Should Presidents be Multilingual?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Should Presidents be Multilingual?
4
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 9:38am

I thought this was an interesting article: http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/11/01/should_the_president_be_able_to_speak_foreign_languages

Did you know that the only American president whose first language was not English was Martin Van Buren?

Do you think that the people we elect as presidents should be multilingual?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Fri, 02-03-2012 - 11:00pm

Oh yeah a foreign minister or minister of external affairs definitely should speak more than his national language, after all this is a position that means interacting with other countries, so I would say at least English and Spanish should be a must considering they are the most widely spoken languages across the world, knowing the language of an immediate neighbouring country should also be required.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Fri, 02-03-2012 - 2:22am
I agree with PP, but I do think foreign minister should speak other languages well. (I'm talking about you, Guido Westerwelle!)

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Wed, 02-01-2012 - 1:34am

I don't think it is a must unless the country in question has more than one official language. To mee it matters more that the president of any given country has a strong knowledge of the various cultures presents in his country to get a good grasp of the population who elected him/her in the first place and not make anybody feel they are less important culturally than the majority, so educations on minority groups in your own country is very important in my opinion, even if you don't speak a minority group language, you need to have a basic idea of where they are comming from and what challenges they are facing in your country.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
Fri, 12-02-2011 - 12:49pm

If you had more than one official language, yes.