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So why did you give up learning Polish?


Lyzko 25 | 7,139
22 Aug 2019 #91
On the other hand, scholars are still able to decipher Ottoman texts in their entirety, I've read.
Perhaps though Turkey wasn't the most fitting example here:-)
kaprys 3 | 2,387
23 Aug 2019 #92
If you can't hear a difference between powiedział and powiedziała, you're deaf or just still learning.

As for English being superior to Polish or the most superior language, anyone explain it to me, please, as I can't see it. It's quite simple really compared to other languages I have studied but superior?

As for the pronounciation, well, it's diffiicult for someone with a speech defect.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
23 Aug 2019 #93
@kaprys,

I could already see by your posts that you're intelligent enough not to even lend the slightest credence to the ludicrous assertion by
certain of our members that a language by virtue of personal prejudice is either inferior or superior to another:-) Furthermore, there
has never been a scintilla of proof that a given tongue, either extant or extinct, is imperically "better" or "worse" than any other. This
simply reflects the inherent laziness of the monolingual Anglophone as regards the impetus needed to communicate effectively in
a second language....as does more than half the globe!

You know the old one liner, I'm sure. "What do you call someone who speaks more than one language?" - Answer: bilingual
"What do you call someone who speaks only their own language? - Answer: an American LOL

Apropos English being "simple" compared to other language which you've studied, I would argue that while modern as opposed to Old English is
surely a relatively straightforward language both in terms of its morphology as well as its everyday syntax of almost predictable S + V + O pattern,
English orthography is darned near as chaotically UNpredictable and erratic as any spelling known to man:-) Our vocabulary too is ever so
vast because, in comparison with, say, Polish, English ever since 1066 AD and the Norman Conquest has acquired a heavy Latin overlay
to its already Germanic root structure and word stock. For nearly every "English" word, there's a Latin or Greek-derived "twin" at the ready,
depending upon register, of course. For example, "sleeping" vs. "dormant", "house" vs. "domicile", "anger" vs."fury ad infinitum.

The Polish native speaker is faced with no such confusion. While surely foreign loans in the hundreds at least have long since entered the language,

the base word stock was and remains primarily Slavic.
Wincig 2 | 197
23 Aug 2019 #94
I agree with Lyzko, there is no language which is superior a or inferior to another. Yet, what is fascinating is that by studying a language you can understand (at least partially) the culture of a country and how people behave. English for example is, as others previously wrote, relatively straightforward to learn at a basic level (simple structures, etc) but it is a very rich language in terms of vocabulary (at least compared to Polish, French or German). It is also very flexible, a key British characteristic. The main difficulty for a foreigner is to learn to pronounce correctly a word previously never encountered, since the same group of letters can be pronounced very differently (eg pea or meadow, live or.. live, etc). In English, you have to look beyond what meets directly the eye (similar group of letters) to understand the true meaning; a bit like when a Brit says "interesting " meaning in reality "utter bxx"..

On the contrary, Polish pronunciation, however intimidating it might appear at the outset (all those z, sz, cz and diacritics!) is quite straightforward in the sense that each letter/group of letters is always pronounced the same. But when you get into the structure of language, you do have a glimpse at the complexity of the Polish (Slavic?) soul. Unlike English were most nouns have no gender (with a few exceptions), French which has 2 genders, German 3 genders, Polish has 5 genders (3 on the surface, but if you had the personal, animate, inanimate subdivisions of masculine that's 5). In addition, whereas German has 4 declensions, Latin 6, Polish has 7. So that's 35 possibilities (5x7), which is impossible to get right for a "normal" foreigner, especially when you realise that declensions also vary within a given gender depending on the ending, soft of hard (Kasiu but Edyto). And that is without taking into account that negative sentences are also declined! A real nighmare! My favourite summary of the complexity (or subtlety depending from where you are coming from) is the very simple Polish equivalent of " there is bread/there is no bread". Not only do we have the declension due to the negative, but unlike in any other non slavic language i know, the verb is not the same in the positive and negative phrases: jest chleb but nie ma chleba!! For me that beats everything
kaprys 3 | 2,387
23 Aug 2019 #95
I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with the statement that the English vocabulary is vast compared to Polish. Let's talk talk about the examples Lyzko gave:

Śpiący -uśpiony
Dom -domostwo
Gniew is not as strong as wściekłość /furia/szał.

If you looked them up in a thesaurus, you'd come up with even more examples.

Also think about words like usypiajacy -falling asleep.

Not to mention jobs like:
Policjant/policjantka vs police officer /man/woman
Strażak vs fire man /woman /fighter
Gazownik vs gas inspector
Etc

English creates such job names by simply adding a noun. It doesn't have separate names for them.

Also, as for the direct meaning of the words, it's completely possible to hear a Pole saying 'ciekawe' meaning something opposite just like in English.

And there are also numbers - English one vs jeden, jedna, jedynka and so on and so forth depending on the meaning, gender or number.
Atch 17 | 3,225
23 Aug 2019 #96
I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with the statement that the English vocabulary is vast compared to Polish

Well, it is true to say that there are far more words in the English language than in Polish. And I don't think any linguists would deny that beyond the sheer number of words, English is amazingly expressive in terms of its dialects and the richness of its idioms and vernacular speech.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,752
23 Aug 2019 #97
And English doesn't have those sick Polish verbal tumors that only old women can create. Like: noga, nozka, nozeczka, nozenka, nunia. Or: twarz, buzia, buzienka, buziuchna...Sick.

Don't bother telling me that my Polish spelling sucks because that makes me feel even better. I mean that I am purging it from my life, but not fast enough.
zztop88
23 Aug 2019 #98
Because I couldn't make connection with Polish people. I didn't meet a Polish female.
mafketis 23 | 8,428
23 Aug 2019 #99
that there are far more words in the English language than in Polish

English speakers have the best modern tradition of lexicography (making and maintaining dictionaries) but there's no evidence that English speakers actively use more words than do speakers of other languages, just that reference dictionaries are thicker and more full of words no one uses...

Expressiveness is entirely subjective - native speakers are biased toward the expressiveness of their language and can find other types hard to understand..

As a translator (Polish to English) my most common problem is that there is no good equivalent in English (or not enough alternates in English)

English doesn't have those sick Polish verbal tumors that only old women can create. Like: noga, nozka, nozeczka

You got no soul, Rich...diminutives in Polish are extremely expressive and can give sentences subtle emotional coloring that's very hard to achieve in other languages...

But non-Polish non-native speakers like you often don't get them... rozumek malusieńki
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,752
23 Aug 2019 #100
You got no soul, Rich...diminutives in Polish are extremely expressive

...and used 99% by old women with just two front teeth.
I put a full stop to the baby talk soon after my first kid was born. And that was in English. No Polish grandma would ever be allowed to pollute them with that diminutive crap. And guess what...Both turned out just fine.

Speaking straight in full, clear sentences is how I show respect to others. That takes the burden of decoding Rich's cute words, phrases and other idiosyncrasies out.

I also do not strive to use the bottom-of-the-barrel, once-per-decade synonyms English professors like to show off with. Even here.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
23 Aug 2019 #101
@kaprys,

You seem to have missed my point some re: Polish as a "word poor" language in comparison with English.
My point was simply that, as Polish never experienced an event equivalent to the Norman Conquest of England in the year 1066, the language remained more or less 90% SLAVIC, with some couple of hundred foreign loans from French, German, English, Russian etc.

In the case of English, the Norman Invasion by solely French-speaking conquerors created a sort of dual-level language, one level Germanic aka "Anglo-Saxon", the tongue of the largely illiterate farming and petty tradesmen population of England, the second level being taken from Latinate (French) and Greek, the language of borrowings spoken by the literate clergy along with the nobility.

The examples you gave "dom"/"domostwo", "spiacy"/"uspiony" and so forth scarcely illustrate my point of a language with dual roots, merely, that Polish, like any language, is also rich in synonyms, that's all.
mafketis 23 | 8,428
23 Aug 2019 #102
...and used 99% by old women with just two front teeth.

More signs that you're not Polish - diminutives are used by everyone and not at all restricted to old women. You can't go a day in Poland without hearing lots of men and women use them.... (not necessarily the same ones but that's part of the richness of the system).

Speaking straight in full, clear sentences is how I show respect to others

A sterile robot's view of language, no heart, no soul, just function. How horribly dull it must be to be you.... yechhhhh
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
23 Aug 2019 #103
However, what's right for you, is not necessarily so for many others, Rich!
Therefore, how does your way make you somehow "superior" to other language groups which communicate in a completely different manner? Does interpreting life differently from you make it "wrong"??!

There's no answer to this, because there's nothing to discuss, it's a moot point:-)
kaprys 3 | 2,387
23 Aug 2019 #104
@Lyzko
I know what you meant but just because English was influenced by other languages whether it's French (whatever runs round the farm is English, yet when it's served it becomes French), Latin or Scandinavian languages, it doesn't really make it special. All languages evolve.

Funnily enough, over the years there have been different attempts at keeping Polish Polish. Sometimes ridiculous like trying to introduce zwis męski instead of krawat. So in fact, others may disapprove of what you may consider an advantage.

Polish as a language was often part of Polish identity especially in times of partitions - nie będzie Niemiec pluł nam w twarz i dzieci nam germanił.

@Rich Mazur
Just because I know the word 'doggie' I don't really use it. Surprisingly enough, its existence doesn't really bother me. However, for a non-native speaker the abundance of words you may use to call a dog (pies, piesek, psina, psinka, psisko -all carrying a slightly different meaning) might be overwhelming. Do I use often them when speaking Polish? I have no idea as it's hard to analyse it - you see a dog and you just use the one that fits best. Something you acquired as a kid.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
24 Aug 2019 #105
Certainly, Poles would strenuously object to being "Teutonicized":-)

"Zwis meski"??? I love it!!:-)


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