Daily Archives: November 16, 2011

The King and I


Or should I say "the king and me"?


Language fluency and influence…one dimension of personal judgement, appraisal, and trust.


There's considerable evidence that someone's ability to speak fluently can influence an individual's success. This has certainly been the case with President Obama, given his oratorical skills at the Democratic national convention several years ago.


So I'm fascinated with the notion that the ability of a FOREIGN leader to speak fluent English — president, king, prime minister, ambassador — can influence our attitudes toward that person and his/her country. I think it can, and it does.


My best example is King Abdullah of Jordan. He speaks impeccable English, and enhances what he's saying with body language we can understand. Perhaps because a major share of his education was in the U.S. and Great Britain:  Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Pembroke College at Oxford University, and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


Here's a portion of the video of his BBC interview this week about the crisis in Syria:


I find myself believing and trusting him more than many other foreign leaders I see and hear. I think other people do, too.  And my confidence comes largely from his mastery of our English language.

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized