Learning a Foreign Language
Learning a foreign language is just not an easy thing to do.
You can listen to tapes while jogging, sleep with a book under your pillow or most anything else, but it won't change the fact that learning to speak in another language is hard work. We know—I speak passable Japanese and Mandarin Chinese after starting life as a native English speaker. My wife grew up in Japan and learned English later in life well enough to go to college in the U.S.
Coupled with our now current agreement that this is hard work is the secondary question of how much hard work is enough to satisfy a short-term need. In other words, if you are marrying into a Chinese family and plan to spend your life in Shanghai, learning Chinese over a period of years might seem more like a good idea than spending six months listening to tapes for a three day stop over in Hong Kong.
So, what to do?