Monday, October 22, 2007

Putin Does Speak English

After my last blog entry, I got really curious about the Russian President Putin's English skill. What a better way to tell it than hearing him giving a speech in English?

Over three months ago, Putin went to Guatemala and spoke in front of the delegates of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was pitching for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia's Black Sea resort Sochi. The presentation was five-minute long, delivered in English, expect the last one or two sentences in French (I guess).

During Putin's speech, his facial expression was animated, his hand gestures were assertive, and his accent was, well, thicker than the winter snow on the Sochi mountains. Your ears have to be tuned in with a typical Russian accent to completely understand Putin's pitch. And it didn't help that he tried to talk fast. I guess learning a foreign language like a circus bear can only get you that far.

But that's far enough for the delegates of the IOC. Sochi won the honor unexpectedly, beating the front runner, the South Korean resort of PyeongChang, by just four votes.

The polar bear was dancing after the IOC's announcement. Might ride on a bike too.

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