Re: Spoken Like a Native
> If you add in people for whom French or Polish is a secondHe spoke of "cuddling" with the natives and their culture, not with second-language speakers wherever.
> language to some degree, the disparity in numbers is probably much
The particularly ridiculous part and disparity, though, was speaking about being appreciated in minority communities like Romansh and Sioux (meaningful examples; even hardly-ever-taught Basque, Latvian, Finnish, Slovak... might fit) and then bringing in his Polish as if it belonged. As if running into a Polish-speaking person (his encounter in Venice) in Europe were something worth writing about and publishing.
That is the sticky transatlantic perspective -- he speaks a foreign language or two, both spoken by tens of millions, and feels so special about something so mundane in the world. You don't normally address a stranger in Europe merely because s/he happens to speak your massively spoken language or a massively spoken language you can speak too. Even Slovaks often don't address strangers outside of Slovakia in Europe just because they hear them speak Slovak.