It is really good to see more and more companies offering services that can be embedded in one's own webpage. YouTube is probably the most known example, but the concept is applicable to many other types of services. WordChamp's new Reader API is a great example of this. Between their Web reader, their Firefox plugin and now the Reader API, translation is easy to get for learners, web surfers or content provider.
I really like WordChamp to help me with learning foreign languages. It was good for me when I was learning French. It is good to me now that I am learning Spanish. And the last couple of months it was getting better nearly on a weekly basis. That did not used to be the case. I looked at them just over a year ago and they had some interesting ideas, but the best features (like Web Reader) were for paying customers only.
Сегодня - Международный день родного языка. Мой родной язык - Русский! Я горд моим родным языком даже если я не использую его каждый день. Today - 21st of February - is the International Mother Language Day. My mother language is Russian! I am proud of my mother language, even if I do not get to use it every day. Apart from Russian, I know reasonably good English and have dabbled in French, Esperanto and - now - Spanish.
These days, learning a foreign language is considered a useful thing. The advantages are many: from travelling to foreign countries to getting a preferential treatment in the ethnic restaurants of your own to keeping the dementia away. This was not always a case though, at least for China. Until 1844, it was illegal for a foreigner to learn Chinese. That changed for America, when Caleb Cushing had negotiated the Treaty of Wanghia, which made it possible for Americans - and Americans only - to learn Chenese.
When I speak to other people about Esperanto, they often ask whether there are any practical uses to knowing the language beyond the language itself. I used to talk about Pasporta Servo, ability to listen to other countries’ radio and global community. Now I just go straight for the big guns. I ask them whether they ever tried learning another language. Usually the answer is yes and usually the language was never learned well.