Languages

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st July 2009.

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Photo of Adam Holloway Adam Holloway Conservative, Gravesham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of staff required by his Department who speak each foreign language; how many staff in his Department speak each such language; how many staff in his Department have learnt a language in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The following table shows the estimate of the number of operational speakers required by language. These figures are drawn from central human resources records which are constantly under review and subject to change at short notice for operational reasons. I am awaiting a report regarding the number of speakers in each language, which I will place in the Library once available.

209 officers have learnt a language in the last 12 months where it was necessary to do so to fulfil the job specification. In addition, a further 73 officers have learnt a language in order to help in-country acclimatisation.

Number
Albanian 6
Amharic 1
Arabic 40
Azeri 1
Bosnian 6
Bulgarian 6
Burmese 1
Croatian 5
Czech 9
Danish 2
Dari 6
Dutch 6
Estonian 2
Farsi 6
Finnish 2
French 178
Georgian 1
German 35
Greek 5
Hebrew 2
Hungarian 6
Icelandic 2
Indonesian 9
Italian 10
Japanese 20
Kazakh 1
Korean 5
Latvian 1
Lithuanian 1
Macedonian 5
Mandarin 23
Nepali 4
Norwegian 4
Polish 7
Portuguese for Europe 17
Portuguese for Americas 16
Romanian 3
Russian 50
Serbian 4
Slovak 4
Slovene 2
Spanish for Europe 12
Spanish for Americas 60
Swahili 4
Swedish 6
Tagalog 1
Thai 4
Turkish 11
Ukrainian 6
Urdu 2
Uzbek 1
Vietnamese 5

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