Rosetta Stone recently released a new version of its popular language learning software that's more interactive than ever. Available in 10 languages, Version 3's speech recognition technology and analysis tools evaluate a student's pronunciation, while also allowing for simulated dialogues. Using what's called adaptive recall, the program also tracks one's progress and identifies topics where additional practice might be useful. If you've purchased Version 2 within the last six months, you can exchange it for free. rosettastone.com; from $209.
To promote the new product, dozens of foreign men and women decked out in bright yellow and blue are walking the streets of New York this week, approaching strangers in their native tongue. It's an exercise in appreciating the value of cross-cultural communication, and a way for Rosetta Stone to have some fun with busy New Yorkers, complete with an event today at 11 a.m., at Columbus Circle.