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Do English-speakers sound funny when we speak Polish?


Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
6 May 2018  #31
Recently greeted by a Polish-American colleague who learned his Polish in the US, whereby "Jak sie masz?" (Yok shiiieww mosh), came out sounding more like

"JACK SEE MADGE", no fooling:-)

Yeah, it was pretty funny, yet I held myself back from even smirking...he signs my checks at workLOL
E_West - | 9    
6 May 2018  #32
@kaprys
XD

It sounds a little like the situation I'm imagining. I'm imagining a situation where there's a non-Polish speaking guy visiting his friend's family. It's a pretty tensed situation but the family is trying to be nice and therefore the mother asks him if he has learnt any Polish. So he tries to say something which turns out to be something completely different from what he was supposed to say. Which results in them all laughing and the mother accuses her son for always playing tricks with his friends teaching them to say bad things.

I'd need a phrase that would be normal to say in that kind of situation though...... :)
jon357 65 | 13,654    
6 May 2018  #33
I also remember an anectode

A long time ago when I'd not long lived in Poland I was taking part in something very formal where I had to walk round a room with someone collecting money from those present. I was walking first. The person running the ceremony said to me "Nie, chodż za nim". My genuine if ungrammatical (it was many years ago and I'd not long before started learning Polish) reply was "Co mowisz? Już chodzę zanim on chodzi". ;-)
dolnoslask 5 | 2,183    
6 May 2018  #34
I think its funny but wow I am so impressed to hear an english person speak Polish , so much effort to learn such a difficult language it amazes me.

pronouncing pliars in Polish is an amazing challenge to an anglo, but I have seen (Rather heard) it done.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
6 May 2018  #35
pliars

Pliers? You mean szczypce? It doesn't seem that hard; think of /sh chyp ts/.

One of those words with a lovely sound. My favourite Polish word is probably rtęć. Lovely sound.
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
7 May 2018  #36
szczypce?

yeah I noticed that English speakers have trouble getting sz and cz fluidly together in such words (like szczęście and similar)
Atch 16 | 2,647    
7 May 2018  #37
Which results in them all laughing and the mother accuses her son for always playing tricks with his friends teaching them to say bad things.

By bad things, do you mean swearing or being vulgar? If not, then when I first started learning Polish I kept confusing Włochy and włosy and also śmieci and śmierć - I did actually ask whether death was included in the czynsz on a flat. I also asked for those biccies, Delicje pomidorowe instead of pomarańczowe. You should have seen the face on the girl in the shop.

'Ale nie ma'.

'Ale jest' I insisted. 'tam na półce'.

'JEST??? she responded in justifiable amazement turning to look at the shelf. Then the penny dropped 'ah pomarańćowe'. She didn't even smile, let alone laugh. I did though :D
E_West - | 9    
7 May 2018  #38
Thank you for helping me. :) Could you translate for me, please?

I guess mostly vulgar things, things that you'd tease your friend into saying but not would like to admit in front of your family I guess? :P
Atch 16 | 2,647    
7 May 2018  #39
Not sure what you want me to translate - you mean the conversation in the shop? The biscuits/cookies are of the brand Delicje, sponge things covered in chocolate with a fruit filling and I confused orange and tomato so I asked her for tomato flavour Delicje to which she naturally replied 'But there aren't any' I said 'Oh but there are! There on the shelf/'. 'There are ARE??' she responded. And that's it basically, not very interesting I'm afraid! I suppose the funny thing to me was the stunned expression on her face when I asked for tomato flavour chocolate biscuits!

As for Wlochy, that's Italy and włosy is hair, śmierć is death and śmieci is rubbish. (Sorry, I thought you were Polish.)
E_West - | 9    
7 May 2018  #40
Thank you! :) Wow, tomatoe flavoured?

No, I'm not at all. I was just writing in this forum to get some help with a story I'm writing. I don't speak Polish, even though I've always thought it's such an awesome language. All since I went to school and had a friend who was Polish and tried to teach me a few phrases. (I wasn't good at all though.) I'm Swedish.
Atch 16 | 2,647    
7 May 2018  #41
Wow, tomatoe flavoured?

Well of course now, you do understand that I made a mistake! I wanted orange but mixed up the two words and asked for tomato which would be a rather odd kind of chocolate biscuit!!

And yes, I asked if śmierć (death) was included in the service charge on an apartment :D
E_West - | 9    
7 May 2018  #42
X) !!!!

That thing with death was hilarious?

Well that's that kind of phrase that I'm looking for. Only, it should be something that you'd normally say I'd someone is asking you : Have you learnt any Polish while visiting Poland?

And then you answer: Sure, I learnt ......
and then accidentally mispronounce it and say something really embarrassing instead.

I'm only writing a story as a hobby, so it's really a silly question but I tried google and find a fitting phrase that way but couldn't find anything. So I took a chance and posted this question here in the Polish forum. :)
Atch 16 | 2,647    
7 May 2018  #43
That thing with death was hilarious

Yeah, they should have replied 'You can die free of charge but you'll have to pay your own funeral expenses' :))
jon357 65 | 13,654    
7 May 2018  #44
yeah I noticed that English speakers have trouble getting sz and cz fluidly together in such words (like szczęście and similar)

Some native speakers of English certainly say this and are often by the combination of sounds. In fact, anyone who's ever said the word "pushchair" has been doing it already.
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
7 May 2018  #45
My first encounter with learning Polish, was a classroom lecture I accidentally stumbled upon while in the corridor at college. The instructor was saying to the students, mystified, perhaps even slightly daunted, by the seeming maze of consonant clusters, that in fact we Anglophones apply many of these same sounds unconsciously while speaking English, without realizing it, e.g. "Misshyu..", casually pronounced "Miss you...", Dzyeetyet for "Did you eat yet.." etc.
Alex885 1 | 7    
8 May 2018  #46
I would think, in all honesty, that a French speaker would probably sound funnier trying to speak Polish than an English speaker would. :)
Lyzko 18 | 5,325    
8 May 2018  #47
Germans too sound awfully odd speaking Polish, what with all those long, extended closed vowels which don't exist in Polish, as well as the jerky rhythm often heard in Northern German speech:-)
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
8 May 2018  #48
@Alex885
There's a French chef of Polish origin called Pascal Brodnicki. He speaks Polish with a very strong French accent - his TV show was pretty popular years ago because of how he spoke Polish.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
8 May 2018  #49
I would think, in all honesty, that a French speaker would probably sound funnier trying to speak Polish than an English speaker would. :)

They do. I know quite a few French people in Warsaw and am very used to it. There's something nice about the very distinct way they speak, however a small minority of people in our same social circle (especially ones who weren't used to it) did find it amusing at first.



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