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SURNAMES IN -KO DECLINED LIKE FEM. NOUNS?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
13 Sep 2009 /  #1
Polish grammar requries surnames ending in -ko such as Kościuszko to be decliend like feminine nouns:
GEN Kościsuzki
DAT Kościuszce,
ACC Kościuszkę, etc.
And yet former finance minister Kołodko remained undeclined: misję powierzono ministrowi Kołodko.
Anyone knwo why? Has this chnaged, and if so -- when? If one writes to someone about an Andrzej Siemiaszko or Leon Bojko should one write: Już poinformowałem pana Siemiaszkę or Siemiaszko, życzyłem profesorowi Bojce or Bojko (if one does not know his particular preference)? Can one correctly write: Naród zaufał Tadeuszowi Kościuszko?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,239  
13 Sep 2009 /  #2
The rule and the norm in the Polish language is generally to decline whatever can be declined. Thus, the surname Kołodko should be declined, and indeed, it often is: I often heard "ministrowi Kołodce". Yet, some people, including politicians, insist - against the language norm - that their name shoud remain undeclinable. That was, for example, the case of the former PiS minister Zbigniew Ziobro, a case widely known in the Polish media world. He wanted TV and press journalist to leave his surname undeclined, yet the linguist who was telling the story to us at a language training at work, said the former minister was not right demanding this. Some surnames, however, may be left undeclined by tradition, but I am not able to give you any examples right now.

As for the name Kościuszko, I think the fixed historic tradition is to decline the surname, so you should always hear: Naród zaufał Tadeuszowi Kościuszce.

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