TLDR: I watched Looper a couple of years ago and now want to learn Chinese. What is the best way to get started?
From the days the good ol "Make in Japan" wasn't a thing anymore, we all kinda suspected that, sooner or later, China is going to cross the leap from being a good copier and labour intensive doer of things to a worthy powerhouse which can create a significant amount of knowledge. This was basically like an oxygen to the heat and fuel and there we had fire (a good fire I should stress). They could utilise decades worth of manufacturing knowledge to give birth to their ideas in a fraction of a time to the creators sitting in California and pressing print.
And here we are. Every day I bump into more products and interfaces which talk Chinese to me and some even expect us to speak back to them in Chinese, such as the latest Xiaomi 70 Minutes Car Camera (AKA, Xiaomi 70mph Dashcam, apparently).
Haha. However, consumerism aside, having a basic knowledge of Chinese language adds us a fair bit of value on the job marketability side of the things. For example, my job title as an R&D Electronics Engineer, would sound a whole lot better if I could understand Chinese, so I could interpret the latest datasheets for the Chinese made electronics modules, radios etc., communicate to our fabrication houses more efficiently or even find better alternatives for lots of the things from websites which don't have a word of English in them.
I am no stranger to learning languages as you might have already guessed English is not my 1st language. And in fact, it is 3rd. (Forth if I want to be bragging off top of my head and include the one that I cannot make a sentence in it anymore even if I tried the hardest.) But CHINESE is whole new ball game. In a couple of times in the past, I have tried and gone nowhere.
What would YOU suggest? Have you learned Chinese and now can get your boat across? How hard was it? What is the realistic time frame for me till I sit in a room full of Chinese native speakers and could guess the main topic of conversation after 10 mins of listening to them talking.
Or even, if you are from the future, and believe I should totally forget about Chinese and learn, I dunno, Dothraki or something. Keen to know.
If you're voting, the option #1 is proven to be effective but dunno how, other than going and living in China for a significant amount of time. So please elaborate on that.