My own motivation is simply that Mandarin interests me. There have been some bonuses. I've made some friends I wouldn't have otherwise, had some conversations I could'nt have otherwise, gotten a hint of a little different perspective of looking at things. For me these things alone are sufficient. However, if I turn my thoughts to the practical, what sort of opportunities are there for westerners(non-native speakers) that speak Chinese and want to be gainfully employed in some capacity that requires that skill? What level of skill is required?
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