I have found that there is little application for Russian in my current workplace, but there is a genuine need for cataloguers who can read and understand Chinese.
To that end, I will be downloading podcasts from ChinesePod so that I can start learning Mandarin in little bite-size lessons! How cool is that? (I am however a bit concerned that there is a 7-day free trial... it is unclear whether the podcasts themselves will remain free with a basic subscription or just the transcripts.) More audio lessons are available at ZapChinese and as a general resource, Chinese Outpost looks well-organized!
There is the larger debate of Mandarin vs. Cantonese -- each is prominent in different areas of China and around the world, however, if I understand correctly, both use the same written language, so as long as I work toward the written language (which is what I would need for cataloguing) I should be OK. That said, if there are any native speakers of either language out there... I'd love your opinions. I'd be especially interested in which language would be more applicable in my region (Victoria/Vancouver/Seattle).
TAGS: language acquisition, Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese, self-directed study.