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'Ciężko powiedzieć' (anglicism?) - is it a copy of the English 'hard to say'?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
1 May 2011 #1
Someone called my attention ot the fact that 'ciężko powiedzieć' is a carbon copy of the English 'hard to say'. In proper Polish it should be -- according to my informant -- 'trudno powiedzieć'.
Torq
1 May 2011 #2
In proper Polish it should be -- according to my informant -- 'trudno powiedzieć'.

That is correct.

I hate it when people just copy English expressions and "paste" them directly into Polish,
like when they say "dokładnie" (a copy of English "exactly") when they should say "właśnie".
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
1 May 2011 #3
That is correct.

how about masz problem? you got a problem? isn't it supposed to be coś ci się niepodobna
Torq
1 May 2011 #4
how about masz problem?

It is incorrect.

"(Czy) coś ci się nie podoba?" would be proper Polish.

Generally, even native speakers of Polish don't see the difference between "problem", "kłopot" or "dylemat"
and very often use them as simple synonyms. It annoys me to no end, but there is no escaping from
the omnipresence of English, and we have to accept the fact that it will have stronger and stronger
influence on the language of peasants and proletariat. However, Polish intelligentsia should resist the
invasion of anglicisms, and carry the torch of Czysta Polszczyzna for the future generations of Polish elites.
As for peasants - I've already given up on them. They will be speaking Polglish in 20-25 years time.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 May 2011 #5
A bit like prędzej czy póżniej and wcześniej czy póżniej. I use the former much more.
Torq
1 May 2011 #6
You are using the correct form of the expression (of course, you should say "później" not "póżniej",
but I guess it's just a typo.)
boletus 30 | 1,366
1 May 2011 #7
And how about "to nie pracuje"? Some of my well educated colleagues, who have been abroad for quite some time, do not see anything wrong with such an expression.
Torq
1 May 2011 #8
Oh, come on - you're just pulling my leg now, aren't you? No native Polish speaker can say "nie pracuje"
instead of "nie działa". Please, tell me you're joking.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 May 2011 #9
Just a typo, yes ;)

I've heard 'nie pracuje jak trzeba' and I found it weird.
boletus 30 | 1,366
1 May 2011 #10
Torq
No, really, I am serious. This is the worst offence I hear here quite often.
Torq
1 May 2011 #11
I've heard 'nie pracuje jak trzeba' and I found it weird.

Well, maybe in reference to an engine it would be all right to say so, as in simple technical
terms "silnik wykonuje pracę" więc "pracuje". However, I can't see how it can be used as
a replacement of "nie działa" in other context. That's just atrocious use of Polish, and sign
of appalling peasantry of the speaker who uses such expression.

No, really, I am serious. This is the worst offence I hear here quite often.

*profoundly shocked*
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
1 May 2011 #12
How about 'W czym mogę pomóc?' instead of 'czym mogę służyć?' Or 'trzy w jednym'?

It is constant repertiton in the media, adverts, films, TV shows, etc. that makes these aberrations sound OK to most people.
Some say that is how languages evolve and develop. Others call it bastaedisation of the language? What about you?
Maaarysia
1 May 2011 #13
and we have to accept the fact that it will have stronger and stronger
influence on the language of peasants and proletariat. However, Polish intelligentsia should resist the
invasion of anglicisms, and carry the torch of Czysta Polszczyzna for the future generations of Polish elites.

Say what?! What a snob you are!
It seems I'm an unintelligent peasant or proletariusz for you. Oh come on! Language is something which has it's own life and is developing. You can't stop it. Will you postulate to rid of all those germanisations from Polish language as well?

Within 20 years all those expression will be included in Polish proper language dictionaries, I can ensure you that is what is going to be!
Torq
1 May 2011 #14
How about 'W czym mogę pomóc?' instead of 'czym mogę służyć?' Or 'trzy w jednym'?

What can I say, Polonius? I'm just as appalled as you are.

It is constant repertiton in the media, adverts, films, TV shows, etc. that makes these aberrations sound OK to most people.

Exactly. The mass media flatter the tastes of peasants to make more money and they butcher
the language mercilessly.

Some say that is how languages evolve and develop.

Bollox to that, says I :)

Others call it bastaedisation of the language

Which would appear to be quite accurate description of the linguistics phenomena in question.

What a snob you are!

Le snob? Moi? *profoundly shocked*

It seems I'm an unintelligent peasant or proletariusz for you.

Why? Do you butcher Polish language on purpose, and infest it with vulgar anglicisms?

I can ensure you that is what is going to be!

Not if I can help it!
Maaarysia
1 May 2011 #15
"(Czy) coś ci się nie podoba?" would be proper Polish.

What about:
Masz jakiś problem? - pyta zmartwiona matka.
I can't think of any other expression to replace it.

Why? Do you butcher Polish language on purpose, and infest it with vulgar anglicisms?

I use all those expressions you've mentioned (exept nie pracuje). So it seems I'm a peasant according to your standards.

Not if I can help it!

But what's is wrong with that?! Tell me why it's bother you so much when someone says W czym mogę pomóc? For me it's perfectly fine while Czym mogę służyć? sounds a little bit oldfashioned. I can imagine only a waiter to say that!
Torq
1 May 2011 #16
Masz jakiś problem? - pyta zmartwiona matka.
I can't think of any other expression to replace it.

I think "Masz jakiś kłopot?" would be a suitable replacement.

So it seems I'm a peasant according to your standards.

Well, you put yourself voluntarily in that position. You can exit the ranks of peasantry as of today,
just start respecting our polszczyzna, "groźniejsza niż burza i od słowików miększa" and we will accept
you in the ranks of Polish inteligencja with pleasure and joy ;)

Czym mogę służyć sounds a little bit oldfashioned. I can imagine only a waiter to say that!

Or a person who actually speaks proper Polish.
Maaarysia
1 May 2011 #17
I think "Masz jakiś kłopot?" would be a suitable replacement.

My mother say to me masz jakieś problemy? Problem started to mean something more like emotional problem (more less martwisz się czymś?) while kłopot means more a material problem kłopot z matematyką w szkole, z poradzeniem sobie z jakąś czynnością.

Well, you put yourself voluntarily in that position. You can exit the ranks of peasantry as of today,
just start respecting our polszczyzna,"groźniejsza niż burza i od słowików miększa" and we will accept
you in the ranks of Polish inteligencja with pleasure and joy ;)

By any means I don't feel like I'm disrespectful to Polish language. I feel that I develope it by widening its voculabry and expression list ;P

What about germanisations or expressions borrowed from French. I don't hear people objecting that. Actually now it's the "proper Polish". The same thing will be with anglicisations.
Torq
1 May 2011 #18
I feel that I develope it by widening its voculabry and expression list ;P

Well, na drugiej myśli (on second thoughts) nie widzę żadnego trouble'a z usingowaniem nowych
wyrażeń w naszym lengłidżu. Masz rajt, Mary, i w ogóle to porządna z Ciebie gerl ;)

What about germanisations or expressions borrowed from French.

Get rid of them too. Only the words borrowed from Latin and Greek should be allowed to stay,
as it would be too difficult to replace them. All the other borrowings can go back to their countries
of origin, thank you. We can do without them: Polish language for Polish words! Foreign words are
stealing the jobs of Polish words (like "exactly/dokładnie" is shamelessly stealing the job of "właśnie")!
Maaarysia
1 May 2011 #19
Well, na drugiej myśli (on second thoughts) nie widzę żadnego trouble'a z usingowaniem nowych
wyrażeń w naszym lengłidżu. Masz rajt, Mary, i w ogóle to porządna z Ciebie gerl ;)

Puk, puk.
W czym mogę pomóc?
Ten zegar nie pracuje jak należy.
Jaki ma Pan z nim problem?
Wybija godzinę o północy.
Czyli chce pan, aby nie budził pana w nocy?
Dokładnie. Ile to będzie kosztować?
W tej chwili ciężko powiedzieć.


...does it sound really so horrible?
Torq
1 May 2011 #20
It's not about "sounding horrible" or "sounding nice", it's about being correct or incorrect.

So...

Puk, puk.
Czym mogę służyć?
Ten zegar nie działa jak należy.
Jaki ma Pani z nim kłopot?
Wybija godzinę o północy.
Czyli chce pani, aby nie budził pani w nocy?
Właśnie. Ile to będzie kosztować?
W tej chwili trudno powiedzieć.


...and let's not argue anymore ;)
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
1 May 2011 #21
It is incorrect.

"(Czy) coś ci się nie podoba?" would be proper Polish.

Taht is what i said Torq

isn't it supposed to be coś ci się niepodobna

I am a native Polish speaker it was my first language, usually even Poles here in the States say it the proper way once in a while you'll hear masz problem, like you said yourself even in Poland.
Torq
1 May 2011 #22
"(Czy) coś ci się nie podoba?" would be proper Polish.

Well, actually you said...

coś ci się niepodobna

... but let's not be meticulous :)
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
1 May 2011 #23
oops i forgot to hit the space key so sorry ;)
at least i didn't say badrować instead of dokuczać
what's sad is Poles who moved to the UK and have only been there a few years already speak like that
Koala
1 May 2011 #24
"ciężko powiedzieć" is absolutely correct and not at all influenced by English (the direct equivalent would be "twardo powiedzieć"). Even Słownik Języka Polskiego has one of the meanings of the word "ciężki" as:

6. «wymagający dużego wysiłku»
sjp.pwn.pl/szukaj/ciężki

Generally, even native speakers of Polish don't see the difference between "problem", "kłopot" or "dylemat"

Problem == kłopot =/= dylemat == rozterka
It's pretty straightforward and I never hear these words misused.
Torq
1 May 2011 #25
"ciężko powiedzieć" is absolutely correct

No, it is not. Not according to professor Miodek, professor Bralczyk and pretty much any other
Polish linguist...

marhan.pl/index.php/meandry-polszczyzny/356-felietony-macieja-malinowskiego-/2983-trudno-nie-ciko-powiedzie

Mimo wszystko apeluję do Państwa o rozwagę: nie włączajmy do tej grupy sformułowań ciężko
powiedzieć, ciężko zrozumieć, ciężko stwierdzić. Mówmy: trudno powiedzieć, trudno zrozumieć,
trudno (niełatwo) stwierdzić.

Problem == kłopot =/= dylemat == rozterka

dylemat - problem, którego rozwiązanie polega na trudnym wyborze między dwiema tak samo ważnymi
racjami
/ a problem, solving of which requires making a difficult choice between two equally important
arguments

rozterka - stan wewnętrznego rozdarcia związany z koniecznością podjęcia trudnej decyzji / a state
of internal irresolution requiring making a difficult choice

Hardly equivalent meanings.
Koala
1 May 2011 #26
The relation of "ciężki" and "hard" in that article is so far fetched it makes me laugh. It's not an anglicyzm, and while the common usage of the word "ciężki" as equivalent to "trudny" might be fairly recent, it still is just a typical shift (or broadening in this case) of the meaning of the word that happens at all times in every language. In Mickiewicz's "Ballady i romanse" you have the word "dziewica" meaning "dziewczyna" (in modern Polish), in "Pan Tadeusz" you have "kutasy" meaning "wisiory". How comes? According to your logic, the current usage of the words "kutas" (penis) and "dziewica" (female virgin) is incorrect.

While "dylemat" describes a problem and "rozterka" describes an emotional state, they can be used equivalently in 99.9% of cases - ie. "Mam rozterkę" and "Mam dylemat" mean precisely the same, that I need to make a difficult decision and don't know/hesitate which option to choose.
Torq
1 May 2011 #27
According to your logic

Not only my logic (I am merely a simple engineer) but also the logic of the most notable Polish
philologists. So, unless you are a linguist of a calibre and reputation comparable to that of professors
Miodek and Bralczyk, for example, I will rather believe their expertise.
Koala
1 May 2011 #28
They are also senior people who are simply annoyed that younger generations don't speak Polish in exactly the same way people spoke 40 years ago, which they consider canon of proper Polish. The meaning of the word "ciężki" has broadened and in some cases it is synonymous to "trudny". It is correct (as recognized by editors of a very esteemed dictionary) and the professors should get over it.

Or do you really think the modern meaning of "dziewica" and "kutas" is incorrect?
z_darius 14 | 3,968
2 May 2011 #29
It is correct (as recognized by editors of a very esteemed dictionary)

quote?
source?
Torq
2 May 2011 #30
While "dylemat" describes a problem and "rozterka" describes an emotional state, they can be used equivalently in 99.9% of cases

A risky statement. Would you say, for example, "mamy tutaj do czynienia z poważną rozterką" instead of "mamy tutaj do czynienia

z poważnym dylematem"? Would you replace "dylemat moralny" with "rozterka moralna"? They can sometimes be used equivalently,
but cetainly not in "99.9% of cases".
The words "dylmat" and "rozterka" not only have different meanings, as it was explained before, but also the usage differs...

"Mam rozterkę" and "Mam dylemat" mean precisely the same

"Mam rozterkę" is dodgy usage. The proper expression would be "jestem w rozterce".

that I need to make a difficult decision and don't know/hesitate which option to choose.

One difference may be that in case of "dylemat" you have TWO options (two equally important options, according
to the dicitonary), whilst "rozterka" may involve three or more options. The other difference is that the two options of "dylemat"

are not only equally important, but also both alternatives are rather unpleasant. So, a man making a choice between buying
a Ferrari and a Lamborghini can hardly say that he has "dylemat" (not in Polish anyway, maybe in English it would be proper

usage, I don't know). So, to sum things up - for example:

- if your wife is giving a birth to a child, something goes wrong and the doctor asks you, if he should save your wife or the baby,

then "masz dylemat" (and a very serious one at that);

- if you have a day off work, and you can't decide if you should play football, go to a restaurant with your girlfriend, invite

you buddies for a game of bridge or simply read books all day, then "jesteś w rozterce" (not "masz rozterkę", as I mentioned

earlier) not "masz dylemat", because there are more than two options and they are all quite pleasant (of course, "rozterka" may

also be used for describing a situation involving a number of unpleasant choices, if there are more than two options).

They are also senior people who are simply annoyed that younger generations don't speak Polish in exactly the same
way people spoke 40 years ago, which they consider canon of proper Polish.

:-)

Interesting theory, Koala. So, not only do you undermine the great professors' expertise, but you also expose
the psychological roots of their behaviour. Quite interesting indeed, but I'm afraid we are moving dangerously
from a linguistic discussion into the area of stand-up comedy with statements like one quoted above :D

Or do you really think the modern meaning of "dziewica" and "kutas" is incorrect?

That is a superficial analogy. "Dziewica" and "kutas" are examples of meaning change within Polish vocabulary
and there is no foreign influence here, whilst in case of "ciężko powiedzieć" the theory about it being an anglicism
is a very valid one.

quote? source?

Well, the Internet edition of Słownik Języka Polskiego PWN lists one of the meanings of "ciężki" as "wymagający dużego wysiłku",

and sometimes it can be used in such context, i.e. "ciężka praca", "ciężko pracować" (not "trudno pracować" :-)), but still in case

of the expression "ciężko powiedzieć" we should rely on the opinion of the most revered Polish Philology professors, and consider
it a heavy colloquialism at best, or simply incorrect usage based on a vulgar anglicism.


Home / Language / 'Ciężko powiedzieć' (anglicism?) - is it a copy of the English 'hard to say'?
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