The selection of foreign languages for learning today is really phenomenal. Only a decade ago it was rather difficult to find a qualified teacher of a language unless it was English, German or French, but nowadays we are welcome to choose any language from not very popular ones like Polish and Norwegian to extremely exotic Chinese or Arabic. Motivation of people who begin to learn English is quite clear, but why some of us complicate their life with Chinese or Finnish is a question.
Actually, the majority of those who start a course of Japanese or Turkish mainly consider their activities to be a hobby. Compared with those learning popular European languages, pay rise motives don’t play an important role; initial reasons here must be something like “it’s just interesting” or “I like it and that’s all!”
Thus, people doing a course of Japanese may first of all be keen on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun, martial arts, origami and other testaments of the culture flourishing in the shade of sakura, and the language of Haruki Murakami and Matsuo Bashō is only a part of their devotion to Japan in general. The same can be said about Arabic, Korean or Hindi.
Students grinding away Chinese are somehow different. Many of them learn the language of Lao-tzu and Mao Tse-tung in order to increase their quoted shares at the labor market. These people stake on the rapidly developing economy of the Celestial Empire and growing demand for specialists having Chinese ‘fluent’ in their resume. Indeed, in the very near future big corporations will definitely want to employ applicants with HSK (an international exam in Chinese) certificates along with TOEFL, IELTS, ZD or DALF certificates.