John Kerry spoke French to the French yesterday


Speak a foreign language to gain favour

I walked into a TV room in a hospital and saw John Kerry speaking French. We were having it translated of course – but the BBC coverage – was almost in awe of the fact that he was speaking in French, stressing that this is very unusual – indeed they could not remember the last time this happened.

The French were clearly appreciative and much more agreeable to his point of view because he was communicating in their language. Well done John Kerry.

English monolinguals take note

His action disproves the fallacy that the only language you need is English. Let’s just imagine he did in fact speak in English … what response can we expect from the French instead? Muted? The French are so used to people speaking to them in English that when someone makes an effort – it makes an impact.

The US are looking for friend to help with the Syrian situation and it might just be that the French stand by them. The fact that he spoke in French won’t hurt the USA’s chances.

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