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Posts by Marek  

Joined: 15 Feb 2007 / Male ♂
Last Post: 16 Jun 2009
Threads: Total: 4 / Live: 0 / Archived: 4
Posts: Total: 867 / Live: 250 / Archived: 617
From: Nowy Jork
Speaks Polish?: Tak
Interests: rozgrywki, podrozy

Displayed posts: 250 / page 2 of 9
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Marek   
24 Jan 2009
Polonia / Ever been to Sweden? [185]

The Danes are considered throughout Scandinavia to be more easygoing than either the Swedes, the Norwegians and the Finns. Having spent some time in both Denmark and Sweden at least, I can agree. Probably in terms of pronounciation and even grammar, the Swedes speak better English on the whole than any of the other Scandinavians. This is not to say however, that it's terribly good. We in the States tend to form impressions of foreign countries according to the "face" their political leaders put on. Believe me, not all Swedes speak English as fluently and delightfully as former chief weapons' inspector for the United Nations Hans Blix, anymore than do most Israelis speak English like Abba Eban or Bibi Netanyahu.--:)
Marek   
14 Jan 2009
Language / Are the languages of Russian and Polish similar at all? [94]

I found Russian much easier to pick up having already learned Polish. The other way round? Not so sure-:)

Above all, the case system and aspectual issues of Polish verbs made acquiring a second Slavic language ever so much simpler. Only thing about Russian for me was, of course, the alphabet. That was though just a mechanical problem and I memorized it fairly quickly.
Marek   
8 Jan 2009
Life / Why do people think that I'm Polish ? [92]

Wahldo, noone ever even initmated Grass is "half-Polish", merely that he himself attributes his coarse brownish/black (now gray!!) hair and dark eyes to Kashubian forebearers-:) His facial features however, are clearly Germanic and not Slavic.

Now the Nazis, as we know, were oddly selective as to whom they deemed 'worthy' (diensttauglich) of joining the SS! So-called "Germanized Slavs", considered more Germanic than Slavic, WERE allowed in the SA. the SS, even the Einsatzgruppen, if they could evidence suitable 'pedigree' (eine artgleiche Ahnentafel).
Marek   
7 Jan 2009
Life / Why do people think that I'm Polish ? [92]

Many Poles can and often do look like North Germans: Tall, blond, light-eyed and fair-skinned. Some Polish women I observed have jet black hair with light-blue eyes and angular features, much like Germans and Swedes. I'm almost certain though that their hair is dyed, as I've yet to encounter a Pole with naturally occurring coarse black hair.

Kashubs in Germany do in fact have dark coarse hair. The famous German author Guenter Grass had such colored hair when he was a good deal younger. He takes pride in saying that at least one of his parents was not Aryan/Teutonic, but instead of Slavic origin, as with millions of his fellow countrymen-:)
Marek   
5 Jan 2009
Life / Why do people think that I'm Polish ? [92]

From the physical appearance alone, I frequently confuse Poles with Ukrainians.
Czechs tend to look slightly more 'Germanic', particularly the square jaw and deep set eyes. This Asiatic-type fold I mentioned I've never seen among Czechs, incidentally!
Marek   
4 Jan 2009
Life / Why do people think that I'm Polish ? [92]

My experience is that Poles, particularly the men, are usually tall, compared even with English or Irish, and are almost always fair-haired and blue-eyed with a normally rosy complexion. Moreso than Germans or Scandinavian, Poles tend to have charactaristically broad faces with high cheekbones and a slight Asiatic fold to even light eyes which can look strikingly handsome on both men and women!

This though is only the physical aspect. After a Pole has opened their mouth, the open, yet nasal, pronounciation of typically closed vowels in English, e.g. the 'o-sound' in "hello" or "no" is often a dead giveaway. The rhythm too is much different from Russian or German, closer in fact with Czech in the animated, chirpy quality to the speech.
Marek   
28 Dec 2008
Language / Old Polish Vs New Polish [29]

Slick, I'm far from either a Polish-American or a native speaker, but can only surmise that most US citizens of Polish descent, say from in and around the Chicago area, learned a slang or country Polish from their working-class parents or grandparents.

Certain regions of Poland have their own specific dialects. It's the same with German-Americans who speak German at Stammtisch clubs with other German-Americans, but who et lost in a German forum. For one thing, language changes and many second or third generation American speakers of Polish or German may well speak a language which hasn't kept up with changes over the past century and so on.
Marek   
20 Dec 2008
Polonia / Poles in Norway? Polish community in Oslo. [43]

'Nynorsk' used to be called 'Landmaal until at least sixty years ago, when it was officially changed, much as 'Bokmaal' was changed from 'Riksmaal'.

Jeg laeser og forstaar norsk, men jeg kan ickje snakke norsk.
Marek   
12 Dec 2008
Language / Ukrainian language similar to Polish? [236]

Apropos the previous poster's message, an older gentleman from Warsaw who had lived through the post-War period of the Gomułka era during the mid-60's, once remarked half kidding 'All Poles understand Russian, but NOONE speaks it!', which was undoubtedly a not so veiled reference to Russian as the "imperialist" lan-

guage of the Communist epoch.

There's allegedly a well-known joke which is the same in Russian as in Ukrainian. LOL. A Pole however, might not necessarily understand the punch line-:)

Wish I could recall it.
Marek   
11 Dec 2008
Language / Ukrainian language similar to Polish? [236]

No, I wouldn't necessarily have understood that sentence--:) Probably would've have taken me a few to figure it out CORRECTLY (as opposed to just word for word). And yours is a most basic utterance, so I'm slightly embarrassed!
Marek   
10 Dec 2008
Language / Ukrainian language similar to Polish? [236]

Being a strongly nationalistic (not only patriotic) people, I'm not sure a Ukrainian would agree totally with you. For me, Ukrainian sounds much closer to Russian than to Polish, above all due to those infamous palatalized consonants 'd' and 't' in both Russian and Ukrainian. Again, some greetings and base vocabulary appear more recognizable to a Polish speaker, I think-:)
Marek   
10 Dec 2008
Language / Ukrainian language similar to Polish? [236]

As a non-Ukrainian (as well as non-Polish) native speaker, I can understand Ukrainian through Polish more easily than Russian, even though I actually studied Russian formally, but never Ukrainian-:)

False friends are a problem, of course, as they are in ALL closely related languages, e.g. Polish/Russian/Ukrainian, Dutch vs. German, Danish vs. Swedish, Spanish vs. Portuguese or Finnish vs. Estonian......

Spoken Ukrainian is harder than the standard written variety, for instance, a basic newspaper headline or article. Hiere, i can sometimes figure out the root meaning from Polish, but not too often!
Marek   
8 Dec 2008
Language / The Polish language - it's bloody hard! [210]

Well. in addition to it's being f_ _ _ _ g impenetrable looking to anyone but a bleedin' Navajo or perhaps Athabaskan-language family speaker, it's verb conjugations seem to make Polish et al. look like a jolly romp through Battersea Park!!-:)

Plus, it has NO WRITTEN GUIDE, ('cuz it's not a written language), ergo whoever the hell feels like speaking it, he or she can do it any way they bloody please! BRRRRR, scary, mate.
Marek   
8 Dec 2008
Language / The Polish language - it's bloody hard! [210]

I second the congrats, Seanus!!

Well done, fellow struggler-:)-:)--:)

As far as the difficulty of Polish, I've recently made forrays into Navajo and found that it was considered the ideal language for code during WWII owing to its unusual complexity, not the least of which, it's relatively small speaker percentage in the world-:)
Marek   
13 Nov 2008
Language / Word order; simple & continuous tenses; definite/indefinite articles [13]

Thanx, that's the first time I've ever heard this wonderful book acknowledged as a valuable source tool!!--:)

My Polish students had numerous hurdles to overcome (not the least of which learning to curb Polish aggressive curiosity within an Anglo-Saxon context) and the English tenses proved even harder than American English pronounciation.

Word order used to confound the bejesus out of 'em: 'VAAIIRRR YU ARRR GOINK, MISTERR?' was what one of them would ask repeatedly almost every day, inspite of constant gentle yet insistent correction! And he was only in his twenties!

The women learned faster, which should come as no surprise.
Marek   
10 Nov 2008
Language / Word order; simple & continuous tenses; definite/indefinite articles [13]

Practically ALL Polish verbs are paired aspectually; 'mówić'/'mawiać','pisać'/'pisywać', 'zadzwonić'/'dzwonić' etc. Although not every verb follows this rule, your best bet in helping to understand the rules written in English is "500 Polish verbs - conjugated in all tenses"! The intro. got me through first year Polish and the back of the book has games and puzzles which reinforce the structures mentioned in the text.

Other than that, there have been literally umpteen in-depth linguistic articles on this subject, many in English--:)!
Marek   
6 Nov 2008
Language / Poland in different languages? [74]

Tak, tak zapewno! Ale może być nie zrozmialeś moją przeszła wiadomość. To NIE było moje zdanie!!
Marek   
6 Nov 2008
Language / Word order; simple & continuous tenses; definite/indefinite articles [13]

Polish, like the other Slavic languages (as Krzysztof and other native speakers have explained) uses 'aspects', i.e. ways of perceiving motion, where English and most non-Slavic European languages use 'tense' or time modes, e.g. "I go". meaning "I am in motion on foot somewhere every day, that is, regularly = "Chodzę do szkoły". (I go to school/I am a student or pupil) vs. "I am going (..to school)". with the sense of "I find myself presently in motion toward school. = Idę do szkoły. Here, Polish uses two compeltely separate verbs 'chodzić' and 'iść', whereas English applies two different tenses of the SAME verb!

Multiply the above example by literally uncountable verbs with independent aspect forms, and you'll quickly see both the problems Poles have learning English as well what English speakers must endure learning Polish-:)
Marek   
6 Nov 2008
Language / Poland in different languages? [74]

Bondi,

I trust I didn't convey the opposite! Certainly, the degree of 'cross-pollination' between Hungarian and Slavic languages, such as Polish, to the extent indicated in your nicely informative post cannot be denied.

I still maintain however, as a Westerner who learned Polish first at around the start of my thirties, and Hungarian not all that long after, that I found Hungarian a far more challenging language, despite my bilingual upbringing; German wasn't of much use!

Perhaps a native speaker of either Polish or Hungarian, experienced at teaching it to foreigners, might gently disagree--:)
Marek   
5 Nov 2008
Language / Poland in different languages? [74]

'.......and found it more difficult than Polish......'

...precisely because for native English speakers like ourselves, there are precious few "anchors" to grasp onto for support, i.e. EVERYTHING looks foreign!! In addition, Polish has an intonational rhythm, in Hungarian, the accent is always on the first syllable, even in many of their polysyllabic words and place names, and there is also even less vocalic recduction than in Polish, so that every single letter must be pronounced separately!! Try to imagine the first Dracula Hollywood film star Bela Lugosi "GUUD EEVENINK, AI AHMM DRRRAKUULAA, AI BEED YUU VALLKAWMM.....", with none of the slurring, schwa-like effects of, say, English or German,

Furthermore, if you literally translate the Hungarian meanings od certain key phrases literally, the impression is often more foreign-sounding than in Polish--:)
Marek   
1 Nov 2008
Language / Recommended for learners: Michel Thomas Method Polish Audiobook [60]

"a German accent...."

Ever heard or sat in on an English class in Germany?? The teacher often has such a strong native accent that it's a miracle the pupils learn to speak decent English at all.

In Poland it's probably the same.-:)
Marek   
30 Oct 2008
Language / Poland in different languages? [74]

Oh, I agree here with Mafketis 100%! I mean, at least there are some common markers in Polish that appear to correspond with other Indo-European tongues; prepositions, detached pronouns, frequency of related Latin/European-based vocabulary, similar sentence structure to English, as well as to German.

With Hungarian? I was out on a limb at first; enclitic pronouns, those definite vs. indefinite conjugations I mentioned earlier, and of course, the complete non-Indo-European word base that makes almost the entire language sound all but incomprehensible! And then, those numerous cases (roundabout 32 at last count) vs. a mere seven in Polish, four in German......, the 'defective' verb "to have", plus the various double meanings of everyday nouns, e.g. 'ido' with two dots above the 'o' meaning both 'time' and 'weather' (rather like Spanish and French here), depending on the context, or 'eg' with an acute accent over the 'e' meaning 'sky', 'firmament' (heavens) or 'fire' etc...

Not a language for the faint hearted--:)