It's not that we're bad at languages, it's that we suffer from speaking English
Are the Irish lamentably bad at learning foreign languages? Senator Ronan Mullen has been castigating Education Minister Ruairi Quinn for failing to promote more language skills in Irish schools and colleges. The Senator says that there is a "serious lack of language skills in the Irish workforce".
He claims that when an international employer was recruiting staff in Ireland, they had to bring in 500 employees from overseas to fill job vacancies because the Irish workforce just didn't have the necessary language skills.
If this is the case, how can we improve matters? I consulted an award-winning linguist and translator for some tips on language-learning skills.