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Too many English words in the Polish language!


mafketis 21 | 7,463
6 Jan 2010 #61
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.

I hope you're not presenting this as a good thing. I personally think English as an international lingua franca is a bad idea, not least because it's my languagend I don't enjoy listening to any old words slapped together any old way, which is what you're describing. blechh
F15guy 1 | 160
7 Jan 2010 #62
I did a dissertation on Anglicisms in other languages

Is your dissertation on line? I'd be very interested in reading it.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
7 Jan 2010 #63
The word "carton" is used in the US as well, by the way...

Ah, of course you have to remember the Americans left Britain before they'd learned the language properly!

Seriously, tho', there's also the 'problem' of US vs UK English, in that many of my studes use constructions which they've picked up from American media (particularly hip-hop!) and which are non-standard. It means I have to learn American, as well. I have an American colleague and he and I often bounce questions off each other about useage and spelling.

I hope you're not presenting this as a good thing. I personally think English as an international lingua franca is a bad idea, not least because it's my languagend I don't enjoy listening to any old words slapped together any old way, which is what you're describing. blechh

I'm not presenting it as anything other than what it is. It's a natural process in language development, whether we like it or not. What we speak is "ours" but what they speak is "theirs". Even within our own lands and languages there are such developments. American English is a prime example, where a number of words and grammatical structures may have developed from L2 immigration ("hopefully" developed amongst German immigrants in US) and/or the continued useage of archaic forms which are no longer standard in BritEng ("gotten"). This then becomes the norm and infiltrates BritEng.

'Dialects', or regional varieties are often different because of cross-cultural pollenation. There are various words more prevalent in some areas because of cultural contacts or intereference from other languages. 'Oxford' English is seen as the standard from historical circumstances: the roayal court was based around that area, as was the oldest university in Britain, and the Oxford 'dialect' was chosen as a standard for printed texts.

Even in langaues such as French, this is common. For all the Quebecois go on about speaking French, the French can't understand them. I was in paris, in a shop, and told the assistant "pardon, je ne pas parle en Francais tres bien" (probably as bad as it reads) He nodded and asked "Anglais? Quebecois?"

("Sorry, I don't speak french very well" "Are you English or Quebecois?"

From what I'm told, if a Parisean meets a Quebecois, they speak English!

This also happened in England many years ago. Chaucer refers to the Nun in Canterbury Tales as speaking "Stratford French", because "English French" was a bit of a joke to educated French speakers in 13th/14th C.

Polish is obviously going to have a similar situation. Norman Davies points out that following the re-establishment of Poland there were soldioers from all three partitions trying to work together using several different forms of language (Russian, german, French etc) and so a standard technical form had to be developed/decided upon.

Likewise, the emigre/diaspora population will have a role in changing the language too. An Australian Croatian friend of mine explained that although she was 1st generation Australian, and spoke fluent Croat, there were some phrases they hadn't learned from their parents (usually profanities), which they just translated directly from English ("give head" was the example she used), which when they visited Croatia, nobody understood, as relevant terms already exist in that language.

Wow, talk about pedantic! The thread had developed into an inclusion of German words in Polish and had included comments on earlier posts... than wham! about half a page consigned to oblivion... I wonder why so many pages sit unanswered for a long time...
Lyzko
8 Jan 2010 #64
I'd hardly consider it pedantic, rather more instructive than anything else.
How about you?

I've found here at PF.UK that posts are often summarily deleted as the administration sees fit. -:)

Indeed, the reasons for the ire aroused by the slow if steady "anglicization" of Polish is due to the laziness of the Poles, as many other Europeans (except perhaps the French - VIVE L'ACADEMIE FRANCAISE!!) in jumping on the American English global bandwagon just a wee bit to fast and furious. If a Polish say, or a French or German word really can be replaced by a superior English one, then maybe, perhaps I'd concede defeat.

The difference though is that historically, English adopted typically French, sometimes German, words in order to add an aesthetic or cultured touch to a mundane Anglo-Saxon turn of phrase. The only reason Polish youth adopt English is because 'vulgar sounds cool' and they no longer have positive role models to follow.

Catch any young Poles, French, Russians etc.. listening to Gilbert & Sullivan?? On the other hand, educated Anglos steep themselves in Italian opera, not continental punk!
Bondi 4 | 142
8 Jan 2010 #65
As I see and understand it, German is to Polish what French is to English: most administrative and military terms are derived from it.

Not just Polish, Hungarian still have a couple of terms from German, following our close co-existence with the Austrians. :) Most of them would sound archaic in contemporary language, though, as we don't use or understand them now (i.e. "kravatt" for neck-tie, "anzix" for postcard). But when it comes to technical languages of different professions, it is still amazing to hear their German-sounding terms. My uncle used to be a mason, and it was like a riddle to solve when he started to explain how to build or fix something in a house...

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

Grenze - granica
Peitsche - bicz
Säbel - szabla
Zeisig - czyż

Actually, szabla comes from the Hungarian. "Szabni" = to cut, to tailor something. "Szablya" [pronounced in Polish: "sabja"] = szabla.
A similar military term is szereg, from the Hungarian "sereg" (pron. "szereg" in Polish) = army or lots of people/things.
:)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
9 Jan 2010 #66
I'd hardly consider it pedantic, rather more instructive than anything else.
How about you?

I got the impression that a lot of the posts were deleted because they weren't strictly about the thread title, however, some were answering earlier posts. This is what I felt was pedantic, if it was indeed the reason.

One post was referring to my own earlier reference to the German based 'kartofli'being popular in warmia. The post pointed out it was 'kartofle' and was widespread across Poland (quite relevant to the thread). I replied and posted, only to find both posts deleted (along with others discussing Slavonic influences into German).

So, why should I, or anyone else, bother with replying with long posts if they are going to be deleted without even such a thing as a warning, before anyone has time to read them?
Lyzko
9 Jan 2010 #67
Your caveat is well taken, Panie Trevku! However, PF certainly does reserve the (legal) right to delete or preferrably, move posted messages which, according to the rules, are rude, provocative, badly written (LOL!!!!) etc..

My point here, and Mafketis will probably agree, is that for far too long, English has been the whipping boy, later to become the dumping ground, for the world's substandard English. It's a pity that such cries are mistaken for biggoted or petty, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

We just need to gain a little perspective, that's all. If I'm in Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany wherever and a native of that country chooses to correct my attempts to speak their language, not problem. Allow me though kindly to reserve MY right(s) to correct their English in the same breath and, once again, level the playing field a bit, as it's gotten a tad off kilter!! -:)
z_darius 14 | 3,968
9 Jan 2010 #68
I think that actually the word itself is actually a Russian slav word that has spread around Eastern Europe.

Not at all.
The word "Robot" is of Czech origin.
strzyga 2 | 993
9 Jan 2010 #69
The word robot was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), published in 1920.

However, Karel Čapek himself did not coin the word. He wrote a short letter in reference to an etymology in the Oxford English Dictionary in which he named his brother, the painter and writer Josef Čapek, as its actual originator.[14] In an article in the Czech journal Lidové noviny in 1933, he explained that he had originally wanted to call the creatures laboři (from Latin labor, work). However, he did not like the word, and sought advice from his brother Josef, who suggested "roboti". The word robota means literally work, labor or serf labor, and figuratively "drudgery" or "hard work" in Czech and many Slavic languages. Traditionally the robota was the work period a serf had to give for his lord, typically 6 months of the year.[15] Serfdom was outlawed in 1848 in Bohemia, so at the time Čapek wrote R.U.R., usage of the term robota had broadened to include various types of work, but the obsolete sense of "serfdom" would still have been known.[16][17]

The word robotics, used to describe this field of study, was coined by the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot
Trevek 26 | 1,702
10 Jan 2010 #70
If I'm in Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany wherever and a native of that country chooses to correct my attempts to speak their language, not problem.

Oh, I agree, sir(?), I agree. My post about the linguistic 'development' was without prejudice.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,877
10 Jan 2010 #71
(i.e. "kravatt" for neck-tie, "anzix" for postcard)

"Krawatte" and "Ansicht('skarte)" ? ;)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
10 Jan 2010 #72
Doesn't the word 'cravat' come from the word for "Croatian", or is that an urban myth?

Indeed, the reasons for the ire aroused by the slow if steady "Anglicization" of Polish is due to the laziness of the Poles, as many other Europeans (except perhaps the French - VIVE L'ACADEMIE FRANCAISE!!) in jumping on the American English global bandwagon just a wee bit to fast and furious. If a Polish say, or a French or German word really can be replaced by a superior English one, then maybe, perhaps I'd concede defeat.

We say 'laziness', but how much is also because a number of new phrases and words are based in English and therefore introduced to the world through English medium? I'm thinking of things like 'computer', 'internet' etc. The English base of such words may mean that people often have a greater tendency to either talk about these things in English (where possible) or just adopt further English-based words connected to the subject because their own language (Polish, in this case) simply hasn't developed a home grown version of the word.

Some languages do try to create the words by going back to root language. Finnish, for example, has one of the few words for telephone which isn't based on 'telephone', but on the Finnish for 'far' and 'sound' ('Puhelin', or something... can't remember exactly). Whereas The French Academy tries to maintain the language, there are situations, such as Breton, where activists try to 'cleanse' the language of foreign (French) influence and end up confusing a lot of people. One writer (Mary MacDonald, I think... I can check, if you like) comments that whereas many L1 Bretons (farmers) simply use the Franco-based words for things like 'mail' and 'aeroplane', some activists attempt to go back to root to create 'truly Breton' words and end up creating words like 'flying-horse-cart' for aeroplane, simply because Breton doesn't have an equivalent.

If we consider English, there are those who feel we shouldn't use long Latinate phrases and vocab when we can use good old, honest Anglo-saxon, Germanic words. Some of these people might also object to words like 'hopefully' which were 'invented' by Germans in US in 19th Century.

The world is strange.
Michal - | 1,865
10 Jan 2010 #73
Osiedle_Ruda
I never use any of these words myself.
Sparkle_Ravelle 4 | 11
10 Jan 2010 #74
Although the English language is somewhat "imperialistic" in this respect...

Well, you see there are more English speakers than Polish speakers in the world...it's the most widely spoken language. It's that simple.

Every 'young' Polish person I've met (age range from teens to early 30's) has told me they think Polish is a riddiculously hard and complicated language and so maybe that's why they've been trying to incorporate easier, more universal words and grammar useage into their system....

but this is happening in England with the English language too - we now have 'Americanisms' and 'Hinglish' and even 'Ponglish' !
Lyzko
10 Jan 2010 #75
While English may well be the most widely spoken language (save Chinese) today, I'd opt for "the most widely recognized/identifiable", surely not the most accurately understood or best spoken!!

English spelling is as "ridiculously difficult" as Polish grammar (...and perhaps as irregular), only, English has the automatic cache which comes with it, Polish hasn't, ergo Polish difficulty becomes English individuality, having nothing to do the reality of the situation, merely with the supposed coolness of English, unthinkingly and unthinkingly dubbed 'the world's language'.

To sound like a common vulgarian with little to any practice, English is the preferred tongue of the unwashed masses.

I, however, hold our mother tongue up to the higher standard it once had before every Mohammed, Staszek, Francois, Wolfgang, Hiao Tsin etc... got their mitts on it and decided to use English as an international pin cushion.

Again, I ask the same annoying question; How many out there who claim to know and love English are familiar with Shakespeare, Gilbert & Sullivan, Flanders & Swan, Tom Lehrer, Mark Russell or any number of other great wordsmiths of the English language?

When I started learning Polish, I could scarcely wait to know enough to read the Polish classics from Mickiewicz to Mrożek. Any Poles as curious about our literary classics???!!

I wonder.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
11 Jan 2010 #76
Again, I ask the same annoying question; How many out there who claim to know and love English are familiar with Shakespeare, Gilbert & Sullivan, Flanders & Swan, Tom Lehrer, Mark Russell or any number of other great wordsmiths of the English language?

Are you asking the British or American readers of this forum?
Ogien 6 | 245
11 Jan 2010 #77
A lot of those words are just simplified versions of the traditional words. For example, sandwich is actually properly referred to as kanapka (I'm not sure if I spelled that right).
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
11 Jan 2010 #78
Or should we do an ola123 and kick the English out of Polish? :D

Don't worry... All languages are influenced by other languages (well, except the Icelandic language which is why "internet" comes out to "alþjóðanet" and "download" becomes "sækja skrá af fjarlægri tölvu" on the Ice Rock ;).

There's always influence... It used to be Greek, then Latin, then French, then German and Russian, now English, soon Mandarin and after that Marsian or maybe Klingon?...

Qapla - that's Good Bye in Klingon LOL
Trevek 26 | 1,702
11 Jan 2010 #79
English spelling is as "ridiculously difficult" as Polish grammar (...and perhaps as irregular), only,

But this is because it is full of historical anachronisms. Many og the words used to be said the way they are spelt, but when the pronunciation died out the spelling was never revised. That's the difference with the Germans, they occasionally revise their language and spelling etc. The British are too headstrong to do that and then waffle on about 'poor literacy' when it would help to just overhaul the spelling.

Again, I ask the same annoying question; How many out there who claim to know and love English are familiar with Shakespeare, Gilbert & Sullivan, Flanders & Swan, Tom Lehrer, Mark Russell or any number of other great wordsmiths of the English language?

Don't forget Chaucer!

Don't worry... All languages are influenced by other languages

NO! They're all influenced by Greek!
youtube.com/watch?v=VL9whwwTK6I&feature=related
Lyzko
11 Jan 2010 #80
Right on, Treveczku! Chaucer, not to mention the Great 'Faerie Queene' himself Mr. Spencer, were cornerstones in both the linguistic as well as literary develpment of the English language, as important in their own way as your own Mickiewicz or Słowiacki:-)

Who was the real 'Polish Shakespeare' appearing even before the above writers?
strzyga 2 | 993
11 Jan 2010 #81
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Kochanowski
Michal - | 1,865
11 Jan 2010 #82
Ogien
Yes, and this is the word we use at home, so why an English equivalent? There are many good Polish-English dictionaries so look up the words. It is simply lazy to do otherwise.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
11 Jan 2010 #83
as important in their own way as your own Mickiewicz or Słowiacki:-)

I tried reading Adam M and found him bloated as hell in Dziady (OK, Adam, we know you just felt guilty for missing the uprising!), but enjoyed bits of Pan T.

By the way, I'm British ;-)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
11 Jan 2010 #84
Dziady

Parts of Dziady really rock though. I especially liked the parts taking place in Salon Warszawski and in Moscow. And Wielka Improwizacja is awesome! Quite apart from who Adam Mickiewicz was, and what he did right, and what he did wrong (I actually rather dislike him as a person).

:-)
Lyzko
11 Jan 2010 #85
Admittedly folks, the older the literature (with exception, of course!) the less in keeping with contemporary expectations of pacing and spare execution.

However, does that make it any less readable than newer writing? I think not.

Most of us have forgotten how to linger over a single word, much less an entire sentence, we therefore find writing which makes demands on our intellect challenging, hence mistaking it for boring:-)

All that's required to get through Mickiewicz et al. is a little intellectual maturity. It seems though that for the pc-weened cell phone generation, this remains the biggest single challenge!
BrutalButcher - | 391
11 Jan 2010 #86
If Poles don't want so many English words in their language, they should boycott them! It is impossible to avoid anglicisms.

English owns. Get over it!
Lyzko
11 Jan 2010 #87
"...they should boycott them...."

You mean like the French? Yes, I agree. Incidentally, you Germans ain't so hot in that department either.:-)

Tja, jetzt drehe ich dir den Spiess um, Metzgermeister!
BrutalButcher - | 391
11 Jan 2010 #88
Yes, I agree. Incidentally, you Germans ain't so hot in that department either.:-)

I didn't say it like I wanted the Poles to boycott Anglicisms. I actually find it good, to a certain extent. There is a limit, of course and after that limit, the own language starts to sound ridicolous. I have seen it with Spanish, I can't imagine how it would be with a Slavic language.

Germans are more open when it comes to Anglicisms and I think it's totally cool. Of course, it has to sound like German at the end of the day, but a few American expressions "spice it up" a little bit.
Rogalski 5 | 94
11 Jan 2010 #89
From what I'm told, if a Parisean meets a Quebecois, they speak English!

Then you would told wrong! There is so much inter-communal exchange between France and Québec now that educated speakers from both countries have little trouble understanding each other. Less-well educated and/or rural speakers from both countries would have difficulty - but that's true of the English-speaking world as well.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
11 Jan 2010 #90
All that's required to get through Mickiewicz et al. is a little intellectual maturity.

I was reading it as part of a historical/theatrical background for a PhD on contemporary Polish theatre and the use of ethno-motives and romanticism.

Then you would told wrong!

Quite possibly. Probably by a Canadaian with an anti-Q agenda (or a Frenchman!). Obviously, Quebecois educated in standard French wouldn't have a problem.

Less-well educated and/or rural speakers from both countries would have difficulty - but that's true of the English-speaking world as well.

Agreed. Most English speakers would have trouble speaking with Quebecois.


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