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Interesting inconsistency between Polish and Russian

Sasha 2 | 1,083
31 Jul 2008  #1
Polish word (meaning) – Russian meaning

Sklep (shop) - crypt (burial vault)
Keidy (when) - gym-shoes
Dywan (carpet) - divan, couch
Ssaki (mammals) - pees
Zaba (frog) - toad
Cma (midges) - nonentity (about a man)
Zapomniec (forget) - to memorize
Pensja (wage) - a pension
Zasada (rule) - an ambush or just some problem
Lustra (mirror) - a chandelier
Prosze pukac (please knock (at the door) - please fart
Podstawowy zasady (main rules) – perfidious maneuvers
Pierogi (ravioli) – pies
Prosto (straight ahead) – easy
Hulajnoga (push-cycle) – walk leg
Szczeka (jaw) – a cheek
Puzon (trombone) – a belly
Pytanie (question) – a nutrition
Uroda (beauty) – an ugly person, fright
Tania (cheap) – Tania (diminutive of Tatiana – girl’s name)

Anyone who speaks polish please don't hesitate to correct words and meanings on the left since I don't know Polish and took this info from Poland's fans group in (russian analogy of

Sasha :)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
31 Jul 2008  #2
These are all typical "false friends" as found within any randomly chosen language family. There are loads of those in Czech/Polish as well, with the seemingly easiest and most similar words actually being quite different in meaning. This gives a Slavonic language speaker a feeling of false security - "I can understand Czech / Polish / Russian because I am Russian / Czech / Polish" - but it does not work that way... ;-)

Examples from Czech / Polish:

zahrada - zagroda (garden - enclosure, farmstead)
ohrada - ogród (enclosure - garden)
kreslo - krzesło (armchair - chair)
laska - łaska (love - charity, mercy)
milost - miłość (mercy - love)
divka - dziwka (girl - slut)
zachod - zachód (WC - the west)
trup - trup (torso - dead body, corpse)
zidle - zydel (chair - stool)
plivat - pływać (spit - swim)
tvar - twarz (cheek - face)
sukne - suknia (skirt - dress)
saty - szaty (dress - robes)

Etc. etc, sorry I have no Czech fonts on this particular computer.
Marek 4 | 867
31 Jul 2008  #3
How about Dutch and German, from a different Indo-European language family: left side is German, right is Dutch

Ausfahrt = exit uitvaart = funeral
ausstellen = to exhibit, issue uitstellen = cancel
belebt = busy, bustling, active beleefd = polite

the list goes on, e.g. Spanish and Portuguese, German and Dutch, Danish and Swedish, .....Russian and Polish ad infinitum
31 Jul 2008  #4
Tania (cheap) – Tania (diminutive of Tatiana – girl’s name)

This one is lovely
OP Sasha 2 | 1,083
31 Jul 2008  #5
It is speaking. :)

Magdalena, that's cool. I like that. :)
Do you speak Czech? I have a textbook of Czech language and read it occasionally.
southern 75 | 7,097
1 Aug 2008  #6
divka - dziwka (girl - slut)

Actually in czech if you pronounce dievka,it means the sams with polish dziwka.
ConstantineK 26 | 1,259
1 Aug 2008  #7
I was impressed by few Czech words being in Praha, here they are

Potravnya - restaurant
Plavidlo - ship
Letadlo - airplane
Shlepadlo -don't remember what
Vanyavki - perfume
Marek 4 | 867
1 Aug 2008  #8
As a Polish 'speaker' (using the term loosely, LOL) with all but the most superficial knowledge of Czech, just wondering whether the word cited 'plavidlo' for 'ship' (in Polish 'statek', of course!) is related to the Polish (pan Slavic...??) verb root 'pływ-' e.g. 'pływać' meaning 'to swim'/'float', or am I seeing roots which aren't there-:)-:)?

Merely curious!

When I once mentioned to my Polish teacher apropos imagining connections between words, she retorted: "You know, Marku, there's a cure for that.....It's called 'study'. Ouch!! Ask a stupid question and see what happens? (he-he)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Aug 2008  #9
Actually in czech if you pronounce dievka,it means the sams with polish dziwka

Dívka = girl, maiden
Děvka = slut

Those are two different words.

Potravnya - restaurant
Plavidlo - ship
Letadlo - airplane
Shlepadlo -don't remember what
Vanyavki - perfume

potraviny - grocery store (not restaurant)
plavidlo - rather fancy word for ship, normally it's lod'
letadlo - spot on
šlapadlo - pedal
vonavka - perfume

Marek - sure, plavidlo is from plavat (swim) and plavit (float something). And lod' is related to łódź.

Sasha - yes, I speak Czech, I am actually half Czech :-)
ConstantineK 26 | 1,259
1 Aug 2008  #10
vonavka - perfume

On Russian word "vonyat' " means "to stink"

Other above mentioned words on Czech just sound very funny for Russian ear

Just guess, how it will be "train"? ;-))))

I bet it will be "Vozidlo"? ;-))))))
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Aug 2008  #11
Just guess, how it will be "train"? ;-))))

I bet it will be "Vozidlo"? ;-))))))

Sorry mate, but no ;-)
It's "vlak".
Vozidlo means vehicle. There you go!

Speaking of perfume and stink -

Polish "puch" means fluff. Czech "puch" means extreme stink.
Polish "zapach" means "smell" (nice or nasty, you need qualifiers).
Czech "zápach" means a very bad smell.

Quite misleading at times... ;-)
southern 75 | 7,097
1 Aug 2008  #12

Ha,ha it sounds very funny,I did not know this word.Typical czech humor.


This sounds funny to polish and russian ears,I do not know why.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Aug 2008  #13
I for one do not find letadlo any funnier-sounding than samolot or samochód ;-)
Marek 4 | 867
1 Aug 2008  #14
dzięki, Magdo! I wasn't sure, glad though that my instincts are still intact (...if nothing else..)YIPPEE!!-:)

Next time I'm back in Prague, will definitely make sure not praise something/-one on their 'zapach'!!! (holding my nose as I speak) LOL
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
1 Aug 2008  #15
All this reminds me of an anecdote about somebody famous (a Czech I think) who tried to say a compliment to a Russian lady at a ball (pre-WW2, maybe pre-Revolution even), and, as she had a red rose pinned to her dress, said the following:

Kakaya u vas krasnaya rozha - What a red snout you have

instead of:

Kakaya u vas krasivaya roza - What a beautiful rose you have...

Krásná růže would be beautiful rose. In Czech though, not Russian.
ConstantineK 26 | 1,259
2 Aug 2008  #16
I think that all these words with endings '-vidlo' sound funny for Russians only because their sounding is similar with russian word 'povidlo' (jam).
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
2 Aug 2008  #17
povidla is Czech for preserve/a type of jam, it is also a Polish word - powidła. in this particular case our respective languages haven't wandered very far apart ;-)
Marek 4 | 867
2 Aug 2008  #18
Russian: pismo Polish: list
Russian: stol Polish: krzesło (?) or am I confusing Rus. 'stol' with Pol. 'stół'?

So close, and yet so far, our 'cousins' have strayed indeed, Magda-:)
ConstantineK 26 | 1,259
2 Aug 2008  #19
actually russian has both words 'stul ' (u - sounds like in book ) and 'kreslo'. BTW, you should know being in Russia, that verbs 'to write' and 'to pee' have the same writing form and may be differed only by stress.

I heard that russian 'chetire' (four) make a great impression on Spaniards
Marek 4 | 867
2 Aug 2008  #20
No, bolschoi spasibo! Didn't know that. Guess our 'friends' aren't as false as we think.-:)
Marek 4 | 867
3 Aug 2008  #22
Yes, false! The Russian for that is 'something druzhya' (??) and refers precisely to those pesky, sometimes identically written, words in both languages,e.g. 'pismo' in Russian meaning 'letter written to someone' vs. 'pismo' in Polish which means 'a work, opus, written text or creation (close synomym 'dzieło') etc.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
3 Aug 2008  #23
...or handwriting, as in brzydkie / ładne pismo ;-)
Marek 4 | 867
4 Aug 2008  #24
For instance! Nice example, Magda! -:)
Lukasz K - | 103
8 Aug 2008  #25
I think this problem comes when you try to translate these worlds so simply, just looking at pronounciation.

If you know the roots, look at the stem you can quite easily guess the meaning (especially when you have it in context). So of understanding spoken Czech (also becouse of different accent) is not easy for me, then reading (of course sth. like short notes, ingridients of food, newspapers, not literature)is possible, but of course slower.

Also if you are familiar with old Polish (for example Rej's or Kochanowski's poems) you have less problems, becouse in these times our languages were much colser.

The funny thing is with Czech names for months. They are mostly the same instead of kveten which means Polish maj (May), while in Polish kwiecień is April (I never know why becouse in Czech flowers should blossom earlier)... So if you are making an appointment with Czech better make it in English...

Magdalena 3 | 1,837
9 Aug 2008  #26
They are mostly the same

I beg to differ:


How many do you actually and truly recognize? I think three of them - èerven, srpen, listopad. How about the rest? ;-p
To be honest, I am half Czech but still find it confusing sometimes...
Marek 4 | 867
9 Aug 2008  #27

I recently called the Czech Rep. on some official business. Reached a (private!!-:)
firm and the youngish-, oh mid-twentyish, sounding operator answered. I tried
basic Polish, since my Czech is downright lousy and she started laughing a bit,
switching then to equally basic English. I asked then in English, if only to be
polite, mind you, whether she understood German. She answered tartly, 'Sir,
English is fine!' I then proceeded slowly, yet not condescendingly to explain
matters. 'Did you understand?', I finally asked, in normal native speaker caden-
ces. 'Please, sir. It's clear. Thank you for your phone call. I tell Mr. Pravicek you
called from New York!' (click - no Good bye!, Na sledanou! - nix, zippo, zilch)

The next morning when my co-worker arrived, he angrily told me that 'Prague
had f_ _ _ _ d it all up!' and 'got the dates wrong too!!' Immediately, I tele-
phoned the Prague office and spoke with someone else, who assured me that it was OUR fault. I responded cooly, 'Ma'am, do you perhaps understand German, since

English didn't seem to work the other day?' 'German was my first second language
all though school.' she replied. So I translated for about ten minutes exactly what
I wanted. Later that day, an e-mail came to my attention, apologizing for the
other person's rude behavior and for the, rather costly, misunderstanding.

The next time, advised friend Pravicek, PLEASE use an interpreter!

A little off topic, but what's kinda cool to me is when speaking in a closely related second language from the same family, fo example from Dutch into German, and saying things in the other language using root-related words which, however, sound ludicrous to a native speaker!

I once heard a Dutchman state in German that he (re-phrasing now in English) wanted to 'leave someone a phone message'. Instead, by using words in German which sounded like direct calques or cognates with Dutch, he ended up saying somthing like 'I'm transmitting an official decree..' or words to that effect. The German interlocutor couldn't help from chuckling over that one-:)
southern 75 | 7,097
9 Aug 2008  #28
Czech female names sound very sexy,more than polish ones.For example Marketa,Martina,Veronica sound sexy.Also Radka(happy) or Sarka.Sarka means flesh in greek.So imagine a girl called happy,another flesh,another lovely(Milena).

It is a temptation.
Marek 4 | 867
9 Aug 2008  #29
Gettin' 'sarky' now, are we?-:)-:) LOL
ConstantineK 26 | 1,259
15 Aug 2008  #30

Duben? Ha-ha, I bet it is December, it is rather strange for me, but we have all names the same as in Roman world.

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