Tag Archives: David Iurescia (LW4DAF)

Radio Prague now Radio Prague International

Radio Prague QSL card.

(Source: Radio Prague International via David Iurescia)

For 83 years now listeners of Czech Radio’s external service broadcasts have been accustomed to hearing our specific call-sign. Both the call sign and the station’s name have changed over the years. Another small change is now in the pipeline. As of September 1, Radio Prague will become Radio Prague International. Use our audio slider for a walk down memory lane…

Click here to view on YouTube.

Spread the radio love

“When Switzerland broadcast Esperanto around Europe”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares this article from swissinfo.ch regarding the history of the Esperanto language service of SWI. The following is an excerpt:

Esperanto

Esperanto (literally “one who hopes”) was the brainchild of Polish Jewish ophthalmologist Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof, who published his first brochure in the language in 1887. He wanted it to become a second language for everyone.

The Swiss Esperanto Society was founded in 1903.

The Universala Esperanto-Asocioexternal (Universal Esperanto Association) was founded in Geneva in 1908. It is now based in Rotterdam.

The association says: “Based on the number of textbooks sold and membership of local societies, the number of people with some knowledge of Esperanto is in the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions”. Around 1,000 people speak it as their first language.

Esperanto has a relatively simple grammar with no exceptions to its rules. Its vocabulary is derived primarily from Romance languages and to a lesser extent from Germanic and Slavic languages.

“Beyond Europe, no regular Esperanto broadcasts take place,” the memo noted. The one exception was a special broadcast for Esperantists in Brazil on January 31, 1953.

Baur – who worked on the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation’s Esperanto programmes until 1991 – had reckoned there was a great interest in Esperanto in Brazil. The memo noted that the response to the one-off, five-minute broadcast was “thoroughly gratifying”, resulting in 25 letters (17 from Brazil, eight from other countries with reception).

“But from the beginning we stressed that even if people really liked it, it wouldn’t result in the introduction of Esperanto broadcasts in South America since, given the nation-joining aims of Esperanto, it would be contradictory to add a third language to a continent of only two languages which are more or less mutually comprehensible,” it said.

Aims of the broadcasts

The Bern memo explained that the main aim of the Esperanto broadcasts had always been “to reach the intelligentsia behind the Iron Curtain, who successfully bridged their linguistic diversity – especially in southeast Europe – through Esperanto”.

It added: “Our Esperanto broadcasts can therefore spread information about Switzerland and its ideas and ideals in an unobtrusive manner in those otherwise closed regions – as long as broadcasts in those regions’ national languages don’t make sense for us.”

It’s hard to say how many people listened to these broadcasts, none of which sadly have been saved in the SBC archives. According to the 1953 memo, Bern received two or three confirmations of reception a week, mostly from those countries behind the Iron Curtain. “Their relative rarity can be explained by the great risk most probably faced by the letter-writers,” the memo said.

Then, at the end of January 1965, the shock news was announced that the 16 Esperanto programmes a month would no longer be broadcast for financial reasons.

The Swiss Esperanto Societyexternal said this was a “heavy loss for the Western world”. “A reduction from four weekly programmes to two or even one would certainly have met general understanding, but it is highly regrettable that the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation has decided to pull the Esperanto programmes completely,” it said.

Not dead yet

That happened next is not clear from the archives. We do know, however, that – if the programmes did indeed stop – at some point they started up again in some form and frequency because in the late 1980s Swiss Radio International (SRI), as the Short-wave Service was renamed in 1978, was sending transcription tapes with Esperanto material around the world.[…]

Click here to read the full article.

Spread the radio love

Vatican Radio’s Brazilian Portuguese language programming returns

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following news via Zenit.org:

“The Brazilian program of Vatican Radio-Vatican News resumes its short-wave transmissions in the Amazon region,” announced the portal of Vatican News in Brazilian today, Monday, July 15, 2019, given the proximity of the holding of the Synod for Amazonia (October 6-27, on the theme: “New Ways for the Church and For An Integral Ecology.”

“For over 61 years, Brazil has been listening to the Pope’s voice through Vatican Radio. On August 1, after a period of absence, the Brazilian program of the papal station will return to Amazonia in short wave,” announced the same source.

And it adds: “Thus Vatican Radio-Vatican News shows its attention to an important region of Brazil, for which the radio is its main means of communication. The Pope’s voice will be listened to again on radio by more than 25 million people, who live in this lung of the planet. The decision to broadcast in short wave responds to the geographic reality of Amazonia.”

Vatican News recalls: “Created in March of 1958, twenty-seven years after the foundation of Vatican Radio, on February 12, 1931, the Brazilian program has followed seven pontificates, from Pius XII to Francis. At present, the Brazilians of Vatican Radio-Vatican News offer a wide gamut of daily programs in a multi-media style through different platforms: radio, Web and social networks.”

It also recalled: “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, in March 2008, Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude to the said program for the inestimable service of proclaiming the Gospel and promoting communion between the Church and the people of Brazil.”

Click here to read the full article at Zenit.org.

Spread the radio love

Radio in the third season of “Stranger Things”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:

I started to watch season 3 of “Stranger Things”.

In the first chapter, “Dustin” uses a “ham radio” rig to contact his new girlfriend and builts a strange Antenna in the top of a hill. She didn´t answer, but he listens a coded transmission in Russian.

Thank you for sharing, David! Stranger Things certainly has a number of interesting radio references!

Spread the radio love

Vatican Radio launches Latin news program

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares this piece from the Vatican News:

‘Hebdomada Papae’: News in Latin on Vatican Radio

Saturday, 8 June, sees the launch of “Hebdomada Papae, notitiae vaticanae latine redditae” (The Pope’s week in review: Vatican news bulletin in Latin), on Vatican Radio.
By Linda Bordoni

Starting on Saturday, 8 June, a 5-minute weekly news bulletin in Latin will be broadcast to the world on Vatican Radio frequencies through the Italian language audio channels. Of course you will also be able to follow it on our web portal and listen to it on podcast, and it will soon be available on the English-language audio frequencies as well.

The bulletin goes to air thanks to the collaboration of the Vatican’s Latin Letters Office, a department of the Secretariat of State where Church documents are written in or translated into Latin. The bulletin will be edited by veteran Vatican Radio journalist Alessandro De Carolis.

A challenge for the future

Vatican Radio’s Editorial Director, Andrea Tornielli, describes ‘Hebdomada Papae’ as a real, informative news bulletin.

“We did not conceive it with a nostalgic look to the past, but as a challenge for the future,” he said.

Noting that Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church, he said Latin already “resonates daily on the frequencies of Vatican Radio, which every morning broadcasts Mass in Latin.”

This weekly initiative, he explained, aims to breathe new life into the language.

‘Anima Latina’

Straight after the news bulletin, Vatican Radio Italy, whcih broadcasts news and other programmes on the frequencies dedicated to the Italian language, will also provide an in-depth programme entitled “Anima Latina, radio colloquia de lingua ecclesiae.”

“Anima Latina”, dedicated to the rediscovery of the value and beauty of the Latin language, will feature Father Waldemar Turek, Director of the Latin Letters Office.

Spread the radio love