He added,”In a bid to make the festival more meaningful we follow a theme every year. This year, the social theme defining some of the panel discussions is Global Image of India. Every citizen should work towards upholding the core moral values of society, contribute to the social and environmental welfare of the country and be a global ambassador for India.”

On the Korean peninsula, the tense boundary known as the demilitarized zone is not the only thing that separates the North and South. The war seven decades ago also created a division in how Koreans speak their language. And for many newly arrived North Korean defectors in the South, learning new words and expressions makes resettling even more challenging. A new smartphone app could help these refugees overcome the linguistic division. 

Spanish is not just a handy language for World Cup referees. In a 2013 report entitled “Languages for the Future”, the British Council cited Spanish as the most important language to learn. It’s not hard to see why: approximately 470 million people speak Spanish as a native language, 60 million as a second language and 20 million students are studying it as a foreign language.

In this Idea Exchange moderated by Sushant Singh of The Indian Express, German ambassador to India Michael Steiner and wife Eliese talk about taking diplomacy ahead through steps such as a concert and music video, the German language row, the difference between UPA and NDA, and the challenges facing Europe. 

In recent years an important direction of state policy is support for Russian culture and language in the Russian world abroad. The Public Chamber and the Russian Peace Foundation are implementing ‘The Russian Corner’ project.

The Modern Language Assn. reported that Korean language enrollment rose 45% from 2009 to 2013. Overall, language studies declined by 6.7% during that same period, and interest dropped in many popular ones, including Spanish, French and German.

Ahead of the visit to Astana by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in early April, Nurbakh Rustemov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador in Budapest, shared his views on the bilateral relations and their future, touching, among other things on the interesting and long-standing cultural links between the two countries. 

State propagandists - if far from all policy-makers - have long understood the political power of language learning. (...) Most major states figured this out years ago. Democracies like France, the UK and Germany have publicly funded institutes around the world teaching their languages and cultures. This is part of what diplomats call soft power, the drive to boost global influence by co-opting rather than coercing, by friendly persuasion rather than force.