Fw: The return of lingua franca

Alkistis Fleischer fleischa at georgetown.edu
Tue Nov 26 20:03:34 UTC 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laada Bilaniuk" <bilaniuk at u.washington.edu>
To: <linganth at cc.rochester.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 1:53 PM
Subject: The return of lingua franca

> On language choice and the politics of seating arrangements...
> French language saves NATO blushes over Kuchma.
> Nov 22, 2002
> Reuters English News Service
> (C) Reuters Limited 2002.
> By John Chalmers
> PRAGUE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - French may be losing out to English as the
> language of diplomacy, but it came in handy at a NATO summit on Friday to
> snub Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who has been accused of smuggling
> arms to Iraq.
> Kuchma turned up in Prague for the alliance's meeting despite blunt
> warnings to stay away. He even attended a gala evening whose guests
> included U.S. President George W. Bush.
> But by using the French names for the 46 nations in the Euro-Atlantic
> Partnership Council (EAPC) - and arranging them alphabetically - Ukraine's
> leader was kept apart from the leaders of the "United Kingdom" and "United
> States" on Friday.
> Kuchma found himself next to the president of Turkey, seven seats away
> British Prime Minister Tony Blair of "Royaume-Uni" and more than 30 away
> from Bush of "Etats-Unis".
> "This is the first time I've seen a meeting like this arranged
> alphabetically in French," a NATO official said, although French is one of
> the alliance's two official languages.
> "It's a very neat trick: the point is that he's not sitting next to the
> United Kingdom and the United States," said another.
> NATO had told Kuchma he would not be welcome at the meeting after
> Washington said it believed he had approved the sale of a Kolchuga early
> warning radar system to Iraq on the basis of taped conversations it said
> were authentic.
> Kuchma has repeatedly denied the charges.
> The Kolchuga, whose name means chain mail in Russian, could complicate any
> U.S.-led attack on Baghdad and threaten the safety of allied pilots
> patrolling Iraq's no-fly zones.
> --
> Laada Bilaniuk
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> University of Washington
> Box 353100/Denny Hall M32
> Seattle, WA 98195-3100

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