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What is your biggest problem with Polish language?


Lyzko 25 | 7,521
23 Jan 2020 #61
Back to the thread topic question, I guess what I still find difficult is knowing what is considered perfective or completed action to a Polish native speaker and what isn't! While in general, I finally think after all these years that I have it right, mistakes, even basic ones, do crop up in both my writing as well as my speaking from time to time. Frequently, I find myself thinking in Polish, although on other occasions, I don't.

Although nobody's ever said that they can't understand what I've written, I realize it could be said differently, that is, better.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
24 Jan 2020 #62
I still find difficult is knowing what is considered perfective or completed action

Why do you want to know it?
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
24 Jan 2020 #63
For the same reason a Pole who's serious about their English would want to better know how to use tenses or anything else related to correct usage a la Strunk & White, that's why?

I sometimes wonder, Rich, whether you are serious about the questions you ask, questions with such obvious answers:-)
If you're not going to say it right, might as well not say it at all. Or at least with the proviso that the speaker is practicing whichever foreign language they happen to be speaking, and is therefore grateful for any (polite!) correction they can get.
Ziemowit 13 | 3,800
24 Jan 2020 #64
The perfective and imperfictive modes can be often interchangeable, and thus there are no strictly defined rules for applying these modes. Yesterday, I was writing a short report and on reviewing it I found that I wanted to change one into another several times in order to give a phrase a more precise sense.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
24 Jan 2020 #65
I sometimes wonder, Rich, whether you are serious about the questions you ask,

As serious as anyone here.
My questions are motivated by my curiosity why anyone would make an effort to know things with no tangible payback. I am sure I could find out how much oxygen is in Volga in June, too.

I am willing to bet ten against one that not a single Pole who came to the US ever asked about the perfective and imperfective modes. This is what geeks do to show off. Hence, my question: why would you care about the Polish language to such an extent and depth. Poles in Poland - except for the linguistic weirdos - wouldn't even understand your question, much less know the answer. One in three would want to know which tree you just fell down from, head first. The other two would say: whaaaat?
Torq 28 | 2,774
24 Jan 2020 #66
why anyone would make an effort to know things with no tangible payback.

Boredom. Never underestimate boredom.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
24 Jan 2020 #67
A Pole wouldn't have to ask, Rich. After all, it's their native tongue!!
Would you go to a foreign country to ask foreigners about English tenses??

Rich,
As I make my living as, among other things, a Polish-English, Polish-German translator, I charge a hefty fee to my clients and get a nice chunk in return:-) Sorry to shock you.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
24 Jan 2020 #68
A Pole wouldn't have to ask, Rich

You know I didn't mean that. I meant an American in Poland asking questions about Polish that only professors and geeks know the answers to.

As I make my living as, among other things, ....a translator

Now, THAT is the answer to my question which makes sense. Thank you.
I once translated a technical book from English to Polish. How I managed that is a mystery to me, but I did it. Another one from Russian to Polish.
Exx217 - | 9
25 Jan 2020 #69
@Lyzko
[...] I still find difficult is knowing what is considered perfective or completed action.

Could you please, give a few examples of such difficulties.
I've always considered the aspect of the verb (dokonany vs niedokonany) as the easiest part of the language.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
25 Jan 2020 #70
@Rich, you're welcome!

@Exx217, as a Polish native speaker presumably, you probably wouldn't have difficulty with something with which you grew up and to which you were exposed since grade school:-)

As a foreigner from a bilingual German-English background, the issue of aspect is one upon which I often still must reflect when speaking, more so though, when writing.

Usually, I get it within a matter of seconds. Other times, it may take a little longer.
For instance, "brac" vs. "wziac udzial" looks relatively straightforward, however, when I read a Polish text from a responsible journal, say, "Wprost", I figure the article is written perfectly, and yet I sometimes think I've learned the correct pattern, only to be corrected by Polish acquaintances. When I ponder the question of such usage, the apparent subtlety is about as fine as when I've explained English tenses even to advanced Polish speakers!

Usually, their word choice is nearly perfect, their accent so-so, but their use of simple vs. continuous tenses, a disaster.

It's all a matter of thinking in the language, really.
Wincig 2 | 199
6 Feb 2020 #71
Overall, the sexiest of all European languages is beyond any doubt French.

Have heard this several times over during my life but cannot quite reconcile it with the fact that French people are among the least "liked" in Europe (although food, culture.. etc is widely admired). Can't have it all I guess!
pawian 163 | 10,430
6 Feb 2020 #72
that French people are among the least "liked" in Europe

Yes, a nation which eats frogs and snails. Yuk.
Miloslaw 6 | 3,249
6 Feb 2020 #73
Frogs legs only and snails and horsemeat.

Frog legs are just like chicken wings but blander but snails and horsemeat are good.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
6 Feb 2020 #74
the fact that French people are among the least "liked" in Europe

It's envy. French people are not loud and fat like the Americans. And, as opposed to Poles, they were more realistic facing death and destruction.
pawian 163 | 10,430
6 Feb 2020 #75
Back to topic. My biggest problem is that I can`t utter popular tongue twisters correctly more than a dozen times in a quick series. After the tenth repetition I begin to falter.

Suchą Szosą Sasza szedł.
Stół z powyłamymanymi nogami etc.
Crow 137 | 8,004
6 Feb 2020 #76
Polish should be one of official languages in EU. Then I would trust in EU. I would at least try then to trust in EU.
Torq 28 | 2,774
6 Feb 2020 #77
Polish should be one of official languages in EU.

Polish IS one of EU's official languges...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_European_Union
Crow 137 | 8,004
6 Feb 2020 #78
In talks with EU non ask us anything in Polish. All are mute and bubbling incoherently in idiotic languages.
Torq 28 | 2,774
6 Feb 2020 #79
Polish is extremely difficult, and requires high intelligence to learn. "Procedural" languages of the EU are all much easier.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
6 Feb 2020 #81
I respect your opinion.
Even with Polish ESLers whom I teach, many too claim they are "advanced" speakers for whom the briniest of grammar teasers pose
little to no difficulties, tongue twisters happily included.

When I correct one, she nearly flew into a hissy fit claiming that her teachers in Poznan never corrected her
English as I did here. Turns out, her teachers were all native Poles:-)

So much for being completely honest with oneself.
Miloslaw 6 | 3,249
6 Feb 2020 #82
@pawian

Try this one;

The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
Lyzko 25 | 7,521
6 Feb 2020 #83
Ooooh, Milo! You're in a mean mood today, mateLOL
pawian 163 | 10,430
6 Feb 2020 #84
So much for being completely honest with oneself.

I am sorry, I didn`t intend to offend you. Forgive me, please. :)

The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

It is easier to pronounce than Suchą szosą Sasza szedł. I don`t know why but your tongue twister can`t be uttered too quickly if you want to keep clear exact articulation of sounds. The Polish one can be read quickly without damaging articulation.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
6 Feb 2020 #85
My problem with the Polish language is that I can't erase it and still manage to slip Polish words into the conversations with my granddaughters.

Actually, that was a lie, but it looks plausible.
Torq 28 | 2,774
6 Feb 2020 #86
Actually, when you get old and senile, you will forget all the foreign languages you learnt, but your native language will come back to you. On your deathbed you will speak Polish, and Polish only. It happens all the time to emigrants all over the world, so don't worry - you didn't lose polszczyzna forever. :)
pawian 163 | 10,430
6 Feb 2020 #87
still manage to slip Polish words into the conversations

You mean infamous Freudian slips?

On your deathbed you will speak Polish, and Polish only.

Rich will murmur: Piva Di Varka with hot lips wasted by fever. Like certain cardinal.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
6 Feb 2020 #88
It happens all the time to emigrants all over the world,

Those are bad immigrants with hyphens. I never had one from the minute I landed in NY in 1967.
I said "fu*ck" a billion times. Kurwa - 0. So, on my death bed, I will say fu*ck again. It sounds better and has no rrrrrolling r, which I hate.
Ferdinando
6 Feb 2020 #89
Main problem is to understand by hear the differences between some words that sounds too much similar to me.
Also the fact that they coniugate every word also proper noms.
I doubt to manage to learn it well without an official course or university
pawian 163 | 10,430
6 Feb 2020 #90
between some words that sounds too much similar to me.

e.g,
pałac - palace.
pajac - clown.


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