The West Slavic languages are haunting me: all I need is Radio Wawa

The Lazienki Palace, or Palace on the Water, in the Lazienki Park. Photo: Bernard O'Shea

The  Palace on the Water in Warsaw’s impressive Lazienki Park. Photo: Bernard O’Shea

You may know that recently I did a trip to Central Europe (see A peek at the West Slavic world). On the long flights over and back I treated myself to mini film festivals in French, Italian and Spanish – Emirates does not have much in the way of Portuguese or Romanian films on offer. And since I have got back I have made more of an effort to immerse myself my chosen Romance languages.

mascot-48563_640But those West Slavic languages are sneaking into my life in wily ways. The other day I woke up in shock thinking the birds in the trees outside my window were chirping in Slovakian!


The Palace of Culture in Warsaw houses many theatres, and has a viewing tower. Photo: Bernard O'Shea

The Palace of Culture in Warsaw . Photo: Bernard O’Shea

And last night I had strange dreams too, one of which involved a Polish segment – something to do with pulling nails out of a wall, and some of the nails were worth a prize and others not, but the prize-winning nails were getting mixed up with the worthless ones. Weird, huh?

Maybe I thought I was back in the Palace of Culture, Warsaw’s tallest building, which was a gift from Stalin. During the day its masonry looks pretty ugly when viewed from close up, but at night when it is decked in pretty coloured lights it can look quite fetching.

In Warsaw I caught up with a friend, Ania, whom I met on the Portuguese summer language course that I did at the University of the Algarve in 2011. Her Portuguese was and is better than mine as she had lived in Brazil for a year.

Radio Zawa logoShe kindly showed us around – I was travelling with my niece, so we didn’t speak Portuguese – and I really liked the Polish radio station that she listened to in her car – Radio Wawa (Wawa being an affectionate short name for Warszawa). For those who would like to listen to some Polish pop/rock for a change, the link is here. Its logo means “Always Polish music.”

Normal Romance language service will be resumed shortly…


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