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Posts by Switezianka  

Joined: 17 Jun 2008 / Female ♀
Last Post: 15 Jul 2009
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Posts: Total: 463 / In This Archive: 403

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22 Sep 2008
Study / Study Music in Poland? [26]

I know he plays a number of instruments, but doubt that he has the formal training that might be required for admission.

The papers are usually not required, but some skills taught at music schools are. For studying instruments he will most probably have to:
-prepare some pieces at home and present them (the Academy will name several pieces to choose from)
-get some unknown notes and an hour or two to prepare another piece or set of pieces
-have an exam in a vista playing

So, if he can't play a vista, he can forget about it.

(By the way, I'd love to know the story behind your screen name, and what it means.)

There is a Romantic narrative poem by Mickiewicz called "Świtezianka", and Świtezianka is most probably the name of a kind of a deamon who lives in the lake of Świteź. Or it's also a species of dragonfly.
22 Sep 2008
Study / Study Music in Poland? [26]

The story of the poem is the following:
A boy is in love with a mysterious girl, whom he meets every evening and who refuses to say who she is, where she lives and who her parents are. To make her tell him something about herself, he swears her eternal love, fidelity etc. She warns him against breaking the vows and goes away. The boy wanders at night and comes to the shore of the Świteź lake. There, he sees a beautiful female figure, apparently supernatural, who emerges from the water and tries to tempt him. She tells him to dump his beloved and start living with him in the lake. First he resists but finally, he follows the figure to the water, he gets to the middle of the lake, he embraces the phantom and in her face, he recognizes his mysterious beloved. She says he would burn in hell for breaking his vows and they drown together in the water.

In the end it is said that every night her ghost (or herself, or whatever) is dancing on the surface of the water and his ghost suffers and moans on the shore.

And most probably the name of the poem is the name of that girl/deamon/ghost.
22 Sep 2008
Study / Study Music in Poland? [26]

So, maybe he should

You're clearly an educated and cultured young woman.

Oh, thank you...

Are you an artist? writer? musician? all of the above?

I sing, write and compose music but not professionally... yet ;-)
I'm thinking about reviving my darkwave project now, so I need to unearth my scores and do something.

I think your nephew could study something like Artistic Education on a university but I don't know if he can do it without the knowledge of Polish. The only thing you can study at a music academy without too much formal preparations is vocal.
22 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

If he meant "the best obstacle", he would write "the best obstacle", not "the biggest obstacle", I assume.
Anyway, I've never heard of good and bad obstacles. It just doesn't go together.
22 Sep 2008
News / Metal concerts in Poland- where to launch them? [7]



And why the hell do German bands sing in English?!
German is the best language for music!!!
22 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]


religious traditions?

Mostly religious, however there were other holidays non religious

Can you name any Polish non-religious holiday tradition?
22 Sep 2008
Language / affectionate term in Polish [59]

Retro style:

22 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Dozynki Polish Harvest festival

Yes, I agree, it's a non-religious tradition.

And it's becoming less and less popular, because the decrease in employment in agriculture. No reason for most of the society to follow it...
22 Sep 2008
News / Metal concerts in Poland- where to launch them? [7]

..what about sabrina? can't imagine this song in german

I could. But "Blume" sounds the best in the French version.

hehe, sure, i don't like kraftwerk, laibach or rammstein in english but this is specific, industrial music and harsh german language fits perfectly.

But it works quite well in opera, too...

22 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Valentine's day has been in Poland for ages...

How about the Kupała Night? Wasn't that the actual Polish feast of love?

Polter Abend - in Silesia (perhaps not entirely Polish one, but practised in Poland anyway)
It's a crazy party a day before a wedding - men dress like wenches and women like lads. Not only the young ones, mind you.

Never heard of that but sounds cool.

Anyway, secular Polish traditions are mostly local or connected with particular groups of people. The all-Polish traditions are, well, religious...
22 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Kupała and Dziady, are quite obvious, but Dożynki?

Anyway, they're still much cooler than Valentine's day :)
22 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

Yes I understand the difference between syntax and semantics :-)

Great. I am very happy that you aren't another complete grammar ignorant who wants to get some advanced knowledge. It happened to me several times on this forum, that I answered advanced questions (but that's the most difficult I've found) and it came out that the people who asked them didn't understand very basic grammar terms I used.

So, I'll try to explain the problem in a way directed at someone who can deal with grammar.

Part 1.

If you've got a sentence like "John likes Mary", it answers 2 questions (about Noun Phrases): "Who does John like?" and "Who likes Mary". Quite obvious.

But in Polish we've got those damned cases. So, let's see how it goes in Polish.
Jaś lubi Marysię (John likes Mary), answers the following questions:
1)Kto lubi Marysię? (Who likes Mary; answer: Jaś)
2)Kogo lubi Jaś? (Who does John like?; answer: Marysię)

The answer to the "Kto?" (who) in q.1 is "Jaś". Both the words "kto?" and "Jaś" are in nominative case.

The answer to the "kogo?" (who, whom) in q.2. is "Marysię" - and both "kogo?" and "Marysię" are in accusative case.

So, we can see, that when we ask about a certain word in a sentence, the question word and the answer are in the same case

Let's take our problematic sentence:
The biggest obstacle was the church.

It's got 2 NPs: "the biggest obstacle" and "the church". So, in English, it answers 2 questions:
What was the biggest obstacle?
What was the church?

But in Polish it's a bit different.
Największą przeszkodą był Kościół , it answers questions:
1) Czym był Kościół? (ans: "największą przeszkodą")
(What was the church?)
2) Co było największą przeszkodą? (ans: Kościół) (What was the biggest obstacle?)


"What was the church?" can in Polish be either "Czym (instr.) był kościół (nom.)?" or "Co (nom.) było kościołem (instr.)".

The same with "what was the biggest obstacle?" it can be either "Co (nom.) było największą przeszkodą (instr.)?" or "Czym (instr.) była największa przeszkoda (nom.)?"

Of course, the Noun Phrases of the answer to each of those question take case according to the cases in the questions they answer.

And how to know which of those question to answer?
It's the matter of semantics.

If you ask: Co było największą przeszkodą?, it means you want to identify the "obstacle".

If you ask Czym była największa przeszkoda? it is more like asking about some noun that would describe the "obstacle".

But sentence discussed is surely about identifying the "biggest obstacle". So, you must ask "Co", not "Czym?" and the answer would be "kościół", not "kościołem".

But I think that to get the semantic difference, you need more examples:

"Co jest twoim hobby?" (What's your hobby?)
"Wędkowanie" (fishing)

"Czym jest twoje hobby?"
"Sposobem na odprężenie się" (It's a way to relax)

"Kto jest lekarzem?" (Who's the doctor?)

"Kim jest lekarz?" (Who's a doctor)
"Człowiekiem, który leczy ludzi" (A person who heals people).

"Kto będzie naszym nowym szefem?" (Who will be our new boss?)

"Kim będzie nasz nowy szef?"
"Niewyżytym sadystą"? (An unappeased sadist.)

But, why the hell is the nominative case not in the beginning of the sentence, as usual, but it goes after the copula?

I'll write it tomorrow. But word-order in Polish affects the meaning, too.
22 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Mushroom picking is a way of getting mushroom. It's as much of a tradition as going to the baker's to buy some bread. And it's an excuse to walk around in a forest.

Ransom demanded from newly weds on the road

It derives from the time when wedding could be only a religious ceremony.

23 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Well, everything has once started as religious ceremony.

That's why most traditions in Poland are in fact religious.

Don`t you know that ancient Slavs believed the forest was a magical place so people who went to it to pick mushrooms were specially prepared?

Supposing its true, those preparations were a tradition, not-mushroom-picking. Now, nobody makes any preparations, people just go to forest to gather mushroom just as they go fishing.

What is tradition:
The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.

Yes, but culture are those strange things that PEOPLE do. Not what what animals do. We don't do anything about storks, they are just here.
23 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Switezianka, do you follow any of these or are you another with less and less time?

I don't follow any of these, because:

1) most of them are rooted in catholic religion, and I don't want to have anything to do with it
2) I don't find them fun enough to cultivate them despite my atheism
3) those non-religious ones are connected with country life and agriculture, and I live in a city

So, they have nothing to do with my sense of identity.

I'd be glad to have some good pagan Noc Kupały or Dziady celebration, but I don't know anything about anyone organizing such feasts. They sound very fun to me.
23 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Are you in Poland? If you are, do you find it difficult sometimes.

I live in Poland and I find it difficult. In fact I'm sometimes forced to take part in some celebrations, but I wouldn't call it cultivating any tradition. I really hate it. And I hate it when Catholic Church tries to influence the public life.

And I'm preparing to apostasy.
23 Sep 2008
Study / Study Music in Poland? [26]

You say that as if I should know what it means, but, I'm sorry, I do not. What does this mean?

To put it simply - some creepy goth stuff based on electronics.
But I use some experimental-classical elements of composition in that stuff so it's even harder to listen :)
23 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

What the hell is apostasy? My American dictionary does not have the word listed.?

It's an act of formal withdrawal from the Church. Everybody who has been baptised formally belongs to the Catholic Church.

As the result, the Church wants to get some funds in PL, says: "but, you know 97% of the society are members of our organization, so when you give us money, it will serve almost everybody". So, now a group of pissed atheist wants to spoil them those statistics, or doesn't consent to belong to any organization against their will (most people don't choose to get baptised), try inform other atheists about the possibility to leave this organization. 'Cause most people don't know it's even possible.
23 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

I don't quite understand why someone would go to the lengths of apostasy.

1) to decrease the political power of the church in Poland (which is based on church's constant talking about the statistics)
2) sometimes it's necessary to leave the catholic church when you convert to some other religion
3) because you don't want to be a godfather/godmother or a witness at a wedding and you know the only way to oppose the pressure of your family and village is to be formally unable to perform that function

4) you don't want your family to play you a trick and make you a catholic funeral against your will - if you're an apostate, they can't do it

5) you think catholic church is an organization that is harmful to your society, therefore you don't want to be a member of such organization

6) you hate the fact that you formally belong to some organization and nobody has ever asked you if you wanted to join it

There are many reasons. Anyway, it's just about writing a paper, giving it to your parish priest and visiting your parish from time to time to remind the priests that they have some formality to do in case they 'forgot'
23 Sep 2008
Life / Are Polish traditions dissapearing [93]

Most polish traditions have pagan origin really.

Yes, as most Christian traditions in fact. My point is that now most of them are associated with religious celebrations.
Pouring water on somebody is a part of the celebration of the Easter. Putting lights on a Christmas tree is a part of the celebration of Christmas. Writing K+M+B on the door has also something to do with some holiday. So, as I don't see any reason why I would celebrate those things, I don't do it unless someone makes me. If it was fun, I'd do it, but I think e.g. pouring water on somebody in early spring is not fun, it's just stupid and dangerous. It would be cool in July, but not during the Easter.
24 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

All right - we know what cases the nouns should take, so let's get to the word order(WO). You can roughly say that WO in a Polish sentence is free, but it is only an approximation. Some very weird WOs just aren't used ("Poszedł do wczoraj biblioteki Wojtek") and there is nothing complicated about it. Sometimes we change word order for emphasis, which isn't very difficult either.

The problem of the WO begins if we consider Polish sentences within a context.
Out of context you can say:
Zobaczyłam mężczyznę na ulicy.
Na ulicy zobaczyłam mężczyznę.
Mężczyznę zobaczyłam na ulicy.

(I saw a/the man in the street.)
It looks as if it meant the same but if we put it into a text, we'll see that WO matters. *

" Wyszłam wczoraj rano z domu. (I went outside yesterday morning) Na ulicy zobaczyłam mężczyznę." is OK, while "Wyszłam wczoraj rano z domu. Mężczyznę zobaczyłam na ulicy. "is not. But:

Ex. 2
" Zauważyłam w Warszawie pewne młode małżeństwo. (I spotted a young couple in Warsaw) Mężczyznę zobaczyłam na ulicy. Jego żonę zobaczyłam w sklepie obok. (I saw his wife in a shop nearby)"

is OK but it wouldn't be if we used the WO that was correct for Ex. 1.

In this case the problem is not so difficult. Let's try to translate those two short texts into English as a whole:
Ex. 1
I went outside yesterday morning. I saw a man in the street.
I spotted a young couple in Warsaw. I saw the man in the street. I saw his wife in a shop nearby.

In English translation it is easy to see, that 'man' in ex. 1 is indefinite noun, and in ex. 2 is definite. We can see it thanks to articles.

In Polish there are no articles but there are still definite and indefinite nouns (noun phrases). And if definiteness is indicated by any syntactic feature, it is indicated by the WO. If some noun is definite, it is a very particular one, it will usually go to the beginning of the sentence. An extreme example:

Na stole jest piwo. - There's a beer on the table.
Piwo jest na stole. - The beer is on the table.
Quite a big change of meaning.

But it doesn't mean that you can always guess definiteness from the WO. Sometimes it's impossible to say if something is or isn't definite.

But in this goddmamn sentence "Największą przeszkodą był Kościół", there are two definite nouns so why the hell can't it be "Kościół był największą przeszkodą"? The only explanation that came to my head is based on the following interpretation of what a sentence is. It's a bit controversial idea but it works for this problem, so let's accept it.

Each sentence is composed of two main parts. You always take some well-known thing and provide some new information about it. When you say "Jack is a plumber" you assume that your listener knows who Jack is and the new information you convey is his profession. So, to use those fancy linguistic words, Jack is the theme / topic of the sentence and the fact that he's a plumber is the rheme / focus /comment . SO, that's basicly all. Some more examples:

1. Jordan ate a green apple - th: Jordan; rh: ate a green apple
2. The green apple was eaten by Jordan - th: The green apple; rh: was eaten by Jordan
Kate likes raw beef - th: Kate; rh: likes raw beef
There is a big album on the shelf: - th: on the shelf; there is a big album
What I told him was that he was a jerk: - th: What I told him; rh: was that he was a jerk.

Of course, in a sentence where there is one definite and one indefinite noun phrase, it's natural that the definite one will be the theme. "The A" is better-known than "a B". The idea of definiteness and the idea of a theme are in some sense similiar.

If you look again at the examples, you will probably notice that the theme tends to be placed in the beginning of the sentence. The only exception I gave is an existential sentence (a 'there is/there are' sentence). In the pair about Jordan and the green apple you can see it very clearly: the passive voice in the second sentence ("The apple was eaten by Jordan") is a form of emphasis. It could be "Jordan ate the apple", but in passive voice the apple gets to the beginning of the sentence and thus, emphasizes the fact that we're talking about the apple, not Jordan. The theme-rheme difference becomes stronger by moving the 'apple' to the front.

In Polish it's the same: the best place for the theme is in the beginning. But in Polish, if I wanted to emphasize that the apple is the theme of the sentence, I'd move it to the front just like that. I really don't need to change the sentence into passive voice: "Jabłko zjadł Jordan" is enough.

So let's approach the church-obstacle sentence in a similar way.

You wrote something about fighting for women's rights. If there was any fighting, we know that there was an obstacle. It's given. Now, you want to identify it - so you want to give the 'new info' about the obstacle. So: the obstacle is the theme of your sentence, the rest is the rheme and the 'biggest obstacle' goes to the front.

Outside of context (so when it's sometimes hard to say which is which), the most natural word order in Polish seems to be the one that has the subject (which is always nominative) in the beginning. But your sentence is a part of a text, so the word order should go according to what this sentence means within this text. Even if it means putting the grammatical subject in the end.

"Kościół był największą przeszkodą" is grammatically correct and it would fit a text where something more is said about the church before. E.g:

They hoped that the church would support them. In the beginning they even believed it but in fact, it was just the contrary. The church was the biggest obstacle.

In English 'the church' goes to the beginning of the sentence (because it's definitely the theme here). Doing this, it becomes the subject of the sentence because that is how English grammar works. In Polish it's also at the beginning "Kościół był największą przeszkodą" but in Polish all the cases and syntactic relationships are the same as in "Największą przeszkodą był kościół"- kościół is the subject, największa przeszkoda is the predicate. The cases are ruled by those things I described in part 1, and they're independent from the WO thing.

*(The analysis is based on the assumption that the context I am giving is the only context known, so please, don't provide any additional context as counter-arguments)
24 Sep 2008
Life / 'The Pianist' - the movie. What's your opinion? Polanski [59]

"The Pianist" is not a film made to cater to the most unsophisticated tastes and to evoke to anybody's nationalistic emotions. It is a film adaptation of memoires of a REAL person, who survived the war. This film is supposed to reconstruct the war reality, not present some cheesy infantile heroic stories that are an insult to the audience's intelligence.

For most people the war was about hiding around in holes like a rat and not knowing what is going on. Being helped by people they knew nothing about and struggling to save their lives, not fighting for honour or other crap. If you don't believe, get some fact-based war literature.

What I liked about "The Pianist" was the fact that it is not another piece of patriotic and ideological bulls.hit, but a realistic work which aims at showing us things as they were, without embellishing. And without attempting to get some irritating moral message in it.

Is your point that the jews in the ghetto didn't really suffer as much from the germans as from their own leaders? That's a theory I've never come across before.

I thought you were better at Jewish history. In case of [], there certainly were.
24 Sep 2008
Work / praca magisterska (master's degree) - any impact on career in Poland [13]

I'm still studying that thing (so I've got no masters yet) and I earn quite a lot on translations - so for that no masters is needed. You just have do be good at this.

If she hasn't got licencjat (going the 'old' system), I think she should write her masters. In this case she's still got only secondary education and it doesn't look too good on your CV. I've seen a lot of job ads with 'higher education required' but not a specific one - you just have to have any higher education. If she wants to be a teacher at school (which most English Philology graduates get), she must have higher education.

So, if she's got licencjat, it's OK, but if she hasn't, it would be better to write her masters and have the 'higher education' paper.
26 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

When I read such a difficult question and I don't know the answer, I don't regain piece of mind until I think up the answer. So, in fact, I solved the problem for my own satisfaction.