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Too many English words in the Polish language!


Rogalski 5 | 94
5 Jan 2010 #31
It is called language contact and has happened for as long as languages have been spoken. It's a cross-fertilization of cultures, that's all. It's not as if the higher registers in Polish are breaking down and that educated people don't know how to write correct Polish because of interference from English.
TheOther 5 | 3,762
5 Jan 2010 #32
It is called language contact and has happened for as long as languages have been spoken

Although the English language is somewhat "imperialistic" in this respect...
Lyzko
5 Jan 2010 #33
Sorry all to keep flogging a dead horse, but please tell me, for whom would having one world language, in this case English, easier? For Poles or non-Anglo-native speakers who would be misunderstanding world English anyway??
jonni 16 | 2,485
5 Jan 2010 #34
Although the English language is somewhat "imperialistic" in this respect...

Not really - 'useful' or 'popular' might be a better description. Most people from English speaking countries would be surprised at the extent that words from English have entered other languages.

It is called language contact and has happened for as long as languages have been spoken.

Indeed. There's even an English word (noun, phrasal verb and adjective) from Polish.

but please tell me, for whom would having one world language, in this case English, easier?

For business and academia. Bad news for translators though.
TheOther 5 | 3,762
5 Jan 2010 #35
Not really - 'useful' or 'popular' might be a better description

Well, there are reasons why English is the modern lingua franca. Colonial oppression, WW1 and WW2 come to mind for example.
jonni 16 | 2,485
5 Jan 2010 #36
Colonial oppression, WW1 and WW2

In Poland?

English is a working language in Sweden, Switzerland, Chile, Indonesia, Thailand etc.

English as a lingua franca reaches far further than countries that have been within Britain or America's sphere of influence.
TheOther 5 | 3,762
5 Jan 2010 #37
In Poland?

Didn't you know that Poland was a British colony for a long time? ;)

English as a lingua franca reaches far further...

But it has replaced French as the diplomatic language and German as the language of science for example. IMHO, languages are in a "competition" with each other, and English is spread quite aggressively throughout the world.
jonni 16 | 2,485
5 Jan 2010 #38
Didn't you know that Poland was a British colony for a long time?

Maybe in the future....

;-)
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
5 Jan 2010 #39
Or you can do as McDonalds and take 1 Polish and 1 English word and put them together to a new word, Kurczakburger.

Well, this is very common among young people in most countries actually.

English, Polish et. al. borrowed a lot of French words a long time ago. Now people don't even know they are of French origin.
strzyga 2 | 993
5 Jan 2010 #40
Or you can do as McDonalds and take 1 Polish and 1 English word and put them together to a new word, Kurczakburger.

I like the word wieśmak better.

TheOther:
Didn't you know that Poland was a British colony for a long time?
Maybe in the future....

;-)

for now it seems the other way around ;)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
5 Jan 2010 #41
What about all the German words, then?

ratusz (rathaus)
gminy (gemeinde)
kartofli (in Warmia, anyway)
sznycel
świnia
4 pancerni (panzer)

etc.

What do you think? What's wrong with parowki, kotlety

Bloody foreign words...

Online Etymology Dictionary:

cutlet
1706, from Fr. côtelette, from O.Fr. costelette "little rib," from coste "rib, side," from L. costa (see coast), infl. by Eng. cut.

schnitzel
veal cutlet, 1854, from Ger. Schnitzel "cutlet," lit. "a slice," from Schnitz "a cut, slice" (+ -el, dim. suffix), from schnitzen "to carve," frequentative of schneiden "to cut," from O.H.G. snidan, cognate with O.E. sniþan "to cut," from P.Gmc. *snithanan.

kielbasa
1953, from Pol. kielbasa "sausage" (Rus. kolbasa, SCr. kobasica); perhaps from Turk. kulbasti, "grilled cutlet," lit. "pressed on the ashes." Or perhaps, via Jewish butchers, from Heb. kolbasar "all kinds of meat."

SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
5 Jan 2010 #42
What about all the German words, then?

Of course, German had a significant influence on the Polish language.
pawian 175 | 13,563
5 Jan 2010 #43
It drives me crazy when I read or hear moron journalists using curator
(of a museum) instead of Polish kustosz. Curator in Polish means sb else. e.g, education superintendent
Trevek 26 | 1,702
5 Jan 2010 #44
there should be polish words in the english language.

There is: Spruce (the tree) is "Prussian Pine". Also Vodka.

grammar-wise, the phrase "I meting with my friends" is more common in US English, possibly as a result of Polish immigrants bringing the Polish form with them and using it in direct translation.

Of course, German had a significant influence on the Polish language.

As I see and understand it, German is to Polish what French is to English: most administrative and military terms are derived from it.
jonni 16 | 2,485
5 Jan 2010 #45
Spruce (the tree) is "Prussian Pine".

Z Prus ;-)

And hence 'to spruce up', spruce as an adjective etc...
strzyga 2 | 993
5 Jan 2010 #46
As I see and understand it, German is to Polish what French is to English: most administrative and military terms are derived from it.

And technical: śruba, wajcha, wichajster :)
TheOther 5 | 3,762
5 Jan 2010 #47
German had a significant influence on the Polish language

There are quite a few words in the German language that have Polish roots. For example:

Grenze - granica
Peitsche - bicz
Säbel - szabla
Zeisig - czyż
Lyzko
5 Jan 2010 #48
"Bad news for translators..." = Super bad news for clarity across the board!!
Folks just don't seem to get it. Prior to 1990, in the relatively good old days of pre-globalization madness, the role of the translator/interpreter served the ends of communication, cost be damned. And that's as it should be (....and was). Visitors to Holland, Poland, Russia, France etc... may have attempted to speak in the languages of those countries, but most probably were scarcely fluent. Fine. So the smart ones hired locals, i.e. translators of you will, to help smooth the way. Through such interlocutors, the visitors could speak perfectly in their respective mother tongue and the Frenchman, German, what have you, could respond in equally normal, natural French, German and so forth. Those among both groups who were 'bad a languages' needed not fret about it; a competent other could, so to speak, 'do all the talking.' At best, the Frenchman was content with a few crumbs of English greeting and was honest enough about his or her skills to know that it was hardly adequate, merely an approximation of convenience. After all, noone but the expert was expected to be near perfect.LOL

Fast forward fourty or so years later, our society worldwide has become penny-wise and pound foolish, sacrificing the aesthetic of clarity and precision in favor of the quick fix, sommon sense be damned.

When will people realize that there's a double standard going on here, but big time. Since when do ALL Europeans somehow successfully "speak" English, even without really knowing it?-:) Furthermore, why in the name of heaven are Americans especially considered eternally "practicing" a foreign language, yet miraculously, i.e conveniently, Europeans "know" English well enough to translate INTO a language which is not even their mother tongue???

Is this just another instance of standards be damned as well?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
6 Jan 2010 #49
Europeans "know" English well enough to translate INTO a language which is not even their mother tongue???

Well, I do "know" English well enough, and PL - ENG translation forms at least 50% of the work I do ;-p

Prior to 1990, in the relatively good old days of pre-globalization madness, the role of the translator/interpreter served the ends of communication, cost be damned.

Do we really live on the same planet?
Tyskie 1 | 27
6 Jan 2010 #50
As part of my university degree years ago, I did a dissertation on Anglicisms in other languages, with a focus on (Anglicisms in) French. What an interesting thread!

I think it's part of natural language progression that languages will always absorb words from other languages, especially dominant ones.
Mr Grunwald 27 | 1,820
6 Jan 2010 #51
The whole concept in the Polish language with all the endings and such and other stuff, does it have much to do wiht latin no? Also Polish do have alot of German loanwords and even Russian so WHY NOT ENGLISH?
mafketis 24 | 8,944
6 Jan 2010 #52
Well, I do "know" English well enough, and PL - ENG translation forms at least 50% of the work I do ;-p

Translating into a second language is about 10 times harder than translating into your own as there's almost no way to become fluent enough in a foreign language to develop a sense of style and euphony that can match that of native speakers. Typically translation into a second language, even when grammatically okay can sound heavy and/or dull or just stylistically off. I used to do proofing for a translation office's Polish to English work and 90 % of the changes I made were related to style (or fine grained vocabulary or set expressions the translator didn't know).

Unfortunately there aren't enough English speakers who are competent enough in Polish to meet demand and there's no sign that the situation will improve. There's EU money for schools to help train Polish to English translators but not much interest on the Polish side.

Back on topic, I will say that I sometimes do the opposite and import Polish words into English (when I think the other person will understand)

"I put it in the szafa."
"She as in the stolowka the last I saw her."
"I need to renew my zameldowanie."
"Is she still marudzic-ing?" (yes I heard myself say that recently)
I also sometimes add Polish diminutives to words.
"Do you want some wine-ik?"
etc etc etc
delphiandomine 86 | 18,271
6 Jan 2010 #53
Back on topic, I will say that I sometimes do the opposite and import Polish words into English (when I think the other person will understand)

Quite normal for English speakers in Poland I think, I do the same despite not really knowing Polish well.

I despise the habit of translating place names though - I heard "old meadow roundabout" and "middle roundabout" being used! Old Market winds me up constantly as well.
mafketis 24 | 8,944
6 Jan 2010 #54
I despise the habit of translating place names though - I heard "old meadow roundabout" and "middle roundabout" being used! Old Market winds me up constantly as well.

I figured out 'middle roundabout' relatively easily (rondo śródka) but I really had to think about 'old meadow' (talk about unhelpful translations!).

Oddly I've noticed that some Polish people find it disappointing when native speakers use Polish terms and don't have special unique English names for pecularly Polish items.
Rogalski 5 | 94
6 Jan 2010 #55
Although the English language is somewhat "imperialistic" in this respect...

How can a language act imperialistically? Do you mean speakers of English do? I think I know what you mean (and will probably agree with you) but do you have examples?
TheOther 5 | 3,762
6 Jan 2010 #56
How can a language act imperialistically?

The dominance of the Anglo-American culture and the English language has reached a point which I personally find "unhealthy". I simply don't want to live in a uniform world where every country looks, tastes and sounds the same.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
6 Jan 2010 #57
Interestingly, some observers have suggested that English is actually moving out of the hands of the Native Speakers and into the hands of the second language speakers. As it becomes stronger and stronger as a global language, certain aspects of English which are considered 'non-standard' are likely to become the norm because it is reaching (or has reached the point) where more people speak it as a second language than as a first. therefore, 'mistakes' will become accepted as normal.

I've come across cases where Native speakers were unable to follow Englang conversations between second language speakers, because the references and 'mistakes' were understood by the L2 speakers but not by the L1 speaker.

An example: A Polish businessman and a French businessman were talking about supply of packaging materials. Both used the term 'carton' to refer to a box (it's the French and Polish word). They began joking about the supply network being their 'Cartoon Network'

The Brit didn't know what the hell they were going on about, but they understood each other perfectly, although speaking English.
Nika 2 | 507
6 Jan 2010 #58
I simply don't want to live in a uniform world where every country looks, tastes and sounds the same.

then I'm sure you are neither British nor American. Sometimes I get the impression that this is the world they would love!

I've come across cases where Native speakers were unable to follow Englang conversations between second language speakers, because the references and 'mistakes' were understood by the L2 speakers but not by the L1 speaker.

so true, I've seen it in my work as well.
Lyzko
6 Jan 2010 #59
Madźiu!

Yes, unfortunately we DO live on the same planet. I too wish things were different, but, as a translator myself, I must agree with Mafketis a thousand percent:-) Translating from one's mother tongue, particularly into English, whose standards have become so terribly slipshod of late, is ten times harder than from the target (i.e. second) language into the source language, or mother tongue of the translator, in your case Polish or Czech.

While your English seems quite good, as does that of many on this and other such forums, I've come across errors, lapses which could only have been made by a non-native English speaker (don't ask me though to enumerate them now!). Unless one is a native bilingual, for example myself with German and English, I've seen only problems arise among translators whose hybris all too often trumps their ability. LOL
TheOther 5 | 3,762
6 Jan 2010 #60
Both used the term 'carton' to refer to a box...

This is an interesting aspect. Never thought about it, although it seems as if it's a natural development of the language you're describing here. Pretty much like Pidgin English in isolated areas. The word "carton" is used in the US as well, by the way...

then I'm sure you are neither British nor American

Actually, I'm Australian. But with international "background": my dad's Polish, my mum is German.

Sometimes I get the impression that this is the world they would love

Put it this way: it makes travelling and doing business much easier.


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