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Fun with Polish ambiguous language


pawian 161 | 9,849
4 Jan 2013  #1
What does it mean?:

Nie stać mnie na nowy zamek.
kpc21 1 | 763
5 Jan 2013  #2
translate.google.com

I can't afford a new lock (or castle or zipper, depending on the context).
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
5 Jan 2013  #3
I can't afford a new lock (or castle or zipper, depending on the context).

Yes!

Which meaning would you choose?
kpc21 1 | 763
5 Jan 2013  #4
It depends on the context :) "Zamek" has few meanings. Everyone of them looks rather strange. Lock or zipper are rather cheap, but I don't know anyone who would like to buy a castle.
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
5 Jan 2013  #5
"Zamek" has few meanings.

Yes, you are probably right. :):):)

Lock or zipper are rather cheap,

Depends.

but I don't know anyone who would like to buy a castle.

How about the guy?:

Wszedł facet do warzywniaka i nasrał w pory.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
5 Jan 2013  #6
Wszedł facet do warzywniaka i nasrał w pory.

hehe this one's good :)

robiła babcia na drutach, przejechał tramwaj i spadła ;)
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
5 Jan 2013  #7
robiła babcia na drutach, przejechał tramwaj i spadła ;)

Hey, it took me 15 seconds to understand this one! :):):):)

Why is it ambiguous??

- Wzięłaś pigułki?
- Nie...
- No to dupa...


Did you take a pill?
No..
Shyt!
enkidu 7 | 623
6 Jan 2013  #8
Did you take a pill?
No..
Shyt!

Did you take a pill?
No.
That would be anal then.
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
6 Jan 2013  #9
I prefer the other interpretation.
kcharlie 2 | 165
6 Jan 2013  #10
I find the word "zamykać" ambiguous in general.

Zamknąć/zamykać means both "to close" and "to lock." You can disambiguate the two meanings by saying "zamknąć na klucz," but I've had misunderstandings happen because of the ambiguous nature of this word.

Someone else: "Zamknąłeś drzwi?" - What they mean: "Have you locked the door"? (What I think they mean: "Have you closed the door?")

Me: "Zamknąłem." - What I mean: "Yeah, I've closed it." (What someone else thinks I mean: "Yeah, I've locked it.")

The next day,

Someone else: "Czemu drzwi zostały otwarte? Przecież mówiłeś, że je zamknąłeś." ("Why was the door left unlocked? I mean, you said you locked it.")

Me: "Bo zamknąłem. Ale nie zamknąłem na klucz." ("Because I did close it. But I didn't lock it.")
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
6 Jan 2013  #11
Good! :):)
cinek 2 | 337
7 Jan 2013  #12
You can disambiguate the two meanings by saying "zamknąć na klucz,"

We usually say 'zakluczyć' - to lock
It's probably a colloquial word but makes it less ambiguous.

Cinek
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Jan 2013  #13
It's probably a colloquial word but makes it less ambiguous.

zakluczyć is not even colloquial - must be some kind of local neologism - I haven't heard zakluczyć where I live - but I am aware that Russian has 'zakliuczit''
cinek 2 | 337
7 Jan 2013  #14
must be some kind of local neologism

Hmm, I live in kuj-pom area and it's quite popular here. Didn't know that people might have not ever heard it :-)

Cinek
Paulina 9 | 1,448
7 Jan 2013  #15
lol Interesting... Definitely not used in my region :)
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
7 Jan 2013  #16
cinek: Hmm, I live in kuj-pom area and it's quite popular here. Didn't know that people might have not ever heard it :-)
lol Interesting... Definitely not used in my region :)

Neither in mine. It sounds Russian, indeed.

- but I am aware that Russian has 'zakliuczit''

Another one:

Siedzi baba i słyszy tupanie z szafy, otwiera, a to jej sukienka wychodzi z mody.

A woman hears steps from her wardrobe, opens it and sees how her dress is going out of fashion.
Lyzko
7 Jan 2013  #17
Same conundrum as in German, cf. "Schloss" (lock, castle), "Stollen" (traditional Christmas marzipan cake, mine ore) etc.. Often, as can be seen just in the second example, the meanings appear completely different from each other.

Ambiguities such as these make language learning fun:-)

Oh, I thought of a tamer example in Polish "ćma" (moth with the death's head on it's back, shadow > "ćiemność")
Paulina 9 | 1,448
7 Jan 2013  #18
Oh, I thought of a tamer example in Polish "ćma" (moth with the death's head on it's back, shadow > "ćiemność")

"Ćmok" which is a word similar to "ćma" can mean something like "ciemno/ciemność/noc/zmierzch". Or "po ćmoku" - "po ciemku" (in the dark). Here it probably means "after dark":

ciezkiprzekaz.ownlog.com/zycie-po-cmoku,1552912,komentarze.html
I don't know if it's regional or a countryside thing.
Also, in Slavic mythology "ćmok" was apparently some kind of nocturnal winged demon. Or at least Wikipedia says so:
pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C4%87mok

You can also say "ćmi się" - which means: "it's getting darker".
sjp.pwn.pl/haslo.php?id=9054

But again, it's not "literary Polish" (nowadays), I think.
cinek 2 | 337
8 Jan 2013  #19
ćma

Also: 'Zaćmienie słońca'
gumishu 11 | 5,012
8 Jan 2013  #20
Paulina:
ćma

Also: 'Zaćmienie słońca'

'ćma' is 'ciemność' in Kurpie dialect just as Lyzko stated (my guess is it is the same in North Masovian dialects)
zetigrek
8 Jan 2013  #21
Someone else: "Czemu drzwi zostały otwarte

More natural sounding is: "Czemu drzwi były otwarte"

To avoid any ambiguity in the above sentence one may say:
Drzwi były uchylone - the doors were (slightly) open
Drzwi były otwarte na oścież - the doors were open widely

...................................................................... .......
Twoja babka nie wygląda zbyt apetycznie ;)

Not very ambigious for a Pole but might be confusing for Polish learners:

Ktoś na mnie leci.

Ciągnie mnie do domu.

Mam pociąg do Kobyłek
Paulina 9 | 1,448
8 Jan 2013  #22
Also: 'Zaćmienie słońca'

Wow, right! I completely forgot about this one :))

'ćma' is 'ciemność' in Kurpie dialect just as Lyzko stated (my guess is it is the same in North Masovian dialects)

I didn't know about this! Thanks :)

Mam pociąg do Kobyłek

xD
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
9 Jan 2013  #23
Żołnierz wychylił głowę z okopu i coś mu strzeliło do głowy.

What does it mean?:

Daleko stoisz?
rybnik 18 | 1,462
10 Jan 2013  #24
Ćmok" which is a word similar to "ćma" can mean something like "ciemno/ciemność/noc/zmierzch". Or "po ćmoku" - "po ciemku" (in the dark). Here it probably means "after dark":

OMG Paulina! Did you bring back a flood of childhood memories!
Interestingly, my father used ćmok as a pejorative term as in "co za ćmok" - what a dope/fool
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
10 Jan 2013  #25
Interestingly, my father used ćmok as a pejorative term as in "co za ćmok" - what a dope/fool

No, he said: ćwok !!

It was my mother who used to say: ciućmok. (clumsy person)
Paulina 9 | 1,448
10 Jan 2013  #26
OMG Paulina! Did you bring back a flood of childhood memories!
Interestingly, my father used ćmok as a pejorative term as in "co za ćmok" - what a dope/fool

Because that's one of the meanings :):
sjp.pl/%E6mok
pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C4%87mok
Here its says: "(1.1) *gw. lwow. cham"
*gwara lwowska

But I know this from the dictionary, I've never heard it used like that. Must be regional, as Poles in general usually say "ćwok":

sjp.pl/%E6wok
;)
rybnik 18 | 1,462
10 Jan 2013  #27
'Zaćmienie słońca'

and there's zaćma oka - cataract- katarakta

@ Pawian..........no I'm quite sure he said ćmok (i've never heard of ćwok before) :)
Paulina 9 | 1,448
10 Jan 2013  #28
@ Pawian..........no I'm quite sure he said ćmok (i've never heard of ćwok before) :)

Because that's one of the meanings :):
sjp.pl/%E6mok
pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C4%87mok
Here its says: "(1.1) *gw. lwow. cham"
*gwara lwowska

But I know this from the dictionary, I've never heard it used like that. Must be regional, as Poles in general usually say "ćwok":

sjp.pl/%E6wok
;)
rybnik 18 | 1,462
10 Jan 2013  #29
But I know this from the dictionary, I've never heard it used like that. Must be regional, as Poles in general usually say "ćwok":

quite right
he was from Świerklany na Śląsku (upper silesia)
OP pawian 161 | 9,849
13 Jan 2013  #30
Wyrzucili go z rzeźni za rzucanie mięsem.


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