Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Under Plutz Veelsonnuh

Which is how the correct Polish pronunciation of Plac Wilsona would be transliterated into English. The commercial centre and transport hub of Żoliborz, the suburb to the north of Warsaw's city centre, is named after US President Woodrow Wilson (or indeed Veelson), who was instrumental in Poland regaining independence at the end of WWI (the penultimate of his Fourteen Points was an independent Polish state). Now, if, as a Pole, you defend the way 'Wilson' is pronounced here, please bear in mind that Australia's highest mountain is pronounced by Aussies 'Mount Koss-KEE-uss-koe', not 'Kosh-CHOO-shko'. Under the 'square' (it isn't - more a rounded oblong) is Plac Wilsona Metro station, opened in 2005, and in 2008 awarded an international prize at the Metrorail conference - the world's most beautiful metro station of recent years. I passed through on my way back to the office from a meeting in Żoliborz. The lighting in the copula above the stairs changes colour according to time of day. More pics of the northern end of the Warsaw Metro on the day of its opening here. The 'square' itself, once a thriving centre for cafes and restaurants, was until recently chiefly known for its banks. So many indeed, that a local residents' protest brewed up in 2008, fanned by Gazeta Stołeczna, against the closure of shops and cafes and their replacement by banks.

Today, a smattering of shops, perfumeries and cafes have cropped up among the many banks.


Paddy said...

Surely it would be "Platz"?

Michael Dembinski said...

Knowing how English speakers open their mouths to differentiate an 'a' from a [southern] 'u', I'd go for the 'u' sound, like in 'but' (as opposed to the 'u' in 'put'.

scatts said...

You fail to give a mention to 'Amrit Kebab', which replaced the Citibank when that moved into the space vacated by the (pretty useless) deli, where it is always hard to park, just around the corner from the Blikler, which is close to the kino......and so on.

Decent kebabs if you're prepared to consume meat of unknown origin. Cheap too. Always very busy.