I was quite appalled to find Japanese ranking at the top. Well, other than the job opportunities, I can hardly find "Japanese" in any of our statistics regarding economy or for the advantage of our survival.
I am always captivated with the foreign dialogues, particularly the French (those great movies like Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain). I am picking up the French, Russian and Bahasa Melayu at this moment, though.
I should say French to come first amongst any other language; French is the true and first international language par excellence, especially in the trade of diplomacy; after all, EU is headquartered in Brussels and the IFRC is located in the French partition of Switzerland.
Well of course, for Singapore, I find it quite a laborious task to actually get non-Chinese to learn Chinese; after all, Chinese is one of the official language and the language of a racial group that exists here. In addition, to get the populace to learn Chinese, it seemed to stereotype the non-Chinese, and having leaders criticising the standard of Chinese speakers here (for the sake of invading the exploding Chinese mainland market), is an indirect attack against the non-Chinese speaking populace in Singapore.
Excluding Chinese, we come to Bahasa Indonesia. Well, perhaps Bahasa Melayu will do, after all, the words differs only by bits (though it sounds rather more formal than Malay). Indonesia contributes the largest share of the tourist visits last year.
So for those who are learning Japanese to pleases those folks from East Asia, perhaps it will sound better if you start speaking some Asian language closer to our origin.
And remember, let your racists stereotyping intuition be rid; Indonesians do not necessary mean maids or workers of our unwanted jobs, just as the case for Malaysians.