Sunday, October 16, 2005

Arabic Speakers in the Diplomatic Corps

Anyone interested in the United States Foreign Service or in U.S. relations with the Arabic-speaking world should read former Foreign Service officer Jennifer Bremer's op-ed in today's Washington Post. Bremer notes that as of August 2004 there were only eight people in the U.S. Foreign Service who spoke Arabic at a 4+ or 5 level--the levels at which one might be expected to perform well if asked to speak before an agitated crowd or in an Arabic-language television interview.

Take a look at the piece to gain some insight into America's problems in the Middle East and into the nature of language training for American diplomats as well.

[Via Washington Monthly.]