Language, Soft power, and Cultural diplomacy

Language, Soft power, and Cultural diplomacy

The British Council, the alliance francaise and Confucius institute are global organizations that play a significant role in enhancing cultural diplomacy. The British Council was founded in 1934 with the primary objective of promoting British language, culture, and businesses in foreign nations. Germany and France had already set up cultural entities to serve the same purpose. The new body was established initially to improve British relations with other countries. Other individuals created suspicions when they claimed that there were political motives behind the formation of the council (Bao and Du 2015, pg 291). However, such sentiments did not hinder it from promoting British culture across the world. Currently, it has approximately one hundred offices that are found in different parts of the globe. In the future, the council intends to extend the British culture to almost all parts of the world. As a result, it will assist in creating better relations between the British and the outside world.

Another purpose of creating this entity is to enhance appreciation of the UK’s creative ideas and achievements. However, the primary objective remains to promote British traditions across the globe. Additionally, it also engages in charitable activities which are funded by the British government (Berenson 2004, pg 2). The council also uplifts the living standards of citizens living in developing nations. It makes it easier for the citizens living in those countries to accept British culture. It is because individuals will view the council as an entity that aims to help people besides promoting western traditions.

Additionally, the organization also assists in enhancing development in developing countries. A perfect example was in Afghanistan where it educated its nations on how to do business. The citizens were able to benefit from British expertise. In this case, they were able to benefit from the skills that the country lacked. Moreover, the British Council also played a significant role in dealing with the effects of climate change in overseas countries. (Greener 2012, pg 181). This was done by implementing British technology ventures that were beneficial to the citizens. Another function of the British council was to promote the teaching of the British language in foreign countries. Currently, it has already conducted a million hours of English lessons in different parts of the globe.

Furthermore, it has already employed more than 2000 teachers across the world. It still anticipates training more instructors, especially in non-English speaking nations. This is one of the approaches it can use to promote the British culture beyond their borders.

British art also aims at promoting their values through the use of writing and artworks. In this case, the measure will assist in fostering potential artists and authors in the future. Besides, it will help in marketing the nation to jurisdictions where it is not known well. The council has been carrying out campaigns globally to create awareness about the existence of British artworks. The committee has participated in these efforts for decades to ensure that their traditions get international recognition (Monks 2011, pg 275). Moreover, the council uses its excellent diplomatic ties to extend their activities to other nations including the Muslim states. It is the reason why it got a good reception in Afghanistan despite the notion that the British are not welcome in Arabic speaking countries.

Besides, there is the Alliance Française which is an international entity that helps to promote French language and cultural diversity. The organization has been in existence for over five decades since its inception in 1949. It continues to encourage the French traditions in several regions of the world. The entity has extended its operations to English speaking nations. It is because many learners consider it as an alternative to English language (Ousselin, 2012, pg 424). It is beneficial to those individuals who may be interested in the language in overseas nations. The primary objective is teaching French as a second language. The organization is currently located in Paris. By 2014, it was present in 137 countries of the world.

Additionally, it has been training French language instructors. Therefore, many individuals have been able to learn the language through such efforts. The entity has trained more than 2,300 trainers in different parts of the world.


China’s Confucius Institute is another global organization that has carried its operations for many years. The Chinese government fully funds the program. The primary goal is to promote Chinese culture and language all over the world. The language has been gaining popularity in the world because of globalization. The network has spread its operations in more than 120 countries of the world.

Additionally, it has been issuing white papers to assist the learners in comprehending the Chinese language quickly. The paper covers many topics that are beneficial to the audience. Some of these topics include human rights, climate change, and foreign trade among others.


The entity is also advocating the introduction of universities across the globe to teach the Chinese language. As a result, the number of institutions teaching this language has significantly increased. Presently, there are 324 Confucius Institutes that are situated in different parts of the world. These are many compared to those that teach other languages such as Spanish and German (Vandrei 2014, pg 702). Therefore, China uses its expression as a way of creating awareness about its culture. China’s traditions are currently embraced in most parts of Asia and other regions of the world.

China is using soft power as a diplomatic tool that spreads its influence globally. Confucius Institutes has assisted several individuals in comprehending Chinese culture and language in other parts of the world. However, CIs have received a hostile reception in specific regions. Some view it as a propaganda tool that threatens the academic freedom of their societies (Zhang and Slaughter-Defoe 2009, pg 93). However, the Chinese language and culture are spreading very fast because the nation has marketed it beyond their borders. Also, international relations between China and other countries have increased the desire to learn the language. Studying Chinese also gives the learners opportunities a chance to work in Chinese run institutions. Ultimately, exploring the language and embracing their cultures will create better relations among people.

Besides, it is evident that the British, French and Chinese have made tremendous efforts to enhance their languages and cultures to different regions. One of the techniques they are embracing is by training teachers and opening institutions in overseas nations that teach these languages. It is the reason why the three languages are gaining prominence than others across the globe. In the future, the organizations that promote these languages and cultures should introduce the languages during early stages of early childhood development. The measure can assist in understanding the three languages among the audience.



Bao, R. and Du, X. (2015). Implementation of task-based language teaching in Chinese as a foreign language: benefits and challenges. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 28(3), pp.291-310.

Berenson, E. (2004). Making a Colonial Culture? Empire and the French Public, 1880-1940. French Politics, Culture & Society, 22(2).

Greener, B. (2012). International Policing and International Relations. International Relations, 26(2), pp.181-198.

Malyshev, G., Kiselevich, I. and Selivanov, D. (2017). Difficulties in learning the phonetics of the chinese language, basic mistakes and means of correction. Language and Culture, (10), pp.14-17.

Monks, S. (2011). Visual Culture and British India. Visual Culture in Britain, 12(3), pp.269-275.

Ousselin, E. (2012). Radicalism in French Culture: A Sociology of French Theory in the 1960s. French Studies, 66(3), pp.424-424.

Vandrei, M. (2014). ‘Britons, strike home’: politics, patriotism and popular song in British culture,c.1695-1900. Historical Research, 87(238), pp.679-702.

Zhang, D. and Slaughter-Defoe, D. (2009). Language attitudes and heritage language maintenance among Chinese immigrant families in the USA. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 22(2), pp.77-93.