27th June 2010

A bad week for the French. First, no warning from France Meteo about the terrible floods in the Var region. One poor woman opened her front door and found herself swimming to her neighbour's house. Then, the debacle with the French football team, where everyone blamed the manager.
And now, the UK'S former Europe Minister, Chris Bryant, calls French a 'useless' language and questioned whether it should still be taught in British schools. A fine cultural ambassador he is! Meanwhile, a study here in France found some top firms were unable to deal with phone calls in English. Try talking to British or American firms in French! It is our job to learn their language, not the other way round. French, Spanish and Latin should be mandatory lessons in school - we need more linguistic scholars, who could then turn to Mandarin and Arabic/Hebrew. It's common for Chinese business people to communicate in several languages. The official language of the UK for about 400 years was Norman French, so it's at the heart of our language with only 184 pure Anglo-Saxon words remaining in the English dictionary.
So, in summary: Don't worry when things go wrong. It's just a dip in life's ever-changing graph. Teach discipline and respect for those in authority, and bring back language teaching. Only when we understand each other can we live in peace.

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