London, June 16 (ANI): A former Foreign Office minister has described French as "useless" and called on young people to learn Mandarin and Arabic.
Chris Bryant, who served as minister for Europe under Gordon Brown, claimed that the value of using French in interactions was on the wane, and suggested introduction of languages that were more useful for business.
"Unless we have sufficient numbers of people who speak modern foreign languages - and not just the useless modern foreign languages like French," The Telegraph quoted him as telling the House of Commons.
Amid Tory protests that this was "insulting" to our near neighbours, Bryant said: "I've said this to the French. I think they realise there are problems."
He defended his remark, insisting that while French had been the "most useful language to use because it was the diplomatic language", things had changed over the last 30 to 40 years and now "it certainly isn't".
He said the most significant languages to speak now, aside from English, were Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic. (ANI)