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Improve Your Reading Comprehension with the Mango Reader Extension

By: George Smith Mon Jun 10 2024

Looking for the top browser extension to improve your reading comprehension and support your language learning? Try Mango Reader, an extension designed to make reading foreign language websites a breeze. With Mango Reader, you can effortlessly translate words from any website you read, get detailed information about how and when those words are used, and curate personalized vocabulary lists. So are you ready to extend your learning and access the online world of another language? Let’s jump in!

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What is Mango Reader?

Mango Reader is a Chrome extension powered by Google Translate that translates words on foreign language websites into English. It is free to install and use with a Mango Languages account and is currently available in 12 languages: Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Standard Arabic, and Russian. Mango Reader does so much more than translate individual words, however. It also allows you to view translations for multiword phrases, so you can get a sense of how words are used together in context. There are three additional features of the tool worth noting.First, Mango Reader gives you the option to view the dictionary entry of any word you select on WordReference, a popular online bilingual dictionary. There, you can see multiple meanings of the same word and learn common expressions that contain that word. Second, Mango Reader lets you pull up conjugation tables of any verbs you select. This is useful if you want to brush up on any verb patterns that may be a little rusty.Third, Mango Reader lets you curate personalized vocabulary lists with the click of a button. You can directly add any words or phrases you select to Mango Languages’ My Vocabulary tool, and easily jump to your lists directly from Mango Reader to practice with Mango’s flashcard system.

How to Install Mango Reader

Mango Reader is easy to install. Simply navigate to the “Tools” tab on your Mango dashboard while using Chrome and click the image that says “Mango Reader”. You’ll be redirected to the Chrome Web Store, where you can install the extension by clicking “Add to Chrome”. Once you’ve got the extension installed, you’ll be prompted to log in to your Mango Languages account. You can then select which language you want to use to translate and begin using the tool.

How to Use Mango Reader

To use Mango Reader, just double-click on the word you want to translate while browsing a website in your target language. If you want to see a translation for a multi-word phrase, hold down the ALT key (OPTION on Mac) while highlighting the words. You’ll immediately see a pop-up with the word(s) you selected, a translation, and speaker icons you can click on to hear the text-to-speech generated audio. (Note: The default trigger key is ALT/OPTION, but you can change this in the settings.)

Hint: If you're trying to get the translation of a hyperlinked word, you'll find that double-clicking navigates to the link and doesn’t show you the translation. If you press down the ALT or OPTION key first and then highlight the word, you’ll block the hyperlink and get the translation instead.

How to Get the Most out of Mango Reader

Mango Reader is a powerful tool that does more than just provide translations. When you pull up a pop-up, you’ll notice several buttons below the translation of your selection.

  • The first option is the “Dictionary” button. Clicking this button will take you to the entry page for the word on WordReference. Here, you can view the main and alternative translations of the word, and explore a list of common expressions that use it. This is really useful for checking the meaning of common idioms and clearing up ambiguous translations.

    A website page showcasing the use of the Mango reader extension
    An example of the Wordreference website
  • The second option is the “Conjugation” button. Clicking this button will pull up a conjugation table (for verbs), where you’ll be able to see all the different forms of the verb you’ve selected.

    An example of a conjugation table for the Spanish verb "saber"
  • The third option is the “Add to My Vocabulary” button. Clicking this button will add the selected word or phrase to your vocabulary list in the Mango app. You can even edit the entry right there in the Mango Reader pop-up window or go directly to My Vocabulary from the Mango Reader pop-down menu. Head over to this link if you want to know more about how to use My Vocabulary.Not sure what you should start reading with Mango Reader? Have a look at the “Suggested Reading” tab in the settings pane. You’ll find links to websites that cover a wide range of topics, from news and entertainment to food and recipes.

What are the Benefits of Mango Reader?

Mango Reader gives you the support you need to engage in authentic language tasks that might feel daunting, like reading a news article or exploring a foreign language website. Reading tasks like this are so important for language development. The in-the-moment translations of Mango Reader help you connect the dots of what you’re reading so that you understand more overall. And language research has shown that the better you understand a text, the better you’ll be able to pick up on the meanings of unfamiliar words (Pulido, 2004). Talk about a two-for-one special!Mango Reader is particularly useful for setting vocabulary learning goals through its integration with My Vocabulary. It can be difficult to know where to begin with vocabulary study. Which words should you focus on? How should you practice the words you want to learn? Mango Reader lets you create customized lists of words that are meaningful to your needs and that are linked to your real-world experiences with language. Once you’ve narrowed down the scope of what you want to learn, you can use Mango’s powerful flashcard system to memorize new words and phrases and level up your overall language proficiency.

Tips for Studying with Mango Reader

There are many ways you can leverage the power of Mango Reader when studying. If you’re interested in learning how to express full, complex sentences, try using Mango Reader on news sites. News articles are generally more formal and are written in complete, sometimes lengthy, sentences. Mango Reader can help you break down these complex sentences into their component parts so that you can internalize the language creation process step-by-step. Mango Reader is also useful for browsing social media, a great place to learn more casual language. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are full of language that is very similar to natural speech (Pérez-Sabater, 2012), and so are great places to learn about idioms and everyday expressions. You can also use Mango Reader for browsing travel sites and online shopping!

Screenshot showcasing the Mango Reader tool

Finally, believe it or not, Mango Reader can help you develop your listening skills. That’s right! All you need to do is find a video with a transcript or written captions. You can then use Mango Reader to read while listening – an activity that is known to improve your ability to break down fast-sounding speech and understand the relationship between sound patterns and written language (Chang, 2009).

Wrapping up

Overall, Mango Reader is a fantastic tool to support your language development. It can greatly improve your confidence when staring down intimidating websites, boost your reading comprehension, and help you learn the ins and outs of your target language. Interested in trying it out? Head over to the “Tools” page in the Mango app to begin charting a new path on your language-learning adventure.


Chang, A. (2009). Gains to L2 listeners from reading while listening vs. listening only in comprehending short stories.System, 37, 652-663.

Pérez-Sabater, C. (2012). The Linguistics of Social Networking: A Study of Writing Conventions on Facebook. Linguistik Online, 56(6), 81-93.

Pulido, D. (2004). The relationship between text comprehension and second language incidental vocabulary acquisition: A matter of topic familiarity? Language Learning, 54(3), 469-523.

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