Why Is It That We Have to Speak English? A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a Naval conference that included admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a group of half dozen or so officers that included personnel from most of the countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked: "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?" Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied: "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."