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What are some loanwords in the Polish language?


monk 4 | 10
17 Dec 2008 #1
i'm curious about words that have been loaned from other languages into polish. i know there are a lot of french words, some german maybe (i am pretty sure that "dach" is one of them), and in recent years, some english words.

any other languages? wanna provide some examples?
Krzysztof 2 | 973
17 Dec 2008 #2
Too many to start a list. Name a domain of life in which you're interested, so we can narrow the list.
Other important influences:
First of all the Latin, it was only in the Renaissance (14th century in Italy, but 16th century in Poland) when people started using their own languages for "noble" purposes (so not just everyday speech, but also literature, philosophy, sciences etc.), so it's natural that also Polish has many Latin terms. Ancient Greek is important in scientific names, especially prefixes and suffixes (for example tele-, -logia) often combined with stems from other languages.

Germans were popular settlers on Polish lands, and many cities were located (=founded) on German laws, hence the terminology is often borrowed from German (ratusz for Town council, burmistrz for a mayor).

Italian left many words in Polish culture and some in cuisine (and I don't mean only pizza, but also words borrowed in 17th century, when a Polish king married a woman of the Sforza family who introduced vegatables here, previously unknown, because Poland had no overseas colonies, so we weren't eating for example "pomidor"). Many terms in music, like anywhere in the word, in big part thanks to the Italian invention of opera.

After Italian the French (Enlightment) became the cultural capitol of Europe, so we naturally have many French words as well.
Other maybe less significant as for numbers:
Years of fights with the Ottoman Empire resulted in borrowing many military terms from Turkish.
Also in the Middle Ages we were borrowing from Czech, but I guess those words are harder to trace, because our languages were quite close, so many words do "look" like typically Polish after so much time.

Some Hungarian, Russian (especially because of the partitions of Poland between Russia, Germany and Austria, 1772-1918, also another wave of strong German influences).

Of course you can find other source languages too, but those loanwords came mostly indirectly (like Arabic words via Spanish, Turkish, Italian).

Edit: I probably omitted Lithuanian and Ukrainian (although I'm afraid Ukrainian wasn't considered a separate language), we had a POL-LIT Commonwealth going for 400 years, which included about half of the current Ukraine, so there must have been some influences from the locals as well.
xChupitax 1 | 3
18 Dec 2008 #3
In Spanish we have "cebolla" (onion) which is definitely related to "cebula". I don't know if it's a lone word but they probably have similar origins, at least.
AdamKadmon
5 Mar 2010 #4
Cebula

zebulle/zibulle - Middle High German;
caepula - Latin;
cipolla - Italian;
cebolla - Spanish;
zwiebel - German;
cybula - Lusatian;
cibule - Czech;
cibula - Slovak;

krommyon - Greek
unionis - Vulgar Latin
oignon - French;
onion - English.
Olaf 6 | 956
6 Mar 2010 #5
I had once in my hands a dictionary of loanwords from Arabic. Very enriching reading.
Generally most words beginning with al- come from Arabic. Algebra, alcohol, some geographical names (Gibraltar from gabal at-Tarik ) and cities (Alhambra, Spain), algorythm, tarrif/taryfa, hazard, calliber and loads of others
Nathan 18 | 1,363
6 Mar 2010 #6
although I'm afraid Ukrainian wasn't considered a separate language

I am going to take away your fears, Kszysiek ;)

Ukrainian culture and language flourished in the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century

The Peresopnytsia Gospels, dating from the 16th century, is one of the most intricate surviving East Slavic manuscripts. It was made between August 15, 1556 and August 29, 1561, at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Dvirtsi, and the Monastery of the Mother of God in Peresopnytsia, Volyn'.
The Peresopnytsya Gospels are the most well-known translations of canonical texts into the Old...

worldaccesstrans.com/ukrainian.php

This is the Gospels, on which Ukrainian presidents swear before becoming presidents.
PLAT 1 | 23
6 Mar 2010 #7
from the germanic-jewish language of Yiddish:
git, gites = good
sziksa= nice looking girl [I am not sure whether this is yiddish or also used in Hebrew, but ironically shiksa by the Jews is female goyim, usually said to be dirty/filthy/slut - with which of course no Jew can have a relationship mainly because this relationship could lead to unjewish children (the Jew religion tells that the child is determined from maternal side, apparently it used to be from the paternal side but during the Middle ages where many women did not know who the father was, and because of rape occuring they changed it to maternal)]

there is many more loanwords from Yiddish, and even a whole Polish/yiddish language without a name , but it is thieves cant, was popular in 19century , these days you might come across a largely watered down version in some Prison institutions throughout Poland, and this also depends on the region(or rather from which region majority of inmates originally were in that institution), and then ofcourse amongst recidivists on the outside speaking with each other.

PS: If you are interested in this thieves-cant , then a very interesting one is Rotwelsch, same circumstances but in germany(mainly south Germany) except the languages are also enriched by adding Roma(Zigeuner talk, gypsy) and of course German and Yiddish.
Lyzko
6 Mar 2010 #8
Conversely, Yiddish picked up tons of words, expressions and seven some endings from Slavic roots, e.g to sziker = chłać, pić, a szikernik = pijak, trejf = nie koszer, a trejfnik = człowiek który jeść jedzenie niekoszere etc...
gumishu 11 | 5,629
9 Mar 2010 #9
człowiek który jeść jedzenie niekoszere

człowiek, który je jedzenie niekoszerne
Lyzko
13 Mar 2010 #10
thanx, gumishu:-) Silly me, Ja jem, ty jesz, on je..
z_darius 14 | 3,968
25 Mar 2010 #11
I'm afraid Ukrainian wasn't considered a separate language

The misconception results from the similarities among the 3 languages - Russian, Ukarinian and Polish. The 3 are a sort of a linguistic continuum with Ukrainian in the middle, so the language indeed, was (and perhaps still is) regarded as either pololnized Russian or Russified Polish. However, Ukrainian is said to have features that are not present in either Polish or Russian. That, according to some linguists, would make the case for it to be a language in its own right. The similarities to the neighboring languages are logical as all those languages come from the same linguistic root.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
25 Mar 2010 #12
I once heard that if you took the Russian and Polish influences out of Ukrainian, not much would be left. In other words, indigenously Ukrainian vocabualry, phrases and strcutrue are few and far between. I suppose one could say that about Polish and other languages as well.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
25 Mar 2010 #13
These argument appear silly to me.

I once heard that if you took the Russian and Polish influences out of Ukrainian, not much would be left.

Take Latin and Greek influences out of English and what would be left?

I suppose one could say that about Polish and other languages as well.

Indeed. Take all Proto Slavonic influences out of Russian or Polish and again, little will be left.
melsomelyb - | 10
25 Mar 2010 #14
Generally most words beginning with al- come from Arabic

Alkohol

a few from French, such as:
ekran
meble (from meuble)

But I'm not sure where dżygi dżygi comes from.
convex 20 | 3,978
25 Mar 2010 #15
Alkohol

funny that they're not even supposed to drink the stuff that they named.
Olaf 6 | 956
26 Mar 2010 #16
dżygi dżygi

me either - what is that? :)

funny that they're not even supposed to drink the stuff that they named.

originally it meant something different: كحول kohel was a dye (or some pigment) if I recall properly.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Mar 2010 #17
Dżygi dżygi would be jiggy jiggy but is very close to 'vomit vomit' ;)
AdamKadmon
26 Mar 2010 #18
Some basic facts:

Most basic, every-day words in Polish have Slavic roots (can also be based on German or Baltic languages).

With baptism of Poland in 966, religious words came from Latin via German or Czech, e.g.: krzyż - cross; poganin - pagan.

In the Middle Ages, many words came from German. They are mostly connected with administration and trade, e.g.: burmistrz - mayor; rynek - market. Also at that time contacts with Czech and Hungarian brought words from those counties, e.g.: hańba - shame (Czech); orszak - procession (Hungarian). In the 17th century, Italian influenced the language: fontanna - fountain; pomidor - tomato'

For many centuries Latin remained one of 3 official languages, thus many words of Latin origin: historia - history; immunitet - immunity.

From the 17th to 20th century noble people had to speak French. French loanwords in Polish date from the 16th century onwards: prestiż - prestige; makijaż - make-up; fryzjer - hairdresser; bagaż - luggage.

Polish language includes many words taken from other slavic languages like: Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian: hultaj - rascal (Ukrainian); posag - dowry (Belarusian); czajnik - kettle (Russian).

During the 17th century contacts with The Ottoman Empire brought Turkish words: dywan - carpet; torba - bag.

Beginning from the 20th century, English loanwords flooded Polish: dżins/jeans; trend; snob; gol.

To find more, look up Wieslaw Borys's Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego - Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
26 Mar 2010 #19
Beginning from the 20th century, English loanwords flooded Polish: dżins/jeans

This one is actually from French, via English.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
26 Mar 2010 #20
However, Ukrainian is said to have features that are not present in either Polish or Russian.

Both Russian and Polish haven't evolved much as languages through the centuries from the old Slavic common dialect as compared to Ukrainian. Many words one might hear during a liturgy in the Orthodox church, one that keeps the Old Church Slavic language, resembles Russian a lot. And this church language haven't changed much in the last millenia! So it is not about who spoke first (since all spoke the same proto-language), the question is who evolved quicker. And I think z_darius you exactly addressed.

hultaj - rascal (Ukrainian);

I am Ukrainian and I have never heard this word ;), but it sounds Turkish. Though I don't deny a possibility of it belonging to one of many Ukrainian dialects.

Good example of Polish borrowed word is "urlop" from German "Urlaub".
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
18 Apr 2017 #21
left many words

Very interesting but it would have been better if you had given more exmaples of Italian, German, Lithuanian, Turkish, French, etc. borrowings, at least 3-4 in each.
Lyzko 29 | 7,223
18 Apr 2017 #22
From German comes in addition "szlafrok" > "Schlafanzug", "ratusz" > "Rathaus", "bana" (Silesian dialect only!) > ("Eisen-)bahn" etc.......
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
23 Apr 2017 #23
left many words

Very interesting but it would have been better if you had given more exmaples of Italian, German, Lithuanian, Turkish, French, etc. borrowings, at lkeast 3-4 of each.

"szlafrok"

Also szlafmyca! BTW, when I was a boy, my Polish Dziadek, who knew no German but was a great jokester, taught me my first German words (spelling them the way he pronounced them):

Kasza -- gryca, czapka -- myca, słonina -- spek, gówno -- drek.
mafketis 24 | 9,123
23 Apr 2017 #24
From German

What about wielkopolska bejmy (money) or bimba (streetcar)? Supposedly German loans but from what?


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