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State Department to ramp up critical-language study

October 15, 2020

State Department to ramp up critical-language study

Michael R. Pompeo , U.S. Secretary of State, has directed the State Department to ramp up critical-language study, beginning with Mandarin but also encompassing other critical languages such as Russian, Hindi, Arabic and Farsi. In an Oped published in Newsweek, Pompeo states: "Deeper knowledge of languages—and of the peoples and nations who speak them that such knowledge brings—can illuminate otherwise unseen threats and lower the likelihood of open conflict. It can bring into focus hidden opportunities for cooperation and enhance appreciation of a nation's internal politics. Additionally, among friends, it can expand the trust and broaden the sympathies that already exist, which are crucial to an effective partnership." The State Department launched a new website, Languages.State.Gov, with information on existing U.S. government language programs, scholarships, internships and more to provide to provide easier access to information on the wealth of language programs the U.S. government already offers.

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