Wednesday, September 03, 2008

French minister finally admits defeat in battle against English

I attended a conference in Toulouse, France in 2000 that was entirely conducted in English. Even the vice-mayor of the city addressed our crowd in English. And that's when I learned one of the secrets of how the French and Germans were able to work together to make our competitor Airbus a success: They speak English in all meetings. Now France's top defender of la langue has admitted defeat. Daily Mail (UK) Online:
For generations, the French have fiercely guarded their language against the horreurs anglais. But France's education minister yesterday admitted for the first time that the secret to success is speaking better English. Xavier Darcos claimed poor English is now a 'handicap' because all international business is conducted in the language, and said French schools would offer extra lessons during the holidays. He also admitted that, because of globalisation, very few people outside France will being able to speak French in the future. Mr Darcos said he wanted to make it easier for all French students to learn English, saying that 'while well-off families pay for study sessions abroad, I'm offering them to everyone right here.'

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