I was pretty bad with learning foreign languages at high school; I spent most of my time in French class writing game programs for my TI-58 programmable calculator! The teacher finally caught me hacking during class and confiscated the calculator for the rest of the semester. That was an unhappy day for me, because I was already addicted to programming at an early age and hated to be without my pocket computer.
After a herculean study effort, I managed to scrape together a "B" grade for my French "O" level at high school. German, on the other hand, was a total disaster and I dropped the class after two super-boring years. I think the main reason was lack of interest; I didn't travel to France or Germany so what was the point of learning their languages?
Nowadays, I travel a lot more and some language skills would be useful. In addition, I enjoy the more general study of grammar because it is highly related to the semantic web technologies that I'm currently interested in.
Because I've always had a fascination with Eastern Europe, I've decided to try and learn the Russian language. I chose the RosettaStone product which uses a total immersion approach, so the lessons are 100% in Russian and there is no use of English. In addition, I have several Russian friends who will help me to try out new words and phrases. I'll blog my experiences just in case anyone is interested in how these language courses work.
Pozhelaite mne udachi! (wish me luck).