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As you age, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn another language. Yet, as a result of the Internet, advancing software and new techniques in language instruction, the opportunity for each of us to learn a language at 45-plus is brighter than ever.

Scientists have affirmed that learning a new language actually increases your intelligence. Studies at both Newcastle University and York University in the U.K. found that becoming proficient in a second language aids in training the brain, thinking and perceptions. Learning a second language improves your knowledge of your original language concurrently, freeing your mind from linguistic constraints that prevent you from approaching words in certain ways.

Now, in its 21st year and offering instruction in 30 languages, Rosetta Stone is a leader in the new wave of interactive technology that alters the way you can learn a language. Tom Adams, CEO, observes that the company’s core methodology for helping its customers is that the process should be “natural and instinctive.”

At www.rosettastone.com, the company has launched TOTALe – “total experience.” This includes an online language community where language-learners can connect with one another, tap into 50-minute practice sessions led by native-speaking tutors, download an iPad app for learning on the go and employ other dedicated apps for use with the iPod touch or iPhone.

In helping you to break the language barrier, other players include Byki, a software program developed by Transparent Language Inc. Selecting from more than 70 languages, including a few that are endangered, users may choose their level ranging from just starting to those who are fluent but need a refresher.

Linguata, at www.linguata.com, offers language-instruction for users facing time constraints and for whom fluency is not always a practical goal. Linguata helps learners to pick up words and phrases, serving as building blocks to proficiency.

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