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The Future of Polish Language


Teffle 22 | 1,321
19 Nov 2010 #121
They both are indicative of the same attitude: Do it right, or don't do it at all.

Here's one for you - I'm sure many English speakers of a certain generation will be familiar with this childhood example:

"Daddy, can I go out to play"

"Yes, I'm sure you can. If you mean may you go out to play then, yes, you may. "

However, within the last ten years or so, "can" for permission, has been deemed as acceptable usage by most modern texts/grammar references.

Does this make your blood boil or do you grudgingly accept this?

: )
A J 4 | 1,088
19 Nov 2010 #122
Does this make your blood boil or do you grudgingly accept this?

It doesn't make my blood boil, and I don't want to be the only weirdo either, but I would prefer may instead of can. The word may in case of asking for permission just sounds classier and friendlier, doesn't it? Hey, do you think we should start a thread about all the subtleties of English? I think there are plenty of TEFL teachers here who could correct us!

:)

Freeducational of course!
Lyzko
19 Nov 2010 #123
A J, als je zin hebt, kunnen we e-mails wisselen: panlech31@yahoo. Ja, zeker wil ik m'n (mijn) Nederlands verbeteren! Bedankt ook voor je correcties-:))

Anytime you'd like some tips on improving your English, I too am ready and willing.

I've never claimed to know a second language as well I know my first, nor as well as a Dutchman, a German etc.. knows theirs, as I've posted prior. It is however a two-way street, A J, and your English texts are as susceptible to correction as my Dutch ones, the degree of correction notwithstanding. As you yourself and others have said, arrogance cuts both ways.

Tot schrijfs!

Sorry, AJ old man. Here, 'may' is the only " grammatically correct" alternative, unless ability is the issue. Rather like 'mogen' vs. durven' or 'kunnen' in Dutch, what?
Teffle 22 | 1,321
19 Nov 2010 #124
The word may in case of asking for permission just sounds classier and friendlier, doesn't it?

Not for me. I was that child above and in a mini rebellion I made the conscious decision some years ago to use can : )

May=more polite, more 'classically' correct but vaguely archaic and not more friendly IMO.

Hey, do you think we should start a thread about all the subtleties of English?

No better man to start one AJ - away you go!

Here, 'may' is the only " grammatically correct" alternative

But that's the point - it isn't any longer.

It's official now : )
A J 4 | 1,088
19 Nov 2010 #125
A J, als je zin hebt, kunnen we e-mails uitwisselen: panlech31@yahoo. Ja, ik wil zeker mijn Nederlands verbeteren, dus ook bedankt voor jouw correcties-:))

Ik zou graag e-mails uit willen wisselen met jou, zowel in het Engels als in het Nederlands, en eventuele correcties en verbeteringen zijn natuurlijk altijd méér dan welkom!

Anytime you'd like some tips on improving your English, I too am ready and willing.

Graag!

It is however a two-way street, A J, and your English texts are as susceptible to correction as my Dutch ones, the degree of correction notwithstanding. As you yourself and others have said, arrogance cuts both ways.

Indeed, although I really wish to stress that my nit-picking here shouldn't be mistaken for arrogance. (More like a friendly jab!)

Tot schrijfs!

Tot schrijvens! (Tot schrijfs is op zich wel oké, maar het is het toch nèt niet helemaal!)

;)

No better man to start one AJ - away you go!

I think I'd prefer an English person to start one.

:)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
19 Nov 2010 #126
I think I'd prefer an English person to start one

*phew*

That's me off the hook then ; )
A J 4 | 1,088
19 Nov 2010 #127
Irish. American. Australian. Native English speaker!
Lyzko
19 Nov 2010 #128
A J

'T zou al leuk zijn, met je te corresponderen-:))
Prettig weekeind!

And here I misspoke when I used the word "arrogance". I knew it was a just "friendly jab" (or something like thatLOL)

No offense meant, and I'm sure none taken-:))

Tot gauw!

'That LET'S me off the hook....'

Knowing AJ though, it must have been a typo-:)))
A J 4 | 1,088
19 Nov 2010 #129
'T zou al leuk zijn, met je te corresponderen-:))

Oké dan! Prettig weekend!

Tot gauw!

Later!

'That LET'S me off the hook....'

Lets me off the hook, actually. (Let us = Let's.)

;)

You're not going to be mad at me now, are you?
Teffle 22 | 1,321
19 Nov 2010 #130
'That LET'S me off the hook....'

I beg to differ my friend : )

That's/That is me off the hook - i.e. removal from the hook has already happened as far as I'm concerned. I'm not agreeing that AJ's stipulation permits any future conditional scenario. I have already assumed total exhoneration - it is in the past.

Almost like the present perfect.

It's all colloquial yes, I know, but it is what I meant to say : )
Lyzko
19 Nov 2010 #131
Ooooopsidaisy, not all contractions work in either language identically, A J-:)))

"That lets us" is NOT the same as "let's...." as well you mus know. Figured you were just drawing our attention to that fact. LOL

Bedankt!

Teffle, "That's me off the hook.." is not English! The phrase is "That lets me off the hook." = That releases me from any culpability. You're merely justifying an error. Even I've never gone this far!
z_darius 14 | 3,968
19 Nov 2010 #132
Sorry, AJ old man. Here, 'may' is the only " grammatically correct" alternative, unless ability is the issue.

Two problems with this statement:

- the only " grammatically correct" alternative doesn't sound too good. The word "alternative" suggests there are choices. According to you, there aren't. So which is it?

- However, in American English choices do exist, and "can" is a grammatically correct alternative to "may", although in some formal contexts "may" will be preferred. The verb "can" in a context of permission is more frequent than "may". This is especially true in short forms, whereby the use of "mayn't", unlike "can't", is very rare.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
19 Nov 2010 #133
You're merely justifying an error.

But it wasn't an error, that's what I'm saying!

I meant to post what I posted.

Like "That's me finished" or "That's me done" etc

It has happened. That lets me off the hook is subtly different.

off the hook

...is the functional part of the phrase

Idioms are not sacrosanct quotes - they can be adapted like everything else : )

However, in American English choices do exist, and "can" is a grammatically correct alternative to "may",

As is the case with British English, as posted - though I suspect that Lyzko may have issues with this ; )
Lyzko
19 Nov 2010 #134
A J.

I fear a know-it-all among us-:)) As I wouldn't have the temerity (overmoed) to correct your Dutch, now you've passed to the ultimate level of real arrogance, beyond the jab stage, sir, in "correcting" my English. I'm actually amused, not upset. I hate to disappoint you, but 'alternative' not only "sounds" acceptable, it is possible too.

I'm used to so many a Pole with the Joseph Conrad complex, I no longer take it seriously.

Until soon. I trust!

Oh, the former was from Darius.

Apologies old man. (..and to AJ) I misposted (...AGAIN!!!!!)
z_darius 14 | 3,968
19 Nov 2010 #135
As is the case with British English, as posted - though I suspect that Lyzko may have issues with this ; )

My take is that Lyzko is more on the side of prescriptive rather than descriptive grammar, even though he seems to accept some of the erroneous words such as "you" instead of a more correct "thou" ;)
A J 4 | 1,088
19 Nov 2010 #136
Apologies old man. (..and to AJ) I misposted (...AGAIN!!!!!)

Ahem.

:)
nott 3 | 594
19 Nov 2010 #137
I will not admit to anything, because my sentence was correct.

Your sentence introduced a non-existent subject. The original subject was 'tourist', who 'appears to equate', and the sentence if perfectly valid, regardless of interruptions.

And I'm right about the subtle difference between comparing to and comparing with.

Thing is, there was no comparison in this sentence, there was equating. Equating of sprinkling with speaking, by a tourist. All legit.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
19 Nov 2010 #139
Does this mean: Are you a Beijing resident?
Bondi 4 | 142
28 Nov 2010 #140
What many English learners never realize is just how off they sound to native speakers (who are mostly too polite to say anything).

What many English-speakers never realise is just how off they sound to non-native speakers! :D
Lyzko
28 Nov 2010 #141
..and vice-versa, Bondi-:)))

When I was in Hungary last, I bravely soldiered through in my survival Hungarian. On one occasion, the young lady at the counter offered to switch to English. To be polite, and only for that reason, I consented (as per usual). I scarcely understood her brand of English, requesting then if someone else there spoke German, as I was in a hurry and couldn't really stay to translate what I'd just said. Another woman, also a Hungarian, overheard my dilemma and proceeded in such natural-sounding, fluent German, that I was truly taken aback with delighted surprise. After the transaction, which she confessed would have been hard in English, I complimented her excellent German. She then told me that secretly, most young Hungarians can't stand English, but love German and long to speak it perfectly.

So much for outdated stereotypes!
mafketis 32 | 10,533
29 Nov 2010 #142
I love Hungary but my Hungarian beyond bare bones survival is very poor (mostly from lack of practice). I've also noticed that although English is supposedly more studied in Hungary German will get you just as far.

I think that for Hungarians (like Poles though they don't want to admit it) German is a lot more time efficient than English especially after the first year or so. The same way that French is much more time efficient for speakers of Romance languages than English is.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534
29 Nov 2010 #143
These are interesting remarks about German, £yżko and Mafketis. I once read a comment by a Polish linguist that German or French are easier to learn for a Polish learner than English since these languages have the same "spirit" of constucting sentences as Polish, whereas English has it in a quite different way [I'm not talking of "Basic English" here, however]. Recently I've started to refresh my German a little and I am surprised how easily one is able to recall sentences which should seem quite complicated for someone who attempted to learn German three times in the past, but hasn't been using it for about 15 years now.

Apart from rather complex phrases like "Im Gegenteil zu Goethe, hat Schiller nur wenige Jahre in Weimer gelebt", I can easily - to my great surprise - recall lots of single words of which I thought I have forgotten them completely.
gumishu 11 | 5,860
29 Nov 2010 #144
because I never make much effort learning German and can't appreciate the language as it is because of that, I always find myself taken aback by those complex words - English uses so many latin derived words and German seems to replace most of them with their German translations from Latin (hopefully) or their own pure inventions - Ziemowit has used a brilliant Gegenteil example - contrary is a such a perfect universal latin-derived word one can see in a number of languages - even Polish przeciwieństwo seems a lot more regularly created word for me - but I guess German would not be so much German if it used just as many latin words as English does ;)

I still don't mind using my basic German - seems quite fun - and actually I do like the sound of the language minus some regional versions (but I'm quite fond of the Swiss German - I mean the sound of it)
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
29 Nov 2010 #145
Mijołaj Rey z Nagłowic, known as the ‘father of the Polish literature’ (the first major writer to write exclusively in Polish, not Latin) wrote the following tirade against hypocritically keeping up appearances in the mid-16th century round the time Shakespeare was born. I wonder if native Polish speakers can understand it less well, as well or better than Anglos understand Shakespearean English.

Jedni, gdy łańcuch uźrzą, wnet mu się kłaniają,
Już nie pana, lecz złoto za ślachcica mają:
Snadź na sprośnego osła, gdyby ji włożono,
I temu by poćciwość z daleka czyniono.
Wystrój się ty jako chcesz, ale jeśliś świnia,
Nie ozdobi cię szata iście ni rodzina.
Także i ty, chcesz-li być ślachcic prawy, czysty,
Nie bądźże jako kamień z wierzchu pozłocisty,
Ale bądź wszytek złotem, a prawym szafirem,
Wadź się wszędy z niecnotą, a z cnotą idź mirem.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534
29 Nov 2010 #146
Polonius3

This is an interesting example. The way the poet expresses himself is somewhat bizzare for the modern user of Polish. Let's take only the two first verses as an example:

"£ańcuch" seems to be used here as a symbol of authority or power. It is not the case today, and I even don't know the reason why it was the symbol of it for Mikołaj Rej. This very single word makes the first two verses a little "uncomprehensible" as the reader must stop and then he will probably think: "what on earth does the author have in mind?". The reader will work the meaning out of context after a time, but a contemporary author would not use such a phrasing. The other two differences to contemporary Polish here are minor and will be easily understood by a native speaker [uźrzą --> ujrzą; ślachcic --> szlachcic]. The phrase "mieć kogos za coś" is rather colloquial today and will hardly be encounterned in modern poetry. This is why I don't perceive it as much "sophisticated" here, but rather as characteristic for the Old-Polish poetic style; it is very possible that it was viewed elegant in the 16-th century,however.
alexw68
29 Nov 2010 #147
I wonder if native Polish speakers can understand it less well, as well or better than Anglos understand Shakespearean English.

Almost definitely better - if you do a proper like-for-like comparison. Shakespearean English spelling is normalised in pretty much all student/general reader editions. The Folios were anything but consistent.
Lyzko
29 Nov 2010 #148
.....and that very inconsistency of later Modern English (NE = New English) is owed to the invention and perfection of the printer's art. Unlike in Polish, German etc...., for many reasons mostly socio-economic in nature, printing somehow never was able to keep up with the way English was either spoken or spelled, there being zero standardization pre-Samuel Johnson's first dictionary in the late 18th century! At Shakespeare's time, most English was dialect, not standard. This meant of course that folks, only those who could read and write, naturally, spelled any which way they felt like. This meant that there would be little if any correlation between orthography and pronunciation. And then, let's not forget about 1066, some four hundred and fifty years before Shakespeare's day! The Norman Conquest introduced 'Anglo-Saxon' to French, hence altering forever previous notions regarding spelling and speaking, silent letters, elisions, compensatory lengthening and so forth.
poglisz
18 Dec 2010 #149
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.

With all due respect..... that is absolute nonsense... the majority of foreigners speaking English, simply do not speak a well-constructed basic form of the tongue that is readily understood. I do not mean to offend anyone, but one can not whine about how poorly foreigners speak Polish, pointing the finger at them, while ignoring their own blatant errors.

The painful but honest truth is that the majority of Polish people communicating in the English tongue, including many writing on this forum... regardless of whether they are humble enough to admit it.... do not fully comprehend English grammar. This is no different to the failings of those learning the Polish tongue. It's unquestionably obviously a case of 'the pot calling the kettle black'!

Sometimes, when I hear the awful way in which sentences are constructed, I cringe, but deep down in my heart, an ounce of kindness moves me to show patient, kindness, even thankfulness, for the struggle the person makes to speak my language. I do not belittle their efforts, by criticising the grammatical errors, that can be humorous, or even require deciphering.
southern 75 | 7,096
18 Dec 2010 #150
Polish language can become world class by Polki behavior.


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