Long time ago — about 20 years ago — people in US used to say optimists are learning Japanese and pessimists are learning Mandarin (Chinese). That was during the day when Japan economy could do nothing wrong.
Globalization and the economic rise of Asia, particularly Cina and India, have resulted in a slightly different situation now. This time, it appears that there are more reasons for we Americans (including Indian Americans of new generation like my son Neil) to learn languages other than English.
In any case, I was delighted to read this article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_shining_US_headhunts_Hindi_teachers/rssarticleshow/2890036.cms
that shows that Hindi and other languages are being taken a bit more seriously. I think it is time that that happens at faster rate.