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Polish grammar exercises from hell


Ziemowit 13 | 4,534  
13 Oct 2009 /  #61
If we may arrive on some sort of a compromise, I would call it: correct, but not proper ...
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
13 Oct 2009 /  #62
Well, my fiancee graduated in English Philology and she is Polish. She'd be happy to explain to you why ludziach is proper.

What's the difference between correct and proper?
OP Derevon 12 | 172  
13 Oct 2009 /  #63
It's gramatically correct, although not idiomatic. Let's just leave it at that, shall we? ;)

Anyway, I find all of this is quite funny. In what other language could there be a discussion on how to say "two people"? :)
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
13 Oct 2009 /  #64
Both dwaj ludzie and dwóch ludzi is correct.

Wielki Slownik Poprawnej Polszczyzny disagrees.

According to the book only "dwoch ludzi" is correct and only in reference to all males. Otherwise it's "dwoje ludzi".
frd 7 | 1,401  
13 Oct 2009 /  #65
he probably meant correct, but not posh.. ; )
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534  
13 Oct 2009 /  #66
Seanus
Well, my fiancee graduated in English Philology and she is Polish. She'd be happy to explain to you why ludziach is proper.
What's the difference between correct and proper?


Well, I think I will finish the discussion at this point in order not to disturb your fiancée. I'd be just happy if you pass my best regards to her ...
OP Derevon 12 | 172  
13 Oct 2009 /  #67
I found this text on some site:

ludzie

W komentarzu do tego hasła autorzy WSPP bezzasadnie piętnują wyrażenie dwaj ludzie. Jest to ocena zarówno szokująca, jak i bezzasadna. Dostrzegają to także autorzy SWK (hasło dwaj, trzej, czterej, str. 84) i podają nawet przykład tytułu filmu Polańskiego: Dwaj ludzie z szafą.

Według WSPP poprawne jest tylko dwóch ludzi, a i to tylko wtedy, gdy mowa wyłącznie o mężczyznach (w przeciwnym wypadku: dwoje ludzi). O ile z tym ograniczeniem można się zgodzić (rzeczowniki oznaczające grupy złożone z przedstawicieli obu płci wymagają liczebników zbiorowych), to już negacja poprawności wyrażenia dwaj ludzie jest bezzasadna, gdyż forma ze składnią dopełniaczową zawsze może zostać zastąpiona przez formę ze składnią mianownikową.

Inaczej mówiąc, jeśli poprawne jest dwóch + D, to poprawne jest zawsze także dwaj + M, np. dwóch braci = dwaj bracia, dwóch przyjaciół = dwaj przyjaciele, dwóch studentów = dwaj studenci. Co więcej, w sytuacji, gdy używamy liczebnika zbiorowego dwoje, nie można w zasadzie użyć ani dwóch + D, ani dwaj + M; dwoje studentów rozumiane jest dziś jako studentka i student, co wyklucza formę dwóch studentów czy dwaj studenci. Stara norma pozwalała mówić dwoje studentów również o dwóch mężczyznach, np. o bliskich kolegach (tak samo mówiono dwoje braci), jednak dziś zwyczaj ten właściwie zanikł. Zamienność dwóch + D na dwaj + M jest więc dziś dokładna i działa w obie strony, a identyczna zasada dotyczy także form trzech / trzej i czterech / czterej. Nie ma potrzeby, by nakładać dziwne restrykcje akurat na połączenia dwaj, trzej, czterej z rzeczownikiem ludzie. Być może są one wynikiem niedopatrzenia autorów powielanego w kolejnych edycjach słownika.


Although I'm not a native speaker and don't really get to vote I have to agree that it stands to reason that if "dwóch ludzi" is correct, then "dwaj", "trzej" etc must also be correct.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
13 Oct 2009 /  #68
OK, I'm not Polish either and I'm not gonna lose sleep over such an academic point. I've learned my lesson from the academic game. You contribute much but get nothing in return so screw that. Those academics stole my ideas as I saw them published. Gits!

Clannad said, 'the art of compromise has been our greatest strength' and I agree with my Celtic brethren. Compromise accepted and regards passed on, Ziemowit :)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534  
13 Oct 2009 /  #69
Thank you, Seanus. It has perhaps saved me an effort to prepare guns for a battle on "the difference between correct and proper". I am then going to resume my reading of the book "A Short History of Scotland" by Richard Killeen which I accidentally bought two days ago. Anyway, it's been of use to have different opinions as the discussion developed and gained its new linguistic dimensions.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Oct 2009 /  #70
It sure has. I recommend the Scottish Enlightenment by Arthur Herman. One of the best accounts I have read.

OK, next grammar task please ;) (breathes deeply)
frd 7 | 1,401  
14 Oct 2009 /  #71
(readies his throwing knives and dictionaries)
Bzibzioh  
14 Oct 2009 /  #72
1. If I hadn't wanted to eat on that day two weeks ago, I would never have bought the food.

2. Paweł was thinking about the seven violins.

3. Marek opened one door, not two.

4. The boy ran away with seven fourtythirds (7/43) of the cake.

5. She gave the children a toy each. (This translation has to start with the word "Dała")

Gdybym nie miała zamiaru (or chciała) jeść tego dnia dwa tygodnie temu - nigdy bym nie kupiła jedzenia.

Paweł myślał o siedmiu skrzypcach.

Marek otworzył jedne drzwi ale nie dwoje.

Chłopiec uciekł z siódmą czterdziestą trzecią częścią ciasta.

Dała każdemu dziecku po zabawce.
Nomsense - | 38  
14 Oct 2009 /  #73
1. If I hadn't wanted to eat on that day two weeks ago, I would never have bought the food.

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

By the way, I agree with Ziemowit's suggestions. "Kazali" and "osobach" sound better ;P .
OP Derevon 12 | 172  
14 Oct 2009 /  #74
Hmm, seems the pluperfect tense is pretty tricky to translate into Polish. ;)

As for the violins, I believe it should be "myślał o siedmiorgu skrzypiec", but I'm not 100% sure. The rest of those sentences look just fine to me (which unfortunately might not mean all that much). ;)
mafketis 32 | 10,542  
14 Oct 2009 /  #75
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!
Bzibzioh  
14 Oct 2009 /  #76
By the way, I agree with Ziemowit's suggestions. "Kazali" and "osobach" sound better ;P .

I agree, too :P

As for the violins, I believe it should be "myślał o siedmiorgu skrzypiec"

No, that's weird.

I can count the times I've heard it on 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).

I might be suffering from this. Unfortunately ;)
OP Derevon 12 | 172  
14 Oct 2009 /  #77
No, that's weird.

Well, skrzypce is one of those plural only words like "drzwi". It's "dwoje, troje etc skrzypiec" so shouldn't it then be "o siedmiorgu skrzypiec", strictly grammatically speaking, even though I'm sure it's extremely unusual and probably sounds very weird?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Oct 2009 /  #78
So Nomsense is Ziemowit, ok :)

Rozkazali is clearly better as a perfective form. They asked and not 'were asking'. Poles often make this mistake. They almost always select an 'ing' progressive tense when a simple tense is called for.

Ludziach as unnamed and non-specified people is fine. How can you doubt the credibility of an award-winning teacher and an English Philology graduate? As has been said, grammatically it's fine.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534  
14 Oct 2009 /  #79
So Nomsense is Ziemowit, ok :)

No, it's definitely not me, Seanus. I'm reading "A Short History of Scotland" at the moment ...
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Oct 2009 /  #80
I thought it was a short history ;) ;)

Perhaps Nomsense can explain his interpretation of the difference between rozkazali and kazali.
Nomsense - | 38  
14 Oct 2009 /  #81
It looks like, and mostly functions like a loan translation from western languages that do have one.

Then it is a several hundred years old translation.

The way that Polish verbal time and tenses are mapped a pluperfect is an unnecessary complication.

That's not going to stop me from using it ;P .

And actually I don't think it's an unnecessary complication.
"Gdybyś zrobiła mi kanapkę, nie byłbym głodny." - Future? Past?
"Gdybyś była zrobiła mi kanapkę, nie byłbym głodny." - Past!

Perhaps Nomsense can explain his interpretation of the difference between rozkazali and kazali.

I will use an example:
"Rozkazałem ci posprzątać w pokoju"? No, that doesn't sound right.
"Kazałem ci posprzątać w pokoju"? Yes, more natural.

"Rozkazywać" is a little bit stronger than "kazać". A soldier could "rozkazać" something, but less likely a policeman.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
14 Oct 2009 /  #82
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.

Pluperfect aka "czas zaprzeszly", considering that Polish is one of IE languages, is as much a translation from other languages as other languages also translate it from other sources.

The use of "pluperfect" in Polish had a very wide use, if one has ready anything older than modern literature. Older Polish texts are dotted with the use tense. Indeed, at times a modern Polish reader will struggle with the understanding of some sentences as the "pluperfect" is not as frequently used anymore, but still not absent form daily use.

There is a distinct difference between:

Powinienes uwazac. (make sure you're careful)
Powinienes byl uwazac. (kinda too late now)
mafketis 32 | 10,542  
14 Oct 2009 /  #83
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.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
14 Oct 2009 /  #84
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.

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

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

What is it about?

Rather oddly, powinien allows a zero copula in the present and keeps the personal ending in the past.

How so?
How would you explain the following then?

- jutro ide na slub
- powiniens kupic kwiaty dla panny mlodej.

What does "powinienes" have to do with the past here?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Oct 2009 /  #85
How about nakazać then? If the investigation was urgent and he needed to impose his authority, then rozkazać would be used. The thing is, we just don't know the full nature of the sentence.
navajoguy80 - | 2  
14 Oct 2009 /  #86
Hahaha exercises from Hell ? Oh dear,do I have to call Buffy ? ;-) lol
Nomsense - | 38  
14 Oct 2009 /  #87
If the investigation was urgent and he needed to impose his authority, then rozkazać would be used.

Yes, and if he was from military police...

;-)

Oh, by the way

Delph, 45 pairs of scissors means 90 in Polish.

45 pairs of scissors = 45 (par) nożyczek.

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Para
sjp.pwn.pl/haslo.php?id=2498152
mafketis 32 | 10,542  
14 Oct 2009 /  #88
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).
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
14 Oct 2009 /  #89
'Powinieneś był zauwazać' is a simple past indicative in Polish (though it won't be translated that way in most other languages).

You tricked me ;)
Seriously, I understand your point and I agree. Still, the structure is a remnant of "czas zaprzeszly"
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534  
14 Oct 2009 /  #90
I thought it was a short history ;) ;)

Indeed, it is. But as I read it I pay attention to language structures as well. I try to be particularly aware of the use of the definite/indefinite/none article in the text. Though I think I'm fairly good at it (you may make your comment on that, if you like), the sense of "naturality" in using them still evades me, so I do try to follow their use while reading texts. What I've found interesting in the book is that they always use "Scottish history" without any article, while they always put "the" in front of "Scottish past".

Besides, the reading frequently brings back the memories of my "once-upon-a-time" lonely student journey all around ... Scotland at a time when no one at their senses could have even imagined the future Polish "invasion" of the British Isles ...

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