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Can accidentally using the wrong gender form cause offence?


Crazy Toad 6 | 17
15 Aug 2009 #1
In your experience (Im mainly referring to polish residents here) does it cause offence to people or do they appreciate the fact that they are trying to speak the language?
Lyzko
15 Aug 2009 #2
I'm not really aware of Polish nouns with dual gender which can mean something different or 'offensive' if used incorrectly.

I will say that I've always found Poles especially tolerant toward foreigners' errors, compared say with the French!

If you say 'mój książka' (my book) instead of the correct 'moja książka', forgetting that 'book' is feminine in Polish, trust me, noone's going to look askance. They may not even correct you. LOL
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
15 Aug 2009 #3
does it cause offence to people

be careful with one word answers or short replys. it depends who you are speaking to.

in longer statements ones language problems become obvious and may be overlooked.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
15 Aug 2009 #4
I'm not really aware of Polish nouns with dual gender which can mean something different or 'offensive' if used incorrectly.

Maybe not nouns. But there are other issues with genders. Constructions with Pani to a man is probably not recommended. I guess they hear if someone is learning Polish. Once I said "Proszę Pani!" to a man by misstake, he laughed a little. :)

Cheers mate!
Lyzko
15 Aug 2009 #5
Amen, SzwedwPolsce!

Once is Sweden, I acceidentally referred to a female doctor as "Syster!" If looks could kill-)
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
15 Aug 2009 #6
referred to a female doctor as "Syster!"

Hehe... it happens from time to time.
Lyzko
15 Aug 2009 #7
....on the other hand, I also referred to a nurse (sjukskoterska) as "Doktor!" the same day.

-:)-:)

It happens from time to time.

It strikes me that really old-fashioned or/and rural Swedish is much like modern Polish:

"Dzień dobry, pani doktorze! Jak się Pani ma?" (question in 3rd person - answer in first!)

Compared with older Swedish, up until around the early post-War era:

"God morgon! Hur har fru doktor det?"
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
15 Aug 2009 #8
"God morgon! Hur har fru doktor det?"

We have something very similar to Pan/Pani, or German 'Sie' (used as formal singular). But it's rarely used these days.

"God Morgon Doktorn! Hur har Ni det?"

Where Ni is formal version of Du (but still in singular!). Usually, Ni means you in plural. But it can also mean 'you' in formal singular. Not everyone learning Swedish knows this. It sounds old-fashioned and is rarely used.
Lyzko
15 Aug 2009 #9
Would it then be disrespectful, i.e. downright sarcastic, to respond to a third person greeting IN the third person, f.ex. (translating literally into English for a second):

"Good morning, doctor! How is doctor today?" - Thanks, she's doing quite well.

Just curious (...I've never tried it, of course he-he!)
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
15 Aug 2009 #10
"Good morning, doctor! How is doctor today?"

You should use "bestämd form" doktorn in both cases above. And some old people can use this kind of expression from time to time. In 25 years it will probably not exist anymore. If a young person says it sounds very sarcastic.

Thanks, she's doing quite well.

But you don't answer about yourself in 3rd person. I think you could have done it 50 years ago. But these days only people with schizophrenia sometimes talk about themselves in 3rd person, like in other countries as well. Actually I don't know any language where you answer about yourself in 3rd person.
Lyzko
15 Aug 2009 #11
I know an elderly German who, even as a spry 60-year old ex-parliamentarian, would typically refer to himself in the third person, f.ex. "Als ich ein junger Bursche war, Herr Pajdo, sagte ich auf einmal zu mir, 'Tja, was wird denn aus Hermann Seitz?!' (The name of my confidante). = When I was young fella, Mr. Pajdo, I asked myself once, 'Gee whiz, what will become of Hermann Seitz?!', instead of '..what will become of ME?'...

Perhaps though this was just a rhetorical device. Schizophrenic he definitely wasn't-:)
strzyga 2 | 993
9 Jan 2010 #12
Actually I don't know any language where you answer about yourself in 3rd person.

Actually it happens in Polish, with family talking to small kids: "Mama jest na ciebie zła". "Nie pluj na babcię, babcia nie lubi, kiedy na nią plujesz". "Daj cioci buzi, to ciocia da ci lizaka", "Chodź, tata teraz zaprowadzi cię do przedszkola" etc.
enkidu 7 | 623
9 Jan 2010 #13
Actually it happens in Polish, with family talking to small kids: (...).

Or when talking to servants (Niech Marysia przyniesie) - that form was used when addressing people who dosn't deserve such formalities as "Pan, Pani". 3rd person is dodgy.
strzyga 2 | 993
9 Jan 2010 #14
oh, but is something else - talking about oneself in the 3rd person vs. talking to somebody in the 3rd person instead of 2nd.
The latter also happens in families, it's slightly archaic but still used sometimes: niech mama pójdzie, niech babcia powie. It's considered to be more respectful than the ordinary "mamo, idź".

As a matter of fact, it's the same form as in "niech pan/pani pójdzie".
Lyzko
10 Jan 2010 #15
"Niech Polska żyje!" = Long live Poland!

Would the above then be an accurate translation of the Polish?
:-))
strzyga 2 | 993
11 Jan 2010 #16
"Niech Polska żyje!"

Niech żyje Polska!
Lyzko
11 Jan 2010 #17
No, dzięki Strzygu! To myślałem, ale napisałem błędne dostępstwo słowa:-)

Jestem wdzięczny za twoją pomoc! (Także pamiętam, że 'pomóc' jest czasownik a 'pomoc' jest rzeczownik. LOL)

)))))
strzyga 2 | 993
11 Jan 2010 #18
No, dzięki Strzygu!

Strzygo

To myślałem, ale napisałem błędne dostępstwo słowa:-)

Tak myślałem, ale napisałem słowa w błędnej/niewłaściwej kolejności

Jestem wdzięczny za twoją pomoc!

Good :)

(Także pamiętam, że 'pomóc' jest czasownik a 'pomoc' jest rzeczownik. LOL)

Także pamiętam, że 'pomóc' to czasownik a 'pomoc' to rzeczownik

Anytime :)
Michal - | 1,865
11 Jan 2010 #19
Crazy Toad
No, none whatsoever.
Lyzko
11 Jan 2010 #20
Ślicznie dziękuję, Strzygo (rodzaj żenski)

......żeński......

Przepraszam!
strzyga 2 | 993
11 Jan 2010 #21
Przepraszam!

It's all right, the last sentence was faultless. Do you still want me to lead you to perfection? :))

Polish version: Czy nadal mam być upierdliwa?
Lyzko
11 Jan 2010 #22
Już zrozumiałem ostatne zdanie, ale co to jest "upierdliwość "? Czy ta istnieje? Nie, niestety nie w tym życiu. Tylko Pan Bóg, może on jest upierdliwy:-)
strzyga 2 | 993
11 Jan 2010 #23
Wow, you're doing great! Not a single mistake :)

co to jest "upierdliwość "?

I've just come across a nice English expression - "Dutch uncle" - which seems to be the exact equivalent of upierdliwiec.
Upierdliwość then is being a Dutch uncle.

To all the Dutch who might be reading this: nothing personal! :)

Czy ta istnieje?

Definitly it exists. And in this life too. I should know. I can be a perfect Dutch uncle if I choose to.
:)
pawian 173 | 12,669
4 Apr 2020 #24
Can accidentally using the wrong gender form cause offence?

No, it shouldn`t. Some of them become anecdotes with time. E.g., Henryk Szlachet, a film maker of Jewish decent, spoke broken Polish and once he addressed a nun: Mr female priest - proszę księdza samiczki coz he didn`t know how to say nun in Polish.
jon357 63 | 15,204
4 Apr 2020 #26
No, it shouldn`t. Some of them become anecdotes with time.

As long as it isn't done deliberately to offend somebody; that's just the behaviour of a knobhead and show what a bellend the person is.


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