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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 8 of 17
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mafketis   
6 Mar 2009
Love / Do Poles ignore domestic abuse? [54]

there are other things at stake, like the baby's contact with her father.

You want your baby to have contact with an emotionally and physically abusive man?

Really? What about when he starts beating the kid? (and he will, don't lie to yourself that you can stop him).
mafketis   
6 Mar 2009
Work / New English 'teacher' in Poland (I have no qualifications). [119]

Let's clarify a bit. My position is that anybody living in Poland needs to learn and speak Polish (during the time they live here) and I'm not terribly interested in excuses about why they don't. There are no good reasons for not learning and "But I'm an _ENGLISH_ teacher!!!!" is among the lamest.

I will mention that (to me) Poland in Polish is approximately 754 times more interesting than Poland in English. But at the end of the day, either you understand the folly of living in a country and not knowing the language (being at the mercy of people's willingness to treat you like a child) or you don't. If you don't, then by all means, have fun and remain ignorant of how you're inconveniencing those around you.
mafketis   
5 Mar 2009
Work / New English 'teacher' in Poland (I have no qualifications). [119]

It sounds to me that you have some desire to prove yourself more capable then the student for some reason.

Well generally a teacher should know more than the students about the subject being taught.

In a foreign language class part of what's being taught (in a meta context) is how to deal with a foreign language. Having everybody speak your language (while you're in their country) is certainly one way of dealing with it, but probably not one that inspires confidence.
mafketis   
5 Mar 2009
Work / New English 'teacher' in Poland (I have no qualifications). [119]

Students and staff want to speak English, who else is there? People in the street?

You live at your job? How do you get through the rest of your life in Poland?

Altho once one has come for 'just nine month' then come back to do 'just one more academic year' and then 'this really is the last academic year and then I'm off' and spent three years in Poland not speaking the language, that teacher has probably got used to not speaking the language and so doesn't see the need to bother.

This sounds more like a British thing (IME Americans have a much better track record with learning Polish than do Brits). I think it comes from different expectations about social lives, Brits seem to do okay knowing just three people while Americans like to know lots of people (for which you generally need Polish in Poland).

Depends on how much one works and how much one prepares. Perhaps you don't do enough of one, the other or both.

Depnds on how much you need to work and prepare. The teachers I've known with the heaviest work loads did speak Polish.

Whats important is that they can inspire / assist their students in learning the language themselves, not their own ability with L2

Do as I say, not as I do?
mafketis   
4 Mar 2009
Work / New English 'teacher' in Poland (I have no qualifications). [119]

If the teacher is living in Poland they have both the time and opportunity.

Now if a teacher comes to Poland knowing ahead of time it's for a limited time I can understand them not learning much but teaching English in Poland is not the most time intensive job on the planet and I've never known a teacher who didn't have enough spare time enough to learn.
mafketis   
4 Mar 2009
Language / "non polish characters" [19]

My advice is to not worry about the keyboard at this stage. Most of the writing you do should be done by hand (much more effective in learning than typing).

I'm pretty sure that a Polish keyboard should be easy to download, ask your boyfriend what he uses.

hint: avoid 214 and go with the word keyboard layout (where you type alt gr and a letter) it's potentially slower than 214 but for a non-Pole that's not an issue and it integrates better with other keyboards.

alt gr = ą
mafketis   
4 Mar 2009
Work / New English 'teacher' in Poland (I have no qualifications). [119]

Everyone can learn a language. It's only a question of motivation. The teacher might not have the time or opportunity to spend on learning a language.

If living in Poland doesn't motivate a teacher to learn Polish then they suck.
mafketis   
1 Mar 2009
Work / New English 'teacher' in Poland (I have no qualifications). [119]

Non-Polish teachers of English in Poland should know Polish for a number reasons.

The biggest is that without it, they're at the mercy of their employers and colleagues and if they're not working in an all-English school (and most don't) they'll be locked out of what's going on except for whatever their colleagues wish to tell them (which might not be enough).

Also, the question is: If this person can't learn a language then why should I believe they can teach one?
mafketis   
1 Mar 2009
Love / Whose Life is it? Polish girlfriend under family "house arrest" [224]

I wasn't writing about agressive bums (probably less dangerous in Poland than in many places) but about noticing the little things that mean an environment isn't safe. The kind of thing that Poles (and aware foreigners) take for granted (and IME less aware foreigners are ignorant of).

Also the way verbal warnings (and veiled and unveild threats) are given (and when someone is serious vs bluffing). Again I've known foreigners who completely miss and/or misinterpret communcation that's clear to Poles.
mafketis   
1 Mar 2009
Love / Whose Life is it? Polish girlfriend under family "house arrest" [224]

I partly agree with JustyciaS in that her story doesn't add up against the normal way of doing things in Poland (and kind of sounds like the BS a girl might use to break up with an unwanted foreign boyfriend).

I'll just add (again) that there is some chance it adds up but it can only do so in a horrible, horrible way (involving crime and/or severe and dangerous family dysfunction).

At this stage, using her old boyfriend as a smokescreen to dump you is probably the most optimistic option. "Be mean and threaten him so he'll leave us alone!"

At any rate, do NOT go to Poland! Under any circumstances!
You simply don't have the linguistic or cultural or practical knowlege to do so safely.

Even if you make it to her village you'll be helpless in a place where you're illiterate and ignorant of everything going on around you and totally unable to communicate except at the sufferance of others. Read that again a few times and let it sink in.

As a bonus, you have no idea how to recognize dangerous situations in Poland, and the warning signs are not necessarily the same as in other countries.

My advice: If she's telling the truth she'll have to get out of it herself. There's no way you can do anything but make things worse for all concerned.
mafketis   
27 Feb 2009
Love / Whose Life is it? Polish girlfriend under family "house arrest" [224]

For the most part, male-female relations would not be improved by clear and direction communication. Pleasant fictions keep the world and human race going.

Most women want a partner who's interesting to talk to. Using complex ambiguous communication is a way of separating out the potential partners from the also rans.
mafketis   
27 Feb 2009
Love / Whose Life is it? Polish girlfriend under family "house arrest" [224]

It's not so much mixed as complex. And the sad truth is that many men don't get enough training in deciphering complex communication signals. And most girls aren't interested in men who can't do that.

Often the signal isn't mixed at all, but the intended clear 'no' is softened with some surface politeness that the socially inept interpret as a potential 'yes'.

On the specific Poland-British Isles front, it's important to remember that Poland tends to be a flirting culture. Mostly IME British men aren't very good at distinguishing basic (meaningless) flirtation and real interest (and interpret flirtation as interest when it's not).
mafketis   
26 Feb 2009
Language / Two questions for people who learn polish [57]

My feelings on reading (in any foreign language)

Start easy. Children's books aren't necessarily easy (IME).

Just remember, there's no shame in dumb, dumb is your best friend and you'll never get to smart and stimulating without spending some time honing your skills on dumb material.

In terms of newspapers, aim low. Find the newspaper that the dumbest people read (that's not an out and out scandal sheet) and just read the headlines everyday until you understand most of them with no help from the dictionary (or grammar book).

Then start with short, short news blurbs. Crime blurbs are good for this. Don't push things and let comprehension come on its own. When the dumb newspaper gets too boring then move up to the next rung on the ladder.

With literature. Again, start off dumb, dumb and dumber. Cheap pulp genre literature is your very best friend. Comic books are good too. What you want in the beginning is something that will be easy because you already know the basic outlines of the story. Romance novels and murder mysteries are the best but westerns and crime novels aren't bad either.

Don't shy away from translated stuff. Many cultures reserve native language literature for smart stuff and outsource the mindless garbage to English speaking countries (which we're very good at producing). But it's the mindless garbage that has the most to teach you in the beginning.

Alternate two separate kinds of reading (in separate sources)

1. skimming, keep reading as fast as you can. Try to figure out words in context but donn't make any special effort to remember them, the motto is: full speed ahead. What you want to do is get to the stage where you can follow the broad outlines of the plot even if you don't understand every word (or sentence or paragraph or page).

2. detailed, obsessive reading where you want to know what every syllable means (random paragraphs one at a time out of order are good for this). A story you've already skimmed all the way through is good for this.

3. reading out loud (with no regard for comprehension). a couple minutes of this four or five times a week will work wonders (no one knows why, but it does).

Also, the specifics of the language (or the people who speak it) may make some aspects of the process more difficult (or easier) than expected. Experiment around and find out what works for you.
mafketis   
25 Feb 2009
Love / Whose Life is it? Polish girlfriend under family "house arrest" [224]

The stigma of mental illness in Poland means

1. The family doesn't want that info to get out of the family, ever, under any circumstances.

2. The family member is still loved, but the rest of the family (especially parents) assume the person is incapable of making their own decisions and makes as many decisions for them as possible.

The threshhold for being regarded as mentally ill is lower in Poland too (in the countryside, people might not distinguish a few sessions with a trained therapist and being committed to an asylum...).
mafketis   
25 Feb 2009
Love / Whose Life is it? Polish girlfriend under family "house arrest" [224]

Not sure what to think. My first response is that Polish families don't behave like this unless there's something else (fairly serious) going on.

She was under alot of pressure from her family particularly because they had been building a house together and she had invested alot of money

Aha! If this isn't an elaborate smokescreen, then my best guess is there are money issues that you don't know about (she might not know about them either). If I had to make a wild guess it would be that the parents are in debt and/or don't want to lose the money/work sunk into the house. Also, what part of Poland is this? Another wild guess might be that he's a smalltime criminal (or from that kind of family).

In a different direction, I basically know of only a few other kinds of situations where the family will side with the boyfriend against the daughter.

1. they have a kid together that you know nothing about (premarital sex is the norm in Poland, birth control isn't, I wouldn't even rule out the 'boyfriend' being her husband and she was hoping to be able to negotiate a divorce when she went there)

2. she has a history of mental illness (high stigma that never wears off)

3. severe family dysfunction (including physical/emotional abuse)

4. the foreign boyfriend is not white (no delicate way to put it)
mafketis   
25 Feb 2009
Life / Suggestions required for a song that indicates "Poland". [12]

AFAIK there are no relevant songs in English and anything in Polish will be problematic.

Basically there are two warring factions inside most Polish people when it comes to discussing the country with outsiders:
1. a desire to show oneself as being superior to the rabble (manifested in insults toward the country and despair about its future)
2. defensive prickliness and oversensitivity (and a a rush to defend what hasn't been attacked yet)

Also, IME discussing Polish music is a surprisingly stressful thing for Poles to do in front of each other. Everybody's afraid of saying something that could be branded as uncool by the others (and all Polish music is seriously uncool to some part of the public).

Anyway, here's a fragment of my personal favorite song about Poland "na lewo most, na prawo most" (A bridge to the right, a bridge to the left)



In a disco polo mood theres's 'Wszyscy Polacy to jedna rodzina' (All Poles (are one family)).
mafketis   
20 Feb 2009
Life / Wlatcy Moch?? [14]

Brilliant dialogue with Czesio and his teacher Pani Frał (Miss Frau):

Czesio: ja jej nie lubię (I don't like her)

Pani Frał: dlaczego (why not?)

Czesio: bo ona nie ma wacka (because she doesn't have a willy)

Pani Frał: czego??? (a what???)

Czesio: no ... siusiora ... a Pani ma? (you know ... a peepee .... do you have one?)
mafketis   
18 Feb 2009
News / Polish politician thrown off Lufthansa plane. Just enjoy. [60]

There's no contradiction.

Yes, there is widespread anti-Polish prejudice in Germany, including institutional discrimination against the Polish language in flagrant violation of EU laws.

On the other hand, Rokita has long been known as being a high maintenance prima donna who throws shit fits when he doesn't get his way.

Most people I know think his treatment was richly deserved (and a Polish voice can be heard telling him to get off the plane in the recording in question).



my favorite remix, featuring the fractured Polish of his German-Russian wife


mafketis   
14 Feb 2009
Life / What do Polish people think about Turkey? [52]

Turkish practice of Islam has always tended toward the more moderate and more sensible in the cities at least.
However, Turkey still falls far behind EU standards on freedom of religion and there's no indication that the country as a whole understands the European conception of freedom of religion or would agree to it, if they did.

Among other things it means:

- freedom to convert from any religion to any religion (and back again as many times as a person wants)
- freedom to marry with no regard to religion (for both men and women)
- freedom to proselytize
- freedom to publicly criticize features of another religion
- freedom to insult religion
- freedom to not practice _any_ religion

Even in the current EU it's hard for all member states to fully live up to these ideals and something tells me it will be harder for Turkish people (especially the more rural and/or poor segments of the population).

-
mafketis   
13 Feb 2009
Language / Poles! How do you cope with English phonetics versus English spelling? [37]

the other customers in the shop started to converse in English.

A common occurence in many bilingual situations. It's not clear whether the intent is to make a monolingual (from their point of view) comfortable, pure force of habit or underlining your role as an outsider.

I'd like to go to Malta, but hearing them speak English would just be depressing since Maltese is such an interesting language.
mafketis   
12 Feb 2009
Language / Poles! How do you cope with English phonetics versus English spelling? [37]

Both English and Maltese have official status in Malta. And the Maltese negotiated EU recognition of Maltese upon ascension to the EU.

It might be accurate to say that in Malta English is the language of money and Maltese is the language of home and heart.
mafketis   
12 Feb 2009
Language / What do you find difficult about learning Polish? [98]

- ósmy (eighth) and ówczesny (could be freely translated as 'then') ;-)

Ouch! you got me with ósmy but ówczesny is transparently ów + czesny (roughly : this-time-adj)

and checking with my dictionary I find exactly six entries beginning with ó.

ósmy and ósemka (clearly related since most reified numbers are formed from ordinals)

ów, ówczesny, ówcześnie and ówdzie (the last three transparently are compounds beginning with ów)

So I'll refine my statement: Only two roots begin with ó, ósmy and ów.
mafketis   
12 Feb 2009
Language / What do you find difficult about learning Polish? [98]

I couldn't see a difference between the word 'ugór' or' ógur', or 'ógór' etc....

Handy spelling tip. AFAIK only one word begins with ó, namely ów, an old fashioned word meaning 'this' (masc sing)).

That narrows it down to ugór and ugur. Hearing the word in isolation wouldn't help, but if you know any other case form it should be obvious; if the u sound ever changes to o you know it's ó (always related to o, either morphologically or etymologically).

Hearing the word for the first time I'd probably guess ugór (just because I think that -ur is less common in Polish than -ór)
mafketis   
10 Feb 2009
Food / Polish bismarcks or doughnuts, known as "pączki." [7]

Well what you made doesn't look too far from faworki (a kind of Polish cruller).

kucharz.pl/images/faworki.jpg

The consistency might be something like gniazdka (my personal favorite Polish doughnut) made from choux pastry but usually glazed instead of powdered.

mojeprzepisy.pl/pliki/przepisy/przepisy/gniazdka.jpg
mafketis   
10 Feb 2009
Food / Polish bismarcks or doughnuts, known as "pączki." [7]

The picture doesn't look like pączkies at all and pączkies aren't funnel cakes.

Pączkies (in Polish singular pączek, plural pączki) are jelly doughnuts (usually rose hip jam inside) with a sugar glaze decorated with candied orange peel.

You can see a typical pączki here:

img504.imageshack.us/img504/7145/p1090535wt3.jpg
mafketis   
7 Feb 2009
Language / WHO AND WHEN COINED THE TERM DUPEK? [13]

Voice over translations (and subtitles too I imagine) were very ... prissy until sometime in the 1990's.

I remember reading letters to the editor in the early 90's complaining about crude expressions like 'strzelić w łeb' appearing in voice over translations (there was no thought about whether this was an appropriate translation of the original, just that it was crude and should be made more ladylike).

Translations also maintained rigorous use of the vocative although this isn't used that much in everyday Polish (and I knew a translator who got into trouble for not using the vocative, the fact that his usage was clolser to everyday usage didn't matter).
mafketis   
7 Feb 2009
Language / WHO AND WHEN COINED THE TERM DUPEK? [13]

I first heard it in 1992 (I want to say late summer, early autumn) in a line for a phone (I was second in line when the guy and the phone kept talking and talking. When the guy ahead of me finally got to the phone, he apologized for not calling earlier but some 'dupek' had been hogging the line. I had never heard the expression before but it was pretty clear what was meant.

Since then I've been told by a few people that the implications of dupek are less nastiness and arrogance (defining features of an asshole) than general stupidity (of the kind that inconveniences others).

Generally in translating American 'asshole' into Polish, I think cham or palant would be better.
Mafketis   
7 Feb 2009
Language / Polish-speaking children and their slang [9]

papcio

Can't say I've ever heard that one.

On the other hand, if the child is calling to them, the vocative might well be used

mamusiu! tatusiu!

or, more simply (but less emotionally)

mamo! tato!