• Ou des carences anglophones en diplomatie


    Today was a quite special day. The Big Boss of the department himself came to introduce the speaker of our weekly conference. He explained he was very glad to greet a diplomat, an official voice, kind of spokesman of a so important european country in this university. Then he described quickly the career of our guest, in Africa, in Brussel or for NATO, as well as his new job at the embassy, in Copenhaguen. And opened the conference with the traditionnal -and quite official- « Mister, the floor is yours ».

    Suddenly the seriously of the situation fell down. The diplomate just started to speak. His accent was terrible, childish, almost ridiculous. Ununderstandable sometimes, even. Of course, the diplomat was French.

    I would like to discuss about the question of credibility for France, when you represent it with that accent. I would like to discuss of the problem of langage education in France. I would like to discuss, beyond that, about the French accent, perhaps impossible to loose (just have a look to this interview of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, French president of the IMF). I could take an other exemple, and tell stories about French planes who often land on the wrong runways, in America, after misunderstandings with control towers. But I'm too lazy to do it, especially in english. I just would like to say that, since today, I'm almost proud of my accent. Almost, I said.

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