World Languages

The Library has books, magazines, newspapers, databases, audio books and videos in languages other than English. Links to selected Internet sites and information about local groups and agencies are also listed.

Books & Recording

Check out these recent lists of books in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

Our World Languages Collection has books in more than 20 languages, including Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.

The World Languages collection consists of works of fiction - both popular bestsellers and core literature classics, as well as biographies and other nonfiction works. Many were originally published in the author's native language, and some are translations.

Book selection reflects patron needs and interests and may be constrained by availability in a particular language.

We welcome your suggestions for authors and titles of works that you would like added to the World Languages collection. Please submit a purchase request or contact us.

Searching the Catalog

Finger Lakes Library System The library's Polaris online catalog lets you find books, recordings and other materials in a language of your choice. For the newest materials, perform a keyword search and use the "Sort by" menu to display the results by publication date.

Suggested subject headings (includes films):

  • ( Any) language materials -- fiction (For example: Russian language materials-- fiction)
  • ( Any) language--Self-instruction (For example: Spanish language--Self-instruction)
  • ( Any) language--Study and teaching (For example: Chinese language--Study and teaching)
  • ( Any ) language -- Dictionaries (For example: French language -- dictionaries)
  • Foreign films--( Any country) (For example: Foreign films-- Japan )
  • Motion pictures-- ( Any nationality) (For example: Motion pictures-- Korean )

You can also use the Advanced search mode to find materials in specific languages.

The library's reference staff is happy to show you how to search the catalog and find materials. Come to the Reference Desk or ask us.

Magazines, Newspapers & Databases

For a list of all electronic resources, go to:

The library has magazines and newspapers online and in print: You can primarily research topics and read current articles in Spanish. Electronic translations of newspaper articles are also available in other languages.

Note: Many of the Library databases include translator widgets that will automatically translate articles into various languages. Machine-generated translations may be difficult to understand and/or sub-optimal.

New York State Newspapers (Thomson Gale): Articles from New York Times and other NY publications in 9 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Korean, Italian and Portuguese. (Use the "Tools" menu to select machine-generated translations.)

World Languages Databases
  • Bases de datos - Español (EBSCO)
  • Mango Languages is an online language-learning system teaching actual conversation skills for a wide variety of languages. (iPhone and iPad users please note that Mango and Tumblebooks databases may require Adobe Flash player or a downloadable app.)
  • Rosetta Stone®, an interactive language learning program, is available for Library use only on designated computers.
    • Rosetta Stone Version 1: English (US) Level 1, 2 &3
    • Rosetta Stone Version 3: English (US) Level 1, 2 &3
    • Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 &3
Magazines in Print - located in the periodical area

Local Groups & Agencies

Internet Resources

  • AltaVista's Babel Fish - Do you need help translating a piece of text? Babel Fish is a free translation tool available on the web.
  • BING Translator (Microsoft) - Free translation service for online automatic translation of text and web pages, translating between many languages.
  • BBC Languages - Online courses allow you to study French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Greek. Find useful phrases for going abroad, audio and video clips for holidays and learning slang.
  • Health Information in Multiple Languages from MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
  • MedlinePlus in Español - Informacíon de salud para usted de La Biblioteca Nacional de Medicine de EE.UU. (The U.S. National Library of Medicine's consumer health website in Spanish.)
  • FSI Language Courses - Language courses developed by the Foreign Language Institute of the United States government utilize free, downloadable student texts, instructors' manuals and audio files. There are at least 14 languages represented, from Arabic to Yoruba.
  • Internet Public Library >Language and Linguistics - An index of websites organized by language.
  • Language Learning Library - Gain vocabulary and grammar tools in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
  • - Access free video courses to learn English, Spanish, French and German. You will have to register and sign in to view the videos, but there are no fees. Videos are produced by WGBH Boston and funded by the Annenberg Foundation.
  • Library of Congress Global Gateway - There is so much to explore on this website! Especially, look at Portals of the World and the South Asian Literary Project.
  • Live Mocha - Free, online language learning website advertises social networking wtih native speakers around the world to help you learn faster and more naturally. You will need to register for an account. Lessons are available in many languages (including English).
  • Live Lingua - FSI (Foreign Languages Institute) public domain courses online
  • Oxford Language Dictionaries Online - The website provides limited free access. This link for "Tools and Resources" allows you to learn and practice Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish utilizing "Word of the Day," "Writing and Word Games," information on "Life and Culture," plus help grammar help for teachers and students.
  • Project Gutenberg - Books are available in the public domain in many languages. You can read online or download for free!
  • Pumarosa - For anyone learning English or English speakers who want to practice Spanish Pumarosa
  • Voice of America "Special English" - Read and listen to selected reports in American English read at slower speed.
  • Words without Borders: the International Magazine for International Literature "opens doors to international exchange through translation of the world's best writing." Partner of PEN American Center and the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University and hosted by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, they "serve as an advocacy organization for literature in translation" Book reviews are at

This project was made possible by a grant from the Triad Foundation.

ESL (English as a Second Language)

Contact Information

  • Adult Reference Services (607) 272-4556
  • Youth Reference Services: (607) 272-4557 x276
  • Submit your question via the web to Ask-A-Librarian
Page last modified Sep 2, 2016