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Why Polish people use so many words to describe a situation?


krakow1 3 | 55  
22 Nov 2008 /  #1
Is there a reason why polish people use so many words to describe a situation? I am very interested to know. It is the same when asking for directions, it seems to take up to 20 mins to just establish a basic route.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
22 Nov 2008 /  #2
Is there a reason why polish people use so many words to describe a situation?

I spent ages on Friday trying to find out how to say something quite simple in Polish.

"The one metre twenty five to one metre fifty centimetre high Crataegus monogyna go in the same trench as the one metre seventy five to two metre high Fagus sylvatica."

That's not complicated, surely! Okay, so it may look tricky, but seeing as I already know the numbers (not grammatically very well, but enough to convey a message), the names of the plants (Crataegus is głóg and Fagus is buk), the same is almost the same in Polish (how difficult is to samo?) and trench seems to be something like rów (I've not seen it written down, but I imagine it with an ó rather than an u).

Anyway, my Polish colleague immediately became very ungelpful. After loads of suggestions from them that each consisted of one or two words (the ones I have already listed), one of them gave me a five minute long spiel that may or may not have been the answer I was looking for.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
22 Nov 2008 /  #3
long winded? yes. wordy? english is much wordier.

yes rów because plural is rowy.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #4
English is much wordier, I agree. Look at some texts and you will see just how superfluous it can be. I don't think, most of the time, that Poles are necessarily 'wordy'.

The simple answer is that English has a richer vocabulary. We have words for almost everything but, in Polish, one word can be used for different things.

Poles take a word as a central theme if you will. They then sub-classify it. For example, pilot (3 meanings). Better to serve these purposes would be kosz. It is the main subject but you can have kosz(yk) na zakupy, kosz na owoce, kosz na śmiecie, gramy w kosza, kosz do roweru. We just say basket (or trash can/bin lol) without sub-dividing too often.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #5
I find these linguistic theories rather naive.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
23 Nov 2008 /  #6
thanks for your knowledge packed post.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #7
You are having a laugh Magdalena. Rather naive, wow, what a long refutation you wrote. Where should I start? Then go and take it up with linguistics experts as they write much the same.

OH, edit time, I've just seem plk123's post, good to see that he was equally impressed by this 'translator'. I'm also qualified to do translating but I don't profess to be that good at it.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #8
The thing is, sometimes I'm just too tired for this sort of a "discussion". English has a word for everything - oh really? - Polish "sub-classifies" (whatever that means), and what has translation got to do with it? Are you confusing the Polish tłumaczyć, which means both explain and translate, with the English? Whatever. Have it your way. I know nothing. Good night.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
23 Nov 2008 /  #9
The thing is, sometimes I'm just too tired for this sort of a "discussion".

don't participate in it then
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #10
This sort of discussion, not this sort of a discussion. I said English has a word for "almost everything". Does that mean everything to you? You don't know what sub-classifies means? God help me if you are my translator! I even gave some examples, you clearly wanted a cheap hack and didn't even read it.

No, I know the difference between aspective forms. I'm fully aware what tłumaczyć means. I see you have a mac poppy as your avatar, is this where your humour comes from? Translation implies that you have a large vocab and knowledge of words, you haven't shown me that you do.

JustysiaS, right on as ever :) Respect!!
Switezianka - | 463  
23 Nov 2008 /  #11
I agree with Magdalena.

It's even not a linguistic problem. The fact that people don't give short explanation doesn't mean it can't be done.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #12
You were doing so well Switezianka. You are smart so please be so.

What does linguistics mean?
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
23 Nov 2008 /  #13
The fact that people don't give short explanation doesn't mean it can't be done.

translate me 'get over yourself' to Polish and see how short you can make that sound. you can't and that's the issue. there are words and pharses like that in Polish as well that simply cannot be translated to English using one or two words. it's got absolutely nothing to do with the person's vocabulary.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #14
One of the many google results for the above "mistake".
Also, I know full well what sub-classify means, I just don't accept it as a grammatical term here (to differentiate the Polish vocabulary system from the English). You seem to be claiming here that the English language does not have any finer distinctions such as bread basket, shopping basket, basket ball, waste basket - or do you claim to have a separate word for each?

In other words, I think that you've made up a theory that doesn't hold water.
Apart from which I still don't understand your "translator" hangup. I have not translated anything in this thread and do not plan to. And I wasn't talking about aspective forms either, where did you get that one from?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #15
WOW, big mistake right there. You take it as given that they are right. Comical error!! I've had this before, only to shoot the other member down.

So, translate pilot from Polish into English for me, please
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #16
translate me 'get over yourself'

"nie nadymaj się tak" would be one possibility.

So, translate pilot from Polish into English for me, please

pilot / remote control / test episode (also pilot in Eng).

Translate "facility" (the noun) from English into Polish for me, please.
Switezianka - | 463  
23 Nov 2008 /  #17
As I said, giving long explanations by Polish people is not the matter of language. Coming back to the matter of explaining the way, you can say:

"Go straight down this road, turn left at the second crossing and after some 500 m you'll see that bank"

or:

"You see this street here? So, it's called Piłsudskiego St.. Now, you have to go Piłsudkiego St. in that direction, you see? Ok, so you'll soon get to the crossing with Żeromskiego Rd. So, once you're at the crossing with Żeromskiego Rd., don't turn left or right, no. Just go straight ahead, right? So, after you have crossed Żeromskiego, you have to go straight (of course, you can't go any other way, so no point in mentioning it) and you will get to the crossing with Kochanowskiego Rd. Yes, it's the next street after Żeromskiego. So, while you're on this crossing, you have to turn left - remember left into Kochanowskiego Rd.. Then, you will see a Biedronka shop - so go past it. Then, there will be a post office - you have to go past , too. And finally you'll see a big, modern building, you know, with a lot of glass etc. And this building will have the logo of this bank. So, this will be that bank you're looking for."

I think this illustrates the problem of long explanations.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
23 Nov 2008 /  #18
"nie nadymaj się tak" would be one possibility.

that's still longer than get over yourself isn't it :)

So, translate pilot from Polish into English for me, please

remote or buttons :D (or pilot of course)

I think this illustrates the problem of long explanations.

but this is not what this topic is about
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #19
Kosz, one word in Polish, has at least 3 different meanings in English. Litter, bin, basket, basket ball, brushing sb off, carry-cot or even hamper.

English has a much wider application

You forgot about tour guide or courier, Magda
southern 75 | 7,096  
23 Nov 2008 /  #20
In english one word has several meanings.For example the word run.It is classical example of that kind of language.
On the contrary ancient greek and german languages have one word for every meaning.(and they use lots of complex words,words which are made by the addition of others and which sound terrible in english).

Slavic languages are further different because they have many words for the same meaning which adds some diversity since the use of these words depends mostly on the mood and soul condition of the speaker and not his desire to be accurate as it happens in german.

But if you speak a slavic language,you get always easily understood despite any grammatical or syntax mistakes,which again is not the case with english.

This happens in my opinion because slavic languages are built on certain roads of the brain which end in some common concepts and so if you present some elements of the road,the listener can understand what is going on and guess the end.On the contrary english has a lot of freedom which does not allow you to guess immediately the end of thoughts of the speaker because he uses by instict what is available for him without adapting common,prearranged forms because he wants to express his free individual approach and says everything unshaped as it comes to his mind.

While the German always respects the structure of the language which reflects for him to the logical structure of reality which he tries to express objectively.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #21
Comical error!!

If you looked hard enough you'd realise that this is a link to a quote from a book that's been actually proofread and published. I'm happy to make mistakes of that caliber.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #22
Well, good for you ;) Sorry, just think about it. This type of something, repeat something. Type of what? Type of discussion. Are you a native Pole btw, Magda?

Type of 'a' discussion is ludicrous.
southern 75 | 7,096  
23 Nov 2008 /  #23
Go straight down this road, turn left at the second crossing and after some 500 m you'll see that bank"

This is the way men give directions.

"You see this street here?"

This is the female way.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #24
I'm still waiting for the "facility into Polish" translation.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #25
LOL, spoken with the wisdom of a Greek :)

Facility - warunki, udogodnienia, możliwość, funkcja, budynek.

Congratulations on finding an exception, you seem to have found some energy.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
23 Nov 2008 /  #26
You see this street here? So, it's called Piłsudskiego St.. Now, you have to go Piłsudkiego St. in that direction, you see? Ok, so you'll soon get to the crossing with Żeromskiego Rd. So, once you're at the crossing ... this building will have the logo of this bank. So, this will be that bank you're looking for.

I'm lost now. I think I need more directions. But I think that was what one of my colleague was doing with my question about saying where the plants were to go.

I know some people who just like talking. If there is an opportunity to talk, they will. Others are much more terse with their words. I don't know if Poles tend to be more inclined to one type or the other.

I'm still waiting for the "facility into Polish" translation.

C'est tres facile, n'est-ce pas?

That's the last of the French I learnt at school. The rest of it has all been evicted from my brain by the Polish I have learnt more recently.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
23 Nov 2008 /  #27
Congratulations in

congratulations ON
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #28
How many phrasal verbs do you find in the Polish language? Old Norse, hello hello.

Many words that are Germanic are usually shorter. We had 7 main languages in Britannia from 1400 to 1700 ok, how many languages here in Poland?

Congratulations ON, yes, sorry, I typed it too quickly. If you look at some other posts, I often hit the I instead of the O. They are so close.

At least I didn't publish my mistake like those clowns above, LOL
Switezianka - | 463  
23 Nov 2008 /  #29
Magdalena, some English expression are hard to translate into Polish and some Polish expressions are hard to translate into English. Try to translate this Polish classic into English:

"- Może by zaorać co...
- A co?
- Ano czy ja wiem... Choćby i pole...
- Iiii...
- Albo co...
- Eeee..."
OP krakow1 3 | 55  
23 Nov 2008 /  #30
a book that's been actually proofread and published.

The book has obviously not been proofread to the required standard

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