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Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D

pgtx 29 | 3,159
17 Apr 2010 #781
though you can hear both in use.

just like "sobie" and "se"...
17 Apr 2010 #782
'Got a weird sort of feeling that "vulgar" Polish must look/sound a lot like Russian. After all, higher-level Turkish, begins to resumble Arabic (minus the "turkified" vocabulary of Ataturk's language purge!) and I've read that ultra-honorific Japanese looks a great deal like Chinese vs. street-level Japanese without most of the kanji characters.

Merely a theory of mine, that's all.
mafketis 23 | 8,612
17 Apr 2010 #785
pieć gier???

just like "sobie" and "se"... ;)

Well on purely _linguistic_ grounds, there's nothing wrong with 'se' 'poszłem' 'jest do góry' etc etc etc

If a significant number of native speakers say something, then by definition it's correct grammatically. That's a fundamental tenent of linguistics, without which the science of language could not exist.

On the other hand, they might not be socially approved of anymore than spitting on the sidewalk or eating bigos with your fingers are, and that's fine, but at the same time that's a very different set of criteria.

By all means correct a teenager who says 'poszłem' if they want a good job, but don't use linguistics or grammar as your excuse (anymore than you would use physics to discourage people from scratching themselves in public).
17 Apr 2010 #786
piec gier......that would be correct. nicely done.

i've always thought that "piec gier" was one of the ugliest ones.....
Pepeczki - | 32
17 Apr 2010 #787
You have to be pretty stupid to believe in some half-assed survey. A language will be hard if you don't invest time in learning it.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
18 Apr 2010 #788
A language will be hard if you don't invest time in learning it.

Very true. Many people say it's too hard to learn Polish. But they don't understand that all languages are difficult in the beginning, and that you must work very hard if you want to be able to speak a new language. It's all about motivation.
mafketis 23 | 8,612
18 Apr 2010 #789
i've always thought that "piec gier" was one of the ugliest ones.....

Yeah, i think gier is ugly, but it's completely regular

gra + genetive plural = subtract the -a

- this leaves you with the unpronounceable gr so you insert an -e- between them,

- the sequence ge- istn't allowed in Polish roots (only in some borrowings) so it becomes -ie-

which leaves gier, completely regular
18 Apr 2010 #790
Many say also that English is 'too hard', yet hundreds of millions of us speak it (sometimes, as a first and primary language), but are we all geniuses, resp/ genii?:-)
crusader 1 | 40
21 Apr 2010 #791
Until recently I would have said that Polish was difficult to learn, but then I started learning Arabic- now THAT'S difficult!
23 Apr 2010 #792
Difficulties in language, ranked accordingly:

ENGLISH - chaotic spelling, totally irregular pronunciation, phrasal verbs right and left,
slang usage where most languages prefer standard.

POLISH - myriad inflections based either on gender (three genera!), number, case or
ALL of the former:-), unpredictable endings plus a most intricate counting
system. Fairly regular pronunciation though, if a trifle consonant heavy for
most Westerners' tastes:-)

GERMAN - Eight (yes, 8!!!) separate plural forms for nouns, not to mention many with
ZERO plural markers, making them by themselves indistinguishable from the
singular form, three genders (just like Polish) but with individual articles for
each 'der', 'die', 'das' (masc., fem., neuter), a contortedly dizzying sentence
construction, separable and inseparable verb prefixes and four maddeningly
precise series of case endings (three less than Polish, however LOL).

CHINESE - Seemingly hundreds of thousands of ideographs!!!

ARABIC - A mostly foreign-looking word stock, a language written right to left, therefore
the polar opposite from most other languages and composed in a non-Roman
script and a tricky pronunciation with glottal stops etc.. not found in most
European languages.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,210
23 Apr 2010 #793
A nice description of the difficulties in some of the languages in current use on the planet, Lyzko. I agree with you on German; inflections of 'der', 'die', 'das' in three genders of singular or plural depending on whether the noun is accompanied or not by an adjective may seem nearly as catastrophic for a Polish learner of German as the world of the declinations of nouns for th German learner of Polish.

Nobody here has been talking of the difficulties in using Polish collective numerals for quite a long time now! I have been tracking the spontaneous use of them by native Polish speakers in the streets or elsewhere since the latest discussions on this issue in this thread. I might write down some of my observations here when I have more time and if anyone is still interested in the subject!
23 Apr 2010 #794
Yes, Ziemowit. I too was among the legion German-speaking Polish learners out there who struggled time and again with remembering the declensions for Polish months, place names etc..., only later to find out that Polish also has special rules for foreign place and personal names.

In German at least, place names remain largely as is, exceptions of course, as in practically any language:-) If I'm visiting f. ex. Berlin, Nuernberg, Maria Laach, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Mailand, Frankreich etc...., nill change is ever required to indicate inflectional relationships (THANK G_D!), one of the few blessings, I suppose, of German. cf. with Polish 'Katowice', 'do Katowic', 'w Katowicach', 'razem z Katowicami' (Instr. construction, even if unlikely..) etc.... A bleedin' dog n' pony show this language LOL
23 Apr 2010 #795
....add to that the apparently quixotic number designations of single cities, 'w HelsinkACH', or countries 'w KinaCH' etc..., soooo opposite of either English or German.

Admittedly certain nouns in German are singular vs. plural in English e.g. 'die Schere' (scissors), 'die Brille' (glasses = ONE pair of spectacles LOL), 'die Hose' (PAIR of pants, vs. "a pant" he-he!) etc.

Polish too with 'drzwi' = door, perhaps because a door in the old Polish countryside consisted of two parts which opened. ??

Language logic is no end fascinating, eh?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,210
24 Apr 2010 #796
I've never asked myself the question why the names of many towns and villages come in plural in Polish. Such names are so common that I"ve just been taking it for an obvious fact for years, but indeed this does seem bizzare!

Is there a precedence of this in ancient languages? The -s ending in the English name of Athina, Athens, would suggest the plural in the original ancient Greek name? In Polish the name is explicitly plural: Ateny. Also, the Polish name for the Roman town of Pompeii is plural: Pompeje, although you may sometimes find it in singular: Pompeja.

Supposedly your explanation for the plural only form of drzwi in Polish is right. And then we inevitably come again to the so-much-hated problem of Polish collective numerals: jedne drzwi, dwoje drzwi, troje drzwi, czworo drzwi, pięcioro drzwi ...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #797
Some of the logic is odd. I've raised this before, why is it 'na Ukrainie' and not 'w Ukrainie'? It is 'w Litwie', 'w £otwie' and 'w Estoni'. Na węgrzech is a classic too.
24 Apr 2010 #798
Seanus, first to your query. The reason I once posted in PF many moons ago as to why it's 'na Węgrzech' resp. 'na Węgry' rather than for us more "logically" 'w(e) Węgrzech' (just like 'w Niemczech' etc..), is that certain countries were and are, rightfully or wrongfully, considered mere territories by the the Poles, therefore not nations IN which one inhabits, but instead, areas of land ON which one resides.

Again, it's only theory::--))!!!

Ziemowit, naturally it's not something you'd think about necessarily unless you were to teach it, being that you're a native Polish speaker.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #799
Hungary is not a nation?
24 Apr 2010 #800
Once more Seanus, to you and me and many others, it is. But again, I'm only surmising as to why some countries are designated with 'na' (on) vs. 'w' (in).

Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #801
We'd have to test that theory out.
24 Apr 2010 #802

On whom, pray tell?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #803
I meant by listing examples :)
24 Apr 2010 #804
Give us a for instance.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #805
Well, list the ones with na and we'll see :)
24 Apr 2010 #806
Na Ukrainii', na Węgrzech, ....... can't recall any others off the top of my head at the moment, sorry LOL
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
24 Apr 2010 #807
is that certain countries were and are, rightfully or wrongfully, considered mere territories by the the Poles, therefore not nations

How did you come about that theory? If that was the case then logically speaking one should only find this anomaly when we refer to countries not territories but that’s not always the case. We find same phenomenon when we talk about territories take US states for instance, one would say; (mieszkam na Florydzie vs. mieszkam w Kaliforni or mieszkam w Teksasie vs mieszakam na Hawajach) Historically speaking out of all those territories only Texas was a Republic at one time so only in reference to Texas we should see the term “w” every other state should be referred to as “na” but we don’t say (na Illinois but rather “w” Illinois, we don’t say “na Nowym Jorku we say “w” etc.) Now I’m not a teacher so I don’t have the explanation for you as to why that is, all I know is that your theory doesn’t hold water either. Same phenomenon you can find when we speak of other territories that were never in their history independent nations. Take a region known as Bessarabia for instance, you would say (mieszkam w Besarabi not na Besarabi) and counteless other examples. All I can say is - it just is.

EDIT: correction Hawaii was also independent but we say "na" instead of "w".
Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #808
So, only 2 non-nations? ;) ;)
24 Apr 2010 #809
Allright, if one's "ON" an island (or group of islands) such as 'Hawaii', sure, the 'na' makes perfect sense. Then again, in US-English "I live ON Long Island.", cf. Polish "Mieszkam na (not: w!!) Long Island." also, or German "Ich lebe in (not: auf) Island.", same as in English "I live in (not: on) Iceland.

Yes, you're right. Guess we'll have to shelve my theory, at least temporarily.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
24 Apr 2010 #810
Japan is a group of 5 islands but it's w Japonii and not na Japonii. Trust me, I know the complications of teaching it through having to put across the usage of 'the'.

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