Leading Article: Language lesson

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The Independent Online

The Japanese Ambassador, Yoshiji Nogami, was right this week to criticise the UK Government's record of investing in minority languages in higher education. For too long, it has been considered quirky to learn languages other than French, German (and possibly Spanish) at British schools and universities.

Thankfully, that tide appears to be turning – at least in government circles – with ministers highlighting the need for more concentration on economically useful languages for the 21st century. Mandarin is a prime example of that, but cases can also be made for more study of Arabic, Urdu and Japanese.