

    Information and resources on teaching yourself foreign languages.

  • Mango Languages

    Offers instruction in a number of different languages, including Spanish. Must create a free account to use it, and this allows several free lessons. Additional lessons are available with a paid subscription.

Foreign Language Resources

  • Ethnologue, Languages of the World

    Comprehensive database of the world's languages featuring language data, language maps, and other resources.

  • I Love Languages

    A comprehensive catalog of over 4,200 hand-picked language-related Internet resources.

  • Omniglot

    Provides a guide to over 200 different alphabets, syllabaries and other writing systems (like hieroglyphics, cuneiform etc. etc.), plus links to further resources.

Foreign Language Translation

General Sites

  • AmericanRhetoric.com

    Hundreds of famous speeches in text, audio and/or video format.

  • Bartleby.com Great Books Online

    Search dictionaries, thesauri, English usage, encyclopedias, quotation books, Elements of Style and more reference works.

  • OneLook Reverse Dictionary

    Enter a concept (such as "green fruit" or "urge to travel") and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Great for solving crossword puzzles!

  • The Word Spy

    Devoted to recently coined words and phrases, old words that are being used in new ways, and existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance.

Grammar Guides

Other Language Resources

  • A Basic Guide to ASL

    Combines text, graphics, and animations to provide sign definitions for letters, numbers and many common terms.

Tools for Students

  • Citing Sources

    Duke University guide to citing sources in a variety of formats: MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian. Also includes citations for electronic sources.

  • Cliche Finder

    Have you been searching for just the right cliche to use? Cliche Finder can help.

  • NoodleTools

    Browse bibliographies, develop a search strategy, choose your best search engine, or create a quick citation with this easy guide.

  • WorksCited4U

    Workscited4U automatically compiles MLA formatted bibliographies.

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