The importance and value of speaking a foreign language cannot be underestimated. Though an increasing number of non-English speaking countries emphasize English as a language to know, resulting in a large number of foreign, English speaking professionals, it is my opinion that this is no reason not to become bilingual yourself.
Plus, you’ll gain ground with your Gallic colleague if you can parler vous, even if his English is parfait.
Web application Mango offers foreign language courses in eleven languages, including Spanish, Russian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and French. It’s as easy as signing up with your email address. Choose any of the available courses, and you are ready to watch slideshow presentations right away. Quizzes are available as you move through the slides so that you can gauge your understanding. There are about 100 available lessons per course.
Busuu is a language education site that highlights conversation and comprehension in learning a language; it is as much a social/networking site as an educational one. With standard elements like vocabulary exercises and writing units, this site also allows you to connect with both people learning the same language as you and native speakers of that language. Through Busuu, you and that Frenchman can trade lessons, converse together in both English (for him) and French (pour vous), and offer support and corrections.
Open Culture has compiled an expansive collection of foreign language podcasts to help keep your language skills current and strong. The podcasts are organized by language, making it easy to find podcasts designed to help you learn. There’s a huge number of podcasts in many, many languages, so you’re sure to find something of help.