It is a wonderful thing if someone from country X makes an effort to learn a language that is actually useful not closer than 10000 kilometers from him or her. What’s the point then? The point might be exactly that – to be the only person from the country to speak that language. The world is more opened then ever before and people with special skills are needed. For example, I know a journalist from central Europe who is fluent in Icelandic language – although the island is far from him and there are just about 320 000 people plus Björk and guys from Sigur Rós. Aren’t these guys able to speak English as well then? Or, is it an effort an all, or is it more for fun?
I think it is. If you have a nice motivation (and you must have to do that), I wouldn’t call it an effort an all. Recently, Chris Lonsdale at TEDx talks summarized it very well. In fact, he went even further, saying that you can start speaking any language just in 6 months if you follow certain steps.
Which reminded me that is is quite fun to find etyomological similarities between languages that you never thought to have any. And almost any language has some, they doesn’t need to belong even to the same language group, be it Scandic, Germanic, Romance, Indo-Iranian, Finno-Ugric, Slavic… Nor even from the same larger group as Indo-European family.
Is it really a coincidence that German word spaziergang (walking) is suspiciously similar to the Indonesian word pacar (girl-/boyfriend) – how else would you start a pacaran than going out, walking and looking at the stars? XD