It is sometimes difficult to dispel the myth that English is enough, when speaking English is so widespread and speaking English to a proficient level is so highly prized by speakers of other languages. Yet, it is for that very reason that those whose first language is English should be adding other languages to their repertoire.
Speakers of other languages seek to speak English so that they can not only communicate with English speakers, but also influence them by understanding their culture and the way they think.
English speakers who know no other languages are at a singular disadvantage when trying to build relationships with other people around the world. Learning other languages means deepening our understanding of other cultures and developing that all important gift of soft power, the ability to influence and persuade others to share our values and points of view.
Hear Jon Benjamin, Director of the Diplomatic Academy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office talk about the importance of languages and cultures across Whitehall departments.