Unfortunately, where (and when) I went to school, foreign languages weren't an option until high school, when we had our choice of French and German. I took 4 years of French in high school, then switch to German in college, and went to grad school in Germany, where I took some Russian, Spanish, and Czech. The Russian is long since lost, and the Czech is fading... But I use the French and Spanish daily in my work as a technical writer, and I still have a side business translating German engineering, legal, and marketing documents to English.
Is learning a foreign language a necessity? No - there are plenty of jobs where you can get by without one. But it has definitely shaped my career path. I started my career as a technical writer because I could translate German to English - that's the only reason I was offered the job. Now I manage a team of 15, and consider the discipline of having learned a foreign language a prerequisite for any new writers I hire. The number of careers that benefit from knowing a second language continues to grow. And learning a foreign language (and optimally spending some time abroad) teaches mental discipline and life skills, and a whole new perspective on the world, that can't be gained by isolating yourself and saying "my native language is all I will ever need."
I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. (Douglas Adams)
DL650 K5 - "Drachensfeuer"
DL650 K9 - "Drachensklaue" RIP 7-18-2009 with 5144 miles.
Silver Wheel Club #14
Official Mercedes killer, lol