View the full list One of the most striking features of the recent French presidential elections and the subsequent nomination of a new prime minister and his cabinet has been the attention paid by the French media to the linguistic competences of the nation’s politicians.
Certainly one of the best jokes to do the rounds after Emmanuel Macron was elected was that France now has a leader who speaks better English than the American president.
Philippe was partly raised in Germany, where his father was the director of the Lycée Français in Bonn.
He speaks German fluently, as does defence minister, Sylvie Goulard.
Bruno Le Maire is another German speaker and, in his role as finance minister, embodies the close ties that bind Paris and Berlin.
Macron’s foreign policy adviser, Philippe Étienne, is another link in the Franco-German chain.
French ambassador to Berlin between 20, he is known as a Germanophile.
Philip Bullock receives funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the University of Oxford's ' Creative Multilingualism' research programme.
This article does not reflect the views of the research councils.