A Polish edition of The Sun hit newsstands this week – the first time a UK national newspaper has been printed in a foreign language.
News International launched Polski Sun to coincide with the start of Euro 2008, and coverage is largely geared towards following the fortunes of the Polish national team.
England’s failure to qualify for the football tournament, which traditionally sees an upturn in sales for the paper, was partly behind the experiment.
Although Poland lost to Germany in the first match, the paper tried to inspire national pride by juxtaposing the defeat with news that Polish driver Robert Kubica had won a Formula One race at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Sun’s Wapping-based Polish bureau chief Dagmara Gladysz said response to the first two editions of Polski Sun had been ‘fantastic’and further editions were planned to coincide with the Poland team’s games.
‘People have been ringing up and emailing to congratulate us,’said Gladysz. ‘It is the only Polish paper available with the very latest news, and people love the columnists and sport coverage.’
Based on the English tabloid format, the paper contains a mix of UK and Polish stories. The front page is dedicated to a Polish story.
Popular Sun columnists have also been drafted in and the paper has its own team of Polish journalists.
According to Gladysz there has been great excitement at a translated version of Jeremy Clarkson’s column. ‘He is very popular in Poland,’she said. ‘Everyone loves his books and Top Gear – he is a big celebrity.’
Page three features a topless model – from Poland. And there is advice for troubled Poles on the Droga Deidre page, written by Sun agony aunt Deidre Sanders and then translated.
At the time of going to press, circulation figures for the first two editions of the Polski Sun were unavailable. Around 50,000 to 75,000 of each of the six planned editions are being made available, with hopes of attracting 200,000 readers out of the UK’s 600,000 Poles. A copy costs 50p.
There are currently no plans to continue with the Polski Sun after Euro 2008.