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Posts by lunacy  

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

Displayed posts: 73 / page 2 of 3
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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.
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).
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 / 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 / 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.
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.
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:)
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;)

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 / 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
Genealogy / Do I look Polish? (my picture) [246]

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.
12 Feb 2014

Wójcik is one of the oldest andmost popular Polish surnames, I found out it's nicely explained on the wiki page:

"Wójcik as a toponymic surname is derived from villages Wójcia, Wójciki, as a patronymic surname from popular in medieval Central Europe, as a first name Wojciech (Adalbert), as a cognominal surname from the word wojak ("warrior"), as from the word wójt, chief officer of a municipality (gmina)."

Wójcik is also a name of a bird (I suppose it's called Greenish Warbler in English).
14 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

But I didn't understand at all - so jeųzyk or jenzyk?

Correct is język as described: IPA: [ˈjɛ̃w̃zɨk], AS: [i ̯ẽũ̯zyk]

I wrote clearly that "jenzyk" in an example of a dialect-based pronunciation, a simplification, therefore not correct if you want to learn a "clear" Polish language.

102-ty isn't setny drugi? And 102 chłopców isn't stu dwóch chłopców?

Someone who is 102th = singular form, "which one?" -> sto drugi
102 boys = plural form, "how many?" -> stu dwóch

Singular forms answering the question "which one?" in mianownik [ordinal numbers] are quite simple:
the very basic rule is to conjugate only the last digit of the number (or two digits if a decimal number is last in the row) that is other than zero.

Here's example of saying which year is it:
Year 2000 -> rok dwutysięczny
Year 2014 -> rok dwa tysiące czternasty
Year 1002 -> rok tysiąc drugi
Year 1256 -> rok tysiąc dwieście pięćdziesiąty szósty
Year 1200 -> rok tysiąc dwusetny
15 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

Learn the basics first!:) What you recalled above is a declination of the word "rok" in different grammar cases. Numerals that describe a noun ("rok" in this situation) have to be declined adequately in the same grammar case.

The "base" I wrote as an example is in mianownik (nominative):
It's year 2014. -> Jest (który rok?) dwa tysiące czternasty rok.

The 1st example you wrote "dwa tysiące czternastego roku" occurs when e.g. you describe a precise day of the year, therefore "rok" is in dopełniacz (genitive):

Today is 15th Feb [of the year] 2014 -> Dzisiaj jest piętnasty stycznia (którego roku?) dwa tysiące czternastego roku.

The 2nd example you wrote "w dwa tysiące czternastym roku" - when you e.g. describe a situation which happened in a particular year, therefore "rok" is in miejscownik (locativus):

It happened in the year 2014. -> To stało się (w którym roku?) w dwa tysiące czternastym roku.

Declination with examples of "help" questions:
mianownik: rok (jest który rok?) - > dwa tysiące czternasty rok
dopełniacz: roku (jest dzień którego roku?) - > dwa tysiące czternastego roku
celownik: rokowi (przyglądam się któremu rokowi?) - > dwa tysiące czternastemu rokowi
biernik: rok (lubię który rok?) - > dwa tysiące czternasty rok
narzędnik: rokiem (z którym rokiem?) - > [z] dwa tysiące czternastym rokiem
miejscownik: roku (w którym roku?) - > [w] dwa tysiące czternastym roku
wołacz: roku! - > dwa tysiące czternasty roku!



[sorry, I was writing too quickly, apparently my mind is still in January]
17 Feb 2014
Travel / Places of interest on route from Katowice - Lodz - Gdansk [7]

I really appreciate the info, so if you think of any other (industrial / historical) please add them to this post.

This site pretty much covers most of the interesting places in Lower Silesia voivodeship:

To the must-see castles I'd add the one in Bolków:)

If you're interested in strongholds, take some time to visit Nysa, Kłodzko and Srebrna Góra (the last is said to be one of the largest strongholds of that type in Europe).

As it comes to the further travel to the north (on the way to Gdańsk), personally I'd visit places like Biskupin, old cities in Poznań, Gniezno, Bydgoszcz and Toruń, Malbork Castle(!)
17 Feb 2014
Language / Letter 'ą' and 'ę' pronounciation before 'z', 's', 'ś', 'ź', 'ż [21]

Occasionally too, I'll confuse "Przemysł" (the town near present-day Ukraine) with "przemyśl" (industry) when I write, though oddly enough, not when I speak.

Indeed :P

przemysł = industry
There's also a name Przemysław which comes from an older version Przemysł.
Word przemysł in old-Polish was a noun meaning ingenuity, cleverness.

Przemyśl = name of the city near Polish-Ukrainian border
myśleć -> przemyśleć = a verb meaning: to think through / to reflect on [sth]
20 Feb 2014
Genealogy / My grandmother's last name was Krolik, is this name Jewish? [66]

I realize that Krolik means rabbit. it also means king.

Królik means rabbit.
Around the 15th Century it was also used to describe a ruler (not king) of a small state, but that word had derogatory undertones. It does not mean "king", but it could be translated as someone "king-ish"(?).

I realize also that she could be Polish Catholic also. But Krolik is also Jewish name. If you look in JewishGen, you will see it come up a lot.

It's not a "Jewish" name, but to be precise it's a Polish name that was used/borrowed by the Jews in the process of assimilation. Calling "Jewish" those surnames from the JewishGen that have Polish roots/etymology is a vast misunderstanding in most of the cases. Your family could have Jewish roots, there's always such a possibility, but relying on the simple fact of surname's appearance in the records could be a blind alley of your research if there's no actual person related to your ancestors.

BTW, both my mom and my grand dad were Virtuti Miltari receivers.

The split of your family could have political reasons. Many of the soldiers or people honored with similar distinctions - people that stayed abroad (or moved abroad) after the war - were cutting off the contacts with the family left in Poland. It could have been because of different political views, but often just for the family's safety. During the first decades of communism in Poland it wasn't well-perceived to have a family in the "capitalistic" West (unless someone was willing to "cooperate" if you know what I mean) or a family member that was a soldier in Polish military (such person might have had the information about e.g. Soviet attack on Poland in 1939, which was a forbidden knowledge until the fall of communism). Both cases could result in series of brutal interrogations of the family left in Poland by communistic militia. It's still a delicate topic in Poland.

The split of your family might have tons of similar reasons, not necessarily on personal basis. Political/worldview matters should be considered too.
22 Feb 2014
Life / Do Polish people have a problem saying "I don't know" or "no"? [13]

Like saying "I don't know" is shameful.

That's what I wanted to write. Most of the Polish people (not all) would rather die than admit they don't know something ;) It's definitely a cultural thing and I experienced it in many ways throughout my life as well.

As it comes to larger cities, a lot of people you pass by might be not locals, but newcomers, students etc. - people who often don't know the surroundings well themselves (not yet), so they just guess on the basis of their own experience. It's definitely NOT a case of intentional misleading, but people guessing/assuming in order to actually help someone. The problem is, they often guess wrongly.
22 Feb 2014
Travel / I would like to take my two sons to Poland for a holiday - Any ideas? [9]

not the easiest one to get to

There are for example buses like San Bus directly from Kraków to Solina (to Polańczyk village).

I forgot: yes, july/august would be perfect for swimming. I'd only avoid most of the Polish sea resorts during those months - tend to be terribly overcrowded and expensive.
28 Feb 2014
History / What Hitler really thought about Poles? Hitler's letter to Himmler 1944 [62]

You're forgetting that in the beginning of the war Slavs were targeted as an ethnic group. Read more about the concepts of Lebensraum / Drang nach Osten / Heim ins Reich and the Generalplan Ost. From wikipedia:

"The Generalplan Ost (English: Master Plan East) was a secret Nazi German plan for the colonization of Central and Eastern Europe. Implementation would have necessitated genocide and ethnic cleansing on a vast scale (...). It would have included the enslavement, expulsion and extermination of most Slavic peoples in Europe. The plan, prepared in the years 1939-1942, was part of Adolf Hitler's and the Nazi movement's Lebensraum policy and a fulfillment of the Drang nach Osten (English: Drive towards the East) ideology of German expansion to the east, both of them part of the larger plan to establish the New Order." source:

Later on Hitler changed his mind in the favor of assimilation and germanisation plans - and here we're coming back to the article OP provided to see why.
28 Feb 2014
History / What Hitler really thought about Poles? Hitler's letter to Himmler 1944 [62]

Trying to put it short: academics (inteligencja) were seen as the continuators of so-called "higher culture", knowledge, awareness. Remember that there was no universal education as we know it at that time and they would be first to start protests or secretly educate people about their past.

It was more like 'life-wise' clever [smart? agile? resourceful?] - trait he discovered among common people after a few years of close research and observations.

That's all I know / read about so far.
2 Mar 2014

The spelling seems legit, Macioszek surname exists. There are 1966 people with that surname living in Poland now

It's in a group of surnames derived from the name Maciej - "son of Maciej" in a loose translation.
3 Mar 2014
History / What Hitler really thought about Poles? Hitler's letter to Himmler 1944 [62]

Slavs are about 300 million, this would be impossible.

Yes, Slavs areabout 300 million now, what does it have to do with the topic? Numbers of population grew rapidly after the 40s all over the world.

I think you completely missed the point.

Read again about the Nazi (National Socialism) concept of Lebensraumand how it affected Poland. It was "Drive towards the East" - mostly to the Polish territories, that were adjacent to the lands populated by Germans - and were to be inhabited by the German settlers (Volksgruppen) from the Baltic countries, Lithuania/Belarus and former Galicia (Ukraine and Romania), like in this German map:


South Slavs and Russia have nothing to do with that, so there's no point in reminding basic facts everyone knows.

I'd advise you also to read about Poles that were exterminated in Auschwitz:
3 Mar 2014

can anyone tell me what piascik comes from

The original spelling is Piaścik. Derived probably from:
- piasta (n.) - hub/head of the wheel
- piastować(v.) - to nurse, hold, take care of
- Piast Kołodziej
3 Mar 2014
News / Is this the first clear and open signal that Poland makes preparations for war with Russia? [163]

Maybe we should write more about people in Russia who were protesting against a war and were immediately arrested? otest/25282578.html

Poland is not preparing "for" a war with Russia. At most, Poland is now preparing for a defense, "just in case".