The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Posts by lunacy  

Joined: 3 Jan 2014 / Female ♀
Last Post: 19 May 2014
Threads: -
Posts: 73
From: Poland
Speaks Polish?: yes
Interests: arts, music, history, cultures

Displayed posts: 73 / page 2 of 3
sort: Latest first   Oldest first
11 Feb 2014
Genealogy / Do I look Polish? (my picture) [319]

They're actually my mom's eyes. Her dad's maternal grandma was Portuguese or perhaps even Sephardic.

Strong South European genes, if I may say so. There are a few Polish-Greek families in my home city and you could easily pass as their cousin, but in fact Portugal was the first thing that came to my mind - my former university had a few exchange students from there and you definitely have something similar about your appearance (at first glance).

Just reminding everyone that e.g. southern Poland has a relative majority of dark-haired people, a lot of them with dark eyes too (ethnic Górale Podhalańscy for example).

In general, the most common hair color is something girls call "mysi" ("mousy"?) unhappily - it's something between dark blonde and light brown with a greyish twist. A lot of women hate it and dye them lighter, as Magdalena wrote (one can always guess by the slightly darker color of their eyebrows). Poland being a "blonde" country is a myth, although you'd meet quite a lot of light-haired people around.
11 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

That's obvious:) On the other hand I probably still have a kind of "foreign accent" as I'm not a native English speaker;)

The point is to learn how the natives understand their language and ideas behind the words. That's why I'm trying to clarify the idea of "potrafię", it just would sound too silly or even unintelligibly if used in a wrong way.
11 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

Potrafię implies the skills/abilities you learned or trained yourself (I know how to), like:
potrafię play the guitar, potrafię draw and paint, potrafię bake a cake, potrafię do a backflip, etc.
Little kids often yell "Potrafię zrobić to sam/sama!" = I [already] can do it myself!

If you're saying "Potrafię dojechać pociągiem" it sounds like a kid moaning "But I know how to get there by train, I can do it myself";)

In such situations we use "Mogę dojechać pociągiem" = I can go by train (meaning: I have the possibility of going by tran, it will be convenient/suitable for me to go by train today)
11 Feb 2014
Language / Children's Songs in Polish [61]

Your spelling is good, you only missed a letter here and there:
Kosi kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, a od babci do dziadka, po gruszki i jabłka:)

"Kosi kosi łapci" is translated rather as "clap clap your hands":)

Yours can later go on for example like that:
A od dziadka do mamy, mama da nam śmietany,
Od mamy do taty, jest tam piesek kudłaty,
Leży pod łóżkiem, przykryty kożuszkiem.

Another option:
Chociaż gruszki i jabłuszka zawsze w domu mamy,
Jedziemy do babci, bo babcię kochamy.

As I wrote before, it can have hundreds of versions, people can easily be creative and make up new verses.
Quick google search and I have records like:
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Babcia da nam mączki, upieczemy pączki.
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Babcia da nam kaszki, a dziadzio okraszki.
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Babcia da nam cukru na baranka z lukru.
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Babcia da pierożka i tabaczki z rożka.
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Od babci do dziadka, dziadek da dwa jabłka.
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Od babci do cioci, ciocia da łakoci.
Kosi, kosi łapci, pojedziem do babci, Dziadek babcię schowa, ciocia nie da nic;)

10 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

You're right, but for example a lady in a ticket office servicing a foreigner and not speaking English, will ask a collegue for help saying rather "Nie znam angielskiego, pomóż mi" than "Nie mówię po angielsku, pomóż mi". Actually both options are correct, Polish is generally very flexible, but I think the first one is more common.

Yes, that's the point:) She'd rather say "Nie znam angielskiego" = I can't even say/understand a word in English. A person who "mówi po angielsku" would at least try to communicate:)

Both phrases are clear - everyone will understand that a person saying one of them can't speak English. Still, there's a tiiiny difference between the meaning of them, difference that is getting lost in the everyday language (sadly).

As it comes to the phrases meaning to ride a horse - I know the difference that I wrote about before from the people who are riding horse professionally. The best example: they would say "Jeżdżę konno" to tell that they ride a horse professionally (they are jockeys/it's their hobby/they do it often) versus "Idę pojeździć na koniu" to tell they are going out to ride a horse now (just the act of riding a horse). A person learning to ride a horse "uczy się jeździć na koniu" (the beginnings - how to - usually with a qualified teacher that holds the horse on a line - learns just the act of riding a horse) while later "uczy się jeździć konno" (by him/herself - the actual horseback riding in the open space). That's all I know:)
10 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

Languages aren't a good example because we say just "Nie znam angielskiego", meaning literally "I don't know English" and translated as "I don't speak English". In Polish saying even "Nie mówię po angielsku", normal in other languages like English or German, sounds strange.

Why? It is normal. "Nie znam angielskiego" = I can't even say a word in English, "Nie mówię po angielsku" (or e.g. "Nie mówię dobrze po angielsku") = I maybe know a few phrases, but I can't use English fluently / I don't speak English on a daily basis.

We usually also don't say "jeździć na koniu", but "jeździć konno".

There's also a slight difference, for example: "Nie potrafię jeździć na koniu" = I can't even keep myself on the saddle, I probably never rode a horse before, "Nie potrafię jeździć konno" = I can't ride a horse (professionally by implication).

Polish language is very rich and full on nuances.
9 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

Nie UMIEM po polsku. = I am not able (IN TERMS OF KNOWLEDGE) to speak Polish. vs. Nie POTRAFIĘ dzisiaj dojeżdzać pociągem na zajęcia. = I'm not (PHYSICALLY) able to take the train to class today.

It would be definitely: Dzisiaj nie jestem w stanie dojechać pociągiem na zajęcia = I'm not (physically) able to take the train to class today.

Potrafię - is used about the things we learned to do, the knowledge/skills.
Potrafię gotować - I can cook = I already learned how to cook.
Potrafię jeździć na koniu - I can ride a horse = I already learned how to ride a horse.
Also: Nie potrafię mówić po polsku - I can't speak Polish = I didn't learn [yet] how to speak Polish

Potrafię could be replaced by umiem in most of the cases.

Just thought of another difference between "być w stanie" and "móc".

Nie jestem w stanie dojechać samochodem. - I can't go by car. = I'm not physically able to do it, e.g. I'm sick, have broken leg or the car is broken (things aren't exactly dependant on my will - physical obstacles).

Nie mogę dojechać samochodem. - I can't go by car. = I possibly have other plans and cannot change them just like that, it would be too difficult for me to go by car.

Nie potrafię dojechać samochodem. - I can't go by car. = I just don't know how to drive a car.
9 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

Will THIS Polish article help as it comes to numbers? It has a pretty helpful set of the most basic examples and it's hard for me to find anything similar in English at the moment..

As Wlodzimierz mentioned, it always depends on the
1. number (different rules for the 1, 2, 3-4, 5-10, 11-40, 50-90, 100-400 and 500-900 groups of numbers),
2. noun's gender
3. and the grammatical case.
A good table of the numbers 1-10 for all grammatical cases is HERE: - it's in Polish again (sorry), but table itself is kinda easy to depict and it has examples for all the basic genders: męskoosobowy (pan), męskożywotny (pies), męskonieżywotny (stół), żeński (pani), nijaki osobowy/żywotny (dziecko), nijaki nieosobowy/nieżywotny (drzewo).

The simple example Wlodzimierz has started is in Mianownik and would go like:
(I chose pani=lady and pan=gentleman)
Jedna pani (Polka) szła / Jeden pan szedł / Jedno dziecko szło.
Dwie panie (Polki) szły / Dwaj panowie szli OR Dwóch panów szło [yes, that second form is acceptable] / Dwoje dzieci szło.

Trzy panie (Polki) szły / Trzej panowie szli OR Trzech panów szło / Troje dzieci szło.
Cztery panie (Polki) szły / Czterej panowie szli OR Czterech panów szło / Czworo dzieci szło.
Then it goes easier with the numbers 5-10, at least as it comes to the verb:
Pięć (sześć, ..., dziewięć, dziesięć) pań (Polek) szło / Pięciu (sześciu, ..., dziewięciu, dziesięciu) panów szło / Pięcioro (sześcioro, ..., dziewięcioro, dziesięcioro) dzieci szło.

Aaaand another gem for people who know at least a bit of Polish language: "Liczebnik polski" where you can type a number, choose the gender & grammatical case - and you'll get the right form of the cardinal number.

Leading instructions, tutorials, words język, często should be pronounced jeųzyk and czeųsto, but I often heard on TV and real conversation jenzyk and czensto, so... how should I pronounce?

Well, the simple answer is: you should always pronounce "ą" and "ę" correctly:)

Saying "jenzyk", "czensto" or cutting it at the end of a word like in: "sie", "cie", "pójde", "zrobie" (instead of "się", "cię", "pójdę", "zrobię") etc. is ALWAYS a form of dialect or regionalizm and if a TV presenter says so, it just shows his/her region of origin (or, according to some *cough* mean people, their "peasant background" which is a terrible misinformation in most of the cases) and a possibility of him/her being just a social climber who didn't attend the (theoretically necessary) diction training;) That's, sadly, the harsh truth.

You don't want to learn a dialect - you want to learn a "clear" Polish language. As Wlodzimierz wrote, once you'd start making mistakes, they become a habit, very hard to get rid of.

First, learn how to pronounce "ą" and "ę" correctly, just like for example Polish people are learning how to pronounce "ð" sound as in "the":) Don't worry too much because Polish people themselves are often simplyfying/cutting the sound of "ą" and "ę", but again: you don't want to learn a dialect or "street language" as the basics.

As I wrote here before, you have to be careful - "ą" and "ę" are rather soft and not too long (e.g. shouldn't resemble French too much) - overexpressing them resulted in calling "ą-ę" (or "ę-ą") a person who is overly snobby/pretentious;) "On/ona jest taka ą-ę" = He/she is so snobbish, unnatural, I cant stand him/her.

Girl in this short video has rather a correct pronunciation and tells about the basic kinds of numerals in Polish:
9 Feb 2014
Language / Children's Songs in Polish [61]

It's "Kosi, kosi łapki" (depending on a region could also go as "Koci, koci łapci" or sth like that, yours is clearly the first one) and it has uncountable number of versions. I don't recognize the second verse of yours, but it might go for example like:

Kosi, kosi łapki (kosi-kosi is apparently a diminutive for clap-clap sound, łapki for hands)
Pojedziem do babki (we'll go to grandma)
Babcia da nam mleczka (grandma will give us some milk)
dziadek cukiereczka (grandpa [will give us] candies)
9 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

How about:

BYĆ W STANIE - to be able to / being capable of - when telling about the general (either physical or mental) capability of doing something

Jestem w stanie Ci pomóc. - I can help you. / I am able to help you = I have the right resources/ideas or I am in the right state of mind to help you.

MÓC - can / could / may - usually when telling about your own will/wish/mood to do something
Mogę Ci pomóc. - I can help you. = I'm willing to help you (I might not know how yet).
2 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

Indeed, I'm sorry, it softens after the consonants: p, t, k, ch (correct me if I missed something please).
Theoretically, "rz" after them should be only softened (a sound between "rz" and "sz") but it's hard to pronounce correctly even to most of the Polish people, so saying "sz" in such cases is normal. If you'll ever have the occasion to watch old Polish movies - listen closely, they are sometimes saying the "hard sz"/"soft rz" sound in such cases:) Nowadays I heard such pronounciation among some of e.g. college professors, but in general it's considered as hyper-correctness of phonetics = not well-perceived usually.
2 Feb 2014
Genealogy / Bernatowicz surname? (I am starting to wonder if anyone in my family was American?) [80]

Yes, seems that the origins of that name are Armenian. Here's one text in English according to which the original form was Peŕnat'enc: (on p.4)

I only found other sources in Polish (but I suppose you could write to any Polish-Armenian community for more documents if you're interested).

Here's a bulletin from 1998, a whole page there is dedicated to the Bernatowicz coat of arms:[/url] (on p.18)

Besides that I stumbled across an article (two-part) from a "Kurier Galicyjski" newspaper, where Bernatowicz surname is mentioned among funders of some Armenian churches in Lviv/Lwów:

part 1:
part 2: (there's an old inscription with Bernatowicz surname in the stone!)

edit: the inscription in better quality:
1 Feb 2014
Language / "My heart has no nation." - How would I say/spell this in Polish? [13]

not always literal translation is the best one:)

Literal translation is the definition of google translate;)
"Moje serce nie ma narodowości, moja dusza nie zna granic" - that sounds very good to me and keeps the original meaning.
1 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

I still have to puzzle over the gender of certain nouns.

A clearly defined list of all the exceptions should be created (or maybe it exist somewhere already?), it would be so much of a help, just like the list of english irregular verbs for example.

I found texts in English in the meantime: (there's a useful graph showing types of the grammar "genders" in Polish) and
1 Feb 2014
Language / Is there a traditional expression used as a welcome? [18]

As Paulina explained, it's always "Gość w dom, Bóg w dom" (not domu*) and it's only an old-Polish proverb.
There are plenty of traditional forms of greeting/naming guests or the hosts (e.g. the form "mości gospodarzu" as a polite form to refer to the host). In some situations people were even expected to make religious or poetical references, sometimes people were using short rhymed sentences like "Uszanowanie, witam i o zdrowie pytam!" in a semi-humorous way. "Moje uszanowanie" was a courteous way of saying "I'm honored [to meet you]". Religious people were usually greeting each other with "Niech będzie pochwalony" or "Szczęść Boże".
1 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

1. "ą" and "ę" should be always pronounced as they are. Turning it to "on" or "en" occur in some dialects only. As it comes to "rz" after a consonant (like in "przemysł" or "krzesło") - its pronounciation softens. If it's easier to pronounce to you, you could indeed say "pszemysł" or "kszesło".

2. Are they all in mianownik? If yes:
305,589,627 mężczyzn -> trzysta pięć milionów pięćset osiemdziesiąt dziewięć tysięcy sześćset dwudziestu siedmiu mężczyzn.
156-ty człowiek -> sto pięćdziesiąty szósty człowiek
109-ty człowiek -> sto dziewiąty człowiek
2006-ty rok -> dwa tysiące szósty rok
1105-ty rok -> tysiąc sto piąty rok
1000,001-szy rok. -> milion pierwszy rok

3. It's an exception - singular masculine nouns that are non-viable take the mianownik form in dopełniacz: "Mam nowy dom.", "Mam nowy komputer.", "Mam nowy rower." but "Mam nowego mężczyznę.", "Mam nowego kolegę.", "Mam nowego kuzyna.". Is it more clear now?

4. "Tę rzecz mi dano" would be gramatically correct.

mianownik form in dopełniacz

Should be: in biernik, sorry. This article (in Polish) is a good explanation of the gender forms in Polish: (three types of masculine forms: męskoosobowy, męskożywotny, męskonieżywotny)
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Poles born under Russian control - are we Russian? [29]

So, are you able to answer my question regarding the participation of ethnic Poles in the uprisings? :)

Why are you so interested in that so much? And BTW if you'd read more about the partitions, you'd understand that after the uprisings plenty of people had to hide the fact of fighting or even change their identities / escape abroad in order to avoid the repercussions from Russia - the collection of data wasn't as easy as e.g. during the wars of 20th century, especially because all the communication was strictly controlled by Russians. There were better or worse organized groups of volunteers - soldiers - that were not only of Polish ethnicity. If you're interested, here's for example scan of a book which author was tryingto collect surnames (with short bios) of the people that died during the years 1861-1866 only (during the uprising and further repercussions):

Souvenir for Polish families: short messages biographical lost on scaffolding, shot, killed on the battlefield and died in prisons, tułactwie and Siberian exile since 1861-1866: from official sources, journals Polish, however, as with oral administrations of credible and comrades.
I can look for other data tomorrow if you're interested.

Poland didn't exist back then in the modern meaning of a "country", but it was a separated part of Russian Empire. Funnily, if you'll ever have the occasion to have a talk with a Russian historian, you'll notice that they sometimes have a tendency of naming that part of their history: an "union" with Poland. Most of Russian documents of that time were using the term Tsarstvo Pol'skoye (Kingdom of Poland) when describing the (ethnically) Polish territory. Russian wiki site is quite interesting.

Why are you so interested in that so much?

Ah, repetition, an obvious sign that I should go to sleep already. I'm sorry if there are any grammar mistakes (still improving my English and it's late here).

I found an official list of generals and soldiers of the 1930 uprising:

Book memorial in the 50-year anniversary of the 1830 Uprising containing the list of names of commanders and headquarters officers-, indeed officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the Polish Army in the same year decorated with the Military Cross "Military Virtue"

Forgot to add: that book from 1930 has a full list of generals & officials and then a list of those soldiers who were awarded with the Virtuti Military order (not all soldiers).
31 Jan 2014
Travel / Palm trees in Poland [19]

In huge pots and they are moved to glasshouses for the colder months;) In nature - they don't.
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Poles born under Russian control - are we Russian? [29]

Guess why I wrote 'after 1831' ... :)

What about the January Uprising?:) Polish territory (ethnically) was never a fully integrated part of Russia. There were completely separated civil laws established for the provinces of the Kingdom of Poland, an example could be that book from 1896:
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Poles born under Russian control - are we Russian? [29]

After 1831, there was no such thing as a Polish territory.

Territory that was Polish before the partitions or: territories that were ethnically Polish. Also: just reminding you that there was for example such thing like Kingdom of Poland also known as Congress Poland (or informally Vistula Land) under the partitions - a puppet state of Russia - the russification of it was strenghtened only after the uprisings. "Polish territory under partitions" is a correct term widely used by historians in the meaning of ethnicity.
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Andruszkiewicz, Judycki surnames [20]

I doubt it.

It might be true though! Szlachta was very diverse as it comes to their origins - people tend to foget that Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth was full of different nationalities, all were equally likely to gain the title for their deeds or wartime merits, Polish was "only" the official language. BTW szlachta was quite often poor [szlachta zaściankowa, szlachta czynszowa], and they didn't resemble the western "nobles" so the concept of szlachta shouldn't be compared to it, just reminding the facts.

I found an official list of szlachta that lived in Vilinius region here: [in Polish but it's a list only - there are both Andruszkiewicz and Judycki surnames]
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Poles born under Russian control - are we Russian? [29]

Well, you're forgetting that Poland was a real melting pot back then, full of different cultures living next to each other. Your personalancestors could be mixed, it wasn't that uncommon. Your "Russian" ancestor could be indeed Russian or russified. "Poland" before partitions was actually Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, people were moving/travelling freely, so it's completely normal that you could have Lithuanian ancestry that was living in the Polish territory under partitions. etc. etc.

To simplify - there were Polish people callingand feelingthemselves Polish, there were Lithuanian people following their Lithuanian traditions, there were Ukrainians cherishing their Ukrainian legacy, same with Jews, Belarusians, Armenians, Lemkos, Tatars and tens of other cultures - all were living here under the partitions.

If there's a question particularly about Poles born under Russian control - the natural answer is: they were Polish.
31 Jan 2014
Language / -ski/-ska, -scy/ski, -wicz - Polish surnames help [182]

Polish ending is '-ski'; '-sky' is Russian or Ukrainian, not Polish

Nope. The endings "-ski", "-cki" or "-dzki" were traditionally given to Polish noblemen since early middle ages, first example of it was written down in 1282. It was later used by Ukrainian or Latvian people who were polonizing their surnames.

"-ski" and the others above are equivalent of German "von" or French "de"
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Poles born under Russian control - are we Russian? [29]

Ah, this question is always so silly.
I always give the example of Tibet - officially it belongs to the territory of China (as Tibet Autonomous Region), but no Tibetan would call him/herself Chinese. Tibetans have their own history, culture, traditions, religion, etc. etc. etc. It was basically the same with Poland under the partitions.
31 Jan 2014
Genealogy / Was my moms family (Kowalsky) Russian or Polish? [33]

Oh, I didn't know the context before these topics were merged-_-
It's almost certain that they were Polish Jews then. It's quite clear when I look at the spelling. Russified would be e.g. Kovalsky (Poland is quite unique as it comes to using "w"). Similar with Manischewitz. The "y" at the end of Kowalsky was probably changed from "i" by the American officials when your family arrived in States - it was quite common because Polish people wanted to make their names easier to spell for the Americans.

Also: you wrote that they converted to Roman Catholicism [main religion in Poland] - while main religion of Russia is [Russian] Orthodox. This is another point in favor of their Polish ancestry.
31 Jan 2014
Life / Does Poland have any particular artistic style in regard to paintings/drawings? [2]

It's really an interesting question. I've been thinking for a while and can't give you one defined answer. Polish art is really diverse, although there are a few different styles that are quite characteristic for Poland or begun here.

One is a style emerged from the "Ruch" ("Movement") art group, inspired by the traditional Slavic folklore art (I believe it's sometimes called "naive"?), especially from the Podhale region. Artists were simplyfying the shapes and using geometrical forms.

Władysław Skoczylas:

Pejzaż Podhalański

Zofia Stryjeńska:


The artists Tamara £empicka, who emmigrated to USA, was very close with some members of that movement and that could be seen in her art:

Green Dress

The fantastic artist Stanisław Szukalskiwas also inspired by folklore art:

Other than that, the surreal and/or symbolical movements became pretty popular here, at first thanks to the Young Poland (Młoda Polska) movement and then mostly thanks to the so-called Polish School of Posters (Polska szkoła plakatu) - google them for hundreds of examples.

Here's a great article about the Polish School of Posters, full of examples:

The Legacy Of Polish Poster Design

My personal favourites are those leaning towards the more "realistic"/soft style of drawing (by that I mean - less geometrical), for example:

Wiesław Wałkuski:


Franciszek Starowieyski:

Those surreal, sometimes disturbing tendencies were very common, just look at the more modern artists like:

Zdzisław Beksiński:


Tomasz Alen Kopera:

Dariusz Zawadzki:

Daniel Pielucha:


But going a bit back in time, I just have to mention the very popular scenes with horses - either with riders or harnessed to carriages. The dynamics of lines and shapes was very important in them, regardless of the style!!!

Zygmunt Ajdukiewicz:


Józef Chełmoński:


Stanisław Kaczor-Batowski:

szarża husarii

Wojciech Kossak:


Tadeusz Rybkowski:

napad wilków

Czesław Wasilewski (Zygmuntowicz):


Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski:


I could think of a few other typologies, if you're interested (I was studying art), but it's hard to focus on the drawing style only. Maybe some other users noticed any other interesting tendencies.