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Linking Young Minds Together
    Volume 5 | Issue 41| October 23, 2011 |


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Lecture on Language and Diplomacy

Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra

Interactions between Saida Muna Tasneem and the students. courtesy: NSU
courtesy: NSU

The Institute of Modern Languages at North South University offered a special class on the role of language in international diplomacy on October 16, 2011. The lecture title was Language and Diplomacy and the guest lecturer was Ms Saida Muna Tasneem who is currently the Director-General of the United Nations Wing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh.

The lecture Language and Diplomacy was one of the events of the IML Discourse I which is part of an academic innovation at NSU and a lecture series that aims to add new dimensions to the study of language and inspires evaluation of the link between theory and practice of language as a means of social and strategic communication. At the beginning of her lecture, Ms Tasneem said that she was delighted to be at NSU.

Her lecture began with the definition of the concept of diplomacy, and then she gradually focused on the role of language in international diplomacy. She used examples and references of a number of foreign office documents of different countries to illustrate how diplomats used language technically and persuasively. She explained that diplomatic moves and responses were expressed through various forms of language that serve strategic purposes and sought to prove that language was used as a means of strategic communication. She also explained and illustrated the fact that the diplomatic language was often technical and linguistic resources were used in a manner that ensured the desired effect and enabled the diplomats to achieve their objectives.

In the end, Ms Tasneem said that for a developing nation like Bangladesh, which did not produce much political cloud in the international community, it was not always easy to achieve goals and fulfill the agenda. In this situation, language is power, and it can be carefully used to achieve objectives and defend the country's interest. The lecture ended with a question-answer session.

It was indeed a great experience of a class at NSU!


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