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WHY NA WĘGRZECH ET AL?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
1 Aug 2009 /  #1
I recall once being told that such forms as na Ukrainie, na Litwie, na Białorusi originated because they were regarded as border areas of the Polish Rzplita. Islands and peninsulas are obvious (na Bermudach, na Florydzie, na Alasce). But why na Węgrzech and na Słowacji? They were never part of the 1st Republic nro are they islands or peninsulas. And the term w Czechach and not na Czechach is used. Anyone know why?
michalek - | 42  
1 Aug 2009 /  #2
great question :) i think it has no grammatical fundaments. they sound better when you put preposition "na" :)

w Węgrzech, w Ukrainie, w Litwie, w Białorusi - hard to say and sound wierd :P
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
1 Aug 2009 /  #3
you use na when you are talking not about the country but about the region. like na mazury, na śląsk, na sycylię, na kaukaz. but even if some regions, some parts of the countries gained their independence long time ago it still sounds more natural to use their names with na - na ukrainę ( ex ussr), na słowację (ex czechosłowacja), na litwę (ex ussr ). with some other we had no problem with starting to use their names with do: do chorwacii, do serbii, do czech.
Michal - | 1,865  
2 Aug 2009 /  #4
d na Słowacji? Th

It is certainly w Anglii for instance and it is also w Americe or w Stanach.
cinek 2 | 345  
3 Aug 2009 /  #5
na Słowacji

Actually, we say 'w Słowacji' more often than 'na Słowacji', at least where I live (Bydgoszcz).
Regarding Węgry, it may be because it was a part of Cesarstwo Austro-Węgierskie.
From what I remember, 'w Litwie' was also used by Sienkiewicz and in other XIX cent. literature.
So those rules are not so strict.

Cinek
jump_bunny 5 | 237  
3 Aug 2009 /  #6
It is an interesting question, aparently it only depends on tradition in Polish language usage and there is no particular rule. Countries that go along with a preposition "na" are: Słowacja, Węgry, Ukraina, Białoruś, Litwa, £otwa and some island countries (like Kuba - but not Australia).

w Węgrzech, w Ukrainie, w Litwie, w Białorusi - hard to say and sound wierd :P

It is not hard to say at all and only seems weird to you because you naturally got used to forms with "na".

chorwacii

Chorwacji

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