Managers of large teams and lay employees need regular training in the language, but not for the same reasons.
Overjoyed to be invited to a conference in Paris organized by the team he works for, Paul is disappointed when, at lunchtime, he realizes that half of the guests around him do not speak French. A mix of schedules was planned to encourage exchanges between employees of different subsidiaries.
Paul, who had no connection to his work with his colleagues abroad, felt uncomfortable when English naturally became the common language at the beginning of the meal. His dismay increased when he noticed that his three French colleagues spoke fluently. Although he understood what they were saying, the matter was more complicated when the American colleague spoke.
Paul was further frustrated by the fact that this tall boy from Massachusetts seemed friendly and would have liked to have interacted with him. In order to save face and not appear complete, Paul tried to make some points while warning: “My English is a little rusty» (My English is a bit rusty). But, certain that no one would be fooled by his flaws, he returned to the conference room in the afternoon with a sense of shame.
Parallel to the Cubans
Unpleasant as it may be, Paul's accident does not make him an isolated case.
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