Poles don’t do ‚light touch’

15Wrz11

Poles and Russians, for example, culturally just don’t do ‚light touch’, as far as I can see. Other European nationalities might attempt it but end up being ponderous or silly.

From a post about Speechwriting in English for Non-Native Speakers by Charles Crawford on his blog.

Very true, very true. He then goes on to expand his subject as comprising three kinds of circumstances:

  • speech-writing in English by people whose first language is not English
  • speech-writing in English for a speaker whose first language is not English
  • speech-writing in English by non-native speakers for an English-speaking audience

and gives a few dos and don’ts for speech writers in his post. But to my mind he is making much too heavy weather of it and is writing in exactly the same kind of manner for which he faults the Poles and Russians.

There is one over riding principle for writing speeches that work:

Employ a good native speaker English speechwriter who understands the culture of the audience PERIOD

By the by which is correct – ‚speechwriter’ or ‚speech-writer’? In my book it is the former, but Charles is backing both horses, perhaps he should get himself a good native speaker editor to tidy up his posts?



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