New programming languages appear all the time. Some people are almost religious about what they prefer. You should choose a programming language that fits your needs. When programming for databases running MySQL, the typical language is PHP. When you need to create programs that run on individual computers, the typical choice of language is C++, Delphi or some other object oriented language.
In the future, developing apps for mobile devices such as the iPod, iPhone, iPad or other cellphones will be a thing of the future. Some systems, like Xcode, require no programming skills, whereas others prefer the hands-on experience that a "real" programming language will offer you.
The way to proceed when you want to get to know a new programming language is to play with the system. Test minor programs, and possibly looking at what others have already created. This gives you a good overview of coding semantics, and allows you a head start rather than just settling with the "Hello World" shown on a blank screen.
Once you get an overview, it's important to find out how the programming language works. Is it procedure based or object-oriented. Can you call separate units so you don't have to recode often used functions? Do you have options that will allow you to improve the speed of your program? Learn from professionals by engaging yourself in Usenet groups, and learn from forums devoted to programming specifically in your chosen language.
The important aspect of learning a new programming language is whether you have already tried programming in other languages. Once you know the planning aspect of good programming, it's much easier to get started in new areas.
Furthermore, most programming languages already have a dummies learning guide which you can often get at a decent price from Amazon. Buying such a book can allow you a head start into the world of programming. I have used this for programming in PHP when building websites, and once you know the basics, you can always add to the core you have learned.
You may learn the semantics in a matter of only weeks, but getting a real feel for all the functions available to you will take years. You can't avoid the fact that experience builds a good programmer. Learning from your mistakes requires many lines of code before you get the broad picture needed to master a programming language.