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Czech language sounds like baby talk to most Poles. Similarities?


jwojcie 2 | 763    
15 Jun 2011  #61
Because Tea Who You Yeah Bunny is the ultimate proof of total similarity of Polish and English.... And it is equally funny.

Yes, it is equally funny, but the amount of such funny phrases in Czech seems to be enormous. Sure you can find that probably between any two languages. But it is not only about quality but also about scale. So sorry dude, but Czech is in many ways funnier to Polish ear than English, it is like comparing one drop of laughter with the sea of it. After reading couple of your post I'm under impression that your exposure to Czech is beyond the "comedy threshold" and you started to loosing natural Polish reaction to it ;) It is not surprise, I know a Polish girl who learned Czech and she said she lost it to, but she said it was worth it anyway, because it is great language and culture - and I concure with that!

PS. those of you exploring similarities between slavic languages, try that: slovio.com/
mafketis 16 | 6,290    
15 Jun 2011  #62
Meh. I far prefer Slovianski, far more Slavic in terms of grammar and 'feel'.

steen.free.fr/slovianski/
jwojcie 2 | 763    
15 Jun 2011  #63
^^
cool, I didn't know that one, thx
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #64
ok, my Russian is a little rusty, but I do remember that "what day is it today?" is "kakoje sjewodnia cislo?"

Strzyga, this indeed is a number question, cf. "Którego dziś mamy?" = "What the day of the month is it today?". You are normally not asking "What year date is it today?", right?

It is not surprisng, I know a Polish girl who learned Czech and she said she lost it to, but she said it was worth it anyway, because it is great language and culture - and I concure with that!

I will only tell you Czech sounds funny to you because it is a foreign language. Yes, it is quite different language from Polish, and you simply sound funny to me by saying the above. As I said, Polish sounds boorish, ill-educated, "chamski" language to Czech speakers. Well, people like jokes on small animals, including profanity and jeering at obese people, too.
jwojcie 2 | 763    
15 Jun 2011  #65
I will only tell you Czech sounds funny to you because it is a foreign language.

If that would be the only reason I would laugh hearing any language in the world, which is not the case. I really don't understand why it is so hard to you to acknowledge the simple fact that Czech really does sound funnier to most Poles that most other foreign languages.

Yes, it is quite different language from Polish

Sure it is, that is the whole point of it being funny... I know the whole story of it about Czech language being let say reinvented in XIX century. And the more I think about that fact, the more I think it is a sole reason why it sounds funny contrary to Croatian, Serbian or Russian (though here is the case of mass exposure of Poles to it, so it is hard to judge...). I mean Czechs added arbitrary all those slavic words (supposedly many Russian and Polish), and unprepared Polish ear instantly gets that something is mixed up. Well, that is supposedly the whole point of brain reaction to the joke - when things are mixed up - human either laughs or get scared... That is why learning Czechs removes all the effect - things are no longer mixed up.

As I said, Polish sounds boorish, ill-educated, "chamski" language to Czech speakers.

Yes, I know, quite logical actually.

Well, people like jokes on small animals, including profanity and jeering at obese people, too.

So what? I mean there is nothing wrong in laughing at series of sounds.. I hope you don't imply that the fact that Czech can sound funny means it is some kind of insult... it would be weird political corectness... Besides for all it is worth, in some ways thanks to that sound of the language Czechs are actaully perceived in Poland as a nice people with a great sense of humor..
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #66
jwojcie, if you had been travelling to the Czech Republic often and used or at least listened to Czech, you'd discover the language is not funny at all. It is just another language. No-one can decree the kind of sense of humour, yet I could describe yours as quite childish.

In the general terms, neighbouring nations, those who had some trouble with each other in the past but not really bloody history behind, typically jeer at each other, saying very specific type of jokes. Take Norway and Sweden. Sweden let Norway create their own country peacefully in 1905, Norway being a Swedish province before. So Swedes and Norwegian let is happen easy and today they say such a joke:

Swede on Norwegian joke:
-- Do you know why the Norwegian look out their windows during thunderstorm? Because they think photographs are taken with flashlight! Ha ha ha!

A Norwegian on Swedish joke:
-- Do you know why the Swedish look out their windows during thunderstorm? Because they think photographs are taken with flashlight! Ha ha ha!

This is about the same sense of humour as you display, jwojcie. The joke as above is believed to be VERY funny.
----------
The modern Czech and the Nynorsk (the new Norwegian language) share similar history. The Bokmaal Norwegian (Literary Norwegian, the traditional language) is in fact Danish made easy to speak by Norwegians. In the beginning of 20th c., Norwegian revivalists thought it would be a good idea to create a new language to get rid of the unwanted past. Therefore, they did the work exactly as the Czech revivalist had done, by picking up words from any goddam small fjord where local dialect was spoken. As the result, Nynorsk is about one of the funniest languages because -- by comparison -- it would sound as Polish would sound if Polish was made ONLY from dialects: Mazovian, Warmian, Silesian, Greater Polish, Pomeranian, Kashubian, etc. etc. and only from countryside dialects. You would lol'led until you die if you heard something like that. However, Norwegians did it and started teaching school children Nynorsk. Result? Educated Norwegian speak Bokmaal, local people speak their local dialects, and Nynorsk was formally abandoned from teaching not so long time ago. Nothing strange. Bokmaal name for Norway is 'Norge". Nynorsk word for the same is... Noreg.

So, yes, Czech may sound funny to you as a collection of local dialects and ANCIENT Slavic words. If you laugh at laska, you indeed should perceive the word łaska funny, too. (mafketis, of course you are right, Czech was not taken from Mars).
OP RobertLee 4 | 73    
15 Jun 2011  #67
Besides for all it is worth, in some ways thanks to that sound of the language Czechs are actaully perceived in Poland as a nice people with a great sense of humor..

And then many come to Czech republic and are shocked to discover that Czechs are actually not as friendly or worse, they are very rude towards Poles.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #68
RobertLee, this is like you were describing Swedes in eyes of the Danish, no more no less. Should Czech jump on you, kiss you on the mouth and sing songs to please you? Czech people are reserved, reasonable, cool & cold people on formal occasions but they warm up privately. How much do you know RobertLee to form opinions like yours? What are your personal impressions from your stays in the Czech Republic?
delphiandomine 87 | 16,884    
15 Jun 2011  #69
And then many come to Czech republic and are shocked to discover that Czechs are actually not as friendly or worse, they are very rude towards Poles.

How many times have you been there, seeing as you don't actually speak Polish very well - how would you know how Czechs behave?
OP RobertLee 4 | 73    
15 Jun 2011  #70
How much do you know RobertLee to form opinions like yours? What are your personal impressions from your stays in the Czech Republic?

These are not my opinions. Just Polish people I talked to. I remember them because it was shocking to me, clearly contrary to what Poles would expect.

I also talked to a Brazilian girl who used to live in Prague and had the misfortune of having a "Russian look" and working as a waitress. The stay in Prague was very traumatic for her. In the end she got beaten up by a security guard for no reason and decided to leave Czech Republic.

I just had one day of a recreational stay in Czech Republic: I ordered some dish with a Polish name in a restaurant and they brought me something totally unexpected - I believe I ordered "krokiety" and and they brought me something like "kluski".
delphiandomine 87 | 16,884    
15 Jun 2011  #71
Just Polish people I talked to.

So, instead of seeing it for yourself (which you didn't), you chose to believe anecdotal evidence?

Czechs do however have long memories of how Poland invaded their country more than once in recent history.

I also talked to a Brazilian girl who used to live in Prague and had the misfortune of having a "Russian look" and working as a waitress. The stay in Prague was very traumatic for her. In the end she got beaten up by a security guard for no reason and decided to leave Czech Republic.

Again, anecdotal evidence.

I just had one day of a recreational stay in Czech Republic

One day is hardly long enough to form a valid opinion, especially as they would know you weren't Polish.

For what it's worth, I found Czechs to be exceptionally patient when trying to bridge the Polish-Czech language barrier.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #72
I believe I ordered "krokiety" and and they brought me something like "kluski".

Did I tell you both languages were totally different?
jwojcie 2 | 763    
15 Jun 2011  #73
jwojcie, if you had been travelling to the Czech Republic often and used or at least listened to Czech, you'd discover the language is not funny at all. It is just another language. No-one can decree the kind of sense of humour, yet I could describe yours as quite childish.

So, we have an understanding now! :-). That was the whole point, if I may cite myself ;) :

exposure to Czech is beyond the "comedy threshold" and you started to loosing natural Polish reaction to it ;) It is not surprisng, I know a Polish girl who learned Czech and she said she lost it to, but she said it was worth it anyway, because it is great language and culture - and I concure with that!

I mean Czechs added arbitrary all those slavic words (supposedly many Russian and Polish), and unprepared Polish ear instantly gets that something is mixed up. Well, that is supposedly the whole point of brain reaction to the joke - when things are mixed up - human either laughs or get scared... That is why learning Czechs removes all the effect - things are no longer mixed up.

So it seems we estabilished: "Czechs is funny for many Poles who don't really don't know it and even didn't heard much of it"

Now, I understand, you would alter that statement to:
"Czechs is funny for many Poles among those who have childish sense of humour who don't really know it and even didn't heard much of it."

Well, if I can take myself as an example I would say those two are the same, because childish reaction is in the essence natural reaction without knowledge on the subject. Oh boy, If I only could remove sometimes all my knowledge in areas I know deeply to be able to cheer about them as I once did... Considering the fact that in life there is less and less such things I think I will preserve my precious Czech ignorance in order to have my internal playground ;)

As for your analogy to Sweden vs Norway... You are getting it wrong. If Czechs would live on Mars and use the same language it would still be funny to childish Polish ear. It has nothing to do with neighbours antagonism.

I have no idea why do you think it is offensive toward anybody, that series of sounds makes some people laugh...
Lyzko    
15 Jun 2011  #74
Czech and Polish false friends practically ruined a true friendship of mine many years ago.

Apparently the Polish words for "fresh", as in fresh-tasting, and "aroma" mean something quite the opposite in their Czech cognate equivalents. I therefore ended up inadvertently telling the host family of my then Czech girlfriend that their wonderful Pilsen beer tasted 'stale', when I wanted to mean 'fresh', 'crisp' etc.., moreover that their cooking was 'smelly', rather than what I wanted to say, namely, 'had a lovely aroma' (in Polish "zapach")-:))

Suffice to say, nobody was amused and my lady barely spoke to me againLOL
sobieski 107 | 2,133    
15 Jun 2011  #75
Funny thing is, there are three versions of the Czech language: "High" Czech, clinically pure, spoken officially; "popular" Czech involving words from other languages, e.g., German, Polish or... English, spoken in the streets; and "folk" Czech, consisting of local dialects, such as the lingo of Beskyd (Beskidy) highlanders.

What about the differences between Moravian for example and High Czech? Is that like between High and Low German ?
High German I learned in school (3 years of torture - sorry BB :) - but I mastered it). Low German - is something I readily understand being Flemish.

For me it was always funny trying to understand Czech through my (non native) Polish :)
Never forget that sign on a railway crossing "pozor vlak!" :)))). There my Polish did not help me at all :)

As concerns the Beskidy Highlanders - my wife is a Polish Góralka - they share their language (not dialect) with the Polish Górale.

Interesting all these complications on a small scale :) Does not make Europe just great ?
Lyzko    
15 Jun 2011  #76
In Czech, "pozor" means "danger", in Polish "pożar" means "fire". Makes sense though-:)
sobieski 107 | 2,133    
15 Jun 2011  #77
Well in fact I did not think so far. And it makes sense : But how do you explain "vlak" ? :)
Lyzko    
15 Jun 2011  #78
I don't. Often letters in related languages equal shifted consonants, e.g. 'Dutch'/'Flemish' "diep" vs. German "tief " etc.... Perhaps "vlak" is "wla_ _" or something, as Polish "w"-words correspond to Czech "v"-words, Cz. 'hovor-' vs. Pol. 'gwar-' and so forth.
sobieski 107 | 2,133    
15 Jun 2011  #79
OK Flemish versus German....let us say that in 80% you can find a close resemblance. "tief' and "diep" is a good example. But this goes back to the common source 1500 years ago.Same for "dorp" and "dorf" for example. You could say that the remaining 20% is heavily influenced by French.

I guess between Czech and Polish it could be the same...
Although I know that Poles understand Slovak and Ukrainian much better as Czech. Maybe the Polish native speakers on this forum could confirm/ dispute this ?

In this case the relationship with Slovak I would understand - being West Slavonic. But Ukrainian is an East Slavonic language.
(we Flemish do understand the German Rhinelanders, but hardly the Swedes for example).
I guess nobody on the forum speaks Sorb or Silesian/Kashubian. Would be interesting to get a view from that side as well.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #80
Although I know that Poles understand Slovak and Ukrainian much better as Czech. Maybe the Polish native speakers on this forum could confirm/ dispute this ?

See my post #9. Czech has been artificially re-created to be a language not to resemble Polish. There was no similar restriction when Slovak was being re-created.

But how do you explain "vlak"

Because the engine "vleèe" (wlecze = drags) carriages. Once you understand the Czech language, it becomes unbelievably well organized and logical language, not all those Polish exceptions. Truly.

As concerns the Beskidy Highlanders - my wife is a Polish Góralka - they share their language (not dialect) with the Polish Górale

Pay attention which part of Beskyd is in Czech Republic. I was there among the Zaolzian highlanders. It was not the language you can hear in Tatra.

Now's question: How does Slovak sound to Czech ears and vice versa??

I cannot answer this but I can tell you what I was told myself. There was a time in my life when I almost lived in my car, switching between CZ and SK constantly. I liked speaking my very poor Czech/Slovak informally because it made locals extremely friendly. However, Czech people perceived me as a Slovak, and I was Slovak to the Czech people. Once, at a Bratislava hotel, an employee told me in a presence of a young Slovak person (he spoke Slovak): "You, as a Czech person (!) understand the language difference and you know that you'd say bílý and I'd say biely (white) but in the past we could perfectly understand each other. Now, this young (Slovak) person here experiences problems with understanding the Czech language". I'm sure older generations there see nothing strange between both languages but it might be different for Slovak and Czech youth.

What about the differences between Moravian for example and High Czech? Is that like between High and Low German ?

Bear in mind the existence of the Formal Czech, Popular Czech and Folk Czech. The differences are certainly to be found in the Folk Czech, perhaps some in Popular Czech and no differences in Formal Czech.
Lyzko    
15 Jun 2011  #81
This last post makes total sense to me, thanx-:) Certainly the separation of word stock over generations withing sociolectal shifts often changes lexical usage, so that common usage in one "dialect" will sound stilted in another. This then begs the question: What is STANDARD language other than by its very nature a contrivance?
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #82
Sorry £yżko, I did not get you now?

The Formal Czech is the standard language, its purity is closely monitored by linguistic bodies there. Could you ask again in simpler English?
Maaarysia    
15 Jun 2011  #83
artyficialny.

? A to ciekawe słówko :)
Sztuczny would be more proper.

rzeczywiścy

in this context naturalny suits more.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #84
Tak jest, Antku! Ale moim zdaniem "Standard Language" nie jest rzeczywiścy, lecz artyficialny.

Tak, oficjalny czeski nie jest naturalnym lecz sztucznym językiem. Yes, Standard Czech is an artificial language yet it is used by all educated people, on the TV, in the press, in books, etc. This is as if it were BBC English squared ;-) That was the very intention of the Fathers of The Czech Language. However, the Nature hates vacuum, therefore Popular Czech is the language spoken in the streets, in pubs, even by University Professors. Already "The Good Soldier Švejk" is full of Popular Czech of the era mixed with some Folk Czech. Examples from Švejk: the train carriage is "vůz" in Standard Czech but Švejk used to call it "vagón". The main meal of day is "obiad" in Polish, it is "oběd" in Standard Czech but Švejk called it "voběd" which is either Popular or Folk version.

Popular Czech allows borrowed words; Standard or Formal Czech forbids any borrowings.

BTW, £yżko, rozumiem co do mnie mówisz, nawet jak nie piszesz idealnie. Nie pękaj! ;-)
Maaarysia    
15 Jun 2011  #85
£yżko

Btw. I was always curious why Lyzko called himsel a spoon in vocative...

*To prevent deleting this post by mods, I'll add: maybe it means something different in Czech? ;P ;)
sobieski 107 | 2,133    
15 Jun 2011  #86
It seems to me that there is an effort here to represent Czech and Slovak as artificial/reconstructed languages... Which they are definitely not.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #87
This is not any effort Sobieski... Read my posts #9 and #11. More on the subject:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Czech_language#National_Renaissance
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_National_Revival

Czech language disappeared for 160 years and re-creation of the language by revivalists took another 60 years.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Slovak_language#Standardization
<-- read also about forbidding the usage of the Slovak language by the Hungarian. Slovak was created in the sense of building it from local dialects as the language did not exist before.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%BDudov%C3%ADt_%C5%A0t%C3%BAr

Third language of this kind I know (artificially created) is Nynorsk, the New Norwegian.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Norwegian
emha - | 92    
15 Jun 2011  #88
nice dialog about Czech language from Czech film Samotari. Rewind to 4:16
..
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
15 Jun 2011  #89
Yeah, I could hear funnier pot-induced comments in the "Chłopaki nie płaczą" Polish movie. Like that one of the boy who wanted to be an ambassador to Jamaica, so he could have unlimited access to marijuana.
Lyzko    
16 Jun 2011  #90
Nie pękam,Antku! -:)) Ale twój język ojczystowy jest język polski, a dlatego twój język ojczystowy lepiej rozumiesz niż angielski, nieprawda? Tak, dobrze! Poza tym TY nie piszesz idealnie po angielsku. Jednak jako cudodziemiec nie źle piszesz,.

Please consider the wider audience as well as the forum rules. Thank you.



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