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Slovakia - Poland's neglected neighbour?


Funky Samoan 2 | 181
10 Jan 2013 #1
Hello and Happy New Year my Polish friends,

after a couple of months of absence me - Funky Samoan from Frankfurt/Germany - is back to PF in order to do my part to further improve Polish-German relations and in order to learn to understand Germany's most important eastern neighbour better.

I always was interested how Poland sees its neighbour countries and thanks to PF I learned a great deal about the different viewpoints and mainstream attitudes regarding Poland's relations to Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Lithuania. For instance I didn't know about that many Poles have very good feelings towards Poland's historic neighbour Hungary.

I found it striking that it is very hard to find anything about Polands attitude towards Slovakia, despite the fact that Poles are ethnically and linguistically closely related to Slovaks and despite the fact that - after 1945 - the long Polish-Slovakian border is Poland's only genuine border that remained almost unchanged over the centuries and is not the result of border shifting and ethnic cleansing (besides the small border to Lithuania and the Zaolza territory of course).

So how do you guys feel about Slovakians - your old (as a people) and new (as a state) neigbour in the South East?

I am happy to read your answers.
Zibi - | 336
10 Jan 2013 #2
We feel good about them, we like them. They have a nice country and great mountains in it. They are easy to communicate with.
zetigrek
10 Jan 2013 #3
mainstream attitudes

Oh no! On PF there is specific people mix of people and they certainly don't represent the mainstream views.
pawian 190 | 19,155
10 Jan 2013 #4
I found it striking that it is very hard to find anything about Polands attitude towards Slovakia.

Yes, it is hard, even despite the fact that Slovaks invaded Poland as an ally of Hitler in 1939. But it all was forgiven and forgotten and today Poles are fairly easy going about Slovakia. When in the USA, I remember two Slovaks working with a big group of Poles on a construction site. The relation was very good.
OP Funky Samoan 2 | 181
10 Jan 2013 #5
Oh no! On PF there is specific people mix of people and they certainly don't represent the mainstream views.

As in all online forums worldwide here at PF, too there is a certain amount of trolls as well as an over-representation of extremists. I kept that in mind.

Yes, it is hard, even despite the fact that Slovaks invaded Poland as an ally of Hitler in 1939.

Hey Pawian, hope you are doing fine,

You know Slovaks didn't really had a chance. In Summer 1939 Hitler threatened them he would allow Hungary to annex all of Slovakia and restore "Upper Hungary" if they did not fully co-operate with Nazi Germany.

The Slovak national identity misses the bravery and stubbornness the Polish one has, because Poles always could take strength and morale from their great past. Slovaks for all of their existence were a part of Hungary, fighting against several Magyarisation attempts in order to keep their national identity. After the Austro-Hungarian settlement of 1867 that restored Hungarian statehood and allowed Magyars to shape Hungary after their will, they suppressed Slovaks in almost every aspect of life.

The fear of becoming a part of fascist Hungary and losing their new independence that they gained six months earlier, lead them to the false assumption it would serve their national interests best to become a satellite state of Nazi Germany.
pawian 190 | 19,155
10 Jan 2013 #6
Yes, that`s what I had in mind. Poles easily forgave and today relations are OK.

Though Slovakian road police is hated by Poles. They say it is malicious and mean.
Bromberger - | 3
16 Jan 2013 #7
Yes, that`s what I had in mind. Poles easily forgave and today relations are OK.

Well, I don't think so. Many Poles still keep in mind war time, and being russian pupper state. Not only the older ones - many of young generation don't like Germans. And - what is the most important - not everyone know about Slovakian invasion of Poland.

A propos Poland-Sloviaka relations - i've been once in Poprad, i could speak Polish, they could speak Slovak and we understood each other. People there were nice, but in neighbouring Czech Republic - well, i think when they heard Polish they were scowling.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
16 Jan 2013 #8
They are easy to communicate with.

i could speak Polish, they could speak Slovak and we understood each other

I've always heard this but I never experienced it before first-hand.
Not until I took a river cruise last December on the Rhein River.
Many of the waiters were Slovaks.
They were very surprised and excited to be able to speak to someone in their native tongue.
It was a strange experience indeed.
I understood them BUT.......
It was very cool.
We all enjoyed.
Suwka - | 21
16 Jan 2013 #9
hmmm... one ought to be careful speaking polish in Slovakia. They are some words, quite harmless in polish, but not in slovakian.
For example "szukam"/I'm looking for", in slovakian means 'f..ck". Polish "droga\way" means -drug, "prasa/press - in slovakian means "swine"
OP Funky Samoan 2 | 181
16 Jan 2013 #10
I once read the Slovakian language can function as lingua franca for travelers throughout the Slavic speaking world.

Being a West Slavic language itself (like Polish, Czech, Kashubian and Sorbian) it shares some similarities with South Slavic languages, especially Slovenian, and its clear pronounciation makes it easier for speakers of East Slavic languages (Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians) to understand than Polish and Czech, which both have a lot of peculiarities that result in many difficulties regarding their intelligibility for speakers of other Slavic languages.
pawian 190 | 19,155
16 Jan 2013 #11
Well, I don't think so. Many Poles still keep in mind war time, and being russian pupper state.

Sorry, but you were probably reading too fast and didn`t understand me too well. Go back and read again what I was writing about.
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
4 Feb 2013 #12
yes that is interesting, this is one of the things i love about the Slavic Languages, when you learn one it helps with the others, if i ever had to go to Serbia or Bulgaria (for instance) i could probably manage to order food and be polite to people

when i wanted to talk to a Slovene radio ham online i used Czech without any problems.
when i was on Holiday in Tunisia in 96 i got talking to an Elderly German Lady who was a refugee from either Stettin or Wroclaw, i forget which. she spoke German & Polish, but no English

i knew a tiny bit of German, No Polish, but i still remembered most of my Czech back then, and she could understand Czech words and i could understand her Polish words so we talked in a mixture of German and Polish/Czech. i'm really glad i got to talk to her, that generation is mostly dead now and its a remote historical event. but having that conversation makes it a little less remote

the Dental assistant at my Dads dentist is Slovak but understand when my Dad speaks Czech to her


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