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Posts by mafketis  

Joined: 31 Mar 2008 / Male ♂
Warnings: 2 - AO
Last Post: 7 Feb 2023
Threads: Total: 35 / In This Archive: 1
Posts: Total: 11,574 / In This Archive: 501
From: tez nie
Speaks Polish?: tak
Interests: tez nie

Displayed posts: 502 / page 2 of 17
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mafketis   
1 Nov 2009
News / Slavic linguistic union inside of EU; Polish language official [95]

Why would Czechs want to use Polish when both Czech and Polish are recognized within the EU?

The obvious choice of Slavic lingua franca would be Russian of course, given the number of speakers and the fact that it's the most widely studied second Slavic language. But that's a non-starter for political and historical reasons.
mafketis   
30 Oct 2009
News / 14 year old rape victim from Warsaw denied abortion! [348]

Yahweh is from the beginning, and He will be for all of eternity. Read the Bible.

I'm not sure what you're saying:

1. Abortion is okay for non-Christians?

2. You want to impose your religious values in the law and make non-Christians abide by them?
mafketis   
28 Oct 2009
Life / Polish bureaucracy - it went to a new level, they ask to pay for search [21]

IME Polish bureaucracy is a creampuff operation, mostly easy to deal with (and easy to get around). This presupposes of course, that you either know how the system works and have no special desire to reform things (and you know how to be polite in the ways that count).

US bureaucracy has caused me far more problems than Polish bureaucracy.
mafketis   
27 Oct 2009
Language / Polish grammar exercises from hell [130]

just try to remember that the object takes the genitive.

No. The object takes whatever normal case it would in a plain active sentence. As the direct object of a negative verb in your example, that's genitive, but if the verb governs a different case then that's what's used.

Znaleziono ich ciała (accusative - same as nominative in this example).

Zbudowano szkołę (acc - "a school was built")

Powiedziano mi, że .... (dative - "I was told, that ....")

Opiekowano się mną (instr. - "I was taken care of")
mafketis   
27 Oct 2009
Language / Polish grammar exercises from hell [130]

Could anyone please tell me what the differences are in terms of semantics and/or style between these two sentences:

Nigdy nie znaleziono ich ciał
Ich ciała nigdy nie zostały znalezione

Also I don't quite get why "ciał" is in the genitive in the first sentence.

The second one (with zostały) is a more or less pure passive.

The first is a construction unique to Polish (maybe something like it on some other Slavic languages but there's nothing like it in any western european language).

It's called an impersonal passive but it's not a true passive for two reasons:

1. the logical object stays in the object case (that's why it's ciał, the genitive plural after the negative verb). note that the logical object 'ich ciała' is in the nominative case in the second one.

2. there's no subject (and no subject is allowed in the sentence). For linguists, this is a fascinating construction as it violates a supposed 'universal' rule of syntax from the Chomsky school (that all sentences have to have recoverable subjects). But it doesn't have a recoverable subject (or a dummy subject or any other kind of subject).

Etymologically, the verb form here (called the -o form by some linguists) looks like predicate adverbial ending (-o) added to the past participle, but it seems to function as an inflected verb with the exception that it can't express agreement (since it has no subject).

Like I said, a perplexing and interesting construction, one of those things that make Polish endlessly fascinating.
mafketis   
23 Oct 2009
Language / 'Gateway' slavic language? [54]

I think Lyzko was talking about Hungary. According to official figures English is the most widely studied foreign language but I personally have found that outside Budapest (and even outside a few tourist spots in Budapest) that German is more widely understood.
mafketis   
22 Oct 2009
Language / Accent marks in Polish language [22]

A few years ago I read an article by a very prominent Polish philologist and phonetician.

They said (paraphrasing). Pronouncing every final -ę as -ę (with the full or reduced nasalization) sounds tiresome and pedantic. Not pronouncing any final -ę as -ę sounds too informal and bordering on the uneducated. The best result is pronouncing some final -ę's as -ę and others as -e.

They very helpfully didn't indicate at all which should be pronounced as -ę and which should be pronounced as -e.

IME I notice that chcę often as a nasal element (not the full nasal -eł sound but there's some nasalization there). On the other hand kupię almost never does.

I'd say that when the first and third person would be the same when -ę is pronounced as -e, then -ę is more likely to be different but there are lots of exceptions (I think I hear muszę sometimes, but I think I've only heard (ja) pisze (instead of piszę))

I could be completely wrong of course..... I almost always just use -e for -ę, as a non-native I figure that -ę won't make me sound much better anyway.
mafketis   
22 Oct 2009
Language / 'Gateway' slavic language? [54]

None of your examples are plurals ending in -s.

Fossilized plurale tantum forms are of no wider applicability and the Slovene forms are part of a subclass of neuter nouns that use an expanded stem ending in -t, -s or -n for everything but nominative/accusative singular, like Polish imię / imienia or zwierzę / zwierzęta, the -s is part of the stem and not part of the plural.

I'm unmoved and still maintain that -s is a very un-Slavic kind of plural marker and an extremely poor choice for a compromise pan-Slavic gateway, -i for masculine and feminine and -a for neuter would have been far better (and patterns that AFAIK exist in just about every slavic language).
mafketis   
21 Oct 2009
UK, Ireland / Sad life of a Polish migrant in the UK. Ch. 4 - Language [66]

not sure what myth lies behind that, probably something like: 'Poland is of course poorer so they definitely have less food and worse than we so since we can't afford meat then they can't afford proper food'.

Learn to read and learn some history.

Food supplies in communist countries were never plentiful and in Poland they were especially erratic from the mid 70's thru the mid 80's. Talk to your parents and/or grandparents about what they had to eat back then and stores with nothng but vinegar and food rationing cards.

In those kinds of situations, people don't experiment, they go with tried and true recipes.
mafketis   
21 Oct 2009
Language / 'Gateway' slavic language? [54]

IMO the two best (not great but best) gateway Slavic languages are Slovak and Slovenian.

But the concept doesn't really work for Slavic languages anyway. The one to learn is the one you need to learn. Other than that, learn the one you find most appealing/interesting.

Slovio is a cute idea but is badly undermined by not having any case endings, when it would be super easy to come up with five different cases that wouldn't be hard to remember and would give learners an intro in the way case works in Slavic (more necessary than a bunch of 'common' vocabulary that doesn't work.

nom. muzx
acc. muzxa
gen muzxa
dat.loc muzxu
instr muzxem

nom zxena
acc zxenu
gen zxeny
datloc zxene
instr zxenau (or maybe zxenam)

nom. deto
acc deto
gen deta
dat.loc detu
instr detem

Also, the plural in -s is totally, completely, horribly non-Slavic.

nom. muzxi
acc. muzxov
gen muzxov
dat.loc muzxah
instr muzxema

nom zxeny
acc zxeny
gen zxen
datloc zxenach
instr zxenama

nom. deta
acc deta
gen det
dat.loc detach
instr detema

are much more likely to aid a learner in understanding what kinds of plurals actually occur.
mafketis   
19 Oct 2009
Life / BULLYING IN UK AND POLAND? [8]

There is no generally accepted equivalent in Polish for 'bully' or 'bullying'.

That doesn't mean they don't exist here or that it doesn't happen in schools.
mafketis   
19 Oct 2009
Life / Swine flu vaccinations taking place in Poland? [52]

No offence, but seriously - do you guys (foreing ppl living in Poland) truly trust and rely on Polish system/judgement when it comes to these issues.

No offence, but seriously - do you always let your government do your thinking for you?

I trust my own judgment, which is that taking extraoridinary measures at present is pointless.

The vaccines aren't sufficiently tested, the disease is overhyped (with an insignificant mortality rate for the otherwise healthy) and I'm not panicking.

Ever hear of a grip? Get one.
mafketis   
19 Oct 2009
Life / How many people really know English in Poland? [53]

i'm working with several Polish people here in France and they all discourage me from learning it

Do not listen to them. They're either stupid or want your time in Poland to be far worse than it has to be.

For your question. Many, many people have taken English classes at some time, but many people who have are shy about using it or haven't learned enough to understand a native in real time or didn't really try to learn much.

Younger people in cities are more likely to have learned some, but it's not something you can (or should) ever really depend upon.
And the difficulty isn't quite as bad as cracked up to be. No, it's not easy, but you can get basic functional ability (which does not depend upon being perfect) in a couple of months here if you apply yourself.
mafketis   
19 Oct 2009
Language / TELEPHONE GENDER WOES? [11]

Muszę rozmawiać z kimś kto osobiście zna pana £apszczyńskiego....

I do have to say, that the odds of getting that far in the conversation without figuring it out seem pretty minimal.
Also people with voices that can be mistaken are almost always used to it and will inform you themselves to save confusion.

Coming up with more and more arcane and less and less likely questions doesn't seem very productive.
mafketis   
14 Oct 2009
Language / Polish grammar exercises from hell [130]

That still doesn't prove that czas zaprzeszly is a translation from other languages.

I'm not sure it's a loan translation, but that's a reasonable hypothesis. Languages borrow structures just like they borrow vocabulary.

It's also possible it's a native development that never caught on widely because it's not really necessary or useful often enough.

What does "powinienes" have to do with the past here?

Nothing.

Etymologically, powinien is an adjective and powinieneś is structurally equivalent to 'jesteś powinien' and 'powinieneś był' is structurally equivalent to 'byłeś powinien' (google even turns up a few isolated examples of constructions like 'powinien jesteś' and 'byłem powinien' though I think that's pretty marginal usage.

I'll skip the long boring lecture on how the unique evolution of personal endings in Polish and get back to the original example:

'Powinieneś był zauwazać' is a simple past indicative in Polish (though it won't be translated that way in most other languages).
mafketis   
14 Oct 2009
Language / Polish grammar exercises from hell [130]

Just because it's been used in literature doesn't mean it was ever a necessary and functioning part of the language. There are other cases of languages decorating their literature with ornaments not found in speech.

Just recently, doing something else, I used an example of the Polish "czas zaprzeszły" and about a group of 15 university students thought it was 'wrong'. The other half admitted it was, at least in theory, grammatically okay but they _all_ agreed they wouldn't (and don't) use it.

Powinienes uwazac. (make sure you're careful)
Powinienes byl uwazac. (kinda too late now)

Yeah, but that difference is not about the past perfect.

Etymologically, 'powinien' is a plain old adjective, and the ending -(e)ś is a reduced form of 'you are' (as is the the ending -eś in jesteś). Rather oddly, powinien allows a zero copula in the present and keeps the personal ending in the past.

But the first example is plain old simple present and the second plain old simple past (though it would be normally translated into English as 'you should have watched out'). But the translation of a form in another language doesn't necessarily say anything about its structure.
mafketis   
14 Oct 2009
Language / Polish grammar exercises from hell [130]

Hmm, seems the pluperfect tense is pretty tricky to translate into Polish. ;)

That's because there's no real evidence that Polish has ever had a widely functioning 'pluperfect'. It looks like, and mostly functions like a loan translation from western languages that do have one. I can count the times I've heard it one one hand and a few fingers left (and a couple of those few times were by people who had long lived outside of Poland in a language environment where the pluperfect was necessary).

'Gdybym nie był głodny tego dnia przed dwoma tygodniami, nigdy bym nie kupił tego jedzenia.'

Is more idiomatic and simpler. The way that Polish verbal time and tenses are mapped a pluperfect is an unnecessary complication. There are enough real hard things in Polish, be glad that there's something simple for once!
mafketis   
13 Oct 2009
Language / How do little children know that they should say "mamo" rather than "mama"? [23]

Obsequious is in the eye and ear of the observer.

Look at it this way. Swedish people I've known tend to be pretty relaxed about a lot of things, but they like their space and don't like being physically close to random people and like lots of space between themselves and the people they're talking too.

One of the things that polite expressions do for Polish people is create a kind of distance. Calling sometime 'ty' when it's not appropriate is like someone coming up and talking to you a few centimeters away from your face. All the pan's and pani's keep the discussion at a safer distance.

People in their 20's calling each other pan/pani - in terms of language, the 20's are an awkward age in Poland when the choice of using polite or formal address forms is the most difficult. In the teens, it's easy you call anyone obviously older than you 'pan/pani' and your age and younger 'ty' and by the 30's the default forms are pan/pani unless you're emotionally close to them. My younger colleagues in their 20's admit to often being unsure about which to use - some people decide to err on the side of caution.
mafketis   
13 Oct 2009
Language / How do little children know that they should say "mamo" rather than "mama"? [23]

Why is "Excuse me, sir" or "Excuse me, ma'am" polite and "Excuse me, Mr." or "Excuse me, lady" not?

Job titles are generally a case where the vocative is still preferred (even more than names, where friends and family members often use the nominative instead).

It might have something to do with formality and/or signallying your recognition of them as a person (in a way that 'profesor' doesn't).
mafketis   
12 Oct 2009
Language / How do little children know that they should say "mamo" rather than "mama"? [23]

The idea is regularization, they hear how someone named Anna becomes Anno and Danka becomes Danko when people speak to them and regularize that to mama - mamo.

But in modern Poland, they largely don't, as the vocative (except for a few nouns and diminutive forms of personal names) is not so widely used.
mafketis   
12 Oct 2009
UK, Ireland / Sad life of a Polish migrant in the UK. Ch. 4 - Language [66]

May i comment that in Poland most things are by the book, lets take food for example the standard dish of Schabowe, its a battened out slice of loin of Pork with breadcrums. Now this dish DOES not alter at all and totally no matter where you go. I say why not throw in some cayenne pepper, a bit of ground coriander some herbs and spices, all into the breadcrumbs. Poles say no thats not the way we do it.

Polish food habits are mostly about what I call "replication of experience". In everyday terms, Poles are heavily into comfort food. You don't go messing around with comfort food. Most people want to know just what things will taste like ahead of time.

When food supplies were haphazard and/or rationed, you didn't go experimenting around (as replacing ruined or inedible food could be difficult or impossible). The food infrastructure has changed, but basic attitudes toward food haven't changed.

On the other hand, Polish people mostly like the personal touch and aren't much into impersonal or mass-produced food (while anglophones are mostly happy to shovel down machine made industrial food of dubious provenance).

One result is that scratch a Pole and you'll often find a food critic. Anglophone tastebuds are often dulled through industrial food and the desire for novelty. A blander and generally more restricted diet has had the effect of heightening many Polish people's tastebuds and it's not uncommon to hear people debate the merits of one-day or three-day pickles, whether the berries in the compote were picked too early or too late or the difference between fresh farm and store eggs.

The same can be said of the Polish language, it is Polish and thats it no new words, when looking through a Nieruchomosci magazine everything is dobre this and dobze that, with a few Bardzos inbetween. For example Lazienka - bardzo dobre. Imagine a similar description in the Enlgish language.

This is true mostly of public language, which was debased in the communist period. Polish journalistic language is particularly effected (as is the dialogue on Polish soap operas which is especially dire).

Everyday conversation (when your ears are keen enough) tends to be a lot more creative, especially when people disagree or are describing people or situations that they dislike.

In terms of dialects, on the one hand it's kind of sad that previous differences have largely disappeared, but on the other hand, a highly standardized language which all have access to is good for social mobility while a lot of diversity and a big gap between writing and pronunciation .... aren't.
mafketis   
11 Oct 2009
Language / TELEPHONE GENDER WOES? [11]

Mogę poprosić o numer komórki? or just A komórka? or Jest komórka?

Gdzie pracuje brat?

Mogę zostawić paczkę tam?

possessives are often dropped in everyday usage.

IMO it's absurd to think you'd ask the other question of someone whose gender you don't know (same with the one about the brother).

What's trickier is deciding whether to use ty or Pan/Pani and my younger Polish colleagues say they're often unsure (and go with impersonal camoflage forms)
mafketis   
11 Oct 2009
Language / TELEPHONE GENDER WOES? [11]

Hasn't happened to me in Poland, but if it did I (a non-native speaker) might say something like:

Czy wiadomo kiedy wróci?

Chciałbym wiedzieć czyj samochód mnie blokuje.
mafketis   
11 Oct 2009
UK, Ireland / Sad life of a Polish migrant in the UK. Ch. 4 - Language [66]

'bye bye' is official International Learner English, one of those things learners 'know' everybody says but which native speakers rarely actually use.

IME 'bye bye' is restricted to usage with and by children, while adults use 'bye' (or 'see ya' or whatever).
mafketis   
8 Oct 2009
News / The Polish-Hungarian friendship is as well as poisoned [45]

Serbia, the umbilicus of earth! :D

Umbilicus of Slavija!!!!!!!!

If you'd really read much of Crow's rantings, you'd realize that Slavija is far more important than a mere .... planet (pthew I spit on puny globe that is nothing compared to the imperial majesty that is Slavija!!!
mafketis   
2 Oct 2009
UK, Ireland / Sad life of a Polish immigrant in the UK. Ch. 2 - Stress [63]

Sorry but where do you get theses ideas from?

It's a pretty normal situation. If you move (long term) to a different country, it's quite normal for things to seem less stressful. Sure there are stresses in dealing with infrastructure, culture, language and bureaucracy but these tend to have novelty on their side and so they're not quite as bad as they might be back home.

There's also:

1. things that stressed you out in your home country are often absent

2. things that stress out locals don't bother you much (as they usually don't apply to you)

I live in Poland and have had my share of adaptation difficulties, but all in all I think of my existence as pretty low in stress. I was actually surprised when I found out how much stress Polish people experience on a day to day basis.

Finally, according to sociological research, traditionally Poland is a higher stress kind of country to live in than Britain has traditionally been, at least before labor government began its current campaign to destroy traditional British society (from the news coming out of Britain that's the only hypothesis that fits the data).
mafketis   
1 Oct 2009
Food / Where is the best place to eat pierogi in Poland? [24]

Best pierogies I've ever had were in Wrocław about a five minute walk west from the train station on Piłsudskiego. I can't remember the name of the place but it specialized in homemade pierogies, which really delicious and very, very filling (and came with browned onions - also delicious).
mafketis   
17 Sep 2009
Language / What is the name for "I would", is it conditional mood or something else? [12]

Well, actually there could be a difference between 1st and 2nd conditional in polish.

It might be important to remember that 1rst, 2nd and third conditionals are not terms that native speakers of English are liable to be familiar with (unless they've had training to be English teachers). They're sort of an artificial construction for the benefit of learners of English.

The only distinction I remember specifically being taught was the idea of "could still happen" vs "can't happen anymore".

Also, while "Jak do mnie zadzwoni, pójdę." will normally be translated into English as a conditional, it's not really a conditional in Polish (if we want to keep semantic and grammatical categories separate, which I do). It can also be translated non-conditionally into English "I'll go when she calls".
mafketis   
16 Sep 2009
Study / What do Polish kids learn at school? [3]

Your best bet is probably somewhere here (ministry of education's page):

men.gov.p

the English page is only contact information but it gives you someone to write to and ask for info.

hint: Having a Polish person write to them in Polish will probably speed up their reaction time. Also if there's no answer at first keep on writing, sometimes Polish institutions prioritize their responses by how persistent you are.

Oh and here's a 64 page pdf in English

eurydice.org.pl/files/the_system_2008.pdf

warning: policies described are probably more theoretical than real. Polish people like having clear guidelines in print but they generally don't much care about actually following them.