Great question! I agree with Ms. Grothe's advice to consider both the economic opportunities in countries that speak the languages you are considering as well as the rarity of the language. Both Germany and Japan have strong economies with tons of interactions with the U.S. economy; on the other hand, a rarer language is in lower demand, but can offer higher compensation precisely because it is rare and there are fewer translators available. I do disagree about learning Spanish, however. Unless you are a native Spanish speaker already, then you will not truly be able to compete with bi-lingual Spanish/English speakers already working as translators in the U.S. Another thing you might consider is guidance from the U.S. Department of State on"critical need foreign languages." These are 13 languages that are considered very high need. Japanese is on this list, as well as Arabic and Chinese. Not German. :) Every year, the Department of State provides full scholarships for college students to study these language in the countries that they are spoken through the Critical Languages Scholarship program, http://www.clscholarship.org/. This can be a great opportunity to travel abroad, improve your language skills, and meet other students with similar passions and career interests. Best of luck!