Term used by U.S. government language instructor
s to refer to a "working command" of a foreign language
. LWP entails being able to engage in ordinary conversation
in the language, and read newspaper
s and other periodical
literature. Understanding specialized conversation and advanced literature is outside the scope of LWP.
In full-time training, it takes government students about three months to achieve LWP in Romance languages such as Spanish and French. For other Indo-European languages such as Russian, it can take up to six: for unrelated languages such as Arabic and Mandarin, it takes about a year.