SOVIET UNION: Having What to Learn

Last year more than 7,000 Soviet citizens visited the U.S.—many of them armed with the official Russian-English Phrasebook, now in its third printing by Moscow's Foreign Literature Publishing House. Far from bridging the communications gap between East and West, this vade mecum is sure to cause confusion if not some international incidents.

The core of the communication problem is contained in three preliminary sentences that the phrasebook recommends to Russian tourists: "I don't know English. I know no other language except my native tongue. The study of foreign languages is greatly developed in our country." On his arrival, the Soviet...

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