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Having a really hard time with Polish cases


pawian 200 | 21,250
6 Jan 2023 #31
Not only Lyzko, maf also made a similar remark.
It is normal - native English speakers also have no idea how to name tenses or what Reported Speech means. They just use them.
mafketis 35 | 11,519
7 Jan 2023 #32
It is very simple: mianownik, dopełniacz

They don't use the terms much in Polish schools... kto co, kogo co, kogo czego etc is far more common.

It's a bit like English. I don't remember teachers in English class in the US ever talking about things like articles (beyond telling us to stop saying "a apple"*) or conditionals (beyond telling us "If I was" was wrong). Nothing at all about sequence of tenses or lots of other things those who learn English as a second language have to deal with...

For extra fun, ask Poles why you say 'Mam komputer' but 'Mam laptopa'....
Alien 12 | 2,634
7 Jan 2023 #33
@mafketis
And why "kierownica" isn't female "kierowca".
jon357 71 | 20,799
7 Jan 2023 #34
why "kierownica" isn't female "kierowca".

Would you rather Poland was like Germany, with a language of logic, ordnung. and endless grammar rules, or like France, a down-to earth-place with a friendly and accessible language full of delicious exceptions and the UK, land of fine cuisine, style and passion?
Lyzko 37 | 8,700
7 Jan 2023 #36
Honestly, Lenka?
Historically Poland was always more drawn to France than to Germany:-)

@jon,
Germany now boasts one of the, if not THE, top chef on the Continent and he is head chef of Das Hotel Saechsischer Hof in Leipzig!

Can't attest either to the implication that Germany is lacking in either taste tempting cuisine, down to earth people, style or passion.
jon357 71 | 20,799
7 Jan 2023 #37
top chef

I don't think chefs have much to do with language development; there are however far more top restaurants in the UK than in Germany and on the whole it is easier to get a good meal there.

Germany

Yuk. The language of Shakespeare, Austen and Eliot is finer than the language of Merkel and auto-repair handbooks.

Back to cases; although they are unnecessary and most languages have them, in Polish they are instinctive and there is flexibility. In German there isn't.
mafketis 35 | 11,519
7 Jan 2023 #38
Back to cases; although they are unnecessary and most languages have them

All languages have ways of expressing case relations (unless you believe the rumors about some Asian languages like Vietnamese or Riau Indonesian).

English uses word order and prepositions, Polish uses distinct forms of the noun (and prepositions).

What's weird about German is the amount of.... redundant endings.... adjective endings are a pain partly because they're mostly redundant (unlike adjective endings in Polish)

Similarly lots of verb endings (accompanied by pronouns) ich spreche, du sprichst etc....

I think written German captured a transitional form of the language going from something more ornate like Icelandic to something simpler (like Dutch or Danish) and now it's stuck...
jon357 71 | 20,799
7 Jan 2023 #39
expressing case relations

Without using cases, like English (except of course for pronouns etc).

I think written German captured a transitional form of the language going

Quite; and of course they love rules and regulations. Either Sapir-Whorf or Sapir-Whorf in reverse.

I prefer the creativity, flexibility, nuance and richness of English.

With cases in Polish, I got it right in the end by not stressing over them. You're allowed to make mistakes.
pawian 200 | 21,250
7 Jan 2023 #40
Poland was like Germany, with a language of logic, ordnung.

The culture of the language has a significant impact on the overall culture of the nation.

the UK, land of fine cuisine, style and passion?

Not Spain??? :):):)
mafketis 35 | 11,519
7 Jan 2023 #41
Not Spain??? :):):)

fine cuisine and style are Italy.... passion is Spain...

I actually like German which is a lot of fun if you approach it in the right way (and my voice sounds better in German than in any other language for some reason....)
Alien 12 | 2,634
7 Jan 2023 #42
UK, land of fine cuisine, s

Which one, Fish & Chips?
jon357 71 | 20,799
7 Jan 2023 #43
Quite rare nowadays, though a rare treat too; something superb.

Much else, including a few hundred with Michelin stars and many excellent places without. And of course a vernacular cuisine as rich and varied as the countries' shared language.

Food and language are of course partly related since the psychology of a culture informs its language. The painful and pointless rules in German and in Germany (like their case endings and gendered speech) mirror the painfully insecure rules-based society there. Just as English mirrors the eccentric freedom, openness to exotic influences, ancient and thriving traditions, the complexity that eludes outsiders and of course the essential decency of the UK.

Poland and Polish mirror each other too; a mix of both simplicity and complexity, somewhat formal in tone while at the same time being accessible and nuanced and a tendency to verbosity. Plus of course the social and educational differences in the way people use the language.

And of course mistakes in Polish (particularly the case endings) are largely forgiven.
pawian 200 | 21,250
8 Jan 2023 #44
Polish ; a mix of both simplicity and complexity,

Yes, six tenses in Polish, 12/13 in English. :):)
jon357 71 | 20,799
8 Jan 2023 #45
12/13 in English. :):)

And so easy, since unlike cases they're all made from each other.

Of course, like actors, 10% of them get 90% of the work and 90% of them get 10% of the work.
Lyzko 37 | 8,700
8 Jan 2023 #46
Seven actually, paw, if one counts the Vocative/wolacz! Modern English no longer has case endings as we had in Old English.

Case as such gave way to context information from Middle English onward, therefore, English gradually became a more analytic as opposed to a purely synthetic one.

Cute quip about that. Apparently, Sir Edmund Spencer's "Fairie Queene" was chided when first published for its allegedly self-conscious Chaucerisms LOL
pawian 200 | 21,250
8 Jan 2023 #47
Seven actually, paw, if one counts the Vocative/wolacz!

Nope, I was talking about grammar in general and more exactly, about tenses, not cases. Jon mentioned simplicity and I replied about 6 tenses in Polish vs 12/13 in English.
Alien 12 | 2,634
8 Jan 2023 #48
6 tenses in Polish

Actually, there are only 3 tenses in Polish.🤷‍♂️
jon357 71 | 20,799
8 Jan 2023 #49
3 tenses

There are however verb aspects which mean that there are more than three tenses.
mafketis 35 | 11,519
8 Jan 2023 #50
verb aspects which mean that there are more than three tenses.

I'd say no....

aspect is part of the lexical information of the verb and not something added on to verbs as in english or spanish

imperfective verbs have three tenses (future / present / past) and perfective verbs have two (future / past)

they all have imperative and conditional forms....
jon357 71 | 20,799
8 Jan 2023 #51
Except of course when you're using a perfective form for the future when it performs the role of a tense.

Of course some tenses in English (among the 90% of actors that get the 10% of roles) provide lexical information and there's an obvious combination of tenses where the whole is greater than its parts.

Since this is about Polish cases. I'll not wax lyrical about how subtly expressive English is, however it's a rare second language speaker that doesn't avoid "about to".
Ziemowit 14 | 4,442
9 Jan 2023 #52
And why "kierownica" isn't female "kierowca".

The pattern "-ca" / "-czyni" is applicable here.

wychowawca - wychowawczyni
sprzedawca - sprzedawczyni
morderca - morderczyni
łowca - łowczyni

Hence, "kierowca - kierowczyni", although I have never herad anyone using this latter term.
mafketis 35 | 11,519
9 Jan 2023 #53
using a perfective form for the future

Another way of thinking of Polish tense

imperfect future (będę robić/robił/a etc) only imperfective verbs

simple tense (robię, zrobię) for imperfective verbs this is present for perfective verbs it's future

past tense, conditional and imperative forms are the same for both classes

past e

kierowczyni", although I have never herad anyone using this

I think now kierowca is used for both?

In general the -(cz)yni forms seem to be falling out of active usage at a moderate speed....
jon357 71 | 20,799
9 Jan 2023 #54
@mafketis
That's largely how I think of it, however robić is of course interesting and verbs of movement more interesting yet.
Lyzko 37 | 8,700
9 Jan 2023 #55
@pawian,
In Polish, there are the Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc. Loc. Inst. Voc.
Latin had five (including the Ablative of Means or Instrument), German has four
....Hungarian & FInnish approx twenty between them!

Apropos tenses, English does indeed have more tenses than Polish, since in Polish, tenses are often subsumed under aspectual prefixed verbs which reduce the application of tense, since the latter measure temporal action in terms of "when" vs. "how often" an action is performed.
jon357 71 | 20,799
9 Jan 2023 #56
the latter measure temporal action in terms of "when" vs. "how often" an action is performed.

Not only. The matter is far more nuanced.

Think of a pilot's announcement to the passengers after the seatbelt light has pinged off.
Lyzko 37 | 8,700
10 Jan 2023 #57
Not quite sure I see the analogy here. Are you possibly referring to some sort of response delay in between command as opposed to a completed action?

In English too there are certain verbs which under no circumstances can use "-ing", e.g. "I love..", but never "I'm LOVING you" etc., that is to say, they are always completed rather than continuous, since the action according to conventional, standard usage can only be performed once at a given moment!
jon357 71 | 20,799
10 Jan 2023 #58
'm LOVING

Only dialectally in northern England (where we love the language so much we named our country after it) and also in McDonald's adverts.

Are you possibly referring to some sort of response delay in between command as opposed to a completed action?

Neither. Just those frequent uses of less common tenses to give semantic information as identified by Cobuild; why specifically choose a particular one when others will do. Think of the pilot's announcement.
Lyzko 37 | 8,700
10 Jan 2023 #59
Precisely, which is still wrong in standard English! Back in the early '70's, there was a US-cigarette magazine advert "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!". Apparently. English teachers and authors wrote in to the magazine that correct would have been "Winston tastes good AS a cigarette should!"

The magazine immediately incorporated said ad into their follow-up issue. "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should! No, AS a cigarette should. Whaddya want? Good grammar or good taste?"

TV ads are no longer the arbiters of correct usage as they once were.


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