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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 5 of 17
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24 Jun 2009
Life / The Polish police in my apartment, asking for my passport and phone number. [33]

I would say don't smile at them (older Polish people are likely to think you're making fun of them).

Just say dzień dobry (cześć is too informal) with a poker face (or a slight 'I'm dying inside' smile) and nod slightly. That's much better manners than grinning for no reason.

You should only smile if you've been introduced and know their name, "Dzień dobry Pani Leokadio!"
23 Jun 2009
Language / Grammar for "Grandma Cookie" [7]

Yeah, babcine is a little .... (and doesn't sound nice in English)

The problem with babunia (or babuni) is that sequence that sounds too much like 'baboon'.

I think overall the nicest sounding in English (grammar and fine points of Polish semantics be damned) would be "Babcia cookie".

Now just how Americans without specific knowledge of Polish would pronounce that is another question, probably BAB-see-ya (first syllable rhymes with cab or dab).
23 Jun 2009
Language / Grammar for "Grandma Cookie" [7]

One problem is you can't just slap nouns together in Polish as you can in English, you have to show how the two words are connected.

I'd say what you want is an adjective rather than a noun (like babunia), what you want is

babcine cookie (bahp-CHEE-neh)

literally grandma(adj) cookie (I used neuter singular because a close equivalent of cookie might be ciasteczko, another kind of cookie is herbatnik, which is masculine but not anything you'd want to associate with grandma.
19 Jun 2009
Language / Why do you have this weird grammar with y and i? optYka? magazYn? zYsk? why? [30]


i just.. when you are using international words like eng. magazine pl. magazyn etc.. thats wierd..
and also.. Is any polish word using V?

Poles write magazyn for the same reason Slovaks write víkend instead of weekend to reflect the pronunciation.

Polish uses w instead v for historical reasons.

As for sz, cz, rz, those were actually old Czech spellings (old Czech influenced the Polish alphabet very strongly). Czech orthography was changed later but Polish speakers didn't change with it (why should they?) I have it on good authority there wasserious thought given in the 1950's to replacing Polish sz, cz and rz with the Czech equivalents but the final decision was to retain the current spelling.

Polish isnt pure Slavic language. its something like germanic-slavic language..

German influence on Czech (especially in word-building and syntax) is much stronger than on Polish.
18 Jun 2009
Language / Using państwo and surnames. [8]

Of course, you usually don't actually say państwo in the third person, especially if the context makes it clear you're talking about a married couple: "Przyszli prawie wszyscy: Nowakowie, Kowalscy, Wiśniewscy, nie ma tylko Kowalczyków i Woźniaków."

Sounds more natural to me (though I'm not a native speaker).
16 Jun 2009
News / The Polish-Hungarian friendship is as well as poisoned [45]

Hungary is one of my favorite countries (where I would try to move to if they kick me out of Poland). Great food, drink, fun cities, weird and cool language, thermal baths. Fantastic place. I heart Magyarorszag.

But ... you have to be blind to not notice the dark side. Hungarian politics tends toward extremes and Hungarian nationalism has a definite ugly side to it.

It's surely an exaggeration to call any of the major parties neo-nazi but prejudice against gypsies is pretty wide-spread and accepted and they make a very convenient scapegoat for the many failings of Hungarian politicians.
8 Jun 2009
Life / Wroclaw has too much Graffiti [8]

Are all the polish big cities like this?

Pretty much yeah. European people have a long tradition of mimicking behavior from the US without understanding the cultural roots of what they're doing. So graffiti caught on big time (it was big in Germany before reaching Poland) and most of the little hoodlums responsible have no idea what they doing.

Basically spray paint graffiti comes in three varieties:

1. territorial marking of the kind that dogs and cats do, figuratively pissing to warn enemy packs away
2. a desire to make the urban environment as ugly and dysfunctional as possible (so that those with no interest in social order or progress can act unimpeded by social pressure)

3. symbolic stealing of property (you thought it was yours but any young thug with a spray can do what they want with it).

Graffiti has always been with us but I hate and despise the spray can kind as a direct assault on the social contract that makes cities liveable.
7 Jun 2009
Language / misleading differences between Polish and English languages [92]

I am having ball today. (It mean I am having Fun.)
I am playing with ball. (It mean round beach ball or other balls)
I am going to Ballroom. (It mean dancing place)

that should be

I'm having a ball today.
I'm playing with a ball.
I'm going to the ballroom. (or a ballroom)

you're welcome.
27 May 2009
Language / mizeria - cucumber salad? [23]

Several years ago I translated a paper on peasant food in Wielkopolska (fun fact: Poznanian 'rogale świętomarcińskie' are basically a fake folk tradition 'revived' so as to not have to honor the memory of Piłsudski who is not popular in Poznań due to his lack of support for the Wielkopolska uprising).

Anyway, about mizeria, details are fuzzy now, but if I remember right it was one of a number of joke names for food that stuck for whatever reason. Others included 'ślepe ryby' ( a kind of potato soup that AFAIK no one makes anymore).
25 May 2009
Life / Polish hospitals and the medical system [10]

I would probably rate their system superior to that of England in many ways.

I've heard the same from both Poles and Brits with experience of both. Granted, as a foreigner from a high prestige country your experience was probably better than some everyday Poles get, but not necessarily hugely better.
25 May 2009
Life / Are there any expat Neighbourhoods in Poznan? [16]

Polish infrastructure doesn't lend itself to the idea of kinds of neighborhoods except in the most general sense.

I live in Poznan and the only pattern I know of among foreigners in general is that more or likely to live in either newer kamienica kinds of buildings (or maybe renovated older buildings).

IME not many live in willas, deskas or out of town.
25 May 2009
Work / How are nurses graded in Poland and what is their typical salary? [14]

but their big stumbling blocks are the English language

Actually IINM the UK isn't the first destination of choice for Polish nurses. Anecdotally, I hear of more going to Scandinavia, but that might be sampling size error. At any rate, that's why I wrote "local language" since English is not going to be so critical to a Polish nurse in Norway.

While here, do British nurses wear their uniforms outside the hospital? A Polish friend in nursing has seen that in movies and films and thought it was poor hygene (in Poland nurses change into and out of their uniforms at the hospital).
22 May 2009
Life / Queering Krakow's Culture - Same-sex pairs of iconic Greek sculptures [16]

I thought the age of consent in Holland has been 12 for a numebr of years now. Any Dutchman on the forum who could set us straight on this?

According to this:

The age in the Netherlands is 16, one year older than in Poland.....
22 May 2009

For that matter, I that the old dual -ma forms had replaced the literary plural forms in speech (if not writing). (I might be wrong, I love listening to Czech but the dichotomy between literary and spoken Czech confuses the hell out of me).
21 May 2009

For that matter, weird 'plurals' of some body parts that come in twos in Polish also are etymologically dual.

eye - oko - oczy (instead of oka)
ear - ucho - uszy (instead of ucha)
hand/arm - ręka - ręce (instead of ręki - I'm not sure if 'w ręku' is etymologically dual or not)

Also there are some optional irregular forms that come from old dual forms like oczyma (alongside regular oczami).
20 May 2009
Work / How are nurses graded in Poland and what is their typical salary? [14]

From talks I've had with people in nursing (warning: this is all second hand information).

1. Many, maybe most, not all Polish nurses begin by going to a nursing high school. Some then go on to BA, MA or other degrees while some begin with the BA degree (in general the BA degree 'licencjat' is an innovation in Polish higher education traditionally the MA was the first post high school degree). There are BA and MA nursing programs at more than one Polish university.

2. I don't think so. The Polish government purposely tried to make it as hard as possible for Polish nursing qualifications to be recognized outside of Poland for fear of hastening emigration by nurses. Basically, most of the people in nursing training programs now don't really intend on working in Poland anymore than they have to, nursing is what you might call an 'emigration degree'. That said, Polish nursing training does not suffer in comparison with training in Western Europe and when they can learn the local language Polish nurses are in demand across Western Europe.

3. I think there are some private schools .....
12 May 2009
Work / Is it hard to find an English position at an office job in Krakow or Warsaw? [8]

In Poland, an English-only worker is a burden to other employees in a bilingual office environment and anyone involved in hiring takes that into account. Basically an English only environment doesn't exist in Poland when Poles are in the majority, they immediately revert to Polish whenever possible (I've seen this in action when the boss didn't realize this was happening when they weren't around).

Then again I don’t know your experiences when you looked for an English only office position job in Krakow or Warsaw.

I would not look for such a position as I am pretty fluent in Polish (and would use my position of being a native speaker of English who is also very fluent in Polish as a selling point - it's not a common skill set). Become fluent in Polish (and understand Polish culture and how to get things done here - which is different from how you get things done in the US or UK) and you can find a position. On the other hand, I'm not interested in office work (been there, done that).

I was just answering your specific question (why advertise in English?). Also, often English is listed as job requirement when the actual job position doesn't require any English (or give the job-holder any real opportunities to use the language if they wanted to, much less require them to do so). Again, the idea is to thin out the applicant pool.
12 May 2009
Work / Is it hard to find an English position at an office job in Krakow or Warsaw? [8]

So what's up with these companies like Shell, Hitachi, Campgemni posting job availabe only in English...

That's because they want to thin out the Polish applicants to those who are fluent in English (fluency in Polish is assumed and also usually required to get the job).

AFAIK international companies in Poland overwhelimingly hire local people and the kinds of jobs where no Polish would be necessary are filled by people already working for the company and then posted to Poland.

There are some exceptions, but they're not common. I've known Anglophones who were living in Poland and hired by international companies for office positions but they did know Polish (and or already had lots of contacts in Poland).

The best option in Poland is to have a good resume and use headhunter firms (or get hired outside of Poland and manage to get posted there).
12 May 2009
Love / foreign gays in Poland [59]

Actually things are probably worse now than five years ago.

Gaydar has never been part of the general Polish skill set (which meant that even very obviously gay people were not necessarily suspected of being gay*). Also there wasn't much idea that homosexuality was bad morally. Negative attitudes were more about it being statistically uncommon (Poland is a _very_ conformist country and most people want to like what other people like and are embarassed by even pretty trivial deviations from the norm).

Then a couple of Polish political parties picked up on the fact that gay-bashing was a road to electoral success in the US (Polish politics is generally more modelled after American than European models) and things went downhill.

Still, unless you actaully make out in public no one's liable to notice or care that you're gay. If you tell people you're gay, a certain amount of responses will be negative.

*and a lot of straight Polish men are born metrosexuals, vain about their appearance or clothes in ways that are very gay-seeming to westerners and a lot of straight Polish men are attracted to fashion styles that are very gay-seeming to westerners (though they'll feign distaste once they realize that tight leather pants and a bandana aren't macho after all).
12 May 2009
Love / foreign gays in Poland [59]

i come here for tips and i get all kinds of crap...!

It's like you're in Poland already!

There's an old Polish saying: "A guest in the home, oh no!!! he's gay!!! get him out! get him out! get him out!!!!!"

(and to think some Polish people don't understand why so many western countries think of Polish attitudes as backwards...... the mind boggles)
29 Apr 2009

"at prywatkas (I hear they've renamed them domówki), imieniny"

Can't say I've heard 'domówka', 'impreza' seems to be the all-purpose expression but I move in a non-party-giving crowd.

imieniny (sadly) have been steadily decreasing in importance and birthdays (urodziny) have been steadly increasing in popularity over the last several years. It's probably paart of the general (and very traditional) tendency to look down on homegrown traditions and idealize western ones (more British than American now - generally things American are just not cool anymore.)

young people now, as far as I can tell, don't care much about imieniny (I'd be glad to hear I'm wrong).
27 Apr 2009

There's so much corn syrup in everything in the states they probably add it to keep people from noticing its absence.
26 Apr 2009
Travel / Reaching Warsaw airport from Warsaw Central Train Station? WIFI? [20]

Bus the regular bus is okay as long as you have your tickets (buy them in the airport you can't buy them in the bus itself) and keep your wits about you.

There used to be (and may still be) a special, more expensive shuttle bus DO NOT TAKE IT!!!! Everything I've ever heard is that it's far less safe than the regular 175 (which I've taken a number of times with no ill effects).

Also taxis have a habit of trying to rip off foreigners, even if traffic is a little heavy anything over 50 zloties to the train station is a complete rip off.
26 Apr 2009

About unemployment, it's hard to compare official figures across countries because countries calculate them very differently.

In short: UK (and the US) count unemployment so that the number will be as small as possible (officially) while Poland counts unemployment so that the number will be as large as possible. I've known officially unemployed people paid more than the national average (doing legal work but employed in such way that they weren't counted as employed).
26 Apr 2009
Law / Want to start new business in Europe - New Business Options in Poland? [17]

The plain fact is that most Polish people want there to be lots of rules and regulations. Most have no intention of _following_ any rules and regulations they can get out of, but they want as many rules and regulations in place as possible.

One government is not going to change that.