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Russia requires more fluent bureaucrats

Jan. 15, 2011 at 12:01 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Russian government says its new bureaucrats need to brush up on their foreign language skills following a series of public speaking gaffes.

The Guardian newspaper in London said Saturday that Moscow wants to see an end to public statements by Russian officials, scientists and other public figures whose remarks in English and other foreign tongues are definitely lost in translation.

The British newspaper chronicled some recent linguistic pratfalls from Russian officials, including a scientist's statement in which he referred to the respected Institute of Protein Research as the "Squirrel Institute."

The government has developed a plan to make at least 20 percent of its workers fluent in a foreign language by 2020 and is requiring all new hires to be at least competent in English.

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