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President Nixon appointed General Vernon Walters as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in 1972. Vernon spoke French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Chinese and Russian fluently.
Vernon loved #languages and enjoyed a friendly competition with fellow #linguists. He would engage two others in conversation and each time a person spoke, they had to talk in a new language. Once you ran through your repertoire of languages, you were eliminated.
Vernon's linguistic skills afforded him a myriad of opportunities. His simultaneous translation of a speech by Nixon in France prompted President Charles de Gaulle to say, "Nixon, you gave a magnificent speech, but your interpreter was eloquent."
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