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Departmental Languages

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. (320418)

One Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister, Lord Mervyn Davies, undertook language training in the past 12 months at a cost of £212.80.

370 FCO civil servants have received language training in the following 52 languages (in no particular order):

French

Danish

Spanish

Vietnamese

Portuguese

Russian

Mandarin

Japanese

Nepali

Norwegian

Polish

Dutch

Turkish

Arabic

Dari

Spanish LA

Malay

Italian

Macedonian

Cantonese

German

Farsi

Pashto

Albanian

Uzbek

Somali

Urdu

Bulgarian

Bengali

Swedish

Montenegrin

Portuguese (Brazilian)

Hebrew

Georgian

Greek

Amharic

Bosnian

Ukrainian

Romanian

Korean

Hindi

Indonesian

Cantonese

Mongolian

Serbian

Czech

Sorani Kurdish

Persian

Thai

Slovene

Latvian

Tagalog.

The total spend by the FCO's Language Policy and Standards Team from 1 March 2009 to date is £2,591,016. (This figure includes administration, travel and examination expenses.)