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Making it more practical or down-to-earth. I have used English as an 
auxialiary language when speaking it to Thai people, Dutchmen, I have 
spoken Russian to people from Arab countries or other Slavic countries. 
Russian is the common language for me and my Skype correspondent in Latvia.

In some cases knowledge of foreign languages can be plainly speaking 
lethal, as for the Bulgarian UN serviceman who was shot in Kosova by a 
independence activist who had asked him the time, and as he understood 
the Kossovans Serbian he answerd 8 in Slavic and was shot, as the 
patriot thought he was a Serb. So "your Serb is necessarily not the 
right one", if you see my drift.

Kjell R