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Should I learn both Polish and German


Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #91
No, I agree with Southern. There is no doubt about it that when it comes to literature and in fact engineering for that matter, the Czechs are well advanced on Poland. Meet any traveler who has been throughout the ex Communist Eastern Europe and everybody will agree that the Czech Republic is YEARS ahead of anything in present day Poland. I am sorry, but in comparison to the Czech Republic, the Poles have a lot to learn from them. The Poles from me get a D-!!

We share our history and culture with you and it is extremely humiliating

I never knew that Poland shared a history with England at all. Maybe I was taught badly though? I do know that history can be taught from a variety of different perspectives.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
1 Sep 2007 /  #92
There is no doubt about it that when it comes to literature and in fact engineering for that matter, the Czechs are well advanced on Poland.

I am half-Czech and have been called a Polonophobe on this forum before, so I should be beside myself with glee upon reading this, right? Well, not exactly. As I know both countries equally well, I can see strengths and weaknesses in both. And I strongly dislike such sweeping generalisations, as they are patronising and uninformed. If you wish to prove your point to me nevertheless, I would be most obliged for examples - specific examples.

I never knew that Poland shared a history with England at all

Let me stand this statement on its head: I never knew that England shared any significant history with Europe at all ;-)
We were always just "the continent" to you anyway.
Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #93
just "the continent" to you anyway.

No, again that is not true at all just like your szlachetny kon! We have strong links with France and Germany both through wars, colonization-even the Royal family in England has German and Greek connections.

nd by the way - KUL is not the best in Poland. I would say it is in a group of 4 or 5 very good universities, but UJ, UW and UAM would have to be tops. In my humble opinion at least.

It does not the least bit of difference anyway as none of these universities are recongnized in the West!

3) Russian is not a primitive language. Quite the contrary. I spent 4 years

Russian is very primitive in fact, on a par with Polish!
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
1 Sep 2007 /  #94
Russian is very primitive in fact, on a par with Polish!

And you are being childishly spiteful as usual!
Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #95
have looked into it and decided that my Polish is not sufficient enough to be acceptable. Remember that I would be talking to terminally ill people and their loved ones (from day one) in most cases and me blundering on in cracked Polish while they are already distressed enough is not acceptable (to me and colleagues agree), I will see how I am after a year but it's likely two years will be the realism. I'll continue to work in my field here and pick up more knowledge to take with me.

Our next door neighbour has rented out one of her rooms to a Pole who works in a care home via an agency. If these jobs exist in Poland then why are they all flocking over here looking for work? I think that your whole philosophy is over simplified somewhere.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
1 Sep 2007 /  #96
Russian is very primitive

Can you explain what you mean by primitive?
Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #97
And you are being childishly spiteful as usual!

Oh, come off it. It is a well known fact that the Russian language comes from simplified terminology used in the countryside a couple of hundred years ago. Compared to German grammar, well, there is no comparison.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
1 Sep 2007 /  #98
Is English primitive because all the complex words derive from other languages such as Latin, French, etc.
Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #99
No, English is quite different all together.
southern 75 | 7,096  
1 Sep 2007 /  #100
[quote=Magdalena] 1) Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia are not eastern Europe. They are central Europe. Check your map, please.

For the West Poland is eastern Europe.I never read any document describing it as central Europe.Czechs claim they are central europeans to make themselves distinct from Russians.They even deny their slavic origin.They say they are central europeans,not slavic.The Poles do not deny their slavic traits.I do not think they have a problem with eastern Europe term.Unless it reminds them of the german description of eastern terittories,the name that they gave to the occupied terittories of Poland in WW2.
Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #101
It is true to say that Prague is west of Vienna so it would be true to say that Czechoslovakia is central Europe. However, as Poland had so many problems in defending such a large area before World War 2 Russia helped out by accepting much of what was eastern Poland and putting it in to Russia, leaving Poland to defend a much smaller land space. Nowadays, Poland forms really the eastern buffer of Eastern Europe and Western Europe. The Poles are still slavs of course and are quite different from the Germans, Dutch and the English. You only have to look at them in the park sitting together smoking to realize that they would never make Germans!
osiol 55 | 3,922  
1 Sep 2007 /  #102
Where is the boundary between northern and southern?

You only have to look at them in the park sitting together smoking

Germans don't smoke in parks?

Don't some Germans decend from Slavic speakers?
Of course! They're the ones who smoke in parks.

Everyone in the world is of one family.
Except the Slavs of course, eh Michal?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
1 Sep 2007 /  #103
They even deny their slavic origin.They say they are central europeans,not slavic.

??!?!? Czechs deny their slavonic origin? Can you give me a quote on this, please? And how does geographical location within Europe change ethnicity?

However, as Poland had so many problems in defending such a large area before World War 2 Russia helped out by accepting much of what was eastern Poland and putting it in to Russia, leaving Poland to defend a much smaller land space.

How terribly decent of them!
Marek 4 | 867  
1 Sep 2007 /  #104
"Did I have to study Mickiewicz beforehand...?"

Well, it would make the reference a lot clearer.
Marek

Mihal,
Sorry to disillusion you, but it is rather English that is "dying on the world stage", and not Polish or German, the latter at least, still immensely practical, since, when foreign German majors DO actually speak German, generally, they know what they're doing, unlike the Germans who take all too many liberties with American slang and often don't know their arses from their elbows about grammar, idiom or style!!!

Marek

PS
In Florida, New York, LA and Chicago, Korean, Spanish, Russian and Chinese have long since trumped English as the reigning lingua franca. Perhaps, indeed hopefully in Britain, it's slightly different
osiol 55 | 3,922  
1 Sep 2007 /  #105
Korean, Spanish, Russian and Chinese have long since trumped English as the reigning lingua franca

Surely Lingua Franca means a language understood by different communities.
These languages may be important and be becoming more important, but
In one geographical area, there will only be one Lingua Franca (widely understood, crossing cultural boundaries).
Across the US, I believe that this is still English.
Marek 4 | 867  
1 Sep 2007 /  #106
Osiol =quote "Across the US, I believe it is still English."

If you count misspelled signage in major US-cities, requisite bilingual directions for every public service institution, the fact that in the New York area, "Telemundo Uno" has more listeners than Fox 5 News ever had and that in certain communities throughout the country, English is NOT REQUIRED even for voting and obtaining a valid driving license, frankly, I'm no longer so sure.

Marek
osiol 55 | 3,922  
1 Sep 2007 /  #107
That does not mean that Spanish, for example, is more widely understood across the whole variety of other communities. It may cross ethnic boundaries more than other languages, but how do an English speaker, a Korean speaker and a Polish American have a conversation in the US?

Poor spelling in English is not to be unexpected.
It has less logic to it than any other language in the entire world.
Michal - | 1,865  
1 Sep 2007 /  #108
In Florida, New York, LA and Chicago, Korean, Spanish, Russian and Chinese have long since trumped English as the reigning lingua franca. Perhaps, indeed hopefully in Britain, it's slightly different

Yes, America is made up of diverse communities but English reigns supreme in the United States. There are a lot of Spanish spoken in Miami but the majority of Florida is English speaking, Miami is only one town! I have been in New York several times and everybody seems to speak English, I have never heard Korean spoken on the streets and even if it is, I am sure that they use English in international communications.

Poor spelling in English is not to be unexpected.
It has less logic to it than any other language in t

I must admit that my English spelling is dreadful.

hat does not mean that Spanish, for example, is more widely understood across the whole variety of other communities. It may cross ethnic boundaries more than other languages, but how do an English speaker, a Korean speaker and a Polish American have a conversation in the US?

I think the point is that economics equals power and London, New York and Tokyo speak to each other in English. In the World generally,very few people know English outside of England, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the small island of the United States of America. Obviously, Polish has a great advantage when it comes to international trade! All the major banks, publishing houses, advertising, marketing ect ect ect around the World use English. As I say, with the collapse of Communism we are already seeing the Polish Language under massive pressure, the number of English words that have filtered in to the language is embarrassing! One reason why I do not ever go there since the fall of Communism. If they think so little of their own language then how can they be trusted with anything else? As for German, well, German has always been a minority language like Polish.

English is NOT REQUIRED even for voting and obtaining a valid driving license, frankly, I'm no longer so

I imagine from this statement that you have invested your life savings in German-Spanish phrase books!

German, the latter at least, still immensely practical, since, when foreign German majors DO actually speak German, generally, they know what they're

Who outside of Germany learns German? It is very much a minority language.
Marek 4 | 867  
2 Sep 2007 /  #109
Michal.

"Who..?" The Eastern European States, among them our Polish friends. German is still THE required second language of science throughout most of the civilized world, at least, at universities. Only in the areas of informational science has German been trumped by English! I think you're asking a question purposely to which you already know the answer, just to bait me slightly, which is perfectly fine, incidentally, I certainly don't take offense. My exchanges thus far in this forum have always been most cordial and I presume they shall continue so.

German is admittedly a much more precise language than English. As Polish, for example, has it's demanding aspectual usage compared with our rather vague series of tenses, German uses word order, case agreement and various conditional voices to a far greater degree of exactness than does English. As this is a Polish-English, and not a German-language, forum, I shall spare us all the litany of German difficulties.

A final note. As a translator, the rate per word/hr. in German as well as the major Slavic languages, is twice as high as in Spanish, considered an infinitely less "challenging" language! Hence, I decided to specialize in German and Slavic languages (surprise, surprise--:) )

Marek
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Sep 2007 /  #110
Who outside of Germany learns German?

The Austrians, the Swiss, the people of Liechtenstein, even in a small part of Belgium.
I had a few German lessons at school (in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, no less).
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
2 Sep 2007 /  #111
Who outside of Germany learns German

Me, and many others! Honestly, stop making things up.
Marek 4 | 867  
2 Sep 2007 /  #112
"Who learns German?" begs the question. Unlike Latin or Ancient Greek, both 'dead languages', so to speak, German was always the language which bound both East and West, geopolitically. While Germans never had to learn f. ex. Polish, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and others, ALL had to learn German, a language, much as with Russian, English or Chinese, of tremendous historical, therefore, economic, importance!

Marek

PS
Don't forget either, East Germany, a former Soviet satelite, required Russian instruction in its schools, not English!
_Sofi_  
2 Sep 2007 /  #113
Who outside of Germany learns German?

My mother's on-off partner did... but then he travelled the world and knows several languages. It gets frustrating when he shouts - for he tends to do so in German. I would laugh but it can sound like such an alarming language (no offense, I find the sounds harsh - but that might just be his tone..)
Marek 4 | 867  
2 Sep 2007 /  #114
Soli,

A myth about German is it's harsh sound. Really, it depends as much upon the region where it is spoken as both what is being spoken as well as the stereotypes brought to it from movies, etc.

Marek
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Sep 2007 /  #115
All the Germans I have known (there have been a few, and still are a couple of them)
speak with rather pleasant accents. The harshness myth comes from the way Adolf did actually speak - we've heard him in clips, not just from the parodies. The Nazis shifted the language in their own direction. I think they felt they could make it sound more masculine, etc. Language always has been and always will be a powerful political tool. German has since shifted back to a much nicer sound.

Tell me that Nena singing "99 Luftballons" sounds harsh!
Marek 4 | 867  
3 Sep 2007 /  #116
Osiol,

Hitler, as you know, was not even German, but Austrian! His accent however is Bavarian, to be exact, "Upper German", such as the type still heard today in and around Nuernberg, technically called "Franconian" (Fraenkisch). The latter roll their "r" sounds on the tip of the tongue (not the uvular or gutteral "r" of, say, French or Northern Standard German), appear to overpronounce schwa-sounds such as final "e" letters in words such as "muedE", "FuessE" etc., soften their "s" sounds, and in general, sound hauntingly similar to the Fuehrer's accent, as often caricatured!

Marek
osiol 55 | 3,922  
3 Sep 2007 /  #117
I see. Most of the Germans I've known have either come from the northwest or Berlin.
I like the word 'Meerschweinchen', though possibly not in Franconian!
Michal - | 1,865  
4 Sep 2007 /  #118
The Austrians, the Swiss, the people of Liechtenstein, even in a small part of Belgiu

Yes, but on the World stage, that is still very minor indeed. There is also of course, South West Africa, Namibia, which was a German colony until the First World War.

! I think you're asking a question purposely to which you already know the answer, just to bait

Well, no I was actually being serious. Languages are falling in popularity in England generally but German has never been very popular in British schools. I know little of science and technology but it does not meen that British scientists need to learn German in order to design things.

Don't forget either, East Germany, a former Soviet satelite, required Russian instruction in its schools, not English!

Yes, but they did not speak Russian at all.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
4 Sep 2007 /  #119
but German has never been very popular in British schools.

I don't agree with this. There was once a time when you either learnt French or German. There was no other choice.
Or, do you mean popular as a pupil's choice ?
telefonitika  
4 Sep 2007 /  #120
I don't agree with this.

i dont agree with anything Michal has to say! He is a strung up nose out of joint person!

In schools in the UK they teach:
FRENCH
GERMAN
SPANISH

and you can in some school learn other languages like LATIN .. POLISH .. ITALIAN ...

Think Michal likes to think he knows everything but actually he knows sh1t about stuff he just assumes and this is his downfall!!!

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