With access to a computer and an Internet connection you can practice, learn, and otherwise enjoy just about any language imaginable! In fact, there are even sites in languages that aren't really languages (depending on whom is asked...)! For example, you may want to learn Klingon (of Star Trek fame) or Esperanto (a popular artificial language).
Here are some categories for your enjoyment and edification:
Internet portals in languages other than English
Several Internet portals have sites in a range of languages; an example is Yahoo:
Yahoo in Spanish; also see local Yahoo sites for Argentina, Mexico, and Spain.
Yahoo in French
Yahoo in German
Yahoo in Italian
Yahoo in Portuguese (Brazilian)
And, with the appropriate non-latin script software installed, you may access Internet sites in Chinese (traditional or simplified) or Japanese, among many other languages. Both links below provide instructions on obtaining the necessary software:
Yahoo in Chinese
Yahoo in Japanese
News in languages other than English
If you want more from your international news than just the filtered points of view that are available through traditional delivery means, read the Internet versions of thousands of publications worldwide (you can even get "tomorrow's" newspapers from Europe by late in the afternoon in California)
The Institute of Latin American Studies (Univ. of Texas at Austin, my alma mater :-) has a quite thorough list of newspapers in Latin America that have Internet sites. Most are in Spanish or Portuguese; some are in Dutch, German, English, and other languages, as indicated. I occasionally check up on how things are going in the three Latin American cities in which I've lived - click these three links to do the same! city #1, city #2, and city #3.
If you would rather listen than read, click here to go to my other page that explains how - and where - you can access one of the several thousands of radio stations around the globe that broadcast their signal on the Internet. Don't expect FM quality, but if you want to hear live soccer games from Uruguay, this is your best bet! Most languages are represented.
Information and Instruction in languages other than English (software, dictionaries, guides, fonts, etc.)
Perhaps the largest guide to Internet language sites is the Human Languages Page at http://www.june29.com/HLP/. This site includes links to online language lessons, translating dictionaries, literature, translation services, software, language schools, and more. Recommended!
One of the most inclusive guides to language and language-related sites is created by the Yamada Language Center at the University of Oregon. Their site, at http://babel.uoregon.edu/YLC/guides.html, includes information and links covering over 100 different languages. They also have a font archive for non-latin scripts.
Spain's Instituto Cervantes has an index of activities suitable for intermediate and advanced learners of Spanish at this site: http://cvc.cervantes.es/aula/didactiteca/apartados.asp. The Instituto also has a good selection of readings that they have divided into three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. These readings include pre- and post-reading activities and are accompanied with aides such as hyperlinks to definitions. A good bet for the intermediate or higher learner of Spanish wanting some formal practice (a bit too advanced for true beginners, though)
A comprehensive index page created by the Japan Association of Language Teachers may be found by clicking here: http://jalt.org/jalt_e/main/materials.html. Primarily for English as a Second Language (ESL).
And finally, there is no shortage of instructional software available for purchase. Though it generally can't substitute for face-to-face contact or instruction, it's certainly better than nothing! The following are some companies whose products I've seen (no endorsement, just a list!):
- Transparent Language: http://www.transparent.com/
- The Rosetta Stone: http://www.languagelearningsoftware.com/
- World Language Resources: http://www.worldlanguage.com/
Portuguese Links Here!
Last but not least, you can download your very own copy of the California Department of Motor Vehicles' driver handbook in Spanish by clicking this link! (requires Acrobat Reader)