Inspired by a couple of postings I've read recently, I'd like to ask this: With the exception of those for whom it's a necessity (e.g. translators), does the learning of a language bring a nett economic benefit to the individual ? My impressions (based on my experience in the UK) are: 1. Few employers will pay a premium for candidates with language experience. 2. Roles requiring significant language expertise (e.g. multilingual secretarial work, technical translation) are generally not well payed. 3. There is an opportunity cost of several years required for someone to acquire a "useful" level of language ability, in general. 4. Despite there being the usual complaints of "skills shortages" for linguists, I see few jobs advertised in the UK where language skills are vital. From this I conclude that, considering only the economic benefit, the time one spends in learning a language could be better spent elsewhere. Anyone want to shoot me down in tatters ?