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The Future of Polish Language


Torq
15 Nov 2010 #61
ale polacy rozumią

Jasne, że rozumią (a niektórzy to nawet rozumieją)!

;)

the quasi-Irish pronunciation, to make myself understood. Like when saying 'you can't'.

Just be careful no to say 'you coont' ;)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,347
15 Nov 2010 #62
Torq, out of interest - would you recommend any newspapers for having decent Polish?
(I don't have much hope, given that both Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita often have horrible grammatical mistakes and the hysteria-newspapers appear to be written for babies)

Why's that? I've been a regular reader of Rzeczpospolita for many years and I don't think that I can find any gramatical mistakes that I could call "horrible" there. I mean they certainly make mistakes, but a horrible grammatical mistake would be the one over which a typical, well-educated reader [as is usually the case with readers od Rzeczpospolita] can't slide without spotting it.

From another thread (of which I cannot seem to locate quickly) it mentioned that a certain part of the Polish grammar was lost in 1945.

The changes in grammar have been minor since 1939. Most of them concern changes to the rules of writing of certain suffixes, or starting writing the "i" instead of the "y" in certain words during the post-war period. To realize that you may read any of the pre-1939 newspapers or magazines.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
15 Nov 2010 #63
'you coont'

I assume you spent most of your Irish period in Dublin Torq? : )

Where do you find the finesse of Anglo-Saxon, though?

Difficult to tell for sure but I get the impression that with English, there is a stronger tradition of the love of the language for the language's sake - like in poetry or in well crafted prose - even a journalistic piece.

English speakers really appreciate a nice "turn of phrase". So much English language poetry is centred on beautiful evocative contructions, mellifluousness, as opposed to e.g. clever content or insights.
Torq
15 Nov 2010 #64
I assume you spent most of your Irish period in Dublin Torq? : )

Yes - that's why I speak with Rathmines accent ;)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
15 Nov 2010 #65
Rathmines

Ha! an area I also lived in during the 90s : )
nott 3 | 594
15 Nov 2010 #66
I think is basic Polish. Can hear there where there is foreigners.

You are missing my point, I'm afraid. First thing, the above is not basic English, it's English mutilated, by direct retranslation from a mutilated Polish. Basic English is a cropped set of grammatical rules, a subset, which is correct within the general English grammar. Being easy to master, it is still correct and fully functional. After learning it, two foreigners from two different countries can communicate without any problem, and they both can use it as a basis to extend it into proper English.

In Polish there's no such thing, as any attempt to simplify the grammar to make it as easy as the basic English grammar will create a cripple which is not a part of Polish, but an entirely new, artificial construct.
mafketis 34 | 12,194
15 Nov 2010 #67
I'm in linguistics, trust me, there is no such thing. English in use by two non-native speakers is different from native use but there are lots of deviations from 'correct' usage in such communication even from Scandinavians and the Dutch (supposed European champs in second language English). That's not a problem in terms of communication but I'm not sure if the means of communication is "English" in the way that native speakers use the word.

To clarify a little, paring down usage to three or four tenses is not 'correct' in any real meaning of the term.

If you're referring to the old project Basic English, it was in fact Basic Fraud from a linguistic point of view.
nott 3 | 594
15 Nov 2010 #68
f you're referring to the old project Basic English, it was in fact Basic Fraud from a linguistic point of view.

The very fact that it could've been pulled off speaks for itself, no such thing is possible with Polish.

I know the English speak different English than the foreigners, yet the usage differences are not basic things. Especially that the native English speakers differ in this as well.
mafketis 34 | 12,194
15 Nov 2010 #69
I know the English speak different English than the foreigners, yet the usage differences are not basic things. Especially that the native English speakers differ in this as well.

Basically, you quite naturally, have much higher standards for your own language than English.

Define usage: There is no native variety where article and tense or other usage is not extremely important. The parameters of variation work in very different ways than variation between native and non-native usage.

Any language can withstand massive breaches of core integrity and still be understandable. It's true that Polish speakers are by and large not used to non-native usage but a little exposure goes a long way toward mending that lack.
nott 3 | 594
15 Nov 2010 #70
Any language can withstand massive breaches of core integrity and still be understandable.

From the context. This short sentence of yours is just gibberish, and needs lots of effort and additional information to start guessing at the meaning:

Ja był slychać często kiedy kupię od ludzi wietnamski

I was (there to) [can be heard] often when I will have bought from people the Vietnamese.

You call it understandable?
gumishu 12 | 6,045
15 Nov 2010 #71
mafketis:
Ja był slychać często kiedy kupię od ludzi wietnamski

yes, true - I couldn't figure out the meaning if out of context - it is not the improper use of tenses btw that makes this pretty unintelligible (i am very much for 'infinitive speech' for foreigners trying to speak Polish for a start - but it helps very much if they quickly learn the role of the aspect in Polish verbs I'd imagine)
mafketis 34 | 12,194
16 Nov 2010 #72
Practically speaking noun, pronoun and adjective cases are much more important than aspect for the foreigner learning Polish.

You guys don't have so much imagination, I've heard much worse in real life that was understood in context (no, not from me).

And English is not immune to misunderstandings out of context. There've been a number of temporary posters here (mostly non-European AFAICT) that are very difficult to understand.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,347
16 Nov 2010 #73
I agree that Basic English is a totally false concept. There is no border whatsoever separating the "basic" English from the "more advanced" English. There only exist different levels of knowing a given language.
gumishu 12 | 6,045
16 Nov 2010 #74
You guys don't have so much imagination, I've heard much worse in real life that was understood in context (no, not from me).

yes, true - I couldn't figure out the meaning if out of context - it is not the improper use of tenses btw that makes this pretty unintelligible

well mafketis it is also the thing that the sentence doesn't make sense in Polish even after getting all verbs in proper form - so one desperately needs a context (e.g some more information) to figure out what the sayer actually means - I just put that comment in case you are not aware of this, which I believe you in fact do

it is always possible to communicate using words in basic forms just requires some more effort on the side of the native speaker to figure out meanings formulated this way or convey meanings in such a manner

I hope what I have written makes sense in English at all ;)

on the side note (sort of) - I think prepositions are much underestimated core of a given language and can cause much confusion for foreign speakers

also just came to my mind that the difference between adjective and adverb in Polish can cause more confusion than what is the case in English (oftentimes there is no difference as far as I can recall ;)
nott 3 | 594
16 Nov 2010 #75
There is no border whatsoever separating the "basic" English from the "more advanced" English.

That's the whole point. Basic English is a subset of English, basic Polish is impossible.

You guys don't have so much imagination,

Imagination is the main problem here. Language is about communicating information, and not creating opportunities for fantastic interpretations. If a sentence gives you a full palette of possible interpretations, it's not a language, it misses the point entirely. It's not valid, simply speaking, doesn't belong to the language.

And don't tell me again that communication is possible anyway. You can communicate with gestures, grunts and pictures, but this is not a language.
Lyzko
16 Nov 2010 #76
Nott, again, your argument (as with that of many others) suggests that the universal "practicality" of English is its apparent functional simplicity, which, as you and the rest point out, is nearly impossible in a heavily inflected language such as Polish. Am I correct so far?

Now then, if we were to assume that you're dead on right concerning Polish vs. Modern English morphology, you also seem to be saying that a 'basic' conversational level in English does not, indeed cannot, have even a rough equivalent in Polish for the reasons you've already explained. Therefore, we I may conclude that you are equating relative ease of expression with satisfactory communication, yes?

Well, the problem I have is that the latter argument tends to reduce the texture and flavor of the English language to a series of ready-made catch phrases, used in fluent, unaccented succession by the majority of today's youth, especially in Northern Europe. This looks as though it were bridging the gap between English and non-native speakers, while actually robbing the language of most of its beauty and sonority in the name of touristic or technological simplicity. Odd that the French, Germans and also the Poles tend to stick up for the correctness of their own languages while so uncaringly misspeaking ours. It's this darned double-standard thinking which irks me-:))
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
17 Nov 2010 #77
Lyzko wrote:

Odd that the French, Germans and also the Poles tend to stick up for the correctness of their own languages while so uncaringly misspeaking ours.

valid point.

in the USA, people flat out don't care about this stuff, as long as they understand you. listening to chopped up English is just a typical day in the USA and most people aren't bothered by it because they're simply raised with it, it's natural for them. but.....suffice to say that you can push through English while living in an English speaking country and eventually, just through pure constant exposure....get to know the language quite well. BUT, if it weren't for poles correcting me all the time, my polish would be half as good today and that was the only way it was going to happen.

during my first 2 years in poland, it used to frustrate me when poles would ask me if Polish was difficult and why because i couldn't articulate the answer I wanted to give. by year 3 when my polish was strong enough to articulate my answer, it was interesting to see their reactions. lots of surprised looks and comments about how "gee, I never really thought about that" which was quite satisfying for me, knowing that finally someone other than myself could start to feel my pain ;) Although, i had a similar reaction when i started explaining to my american friends all the quirky nuances of english....again, things they had never thought about.

Yes.....yes Poland......your language is heinous. glad you agree with me :O

now that I can speak the language, i have less angst towards it but i'll never forget my first year here, cursing the language every which way from sunday.
nott 3 | 594
17 Nov 2010 #78
Am I correct so far?

yy... yes....

Therefore, we I may conclude that you are equating relative ease of expression with satisfactory communication, yes?

yyy... wotcha got on yer mind, Lyzko?

Odd that the French, Germans and also the Poles tend to stick up for the correctness of their own languages while so uncaringly misspeaking ours. It's this darned double-standard thinking which irks me-:))

Well, that's in the job description, man :) you want your language to rule the waves, you got to adjust it to different weathers.

I do believe that for a non-native speaker to fully master all the intricacies and hidden flavours of any language is a task for life. Which eventually makes him a native speaker, for all intents and purposes. You can't achieve the level of consummate proficiency you hereby express such a burning desire for without living the language on a daily basis, innit.

So, first thing, this is not a task for foreigners, and, second thing, you should point your accusing finger at your fellow countrymen, first of all, with their flippant attitude to the Sonority. From the foreigners' point of view it's fcking annoying when they want to learn proper super-duper high class impeccable shining English, so they ask who's the virtuoso, and the answer is 'well, actually...' Unless you know the answer, then I'll bark it off from under the bench. Although I strongly suspect that this knowledge is for the initiates of the Seventh Inner Circle only.

On a side note, this very sonority you cherish so much is the main reason for English floating so freely all over the articulation space. Vowels are whimsical like a basketful of kittens, while consonants hold fast to their assigned positions.

To get closer to the actual gist of your complaint... if the language is so easy to simplify without actually loosing much of its correctness, then it's not the fault of non-native speakers, is it.

Oh well. Just between us, I'd appreciate it muchly if you pointed out my errors in the above... just don't tell me that 'flavour' is to be spelled without the 'u' :)

Eh, Lyzko, you are just whining for the sake of it, aren't you? :)

Edit:

Yes.....yes Poland......your language is heinous.

:)
mafketis 34 | 12,194
17 Nov 2010 #79
if the language is so easy to simplify without actually loosing much of its correctness,

I really don't believe that can be done and I'd like to see some samples of this kind of usage.

If a person pairs down their tenses to three or four, then people will generally understand them but I'd hesitate to call that correct. There are some relatively useless English tenses that no one would miss were they to disappear but that still leaves around 9 or so I can think of without trying that need to be used appropriately to be 'correct'.

"I tell him tomorrow" is understandable and just as incorrect as "ja mowię mu jutro"
nott 3 | 594
17 Nov 2010 #80
If a person pairs down their tenses to three or four, then people will generally understand them but I'd hesitate to call that correct.

And so would I. What I'd call basic English retains Perfect and Continuous tenses. It's not much of a problem, though, the concepts are fairly easy to grasp, and the construction is not really difficult either.
A J 4 | 1,088
17 Nov 2010 #81
There are no double-standards. I like the English language, and I've always admired people who have mastered the fine arts of conversation and all its subtleties, but I really don't think it's my job as a foreigner to keep your language intact.

The fact that the French, Germans and also the Polish, according to you, and I quote, so uncaringly misspeak your language, has nothing to do with the fact they wish to preserve their own languages, but more likely with the fact that they're foreigners. I mean, you can't seriously expect a foreigner to speak and write your language flawlessly, even though some of us might strive for perfection. So maybe you should expect superb grammar and articulation from people who claim to be English?

No offense, but I've noticed quite a few people here who claim to teach English who use all kinds of fashionable abbreviations themselves, and some of them even stoop to leet-speak or worse. Conclusion: Maybe, just maybe, you should look at your fellow countrymen (and women!) while displaying facial expressions of great expectation?

:)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
17 Nov 2010 #82
Unwritten rule of learning English # 234

"The Dutch are more or less beyond reproach"

: )
Ashleys mind 3 | 455
17 Nov 2010 #83
It's doomed, along with Polish literature. ;)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,347
17 Nov 2010 #84
What I'd call basic English retains Perfect and Continuous tenses. It's not much of a problem, though, the concepts are fairly easy to grasp, and the construction is not really difficult either.

Objection, my honorable friend! Basic English - as you like to call it - will usually not comprise Perfect tenses in the common usage of a Polish speaker. The concept of a "perfect tense" is totally strange for Polish learners, it's quite hard to get them to use it, and even more advanced learners will constantly tend to "miss out" on the Present Perfect Tense, not even mentioning the Present Perfect Continuous Tense. This adds to my doubts if Basic English could be a proper concept at all.
mafketis 34 | 12,194
17 Nov 2010 #85
There are no double-standards. I like the English language, and I've always admired people who have mastered the fine arts of conversation and all its subtleties, but I really don't think it's my job as a foreigner to keep your language intact.

That's a perfectly reasonable argument and I agree.

On the other hand, a lot of people with a clear double standard (that they're not aware of).

Standards for their own language are very high. For Polish this might be the kind of person who wishes that Miodek would speak correctly.

Standards for English are .... whatever, who cares? it's just English. (again on its own, this is no problem).

The problem is the minority that thinks of afectless, awkward make-do international English is all there is to the language and to give equal legitimacy to that and native usage within the domain of native usage (if you follow that).

Another aspect can be found among some (not all maybe not most but some) native speakers who teach English in Poland and see their job as the facilitation of a language shift from Polish to English within Poland. A lot of this is unconscious but I've known a few teachers who thought that Polish speakers should follow the sensible lead of the Irish and abandon their language in favor of English.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
17 Nov 2010 #86
The concept of a "perfect tense" is totally strange for Polish learners, it's quite hard to get them to use it, and even more advanced learners will constantly tend to "miss out" on the Present Perfect Tense

Good point and when you consider that English speaking children are competent with this from a fairly young age it puts things into perspective.

the sensible lead of the Irish and abandon their language in favor of English

Wasn't exactly a fully conscious decision, nor our choice!

But yes, either way it would have eventually made sense anyway.
Lyzko
17 Nov 2010 #87
The Dutch misspeak English just like any other foreign group, don't let those attractive KLM-ads fool ya for a millisecond-:)) The Hollander merely is able to mask his/her difficulties a bit better than the Poles, the Russians, the Turks or the Germans etc..... Same goes for the Swedes-:))) Many a Dutch tourist I've encountered during my travels, although I speak their language far more correctly than they speak mine, appears to equate a liberal sprinkling of the f***-curse and the words "Dude", "awesome" ad nauseum with speaking 'good' English LOL Something wrong with this equation here, people???

Nott: I was not 'whining' (I never do!), I was rather bemoaning the decline of standards, i.e. the onslaught of double standards, that's all. 'Whining; is far less enjoyable.

FUZZYWICKETS: As far as people 'understanding' misspoken English, are you sure they weren't misunderstanding it?? I mean it is possible now, isn't it?

:-))
Stu 12 | 522
17 Nov 2010 #88
although I speak their language far more correctly than they speak mine

I might be wrong here, but I get the impression you're a little full of yourself.
Lyzko
17 Nov 2010 #89
??? Nou, waarom denk je dat? Whatever could've given you that impression?LOL

-:)))
Stu 12 | 522
17 Nov 2010 #90
Writing is not speaking, Lyzko. But I am sure you know that. More often than not, the pronunciation of the language gives you away as being a foreigner. It worked in WWII when Nazi spies were asked to pronounce "Scheveningen" or other typical Dutch words.


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