A U.S. 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 worked it out several years ago so you wouldn't have to speak German."
Suddenly the group became very quiet.