Diplomat exam ignores Southeast Asian languages

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 20, 2016
By: Lu Yi-hsuan / Staff reporter

This year’s special examination for consular and diplomatic personnel does not have any exam groups for Southeast Asian languages, despite the government’s “new southbound policy” that aims to improve relations with Southeast Asian nations.

The nation’s diplomats have to pass the examination to begin their training, with the exam being divided into different language groups, but this year’s exam brochure listed English, French, Japanese and German among other non-Southeast Asian languages.

In response to queries about the lack of an exam group for Southeast Asian languages, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it has been sending its personnel to Southeast Asian nations to learn their languages each year and it would continue the policy instead of opening language groups in the entrance exam.

Regulations stipulate that the ministry would recruit 30 to 40 diplomatic personnel through the exam.

The available positions are divided into several language groups. The 42 positions opened this year are divided into 10 language groups: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Italian and Portuguese, with 26 positions for English, amounting to about 60 percent of all positions, while the other groups each have one or two open positions.     [FULL  STORY]

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