I tried Livemocha, which is a new social way to learn languages. The CEO, Shirish Nadkarni, explains in the launch video how the best electronic language tools are still on CDROM, early 1990s technology. Livemocha is in beta, so it is still free. You can sign up for a course, have your work evaluated by native speakers, chat with native speakers or with a group of people all learning the same language, you can speak and hear if you have a microphone and headset, and you can even communicate via video if you have a webcam. When they started there were 6 core languages, but this has already expanded to 27. As our communities become more linguistically diverse and as the world becomes more integrated, I think that Livemocha will be a great tool for library staff to learn other languages and also as something to recommend to the public. Clicking on the logo at the top of this post or the link at the end of this sentence should get the podcast.
Here is the text. Victor for Cool Tools, signing off.