by War News Updates Editor @ War News Updates: The U.S. Military's Language Problem The Armys Language Problem -- Michael Rubin, Commentary A decade of war has reinforced to the U.S. Army the importance of cultural awareness. Senior flag officers and junior enlisted men and women have all heard presentations about Islam, and basic elements of Iraqi and Afghan culture. True, discussing the confluence of theology and terrorism remains largely taboo in the politically correct U.S. military, but few troops deploy without knowing basic information about Islam and cultural sensitivities. The notable exception was Gen. Janis Karpinski, whose unit embarrassed the United States at Abu Ghraib; she dismissed cultural awareness as below her and irrelevant to her mission. Read more ....The Army’s Language Problem « Commentary Magazine My Comment: What of my personal embarrassments is that while my first language is Russian, my English and French (I live in the Canadian french province of Quebec) is adequate but not top notch (This is one of the reasons why I started this blog .... to work on my English writing skills .... thank God for spell-check). I also have a so-so ability to communicate in Mandarin and Korean, and I am working on my Spanish. My dad spoke 8 languages fluently .... my mom knows 6. All of my American born friends only speak one .... and maybe a bit of Spanish. Why America has this problem to learn a second or third language is beyond me .... I guess it is another example on why America's education system is failing. Interestingly .... China is rapidly becoming the world's second most populous country that speaks English. When I first visited China in the mid 1980s .... only a fraction spoke it. On my last trip to China last month .... everyone wanted to practice their English on me .... and I mean everyone. In Russia .... all of cousin's kids speak adequate to excellent English (that's about 20 kids). Wow! And I have lots of problems with two!!!