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Why są, why not jest??


Leonis 30 | 61  
3 Oct 2009 /  #1
Cześć everybody!
I would like to ask you one short question. In my Polish studentbook there's a picture of the city Katowice, with this title: "To są Katowice". Why is this plural? Shouldn't it be "jest"?
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
3 Oct 2009 /  #2
it's a plural name, just like Leeds or New Orleans or something
benszymanski 8 | 465  
3 Oct 2009 /  #3
Leeds or New Orleans or something

Yes, but in English we would say "Leeds is a nice town" whereas in Polish they literally say "Katowice are a nice town". This is confusing to us native English speakers.

It's just a fact that towns ending in -ice are plural (and there's loads of them) and therefore need to be grammatically declined as such.
OP Leonis 30 | 61  
3 Oct 2009 /  #4
Oh God. And does it have a translatable meaning?
Thank you very much.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
3 Oct 2009 /  #5
są=are
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
3 Oct 2009 /  #6
yeah i was just giving an example of a plural name of a city. there are examples in every language, and są is of course a plural form of jest
Leopejo 4 | 120  
3 Oct 2009 /  #7
Native English speakers probably have no problem with "The Netherlands", the "United States", which are, as opposed to England (United Kingdom), Poland, Belgium - each of these is.

EDIT: still, why haven't Polish gone the Russian route (Италия) instead of a plural... Włochy? ;-)
plk123 8 | 4,149  
3 Oct 2009 /  #8
haha.. nice.. and true.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
3 Oct 2009 /  #9
Włochy? ;-)

yeah and why Włochy not Kudły?? ;D
OP Leonis 30 | 61  
3 Oct 2009 /  #10
Oh thank you very much for the explanations, but in truth I wanted to ask if the name of the city, Katowice means something or not to understand if the plural form has something translatable explanation. I know, of course, what są means.

Thank you!
benszymanski 8 | 465  
3 Oct 2009 /  #11
Native English speakers probably have no problem with "The Netherlands", the "United States", which are

As examples of plural names yes, but we still say "The Netherlands is a great place to visit", it would sound wierd to say "The Netherlands are a great place to visit".

Likewise we say "The United States is a great country", not are
plk123 8 | 4,149  
3 Oct 2009 /  #12
it would sound wierd to say "The Netherlands are a great place to visit".

not at all. that's actually the correct form.

Netherlands is... is the weird way.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
3 Oct 2009 /  #13
in fact most Brits would avoid this and say "Holland". "The Netherlands" is used in more formal situations. Which is "correct" is not black and white as is often the case with language. Just ask 100 native Brits which they think is wierd and decide for yourself.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
3 Oct 2009 /  #14
Very good point. There was a thread on this difference maybe a couple of years back. There are numerous examples where Poles use są where we would use is.

The most notable everyday one is pieniądze są where we would say money is. Pluralising is an awkward business in many languages.
esek 2 | 228  
3 Oct 2009 /  #15
I wanted to ask if the name of the city, Katowice means something or not to understand

Probably most of the names of Polish cities/towns have some meaning and there is a reason why Katowice are called Katowice.... but.. for a typical polish person (including me) Katowice means nothing, it's just one another city name ;)
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
4 Oct 2009 /  #16
Katowice

well it may derive from the word katować which means to beat up badly, slaughter you get the drift lol. but seriously i don't know why Katowice is called Katowice
Vincent 9 | 860   Moderator
4 Oct 2009 /  #17
it's just one another city name ;)

Wasn't Katowice a German town called Kattowitz many years ago? Maybe the meaning is something German?
Nomsense - | 38  
4 Oct 2009 /  #18
Wasn't Katowice a German town called Kattowitz many years ago?

It was the other way around.

Katowice itself was first mentioned under its present name as a village in 16th century.[1]. Following the annexation of Silesia by Prussia in the middle of 18th century, a slow migration of German merchants began to the area, which, until then was inhabited primarily by a Polish population.[2] With the development of industry, in the half of 19th century the village started to change its nature into an industrial settlement. Katowice was renamed to German Kattowitz and around 1865 was granted municipal rights.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Katowice

Prawdopodobnie wywodzi się ona od imienia (przezwiska) pierwszego osadnika: dzierżawcy Kata, bądź od słowa "kąty" - tak nazywano kiedyś chaty zagrodników, pracujących przy wyrębie i przewożeniu drewna do kuźnicy bogucickiej.

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historia_Katowic

It probably originates from the name (nickname) of its first settler, leaseholder Kat or from the word "kąty" - which is how tree fellers' huts were called in the old times.

Vincent 9 | 860   Moderator
4 Oct 2009 /  #19
It was the other way around

Many thanks for correction and interesting links.
OP Leonis 30 | 61  
4 Oct 2009 /  #20
Wow, thank you all very much, I have learnt a lot of interesting facts here! :-))
gumishu 11 | 5,740  
4 Oct 2009 /  #22
Katowic - similar to dziedzic - means a member of progeny of Kat (or kat) (a personal name or a name of a function/title)

(cf. Szymon Szymonowic - aka Simon Simonides) - this is similar to Russian (or East Slavic) - icz (as in russian patronimia and also in Ruthenian surnames (and east Polish) (many Ruthenians polonized but kept their Ruthenian Surnames ) that's why we've got Kuryłowiczs (from Kuryło, or Kurył) , Zdanowiczs, Kasprowiczs)

Katowice is plural of Katowic - so the place (a village originally) is described by the name of progeny of some person possibly a founder
Lyzko  
4 Oct 2009 /  #23
'Katowice', 'Siedlice', 'Kielce' etc.... are among those many plural Polish city names requiring a 'są'. Polish also has various countries such as 'Kina' and 'Indie' which are plural, quite unlike English.

In the US, Minneapolis/St. Paul are also known as 'The Twin Cities'. I'd say/write "The Twin Cities" are my favorite spot here in the States!" However, I could also say "is".

Very odd!
Kamil_pl - | 59  
17 Oct 2009 /  #24
Yes, but in English we would say "Leeds is a nice town" whereas in Polish they literally say "Katowice are a nice town". This is confusing to us native English speakers.

You can say Katowice to ładne miasto, or Katowice ładnym miastem.
OsiedleRuda  
17 Oct 2009 /  #25
Except for the fact that you just wouldn't say that about Leeds or Katowice ;)
Lyzko  
17 Oct 2009 /  #26
One person's Hell is another's Heaven, I guess.

The British though too frequently refer to plural forms of nouns or institutions which strike us Yanks as just plain odd, i.e. 'The US are......' or 'The gov't have....', 'The jury don't', 'Microsoft tell their investors...' etc..
OsiedleRuda  
17 Oct 2009 /  #27
The British though too frequently refer to plural forms of nouns or institutions which strike us Yanks as just plain odd, i.e. 'The US are......' or 'The gov't have....', 'The jury don't', 'Microsoft tell their investors...' etc..

How would Americans say it, then? :0

Personally I quite like the differences. The Indian English "my head is paining" seems to get the point across better than "my head is hurting" somehow. And what's more, the Polish "głowa mnie boli" or Czech "bolí mě hlava" seems closer to the Indian, not English, way of saying it. Must be all that Brahmin R1a DNA we inherited, lol.

Maybe we should start driving on the right as well :D

Likewise we say "The United States is a great country", not are

A country is singular though, isn't it, hence is not are.

But I think it would change if, for example, you wanted to say "I live in the United States, which is a great country. However, not all of the United States of America are great places to live".
Lyzko  
17 Oct 2009 /  #28
The US is...

Remember, our country was fought over the very verb 'to be': Are we ONE or SEVERAL countries? Fifty individual states, but following one leadership, neither separate nor indivisible from the other!!-:)

The US jury is seen as a SINGLE collective body, precisely ONE, not several minds, coalescing eventually into a unified whole. LOL

The last time I checked, companies are single entities. The again, things might be different in the UK.

My first time in London, I mistakenly told an older couple how excited I was to be in Europe for the first time. I was summarily and promptly upbraided by the woman, firmly informing me that I was NOT in Europe, I was in England and that "Europe" was considered "The Continent"!!
OsiedleRuda  
17 Oct 2009 /  #29
Aha, this explains it, thanks :)

My first time in London, I mistakenly told an older couple how excited I was to be in Europe for the first time.

Yeah, but they were probably the only people left in London still wearing jackets covered in pearls :D
Lyzko  
17 Oct 2009 /  #30
Nooooo, they weren't Cockneys, sorry. This was Hyde Park, not Stepney and Bowe-:)
A more typical middle-to upper-class English couple ya couldn'ta found if it's been right out of Central Casting LOL The woman, as I recall was Judy Dench's character in 'As Time Goes By', the man was Lionel Hardcastle.

Remember too oodles of Poles in the center of the city, even back then!

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