Monday, February 1, 2016

8 Simple Ways to Be Fluent in a New Language This Year

No matter what kind of goals you set as the calendars switched to 2016, now is a great time to take stock of your progress. Perhaps you've noticed those long lines at the gym for the treadmill have disappeared? Don't let the same happen to your language learning goals!

We have some tips that will keep you motivated by sidestepping boredom and accelerating your progress. We've put them together in a handy infographic for you. If you have a favorite study tip share with us in the comments!

Be sure to Pin It so you can refer back to it later!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Editions of Bestselling Arabic Course!

Our top-selling Arabic course now in full color with an interactive website!
With 290 million native speakers, Arabic is one of the most spoken and influential languages in the world, as well as one of the most studied foreign languages in the United States. Mastering Arabic 1, now in an updated third edition, features an attractive full-color design, access to a free website with online exercises and videos, like the handwriting worksheet seen below. Mastering Arabic 1 is ideal for beginners, whether studying in a classroom or independently. 

A preview of the many tools available via the Mastering Arabic 1 website!

The Mastering Arabic 1 Activity Book is a perfect companion for Mastering Arabic 1, but this book works well with any introductory Arabic course. It provides a wealth of practice material for all beginners who want to understand, speak, and read Modern Standard Arabic with confidence. This second edition of the Activity Book has been updated to match the changes in the latest edition of Mastering Arabic 1 including: 
  • 20 practice units, which mirror the 20 units in Mastering Arabic 1: Third Edition (but can be used to supplement any beginner Arabic program.)
  • Over 100 carefully-paced, engaging, and varied activities to reinforce vocabulary and basic concepts.
  • User-friendly lessons filled with cartoons, games, and exercises that cover everyday topics like family, jobs, and school
  • Answer key to help students track their progress
The Activity Book is also a great way keep your Arabic skills fresh on breaks from school. Both books are available in bookstores, as well as online through our website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Please contact our order department for course adoption, school orders, and government use.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Learn Brazilian Portuguese!

We are still pumped from the U.S. 2-1 victory over Ghana last night! We can't wait to see them face Portugal on Sunday--although powerhouse Rinaldo has us pretty nervous. We're happy to have author Denise Santos with us today. She has some background on Brazilian Portuguese and some helpful futbol-related phrases:

Contrary to popular belief, Spanish is not widely understood in Brazil – and neither is English. Portuguese is the official language in Brazil, and it is estimated that more than 250,000,000 people currently speak Portuguese in the world, making it the eighth most spoken language globally.

A strong motivation for learning Brazilian Portuguese these days is the FIFA World Cup, currently taking place in several cities around Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014.

To make the most of one’s  ‘Brazilian experience’ it is advisable to learn some basic Portuguese to be able to talk to and understand locals more easily. You probably already know how to say “Gooooollll!” but you’ll need to know more to get by!

Beginner’s Brazilian Portuguese with 2 Audio CDs is a book written for the elementary learner with a focus on vocabulary and grammar development around everyday activities, for example:
  •   greeting and introducing yourself
  • thanking
  • asking for and understanding prices
  • asking for and giving directions
  • checking in at a hotel
  • ordering and buying food and drink
  • expressing needs and wants

Those planning to go to Brazil for the World Cup can find below some useful language. Click the audio link to hear the word or phrase, and repeat it. 

Audio link
I love soccer!
Where is the game?
Onde é o jogo?
Where is the stadium?
Onde é o estádio?
Where is the exit?
Onde é a saída?
First half
Primeiro tempo
Second half
Segundo tempo
Half-Time (break)
Yellow card
Cartão amarelo
Red card
Cartão vermelho
Ball Boy

Beginner’s Brazilian Portuguese with 2 Audio CDs offers extensive listening and speaking practice, including systematic work on pronunciation. A set of two CDs accompanies the book, and they contain material recorded by native speakers to be used for oral comprehension work, pronunciation practice, or support for activities in the book.

You can find the book at your local bookstore,, or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Release: Cantonese Practical Dictionary

We're pleased to announce our new Cantonese Practical Dictionary is now available!

Spoken by nearly 60 million people, Cantonese rivals Mandarin as the lingua franca of both south China and of the worldwide Chinese diaspora population. Despite their similarities, Cantonese is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin. Cantonese is an official language of Hong Kong and Macau, and is the most common dialect in the Guangdong province.

Unique among all the Chinese dialects, Cantonese also has a writing system that is distinct from Mandarin Chinese and makes use of characters generally not understood by non-Cantonese speakers. Written Cantonese is commonly found on street signs in Hong Kong as well as in newspapers and novels. The spoken language also exerts a strong cultural influence on East Asia, due to the prominence of Hong Kong’s film and music industries. Our dictionary provides students and travelers with a portable yet comprehensive resource for everyday use.

• Intuitive phonetic system and written Cantonese characters
• Over 14,000 entries

• Concise grammar and pronunciation section

You can now order the Cantonese Practical Dictionary online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) or your local store (Indiebound)!

Also from Hippocrene:

The dictionary is a great companion to our Cantonese Dictionary & Phrasebook. The Cantonese Dictionary & Phrasebook is an indispensable reference for travelers, businesspeople, and students. The phrasebook, along with the 4,000 dictionary entries, includes Cantonese characters and intuitive phonetics. Also includes an easy-to-use guide that directs you through grammar and pronunciation.

Pick it up at your local bookstore or purchase through our website, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Editions of Popular Chinese Study Guides!

For students studying Chinese and looking for new materials beyond their textbook, we have two updated releases which are profoundly useful: Concise Chinese-English Usage Dictionary and Dictionary of 1,000 Chinese Proverbs: Revised Edition. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with over two billion speakers worldwide. These books provide informative material that will enrich the student's knowledge of Chinese.

The updated Concise Chinese-English Usage Dictionary by Yong Ho now incorporates new words and usage changes which have occurred in the language since the original (Chinese-English Frequency Dictionary) was published, ten years ago. The dictionary is listed with the pinyin transcription (pronunciation), English translation, and examples of its usage within common Chinese words and phrases. In addition, there are also two indices which list the 500 characters in order of frequency and stroke count. It is meant to serve as a concise dictionary and a study guide, making it helpful for both advanced and beginning students. It is presented in a way that is easy for students to understand recall the characters’ unique spread in meaning by seeing how they are most often used to build Chinese words.

The new edition of Dictionary of 1,000 Chinese Proverbs by Marjorie Lin and Schalk Leonard now includes simplified and traditional character renderings of each proverb, a new introduction from the authors, an English index of key terms, and a key of Chinese characters. This book is a valuable tool for students interested in mastering the Chinese language, as recognizing these common sayings will aid in fluency. A compilation of 1,000 of the most popular Mandarin proverbs are organized alphabetically in pinyin order into English. A knowledge of common sayings will aid in fluency. One can learn proverbs such as:

Man does not see his own ugliness, and horses are unaware of the length of their heads,’ and

Success is three parts genius and seven parts hard work.’

These great assets are available in bookstores, as well as online through our website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Polish Heritage Month

October is Polish-American Heritage month! Polish Heritage Month was first founded back in 1981 in order to celebrate Polish history, culture and pride, and we’re excited to mark the celebrations this year with our wide selection of new and classic Polish interest titles. We’ve always had a strong Polish-interest publishing program here at Hippocrene, stemming from the background and history of our founder, George Blagowidow. Mr. Blagowidow is a native Pole who came to America after the war, and has always maintained strong ties with Polish language and culture – in fact, the very first cookbook in our catalog was The Polish Country Kitchen Cookbook! There’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy with these books out this fall.

The Polish Country Kitchen Cookbook by beloved Polish-American author Sophie Hodorowicz Knab is now updated and available in paperback! Arranged according to the cycle of seasons, this popular cookbook includes more than 100 delicious, traditional recipes, and is peppered with pearls of practical wisdom as well as charming illustrations by Elliott Hutten.

Adam Zamoyski’s Poland: A History expands on his previous work The Polish Way, and traces Poland’s complex development from the Middle Ages to present day, examining the country’s political, economic, and military struggles, as well as its culture throughout the ages. The events of the last twenty years and the growth of the independent Polish state have allowed Zamoyski to look at Poland’s past with a fresh eye, bringing the major events and characters in its history to life. 

Forgotten Holocaust, a classic of World War II literature by, has also been revised and updated. The third edition includes a new preface by author Richard C. Lukas, and foreword by Norman Davies, as well as a short history of ZEGOTA, the underground government organization working to save the Jews. It also features an annotated listing of the many Poles executed by the Germans for trying to shelter Jews during the War.

Lastly, we have Wanda Półtawska’s And I Am Afraid of My Dreams. In February 1941, Wanda was arrested by the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied Poland. She was nineteen years old. Charged with aiding and abetting the resistance movement, she was sent to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her powerful memoir is an enduring testament to the courage of the human spirit. 

These Polish Titles are also available:



All these titles are available in bookstores, as well as online through our website, and Barnes & Noble. We hope you celebrate your Polish heritage with others, and maybe with some bigos and a pierogi or two!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Introduction to Russian-English Translation

What does it take to translate a Russian tome like Anna Karenina or Crime & Punishment? What does it take to translate something less daunting, maybe one of Gogol's short stories? Or just a Russian newspaper article? A basic conversation?

Indeed, English and Russian are two of the most widely-spoken and read languages in the world, but that doesn't mean turning complex Russian into equally rich and descriptive English is something a speaker and reader of both can do without difficulty.

That's where Natalia Strelkova's Introduction to Russian-English Translation comes in. Over the span of seven chapters, the author, who has been bilingual since childhood and taught Russian and translation in the U.S. and Moscow, breaks down the basics and complexities of translating and editing Russian.

You'll find countless examples of literary, journalistic, and conversational idioms and phrasing, as well as practice texts that will help you test your progress and understanding of translation from Russian to English.

This helpful guide is available in bookstores, as well as online through our website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.