Language Training Made Obligatory for Officers!

The bar has got higher!
"The British army may have fewer troops stationed abroad than at any point in the last century, but new plans aim to fashion a more internationally engaged and culturally aware officer corps by making language skills obligatory for senior ranks. ... From October, no officer will be promoted to a sub-unit command – effectively any rank above captain – unless they can speak a foreign language, preferably French or Arabic, senior army officials have told the Financial Times. The requirement will affect hundreds of commissions." - Financial Times
 
I wonder if Latin or Greek would be appropriate?
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Seems like a retention positive move.
 
So learning a second language is now seen as an essential part of leadership.

Morons. It will cause more problems than it ever solves.
 
D

Deleted 60082

Guest
I wonder if this has been thought through. To what standard? 3333 takes up to 18 months full-time to achieve, depending on the language. Furthermore, immersion language training is most desirable. For Arabic, that generally means a stay in Jordan or Oman, inter alia. The cost is also astronomical. A contracted-in tutor is about £50 per hour.

Or is this more to do with the regionally-aligned brigades and survival of ever-more esoteric Army-led units?
 
FT today:
http://link.ft.com/r/0QSDPP/TL8L5K/SRI1V/HI1PCM/XGRAKV/E4/h?a1=2014&a2=7&a3=28

Language made obligatory for senior British officers

.............. From October, no officer will be promoted to a sub-unit command – effectively any rank above captain – unless they can speak a foreign language, preferably French or Arabic, senior army officials have told the Financial Times. The requirement will affect hundreds of commissions..............

Some peeps are going to struggle and whinge!

I reckon its a good idea - but them I'm fluent in three languages, get by in a couple of others and have a rudimentary knowledge of a few more.

French and Arabic preferred, huh? Well obviously one is mainly for allied joint operations and the other is mainly for knowledge of an adversary. But I'm sure they may be some confusion among many of our ossifers as to which is which!

This is going to be fun!
 
I think French and Arabic are the top ones - there'll be more.
 
Russian must be fairly high on the list.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
This will kill the commissionings and produce an army as effective as the Canadians and irish! Wait not sorry, worse than either the Canadians or Irish on a really bad day. Bi lingual officers stood by watching religeous nutters murder those they are responsible for protecting. How great that will look. I think I'll burn my blazer, beret and gong now before anyone associates me with this clusterfuck of a defence farce!
 
Btw - EID MUBARAK from the Middle East (or should that be IED Mubarak........)
 
This will kill the commissionings and produce an army as effective as the Canadians and irish! Wait not sorry, worse than either the Canadians or Irish on a really bad day. Bi lingual officers stood by watching religeous nutters murder those they are responsible for protecting. How great that will look. I think I'll burn my blazer, beret and gong now before anyone associates me with this clusterfuck of a defence farce!

Stop fence-sitting, ugly, and say what you really think.
 
Hmm - and which Arabic? Written Arabic is fairly consistent but spoken Arabic varies enormously across the Arab world - having picked up a bit of Arabic in Sudan, it was useless in Cairo - a bit like learning spoken English in Glasgae'. Still, since a lot of arab world TV programmes are made in Cairo, they could learn to speak that and be understood, even if they wouldn't have clue what was being said back to them in the local dialect.
 
This will kill the commissionings and produce an army as effective as the Canadians and irish! Wait not sorry, worse than either the Canadians or Irish on a really bad day. Bi lingual officers stood by watching religeous nutters murder those they are responsible for protecting. How great that will look. I think I'll burn my blazer, beret and gong now before anyone associates me with this clusterfuck of a defence farce!

Nah..... there'll always be the small minority of gifted linguists amongst the Officer corps (and they will be in demand), but I suspect that the pinged high-flyers will get a tick in the box after a bit of rudimentary Franglais.
 
Knowing many officers from my time, speaking intelligible English would be a bloody start.
"Djew went t'bring m'motor hre Private?" "En hve yew seen any gels?"
 
We rarely fight alone these days so a working knowledge of our ally's languages would be well received by them I'm sure. Equally a working knowledge of Arabic should aid communication with the Muslim world whether friend or foe.

Unfortunately I couldn't open up the link but I wonder what level they're looking for? A Level or degree of just a working colloquial knowledge? I can't really see a language degree being a pre-requisite for promotion, especially in a very complicated language like Arabic.

You'd expect most reasonably educated people today to, at least, be reasonably conversant in one or two European languages.
 

Chef

LE
An interesting concept, how will it work? A qualification or practical ongoing testing?

Some people can pick up a language in no time, I got an O-Level in Italian in 6 months several years ago, I doubt I could do more than order coffee now.

Also will languages be treated equally? Chinese, Hindi and Russian might be useful. How useful would Farsi have been considered in the nineties?

A good idea but hard to guess which pool of tongues will be needed in ten years, though I agree that Spanish is a widespread language.

Of course the rest of the military world could do the decent thing and learn to speak English.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
2 beers, 2 more beers, Taxi Buller Bks, in any of 5 languages, where's me promotion to CGS?
 

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