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What is your biggest problem with Polish language?


Lyzko 25 | 7,521
22 Jan 2020 #31
The best way to a person's heart is through their stomach:-) Rich needed to expand his waistline!
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #32
The best way to a person's heart is through their stomach:-

That's how women kill their husbands.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
23 Jan 2020 #33
By filling them with pierogi, bigos, assorted golabki and other heart attacks on a plate?
Hmmm, I take it then you're referring exclusively to Polish women:-)
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #34
I referred to all those overweight mamas and grandmas who never got to understand what "No, thanks. I am not hungry" means. Their autopilot response is always "oh, common..." Later, at his funeral, they will express shock why he died so young. And so suddenly.
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #35
I grew up in that language and I couldn't tell the difference between the two.

Really? Growing up in the language, you couldn't tell the difference between "robić" and "zrobić", "dałem"/"dawałem" or between "malować" and "pomalować"? You must have been an exceptionally dull-witted child. :)

Poland will be an English speaking country soon.

I don't think so.

No intelligent person, who was privileged to learn the beautiful polszczyzna ("groźniejsza od burzy i od słowików miększa", as our great poet once said) as their native language, will ever be in any way impressed by the vulgar and common English. Sure, most people learn English, because it's useful - like a hammer is useful. However, apart from a hammer you need some other things at home: books, classical music recording, paintings etc. (Italian, French, Polish, Hungarian, German). Possessing a hammer, whilst undoubtedly important, rarely exhausts the needs of a cultured person.

One of my friends, who studied American Culture (whatever that means :)), once told me that after all those years studying English, she can barely stand hearing or speaking the language. I quite understand her feelings.
Ziemowit 13 | 3,800
23 Jan 2020 #36
after all those years studying English, she can barely stand hearing or speaking the language

That is, in a way, very exceptional. But I wouldn't be that much surprised if it was American English she was allergic to. This version of English is evidently less elegant when spoken and sounds more vulgar than British English.

Overall, the sexiest of all European languages is beyond any doubt French.
Miloslaw 6 | 3,249
23 Jan 2020 #37
@Ziemowit

I completely agree on all your points, especially about English.
Some people say Italian is the sexiest European language, but I agree with you, French is more melodic to my ears.
gumishu 11 | 5,128
23 Jan 2020 #38
after all those years studying English, she can barely stand hearing or speaking the language

English is the most to the point language in the world - and if someone says American English is ugly i just shake my head in disbelief
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #39
Some people say Italian is the sexiest European language

... and I'm one of them. :)

English is the most to the point language in the world

Exactly. To the point and useful - like a hammer. :)
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #40
you couldn't tell the difference between "robić" and "zrobić",

I could, but I didn't know what those forms are called by the linguistic geeks. Kids drink milk while clueless what's in it. Same concept.

French is more melodic to my ears.

The language you use in the US if you want to get laid without paying.

However, apart from a hammer you need some other things at home: books, classical music recording, paintings etc.

Nobody reads books anymore. I have only two: owner's manuals for my cars. All my music in on the computer and my smartphone.

No intelligent person, who was privileged to learn the beautiful polszczyzna

While still in communist captivity in the sixties, I would listen to Voice of America and visit the US Embassy. I realized very quickly how ugly Polish was - the sound, the composition, and the grammar. When I read Strangers When We Meet, I knew I was at a wrong place. Just looking at that word "polszczyzna" gives me shivers because of that szcz.

Polish language is too dramatic. It's best for a passionate speech from a mountain top looking up toward the sky, with your hand on your heart. For everything else, it sucks.

I don't get my eyes wet very often, but I noticed that it is the simplicity of the American sentences and the low key delivery that does it to me. Polish pathos is annoying.
Atch 17 | 3,086
23 Jan 2020 #41
No intelligent person

will ever be in any way impressed by the vulgar and common English

Now Torq if that's the case, then what were you doing haunting the bookshops of Dublin all those years ago?? I would add that no intelligent person can fail to love the English language once they've mastered it. Who could not love Shakespeare:

"My master is of churlish disposition and little recks to find the way to heaven by doing deeds of hospitality"

That would apply nicely to Rich Mazur I'm sure ;)
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #42
While still in communist captivity in the sixties

Being a native Polish speaker, you listened to radio in English in the 1960s? I wouldn't then be wrong to assume that you must have been at least 10 years old back then? Well, that's internet for you - you never know who's behind a screen name. :-/

Please, Sir, accept the sentiments of my deepest respect, and apologies for my rather impudent way of replying to Thy previous posts. I shall, henceforth, adress Thee with due respect.

Now Torq if that's the case, then what were you doing haunting the bookshops of Dublin all those years ago?

Well, that's the whole point - "all those years ago". English is a bit like masturbation/onanism - it's kind of fun in the beginning (you're doing something new, and it's exciting) but, as the years go by, you learn that there are more deep and profound pleasures than those that can be reached with the use of your hand. When you realise that, you simply move on to more mature pleasures, and you move on from English to other languages.

no intelligent person can fail to love the English language once they've mastered it.

I don't think one can claim to have mastered a language... any language. I'm a native Polish speaker but I would never dare to say that I've mastered it. As for achieving high level of proficiency, it's possible in many languages (depending on a given person's linguistic talent, determination, and hard work).

Who could not love Shakespeare

Are you kidding me? I absolutely love the Bard, but he's an aberration, one in a thousand years.

@Native English speakers on this forum:

Folks, please don't get me wrong: it was by no means my intention to disparage or denigrate, in any way, the common, vulgar vernacular that you use on a daily basis. However, as a native speaker of a sophisticated, highly complicated and extremely difficult language, I couldn't help but to feel obliged to explain to you my point of view on the linguistic matters discussed here.
Atch 17 | 3,086
23 Jan 2020 #43
absolutely love the Bard, but he's an aberration, one in a thousand years.

Not quite,. I think you didn't read enough of those books when you were in Dublin

it's kind of fun in the beginning

Exactly - and then you realize how difficult it really is and the sheer vastness of the English language. It's a bit overwhelming isn't it?

the common, vulgar vernacular

Shouldn't that be vernaculars, plural? Regional dialects are part of the richness of English. When I was a little girl I remember my granny talking about 'shallakybookies'. This word is peculiar to Co Waterford in Ireland. A shallakybooky is a snail. Also in Waterford you'll hear 'blaa face' used to describe a person with a broad, flat face. It originates from a type of local bread dating back to the Hugenots' arrival. Now consider the 32 counties of Ireland and the local vernacular of each. Then cross over to England and look at each region there and so on.............wonderful stuff.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
23 Jan 2020 #44
RIGHT ON, TORQ!

In addition, the motivation for say, a Pole, to learn English is entirely different from that of a native, college-educated Anglophone. The former learns English much the way the rest of us dullards learn arithmetic - with great difficulty and no special talent for numbers whatsoever. As untold numbers of people count on the fingers instead of in their head as we've been taught, the random Pole has a similar ability with English, in my varied experience!

Somebody from abroad might actually try and get rid of their foreign accent when speaking another language. Yet, this seems to dog most European speakers of English, with exceptions precious few and far between.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #45
Please, Sir, accept the sentiments of my deepest respect,

I already let the cat out admitting that I was born in 1942. "Sir" makes me feel like I am almost 78, a scary number to most people.

Internet does not allow to easily detect if a post is sarcastic, so, to be safe, I will assume that the quoted sentence is just that.

Folks, please don't get me wrong: it was by no means my intention to disparage or denigrate,

Nothing wrong with disparaging or denigrating. I often deserve it, so I accept it as normal. After all, posting here to be loved is suspicious. To teach is even worse.
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #46
Not quite,. I think you didn't read enough of those books when you were in Dublin

I read quite a few, and enjoyed some of them: Trollope, Joyce, Wilde, Waugh, Munro, Wodehouse, Ishiguro (to name just a few). I rather enjoyed David Jones (The Anathemata) as well, and recommended it to my Irish friends, but they claimed that it was too difficult for them. A pity.

then you realize how difficult it really is

No, not really. I got the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2), with the highest mark, many years ago, and the effort I had to put into getting it was minimal. Now, let's reverse the situation, take an English speaker and ask him to reach, let's say, B2 level in Polish (I wouldn't be so cruel as to ask him/her to reach the C2 level).

Now consider the 32 counties of Ireland and the local vernacular of each.

I could never understand how a proud, brave nation like the Irish could abandon their native language, and start speaking English en masse. It would be impossible in Poland... the entire nation abandoning Polish and starting speaking German, for example. Unthinkable...

I remember Ireland and the Irish people with much fondness, but this one thing I find... repulsive... completely and utterly repulsive.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #47
Yet, this seems to dog most European speakers of English,

...and they do their bloody damn best to cling to their native language like it was a religion.
The brilliant ones like me, switch to the local language 100% ASAP. No exceptions, including at home, even when both are from the old country. Ghettos suck, even your own.
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #48
posting here to be loved is suspicious. To teach is even worse.

Quite right, Sir.

Somebody from abroad might actually try and get rid of their foreign accent when speaking another language. Yet, this seems to dog most European speakers

True.

I know an English Literature professor, who came to Poland in the early 90s. Her Polish is absolutely amazing, it's the C2 level in reading/listening comprehension, and even writing, easily. Nonetheless, even after nearly 30 years spent here, you can still hear she's a foreigner when she speaks her brilliant Polish.
Ziemowit 13 | 3,800
23 Jan 2020 #49
how a proud, brave nation like the Irish could abandon their native language

Thit has happened to Belorussians, too, as almost the entire population uses Russian for communication these days. The same is true for the Ukrainians.Tthese days I quite often hear them in the street or on public transport in Poland and I have never come across any of them speaking in Ukrainian; all of them speak in Russian between themselves.

the entire nation abandoning Polish and starting speaking German, for example.

What about the Elbe Slavs who as a Lechitic nation turned en masse to German except for the Lusatians whose great part still spoke the two Sorbian languages in the 18th century and onward.
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #50
Elbe Slavs

I don't know, I'm not an Elbe Slav (I've never even met one), so I can't speak for them. Besides, neither Elbe Slavs nor Lusatians have their own country, as opposed to the Irish who got their independence about a 100 years ago and whose efforts of reviving their ancient tongue weren't very successful (to put it very mildly).

Look at Israel - they got their independence in 1948, and revived a dead language, because they realise how important a language is for national identity.
Atch 17 | 3,086
23 Jan 2020 #51
It would be impossible in Poland

Well now you see Torq, you weren't occupied by a foreign power for 800 years :)) the fact that the Irish language survived at all is a miracle. Actually most people outside Dublin and the surrounding counties, were bilingual and Irish was still widely spoken at the beginning of the 19th century. Bear in mind that at that stage, Ireland had been under English occupation for over 600 years. The Famine was the last straw really. Poland also didn't experience anything on that level during partition.

The other thing, is that the Gaelic music is a hugely important part of our history, our heritage, our cuture and it survived which is incredibly touching, considering the poverty and deprivation of the people who preserved it. The music is where you find the soul of the Irish people and it has not only never been lost but it has thrived. And then of course there's hurling!! Thousands of years old. But yes, for us, it's the music, the songs, the dances and we still not only have those but we share them all around the world which is great :)
mafketis 23 | 7,829
23 Jan 2020 #52
the fact that the Irish language survived at all is a miracle

A long time ago I read that ethno-political movements usually begin with language revival/rejuvenation and academic (re)interpretations of history and cultural activities, like creating a new canon and and then that morphs into a political agenda... (largely what's happened in Catalonia). At one time there were plans for Irish revival / rejuvenation but the Irish movement began with politics (which atrophied the cultural side which has largely been restricted to commodified folklore)

OT (from another thread) Have you seen the Dublin Murder Mysteries (based on Tana French books)? If so, what did you think of it?
Lenka 3 | 1,932
23 Jan 2020 #53
To be fair it amazes me that out of the 4 nations Irish are the ones that have the biggest problem with their language.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #54
There is another problem with Polish. It's the optics. Just look at this sentence:

Jeśli ktoś zarabia najniższą krajowa, to jakaś jedna piąta zarobków.

It looks like a barbed wire fence. Russian is almost as bad in reverse resembling a lawn that was just mowed.

Now, its English version:

If someone earns the lowest domestic income, then (it's) about one-fifth of earnings.

You can pet it and you will not cut yourself.
Torq 28 | 2,774
23 Jan 2020 #55
Jeśli ktoś zarabia najniższą krajowa, to jakaś jedna piąta zarobków.

Jedna piąta jakich zarobków? This sentence doesn't make sense out of context (and probably doesn't make much sense in context either :)).

The fact that some people can't string a couple of coherent sentences together is undeniable, but the problem doesn't lie with the language, it lies with the illiterate people.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
23 Jan 2020 #56
Without a dictionary, right off the bat, I'd translate the above roughly as "One fifth of which earnings?".

@Rich et al.
As far as Polish seeming as though it were a "barbed wire fence", while I do like the analogy in fact very much, at least from a literary viewpoint, just please try if you can to imagine how English must look to the average foreign learner:-)

Moreover, in terms of "no other language coming to the point" as English, I can think of several examples off the top of my head where certain expressions in German, for example, where one word is worth at least a sentence of explanation, e.g. "Gemuetlichkeit" and "Feierabend"!
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #57
You just provided the proof that English is superior to German. It's a well known fact that humans retain numbers easier when broken into groups. Same with sentences and words.

Here is the German version of the first sentence: YoujustprovidedtheproofthatEnglishissuperiortoGerman.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
23 Jan 2020 #58
Quite the contrary I'd say, Rich!

In German, "Gemuetlichkeit" needs ZERO explanation or addenda; one word speaks nicely for itself.
Try it yourself. "A feeling of cozy familiarity, often in a relaxed setting within the warm, bosom company of lifelong friends with whom you can just be yourself...." YUCCCHHHHH, what a mouthful:-)

Or try "Feierabend". In English, "quitting time". And yet, it's much more than that in the German. The English doesn't do it justice. It really means, almost literally "celebratory evening.....[well deserved after having busted your hump from nine 'till five!!]"

Nope, just can't swallow your arguments there, buddy.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
23 Jan 2020 #59
"A feeling of cozy familiarity, often in a relaxed setting within the warm, bosom company of lifelong friends with whom you can

First, I would never say that.
Second, I would rather read it in the expanded form than as a high-density, compressed pill that needs a page-long explanation what's in it.

BTW, those long snakes were the reason why I gave up on German.

Just look at 224-782-6439 with 2247826439 and try to memorize them. That's English vs German. No, it's not my phone number. That is why our SS numbers are in three groups.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
23 Jan 2020 #60
Merely different, Rich, surely though neither better nor worse.
Every language has its own spin on life. That's what makes language learning both practical, not to mention, so endlessly fascinating!

In the above instances, those two words I gave as examples, German is oodles more compact than English, hands down:-)


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