That being said, I can talk about my reasons to learn Russian. Well, firstly, Russia is the biggest country in terms of geography. Naturally, it influences many other Asian states. Learning Russian can definitely connect you with all those people living within that large territory. Secondly, global balances are shifting. Russia is getting more gravity in politics and trade. Knowing Russian can open the door to new work and trade opportunities, if you are considering something about international trade or relationship. That is an important thing for me and one of the core reasons why I am learning Russian. Thirdly, Russian is a little bit difficult if you don't speak a Slavic language already. So, people in Russia, especially the ones out of big metropolitan areas don't speak good English. These are good reasons, because if there is a demand for an international work, a person with Russian skills can stand out among the rest. Another reason is about the culture. I like Russian literature and culture in general. This provides me a taste in my learning rather than mere work related expectations in my career.
Okay, let's talk about the difficulty. Sometimes, people are intimidated when they see a language that uses a different alphabet or a writing system. I might accept that Mandarin has a difficult writing system which might break your enthusiasm but I cannot say it for Russian Cyrillic alphabet. Yes, Russian uses Cyrillic alphabet which was originally developed from the Greek alphabet. It might seem a little difficult to get used to the Cyrillic alphabet when you try to read or write. Nonetheless, it took me only about a week to learn it all quite well. One thing is challenging however! It is the stress patterns and some changing sounds according to the stress. Some letters change sounds according to the hardness and the softness of the previous syllable. This fact, makes it a little hard to master the complete Russian pronunciation but I think it will get better as I will get more exposed to spoken Russian. Besides pronunciation, some words are similar to other European languages since Russian is an Indo-European language. This might make it a little bit easier to learn Russian words. From my linguistics studies, I know that Russian has a challenging verb conjugation rules. I haven't get to that part but I think learning Russian tenses and their conjugation will be a little hard. But overall, it is a language which I can get a good handle within one year or two. It does not mean that I will be able to participate in every conversation or understand everything which is being spoken. Yet, I expect to be able to carry out normal conversation and be able to understand a good deal of information when I listen or read.
So, from time to time, I will mention my Russian learning experience. If you have your own, feel free to participate through the comments. I am also open to the suggestions from the natives.