The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by Wlodzimierz  

Joined: 12 Jul 2013 / Male ♂
Last Post: 30 Apr 2014
Threads: Total: 4 / Live: 0 / Archived: 4
Posts: Total: 539 / Live: 186 / Archived: 353
From: USA, NY
Speaks Polish?: tak
Interests: sport

Displayed posts: 186 / page 1 of 7
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Wlodzimierz   
24 Apr 2014
Life / Being a Jew in modern-day Poland; Israeli Jew who is of Polish descent [269]

It's the assimilated Jews in Poland (as elsewhere on the continent) who appear to live more comfortably. First sign of kipas, caftans etc.. then there can be trouble:-) At least this is what I've been told by contemporary Polish Jews, living and working in Warsaw.
Wlodzimierz   
24 Apr 2014
Life / Being a Jew in modern-day Poland; Israeli Jew who is of Polish descent [269]

Neither do I Kartofel, since as a native-born American, I grew up believing that one is known by one's nationality of birth, NOT by their ethnicity (let alone the ethnic/national origins of their parents etc.)

Poland's remaining Jews originate from those families who have been living there for close to a thousand years, yet until Poland's independence, as subjects rather than as citizens, already a primary distinction! Furthermore, while visiting Poland, even though briefly, I kept reminding myself not to judge European views on national identity based on my own, since such ethnocentrism rarely yields positive results:-)

Jews continue to be judged according to outmoded stereotypes, much like throughout the rest of Europe (the more "enlightened" countries as well.) France for instance was once the cornerstone of the Enlightenment, yet she remained virulently anti-Jewish right up through the present.
Wlodzimierz   
24 Apr 2014
Life / Being a Jew in modern-day Poland; Israeli Jew who is of Polish descent [269]

Although I'm Jewish and have visited Poland, albeit only once, I've been assured by Polish-born Jews who still live in or around the major cities that anti-Jewish sentiment is ALIVE AND WELL, not confined to Muslims either, but usually widespread among rank and file Polish Christian fellow citizens. One informed me that all was well and good among his gentile colleagues at work, until one day he let it "slip" that he was Jewish and just by coincedence that evening, his tires were slashed and his car windows desecrated.

Coincedence my eye!!!
Wlodzimierz   
23 Apr 2014
History / Polish Easter Tradition is also pagan! [47]

A surprising number of European countries term "Passover" as something resembling "The Jewish Easter", side by side, so it seems with a vague reference to "Pascal ____", f. ex. Italian "La Pasqua Ebraica" (some nowadays call it simply "Pesach", just as in the Jewish tradition, from Hebrew, yet also Yiddish!), French "La Paque Juife" etc.. German has "Das Passahfest" and Polish even "Święto Pesach", though that association with "saintliness" in the latter is never far from the surfaceLOL
Wlodzimierz   
22 Apr 2014
History / Polish Easter Tradition is also pagan! [47]

Yet this celebration of "Wet Monday" (Śmigus Dyngus) following Easter Sunday is distinctively Polish, I believe, yet clearly in keeping with the Christian concept of baptism as renewal, not a heathen idea at any rate.
Wlodzimierz   
22 Apr 2014
History / Polish Easter Tradition is also pagan! [47]

For that matter, Christmas is a pagan holiday as well, at least the way it's celebrated in Northern Europe with a tree, gifts etc.

"Easter" is related to "Ostra" and refers to a pre-Christian, Indo-Germanic fertility ritual:-) "Bunnies" were a German addition, the human fascination with the ability of certain animals to multiply in excess, hence the expression "to multiply like jack rabbits".
Wlodzimierz   
21 Apr 2014
Language / Polish language would look better written in Cyrillic Script? [212]

I think he means that a number of Polish nasals have been retained, whereas they are absent from the other extant Slavic languages! Same with long (closed) vs.short (open) vowels, conversely absent from Polish, yet present in Slovene, Czech and one or more other languages:-)

Cyrillic was doubtless abandoned by Polish as it's language eventually found itself unable to equate certain letters with certain corresponding sounds.
Wlodzimierz   
16 Apr 2014
Genealogy / THE MEANING AND RESEARCH OF MY POLISH LAST NAME, SURNAME? [4501]

Most Polish family names end either in some variety of "-ski" resp. "-ska","-wicz","-ik", "-ek", "-a" or "-da", often as well "-szczuk"/-"szczak". The latter two though are most assuredly of Ukrainian extraction, as "-ko" might be reason to assume the bearer is of Slovak origin:-)

There're always exceptions, even within as relatively homogeneous a gene pool as Polish. My surname for instance, "Pajdo", has almost never been guessed as a Polish surname (which I can assure you it is). I've heard Italian, Spanish, even Hungarian and all of those guesses were wrongLOL
Wlodzimierz   
13 Apr 2014
Study / Private Universities vs Public Universities in Poland [31]

Not exactly "on-topic", DominicB, but I must gently disagree with your assessment of Polish literature! While Mickiewicz and Słowacki may not feature highly on literature exams, Polish literature DID in fact come into her own by the 20th century with poets such as Iwaszkiewicz, Tuwim, Miłosz and the late Wysława Szymborska:-)

As far as your advice to Murzin NOT to take courses taught in English but rather to stick with those same subjects taught in Polish, I couldn't agree more. Spot on, mate!!!
Wlodzimierz   
12 Apr 2014
Study / Private Universities vs Public Universities in Poland [31]

Absolutely! German universities no longer accept even qualified foreign applicants who do not pass with at least a "two" on their Sprachdiplom-certificates, usually from the local Goethe-Institute or equivalent qualifying testing center:-) To be honest, I think that's no more than right.
Wlodzimierz   
12 Apr 2014
Study / Private Universities vs Public Universities in Poland [31]

In certain European countries, such as Germany, until the last ten years or so, private colleges/universities didn't have the same reputation as the established, traditional state-run universities, e.g. Heidelberg, Humboldt U., Maximillian U. in Muenchen etc.

Perhaps that too is changing as education everywhere is turning into mass consumerism, whereby the student is the 'consumer' rather than the learner and the teacher the 'producer' instead of pedagogue and mentor. Where the as yet UNprofessional (the student) can now sit in judgement of their professors, calls into question whether or not if this trend progresses, teachers can effectively do their jobs anymore.
Wlodzimierz   
7 Apr 2014
Language / Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn [226]

Noone's "expecting" you to know perfect English, that is, to know English other than the way you do, Jan Movie. One would however expect such were you to announce to this Forum that you're an English instructor in Austria, for example:-) Then one might indeed hold you up to a higher standard. Take my Polish as another instance. While noone here expects my Polish to be perfect for someone who spent at most several days in Poland, I don't teach the language either:-)

The latter's another story entirely (eine voellig andere Kiste).
Wlodzimierz   
6 Apr 2014
Language / Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn [226]

Jan Movie, I'm still curious as to whether you think Polish is harder than English, that is, to learn to speak/write CORRECTLY, not just acceptably:-) Is your Spanish on the same "level" as your English, or can only a native Spanish speaker be the judgeLOL

Polish does have more morphological permutations and exceptions than many other Slavic language, except perhaps for Czech (I'm told).
Wlodzimierz   
4 Apr 2014
Language / Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn [226]

Right on, jon! As I've said umpteen times on PF, language difficulty's completely relative. Sooooo many folks out there claim English is "the easiest language", for instance. Those are usually the ones whose English is the WORST:-) Having taken a closer look at Lithuanian, I can safely say that Polish is comparatively transparent by contrast. The former remains proverbially archaic and has definite vs. indefinite noun declensions, something Polish doesn't have.

Albanian also has "noun clitics", article endings tacked onto nouns (as with Bulgarian, Romanian and various Balkan languages). Almost every language, it appears, has it's share of seemingly impenetrable obstacles:-)
Wlodzimierz   
3 Apr 2014
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1558]

I've often compared the case endings of German with the "prehensile tail" (Uebrigbleibsel) of O.E. (Old English), long since dropped from our language. For that reason, German speakers can handle Polish grammar a bit more easily than native English speakers with only a basic or working knowledge of high school Spanish or French, both Romance tongues!

Polish, with its frequent changes and shifts in spelling as well as case morphology usually prove overwhelming for American learners in particular. While at the same time, English orthographic exceptions and wildly flexible word usage can doubtless drive Polish learners to distraction, except of course if they've been exposed to the language very young:-)
Wlodzimierz   
2 Apr 2014
Language / Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn [226]

Lolku,

It's a common misconception that certain nationalities believe the difficulty of their language to be evidence of some "cultural superiority", i.e. in order to protect their nation from lesser invaders who might take over their society, they somehow created a language so difficult that the average outsider could never possibly learn it! Language difficulty is therefore worn almost as a "badge of pride". Not sure about the Poles, Balts, Hungarians or others, but I know for a fact that the Icelanders regard their tiny language in this way (....hence will fight tooth and nail in order to preserve it, much like with the Irish and the Welsh).
Wlodzimierz   
31 Mar 2014
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1558]

English has no diacritical marks, as have German, Polish, French, Spanish and a number of others. The fairly consistent spelling of Polish therefore makes it far easier to read as well as to pronounce than either English or French. In fact, Polish has many consonant combinations which are quite similar to American English, such as "-je" compared with North American "Missya" (Miss you) etc..
Wlodzimierz   
29 Mar 2014
Language / Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn [226]

Furthermore, Lithuanian (like Slovene!), I believe, also has a vestigial "dual" form in the plural. Polish is morphologically more complex than Russian, this is true, and perhaps only Croatian is the "simplest" of the Slavic group in terms of her inflections.

It's a similar situation with German vs. Dutch. The latter is more structurally related to German than it is to English, yet German case morphology is far more intricate than Dutch, which essentially has no cases any longer.

Jan Movie, not only do I concur with your statement regarding Magdalena, I agree that Cyrillic is what presents the biggest hurdle for foreign learners, furthermore, that the Cyrillic alphabet follows a different "order" than ours, e.g. A, B,C,D etc.. don't apply in learning Russian. Therefore, the order of the letters must also be committed to memory in order to spell and look up Russian words easily.

We are discussing the POLISH language, please stick to the topic
Wlodzimierz   
29 Mar 2014
History / What Was Happening in Poland around 1905? [73]

Right, sofijufka. Prussia was at the time, just prior to the turn of the last century, still the largest German "territory", not to mention to most powerful and influential. Russian, i.e. Czarist, dominance did indeed extend across much of the present-day

Slavic lands.
Wlodzimierz   
29 Mar 2014
History / What Was Happening in Poland around 1905? [73]

Poland belonged technically to the Austro-Hungarian hegemony. My grandfather for instance was born in Przemyśl, Austria round about 1893, whereas now, the same city is in Poland:-)
Wlodzimierz   
29 Mar 2014
Language / Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn [226]

Jan Movie,

I too have had my daliances with Lithuanian:-) It is considered to be not only the most conservative of the extant Baltic languages, its cases rival even Icelandic for unpredictable stem changes (Stammvokalaenderung) and intricacy of case usage. It also has about seven active cases, much like Polish.

While I've never actually studied the language, I taught myself some beginning Latvian several years back and became quite fascinated with Baltic languages:-)
Wlodzimierz   
27 Mar 2014
History / What Was Happening in Poland around 1905? [73]

Around the turn of the last century, Poland was STILL not independent! The Austro-Hungarian stranglehold would continue for years to come, its cultural influence indeed long after 1918:-) The great concert pianist Paderewski was elected Premier of Poland round about 1910 (??) and was considered a much-needed patriot for the nationalist cause.

Sadly, Poland was surrounded by all sides, the Austrians and Germans to the West, the Russians to the East. Geopolitically, Poland remained under the Russian yoke until roughly 1989!!

Ooops, I got the date(s) wrong for Paderewski's period in office. It was 1919, (following Poland's independence) NOT 1910!

Surprised nobody picked that up:-)