English, everyone must learn

Olympics 2014, Sochi News March 4th, 2010

Speak English in SochiI’m sorry, this picture is probably a little aggressive. But that’s what jumped into my head when I read new Sochi mayor’s initiative: all waiters and cab drivers will have to learn English or loose their jobs.

I recognize that it’s extremely important for services to be available in English by the time Olympics hits the city. And it’s really great that there will be free opportunities for everyone to learn it. But the ultimative tone of the mayor with which it was announced during his press conference irritates me a great deal. Let’s look at this straight – it’s really hard to learn a foreign language, and it’s harder yet to keep what you’ve learned if you don’t use it. Along the fine improvements promised, which should improve live in the city, come real problems to many when their lives come across anything related to the Olympics – people loose great living locations, property, businesses, or will be relocated quite far from where they lived all their lives. And now you intimidate them with possibility to loose their jobs? That’s just not right.

Well, this is the the twist in the news of the day, which is apparently, soon, English language courses will be available to all Sochi residents – free. No dates have been mentioned, it just been revealed that the money for this are allocated for in the target-program «Sochi — hospitable city».

And this is the good news!

Because stuff like this is embarrassing: Read the rest of this entry »