Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dinner in Warsaw: the challenge

On a discussion thread on the website, a highly critical reader called Lech Keller has asserted the following:

I can bet a lot of money that you will NEVER produce a Briton who speaks fluent Polish. I used to live in English-speaking countries for about quarter of century, worked at big business and in academia, met a lot of people and have NEVER found a Briton who was able to speak more than few words in Polish. The only persons with British/American/Australian etc. citizenship who speak fluent Polish are of Polish or other Slavic stock. That is the truth…

I have challenged him to a dinner at a very expensive Warsaw restaurant, where I will produce a bunch of polonophone Brits (or other native English-speakers). We will have a neutral adjudicator. Over dinner, we will discuss in Polish a range of political, economic and cultural issues. At the end, the adjudicator will give his verdict. Depending on which way it goes, either Keller or I will pick up the tab.

So I am looking for a bunch of really first-class Polish speakers who will get a free dinner, and the pleasure of confounding one of the most vitriolic critics of the Economist, the West, Balcerowicz, etc etc.

I have a few candidates already, but to be fair, I'd like to have a kind of "tender"
Please e-mail me if you would like to be considered, or if you want to suggest someone.

Regards
Edward
edwardlucas@economist.com

4 comments:

Tristan said...

I know two British Polish speakers, although one does have Polish parents.
The other is a violin and mandoline teacher who as well as fluent Polish speaks Russian, Italian, French and German fluently (his English is also more precise and correct than any other person I know).

Edward Lucas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bonzoq said...

Dear Edward,

how did it go?

Lech said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.