If you learn Chinese now, you’ll be able to travel in a way that others are not. If you have ever visited Asia, you understand that the inability to speak the language limits you in terms of the connections that you’re able to make with other people. When you speak English in a place like China or Taiwan, people immediately label you as a tourist. On the other hand, if you speak to Mandarin Chinese speakers in their own language they see that you have made the effort to connect with them, and they see you as a friend.
Think about the way that this cultural trend extends to business ventures. The reason that so many businesses demand people who are fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English is because they are able to act as liaisons and build trust in business partnerships. If you learn Chinese now, you will not only be able to engage with people that you meet while traveling, but you position yourself at the forefront of emerging and expanding job market. If you have any interest in Asian business, there is no reason not to learn Mandarin.
One reason to learn Chinese now that most people don’t think about, is that there exists in China an entire media culture that is misunderstood or neglected within Western countries. The deepest cultural experience that most of us have had with Chinese culture is watching "crouching Tiger hidden Dragon". Isn’t that a little sad?
If you learn Chinese now, you can understand not only contemporary Chinese media in terms of movies, television, and books but connect with the literature of all Chinese history. Can you imagine yourself reading and understanding the poetry of the T’ang Dynasty? It is not as impossible as you might think.
There are so many benefits for those who learn Chinese now, and it is amazing that so few are really doing it. All it takes is a little planning, some positive visualization, and a lot of speaking. Absolutely anyone can learn Mandarin Chinese, so why aren’t you doing it?