Another reason why I don't learn Chinese......
It's just such a time-consuming undertaking that I can't see any value flowing from it that justifies the expense. Most of the reasons for learning the language I usually hear trotted out by people are, I think, entirely bogus or misguided.
I had a particularly obnoxious Australian woman berating me the other night on this point (my curmudgeonly drinking buddy, Big Frank, always maintains that the use of the word 'obnoxious' alongside 'Australian' is redundant, and I am often tempted to agree). She suggested that learning Chinese was somehow useful for learning about the history and culture of the country.
How??? Is there, in fact, anything worthwhile written about the history and culture of the country in Chinese? Even if there were, how many foreign students of Chinese actually attain a high enough reading level in the language to be able to read textbooks like this?
There is a lot written about Chinese history and culture in English. I am interested in these subjects. I read everything I can find about them. I wouldn't have time to do this if I were devoting 3 or 4 hours a day to trying to develop a rudimentary proficiency in the language. Trying to learn Chinese is, I feel, a waste of time.