Knowing Chinese: Expense or Investment?
Acquiring a skill such as Chinese is an achievement by any standard. You need to speak, read and write as well as move about comfortably in a cultural setting.
More than just learning a new language, being mobile in the Chinese language is a living investment that creates opportunity.
Above all, Chinese is an investment of time and energy. More than money, it takes motivation.
A financial investment comes into play specifically where beneficial. Luckily, these days not a lot of money need be invested in learning Chinese. With Internet access and less than $20 USD a month, you can have access to more content, technology and resources than you even have time to take advantage of!
One thing to ask yourself is: Why am I learning Chinese? The answer will guide you in knowing what products will be most effective as investments, and where to focus appropriate effort. For example, if you want to be able to speak Chinese with people while traveling you'll want to focus on listening and speaking skills. If you are interested in reading Chinese content online (research, etc), you'll want to focus your energy on understanding the written language.
If you are interested in using Chinese for travel, business, expatriation, family, friends or just out of curiosity, here you will find proven ways to invest your time, energy and currency.