I study Chinese in my leisure time. It is a very difficult, but rewarding language to learn. Why? For the future. One could argue: I want to save the environment. How do I save it? Learn Chinese, since China will be the biggest polluter in not so many years and the best way to influence anything in any country is to learn the language. That's only argument 344 out of thousands (or perhaps 1.3 billion) reasons for learning "zhong wen": Chinese.
Why am I talking about this? Because I just read an article about the mushrooming of Chinese language schools. A chain of these, similar to the Goethe Institutes and the British Councils, is called the Confucius Institutes, which are now located in no less than 5 major cities around the world including Perth, Stockholm, and Nairobi -- all places you typically associate with the Chinese language, right?
Added on top of that, more and more public schools in the US are now offering Chinese. The Knight Ridder article (where I got all this info from) says that while only 200 public schools in the US offer Mandarin classes, 2400 replied to a survey that they would like to have such classes.
How about that!!
Am I wasting my time with Chinese (and not just taking a very long time learning it)?
What do you think? What are your experiences with learning Chinese?