Above the Law has an interesting post for anyone thinking about working in the Far East. While it may seem obvious that fluency in Chinese is a good thing if you are planning to work in China, there may actually be some down sides to fluency. Of course it depends on where you want to be and what country interests you (in Japan, fluency is a big plus.) Some ability in a language may show that you are genuinely interested in the culture. Too much ability may relegate you to tedious document translation in some locations.