E Medvedev diplomatically scolds Berlusconi for his "English only" Policy
Note by Giorgio Pagano, Secretary of the Esperanto Radical Association
Few, if any, realised that yesterday’s conference between Berlusconi and Medvedev, the President of the Russian Federation, was lashing out at our Prime Minister’s "English-Only" policy.
When a Russian reporter asked about "The Russia-Italy year of Language and Culture," a topic which was brought up at the beginning of the conference, Berlusconi answered "the nucleus of the activities will be concentrated on the foreign exchange and television events," but the Federation’s president diplomatically answered that it was "rather obvious, as Russians love the Italian language and culture."
Aside from the great exchange that exists in both directions between Russia and Italy, I would like that The Russia-Italy Year should not be considered a bridge for our citizens to cross the frontier, but also as an opportunity for cultural events and exhbitions to take place, not only for the purpose of being inserted in to the mass media, on television, but also to attract attention for cultural and languagestudies, for both Italian and Russian […] We have faculties and universities that study the Italian langauge. To ensure that these are filled with sources, or, in other words, to be able to learn more about a country’s culture and its daily life, it’s important that our future generations learn other languages. But I don’t think the only other language should be English alone."
It seems obvious but the "English-Only" policy is hurting not only the Italian language in Italy, as can be seen by our youngsters’ deteriorated use of the Italian language, but, more importantly, it endangers the study of other foreign languages in the world. Dmitrij Medvedev’s ‘warning’ is loud and clear."