An officer in the U.S. Naval reserve was attending a conference that included admirals from both the U.S. Navy and the French navy. At a cocktail reception, he found himself in a small group that included personnel from both navies. The French admiral started complaining that whereas Europeans learned many languages, Americans learned only English. He then asked: "Why is it that we have to speak English in these conferences rather than you speak French?" Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied: "Maybe it's because we arranged it so you did not have to speak German." The group became silent.