Fee foes smell blood

August 1, 1997

About three months ago, Sir Ron told Japanese and British academics, industrialists and politicians of the communication problems he had experienced in his dealings with Japanese people. He even implied that his trading position would have been strengthened by a good command of Japanese. I am disappointed that such frustrations and information about how the command of foreign languages affects the economy, have not been given more importance in the summary. It also failed to recognise that the dominance of English as the lingua franca of business may be eroded. I was amazed during a recent trip to the Czech republic to discover that my German was more useful than English.

Eric de la Croix

Head of languages European Business School

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