How do leaders of different countries understand each other in conferences? What do they talk about and how do they avoid talking about insensitive topics?

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How do leaders of different countries understand each other in conferences? What do they talk about and how do they avoid talking about insensitive topics?

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They have translators who interpret what is being said and relay a translation of what was originally being said. They have advisers and briefings about what to discuss and what not to discuss, some arrogant and unprofessional leaders ignore these briefings or don’t have them.

They are breifed and talk about pre-prepaired topics. They have translators translating for them if they do not speak the language of the conference, hence the ear peice. Some still speak in their national language even if they speak another. To be a translator for these confrences you have to be extremely good, as things dont always translate directly from one language to another so you have to fully understand the sayings and nuances of both.

This has been explained now, if in a sarcastic way. So I want to tell a story that comes to me by way of a teacher who at one point was a waiter for very high end hotels in Europe.

If it’s not a political conference, so say a given dignitaries funeral or a royal wedding or something, lists of what not to discuss are distributed . Per the former waiter, the result is often the most powerful people on Earth discussing the weather.

Well, let’s define “understand each other.”

If you mean linguistically, they do it through translators. But usually they too speak other languages, specially French, or English.

If you mean it logistically, they do it by agreeing beforehand about an agenda, a set of points to talk about whenever they meet. For example, the G20 is taking place in Japan, so there was an agenda built from beforehand to deal with topics like climate change.

As far as insensitive topics go, they can agree to talk about them, but usually that’s not the case, primarily if is a matter of “rich country vs por country.” Usually, the poor country needs collaboration to developed projects, so they ask the rich country to invest on them. Sometimes it’s the rich country looking for partnerships, so they just talk about economic development and not much else.

That’s usually how it all works: my people meet with your people, agree on an agenda and we meet either at your place or my place whenever.