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A word about a dialect.


jump_bunny 5 | 237  
18 Nov 2009 /  #1
I remember the pictures, shadows and warm light of these old times when I was little. Me and other children played with toys until the late evening. The twilight had come and I smelled the bonfires and I heard the the sound of a train passing us, far beyond the fields where no one was allowed to play. There were no attractions at all where I lived. There was no merry-go-round, no swing or not even a bench. We only heard about the computers and only several families from my neighbourhood had a black-and-white television. My father would finish cleaning the pigsheds and call my name so I knew I had to go home for a supper. My mother would give me a plate full of Polish potatoes while my dad's nails were still black after gathering these potatoes. My parents speak a rural dialect although if the situation requires it, they know how to use the standard Polish. It came naturally to me and my brother to speak this dialect too but our education somehow made us neglect it. Everyone does speak some dialect (which, in the linguistic sense, means 'a variety shared by a group of speakers). Some of the dialects are somehow criticised by the society and considered low standard Polish which is, from the linguistic point of view, wrong. Everything that people speak and is a communication tool for them, is correct with all it's varieties.

There are numerous differences between what's considered an official Polish and what's spoken all over the country. I quite like some of the things my parents say. They tend to follow many verbs with 'se' (instead of sobie) which doesn't mean anything at all itself. It kind of emphasises that the given action will be done by oneself. For example: ' Zrobię' simply means 'I'll do' but if we say 'Zrobię se' it suggests the person will do it without help or company of other people. Villagers seem to overuse this word anyway and even if the action is to be taken by two or more people they still manage to fit the word 'se' in there.

My mother has her very own sayings and some of her favourite catchphrases are: 'Trzymajcie mnie w dziesięciu bo zabiję pięćdziesięciu' ('Tell the ten people to hold me or I will kill fifty people otherwise' - She uses it when she's angry or frustrated with something. My personal favourite, it's absolutely hilarious), 'Chuje muje, dzikie węże' ('Chuje' is a swear word and stands for 'cocks', 'muje' means nothing at all as far as I'm concerned, 'dzikie węże' means 'wild snakes'. I find it ridiculous because the literal meaning of this sequence of words makes no sense. She uses this when she finds something confusing or doesn't understand something - when she hears me speaking English for example).

You are free to add more examples. I'm also planning to update this thread soon. I hope you like the idea!
catsoldier 62 | 596  
19 Nov 2009 /  #2
Hi Jump Bunny, very sorry, I read the first 2 lines and got lazy, that is one long post!!!! I would read a shorter one :-)
OP jump_bunny 5 | 237  
19 Nov 2009 /  #3
No wonder, you're a soldier. Get back to rolling in mud with the rest of your illiterate mates.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105  
19 Nov 2009 /  #4
Interesting post JB.

I have been told that even when you learn Polish and speak it very well it is still very difficult to understand a lot of rural dialects in Poland.

I have a friend from outside Katowice, somewhere rural outside of there and I know that I have a friend from Warsaw who doesn't understand everything she says.

How difficult is it for native Polish speakers to understand each others dialects?
frd 7 | 1,399  
19 Nov 2009 /  #5
from the linguistic point of view, wrong

Haven't heard of any bias towards rural or any other dialects. The only way of speaking disliked by many is slang or dialect, more of a accent probably, used by uneducated kids from panel blocks of flats building projects called "blokersi" although used by many other generally uneducated people such as polish chavs...

Contrary to hating another dialect or accent I remember few girls in Warsaw got interested in me and my mates because of our Silesian accent ( although I think I don't have any ), we weren't using any Silesian words that time though.

How difficult is it for native Polish speakers to understand each others dialects?

I'm from Silesia, and I never had any problems with understanding what other people say and I think I've been to all regions that have any kind of a dialect in Poland..
Lenka 3 | 2,199  
19 Nov 2009 /  #6
It depends.I had a friend in high school that was refusing to speak polish (she was Silesian) outside the classroom.She said that she don't like it.

Understanding depends on words e.g.:
hasiok-śmietnik
gardina-curtains
galoty-spodnie
I live in Silesia all my life but I don't understand many words.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
20 Nov 2009 /  #7
What about overusing the o sound - a being pronounced as o, adjectives ending with o, that kind of thing?

It is all by chance that languages exist in their current forms. Standard Polish derives from a particular variety of Polish that became dominant through power and prestige, just as happens with any language. People in the south of France still speak their Occitan dialects even if they are often frowned upon. Britain is full of different accents even if differences in vocabulary and especially grammar are actually minimal. Standard English itself derives from a dialect spoken somewhere northwest of London, not from a London dialect as one might expect.

It seems to me that whereas in some countries, differences in accent or dialect mean relatively little (this is true across Britain, maybe even the English speaking world), in Poland, there is much less difference and people are far more likely to try to adhere to the standardised language - people who can vary their speech between the local and the general will tend much more strongly to "proper Polish" when speaking to other people from outside of their own local community.

that is one long post

I could do a longer one, but probably not a better one.
OP jump_bunny 5 | 237  
24 Nov 2009 /  #8
What about overusing the o sound - a being pronounced as o, adjectives ending with o, that kind of thing?

This is one of the things I think I might have mentioned to you when I was living at yours. lol
It is indeedy like that, the words that end with '-a' in official Polish, often end with '-o' in villagers' dialects. People also tend to say 'łun' for 'on' and 'łuna' for 'ona'. For example; instead of saying 'Ona jest ładna' ('She is pretty'), my parents would say '£una jest ładno'.

tandard English itself derives from a dialect spoken somewhere northwest of London, not from a London dialect as one might expect.

Received Pronounciation (as this is what I think you meant) is often believed to be based on the Southern accents of England, but in fact, as I was told at the University anyway, it is closer to the Early Modern English dialects of the East Midlands. It is sometimes referred to as Oxford English but I don't think it has much to do with the location of this particular area.

in Poland, there is much less difference and people are far more likely to try to adhere to the standardised language - people who can vary their speech between the local and the general will tend much more strongly to "proper Polish" when speaking to other people from outside of their own local community.

I agree. Every Pole is taught Standard Polish at school, no matter where in Poland they live and what the regional dialect is. The language people speak often shows their education and their social status.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
24 Nov 2009 /  #9
I agree. Every Pole is taught Standard Polish at school, no matter where in Poland they live and what the regional dialect is. The language people speak often shows their education and their social status.

Doesn't that go for any country?

>^..^<

M-G (when speaking his dialect with his parents, no other Dutch from outside the area can understand him)
OP jump_bunny 5 | 237  
24 Nov 2009 /  #10
Doesn't that go for any country?

About two percent of Britons speak with the RP accent in its purest form. You won't tell me that 82% of them didn't go to school!

You won't tell me that 82%

98 even lol, I'm sorry I had my blonde moment there!
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
24 Nov 2009 /  #11
jump_bunny

Accent has nothing to do with education. In the North of NL, for example, they have a very distinctive accent. However, the University in the main city of that area is known for the high quality of their education and research. Yet most of the academics who graduate from there do have the strong accent of the region.

What I meant was that everybody in every country gets educated in the standard language of that particular country and that regional dialects are being learnt at home or on the street. The fact that somebody cannot speak the standard accent of a language doesn't rule out the level of education of a person. People learn languages mainly by parrotting their parents or friends. If these talk with a dialect tongue, the child will take over that accent. Later on in school the kid gets re-educated in the standard version of the language (or the generally accepted version of it), and may keep the accent for the rest of its life, no matter to what heights this education may take him, or how low, for that matter ;)

>^..^<

M-G (is in dire need of coffee)
OP jump_bunny 5 | 237  
24 Nov 2009 /  #12
and may keep the accent for the rest of its life, no matter to what heights this education may take him, or how low, for that matter ;)

I don't think you understand what Received Pronounciation is. Accents usually tell us where a person is from; RP tells us only about a person's social or educational background - RP came to symbolise a person's high position in society. It is spoken by the upper class of southeastern England, at the public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
24 Nov 2009 /  #13
jump_bunny

But does it say something about somebody's intelligence?

>^..^<

M-G (coffee)
OP jump_bunny 5 | 237  
24 Nov 2009 /  #14
But does it say something about somebody's intelligence?

I never used a word intelligence once. Very often you get intelligent people who are not educated. This is a different story... although, you won't get educated people who are not intelligent.
frd 7 | 1,399  
24 Nov 2009 /  #15
Accent has nothing to do with education.

I think it does, uneducated people are lazy so they cut words short and they speak carelessly. I know people from different backgrounds from the same city speaking with the same dialect yet utterly different accent, a commoner from the city centre is one thing and a ned from a panel building project is another thing and you'll always hear the difference.
cinek 2 | 345  
26 Nov 2009 /  #16
PolskaDoll:
How difficult is it for native Polish speakers to understand each others dialects?

I'm from Silesia, and I never had any problems with understanding what other people say and I think I've been to all regions that have any kind of a dialect in Poland..

I lived in Krajna region (south-east Pomorze) all my childchood. My wife is from Kujawy which borders with Krajna and my and her family homes are about 50km from each other, so not very far. I always thought that we were speaking standard Polish at home (at least compared to ppl living around), but still I can easily hear differences in the accent between my wife's family and my family speaking. The differences are subtle and mostly in pronouncing some vowels or using some words or sayings, but are very visible for me (and probably for all native speakers of Polish).

However I have no problems understainding them of course, as well as other, even distant
dialects (like Silesian or from Kresy).

Cinek
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
26 Nov 2009 /  #17
you won't get educated people who are not intelligent.

Take a look around at universities, you'd be surprised.

I don't think you understand what Received Pronounciation is.

Forgot to react to this one previously. I fully and wholly understand what Received Pronounciation is. Every country with its own language has a version of that. In NL (and BE as well, for that matter) it's called Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands (Generally Civilised Dutch) and it's based on the dialect spoken to the West of Amsterdam in and around the city of Haarlem. It's the language that is generally accepted as the one to be thaught in schools and as main form of communication. Having an accent does not mean you're unintelligable, after all, ppl will understand what you're saying - the brightest souls can have the strongest accents.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
time means 5 | 1,310  
26 Nov 2009 /  #18
MareGaea:
Accent has nothing to do with education.

Very true.

I think it does, uneducated people are lazy so they cut words short and they speak carelessly

You seem to be talking about slang and not regional accents.
frd 7 | 1,399  
26 Nov 2009 /  #19
You seem to be talking about slang and not regional accents.

Well people in here mistake accent, dialect and slang all the time. Partially it is slang, partially it is accent because chavs in here use a certain accent when saying simple words. I dunno what is says about them, certainly one in 20 is actually witty ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Nov 2009 /  #20
The level of dialectal use obviously depends on your precise location. I heard more use of Germanic words in Ożimek. However, I also noticed speech difference. I needed a translation as the guy asked me Chces? It turns out he was asking me 'chcesz?'. He also spoke quickly which made it that bit harder.

Gwara is more noticeable in cities like Chorzów. Even my wife doesn't understand them completely and she is Silesian.

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