Foreign interpreters may harm RI diplomacy: SBY

Quoted from by Bagus BT Saragih,
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 02/23/2012 5:57 PM

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged the Foreign Ministry to speed up the education and training of presidential interpreters to help him communicate with his counterparts overseas.

 “We urgently need more interpreters who are capable of speaking many foreign languages, particularly other than English, Chinese and Spanish,” the President told 130 Indonesian diplomats stationed in 88 countries, including 85 ambassadors and 28 consuls general, in a meeting held at the Foreign Ministry’s Pancasila building on Thursday.

“In the last G-20 meeting, for example, we all saw that many country leaders delivered speeches in their own languages. Angela Merkel spoke German, Nicolas Sarkozy French and Hu Jintao Chinese. So this is the situation we have to face,” he went on.

Yudhoyono reiterated that he must be accompanied by Indonesian interpreters at diplomatic meetings. In many bilateral meetings, however, Yudhoyono said he had been accompanied by interpreters provided by home governments.

“That was not good. Foreign interpreters could lead to misinterpretations that could end in diplomacy scandals, even war. Thus, interpreters must be Indonesian who do their job under oath,” the President said.
Yudhoyono called on Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to prepare interpreter training programs and utilize the language center set up at the Indonesian Peace and Security Center (IPSC) in Sentul, West Java.
The meeting with Indonesian diplomats was aimed at bolstering Indonesia’s diplomacy overseas. Yudhoyono told the diplomats to be confident, have a global view, know their missions, be achievement-oriented and always be ready, active and creative.

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 02/23/2012 5:57 PM


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