Expert: Bulgarian Politicians Lag in English Language Skills

Society | September 20, 2011, Tuesday // 11:11|  views

Bulgaria's political elite is behind their European colleagues in foreign language skills. File photo

Bulgarian politicians rank at the bottom in Europe by their English language skills, according to the Director of the language training center International House Sofia, Simon Harris.

Harris voices his surprise of the level of foreign language knowledge of Bulgaria's political elite, compared with the one of their European colleagues, whom he had trained in the last ten years.

The expert points out that when politicians are not fluent in a certain language, they often miss wonderful opportunities for collaboration and joint projects because they cannot grasp the subtleties in a conversation, the clever sentences, and the possibility to easily integrate during informal meetings with colleagues.

Harris explains that the European Union spends 1% of its annual budget on translations and interpretations or about EUR 1 B a year, and this cost can be lowered if politicians are better trained in language skills.

The educator further says he has, however, noticed that politicians realize more and more the need to be fluent in a foreign language and sign for classes. They are mainly interested in how a good diplomat uses intonation and acquires the right speaking style to use at informal and official events.

International House Sofia has two centers in the capital with the second opening on September 17. The center offers a variety of English language classes for children and adults.

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Tags: expert, Bulgarian, politicians, political elite, English, language, skills, foreign, International House Sofia, Simon Harris


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