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A mother yelling at her child in Polish


ComickingAway    
28 Mar 2018  #1
Hello, fine people of the Polish Forums! :)

I am writing a script for a graphic novel (comic book) and I need help with a phrase in Polish for a specific scene. I unfortunately don't speak a word of Polish, and I don't trust Google Translate on this, so I turn to you. This is the scene:

It takes place in the US in 1979. A little boy has run away from home, and when his mother (who is an immigrant from Poland) finally finds him again, she is very upset. She was scared that something had happened to him, of course, but now that she's found him again she's also angry that he scared her so much. So she grabs him and screams things like "Where have you been? How could you scare me like this?!" and shakes him. And even though she usually tries to hide that she is an immigrant, she lets a few Polish words slip through because she's so upset she simply can't help it. I want these words to be something along the lines of "You stupid, stupid child...!". (She doesn't mean to be that harsh, but she can't help it right now.)

I already asked in a different forum but I only got one reply and it was unsatisfactory, so I thought I'd ask here instead. How do you say "Stupid, stupid child...!" in an angry, scared, upset manner in Polish? Or do you have another suggestion for a similar phrase that would sound natural to you (and appropriate for the 1970's)?

Thanks in advance! :)
Miloslaw 8 | 874    
28 Mar 2018  #2
Why have you made his mother an immigrant from Poland?
Ziemowit 12 | 3,109    
28 Mar 2018  #3
1979

If the whole affaire took place in 1979, it should now be taken to the FBI, me think.
majkel - | 63    
28 Mar 2018  #4
I would suggest, "Ty głupi szczeniaku!"
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
28 Mar 2018  #5
An exact translation would be 'ty glupi, glupi dzieciaku' but I don't think a parent would say that to a child unless they were a very bad parent. I think something like 'smarkaczu jeden' or 'ty smarkaczu jeden' is more likely to be used, translating more or less as 'you little brat.'
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
28 Mar 2018  #6
How about 'Ty głuptasie! ' - you silly (boy/girl/child)?
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
28 Mar 2018  #7
Yeah that's good too although it sounds like something a little more soft. 'Ty gluptasie, co wyprawiasz?' Almost like a friendly reprimand.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
28 Mar 2018  #8
How do you say "Stupid, stupid child...!" in an angry, scared, upset manner in Polish

You don't... I'm not a native speaker but I think something like "Jak mogleś!?" (how could you!) or "Co sobie myślałes?" (what were you thinking?!) or Oszałeś?! (did you go crazy) would work better (native speakers can polish them)
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
28 Mar 2018  #9
Agreed. Even a very angry mother would not shout 'stupid, stupid child.' It just doesn't translate well in to Polish. The examples by maf above are all good too.
OP ComickingAway    
28 Mar 2018  #10
Why have you made his mother an immigrant from Poland?

No special reason, I just wanted it to be a European country that wasn't my own (I'm northern European). How so?

/.../ but I don't think a parent would say that to a child unless they were a very bad parent.

Thank you for your answer! I understand. Because I don't speak Polish it's hard for me to know the differences and the little nuances of the language. In this scene, the mother *is* somewhat being "a very bad parent" and saying a bad thing to her son because she's so upset and scared - imagine her saying "You stupid child! ...stupid... stupid..." , her voice fading out, trying to choke down tears... a combination of anger and happiness that he's alive and okay. Fear and shock can affect your parenting skills, I'm sure. Is "ty glupi, glupi dzieciaku" okay under these circumstances?

I would suggest, "Ty głupi szczeniaku!"

Thank you for your reply :) Google Translate says this means stupid puppy (?). Does it mean, like, someone who is stupid and immature and perhaps a little bratty like a young dog, or why "puppy"? Sorry that I don't understand the nuances of your language. Is your phrase angry enough? :)

How about 'Ty głuptasie! ' - you silly (boy/girl/child)?

Thank you for your suggestion :) Does this phrase sound angry enough? I am unable to tell, as I'm sure you understand.

something like "Jak mogleś!?" (how could you!) or "Co sobie myślałes?" (what were you thinking?!) or Oszałeś?! (did you go crazy) would work better

Okay, thank you! Those are good suggestions. :) Native speakers, please polish away so I can get to work. ^_^

@WielkiPolak

Thank you for your tips!
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
28 Mar 2018  #11
No problem

I suppose if she is squeezing or holding her child with a mixture of anger and tearful relief that he/she is okay, with, as you said, an angry voice that sort of fades in to emotional crying or almost crying, then i suppose 'ty glupie glupie dziecko' could work.
OP ComickingAway    
28 Mar 2018  #12
Thank you! That's exactly what I'm trying to convey. Okay, well, now I have a couple of suggestions to choose between. That's great :)
Ziemowit 12 | 3,109    
28 Mar 2018  #13
Jak mogłeś!? Ty nienośny dzieciaku! - sounds natural to me and is just another suggestion.
Miloslaw 8 | 874    
28 Mar 2018  #14
So someone using the name ComickingAway who does not speak Polish,is writing a story about an immigrant mother in America and casts her as Polish.

And this doesn't ring any alarm bells with you?
majkel - | 63    
29 Mar 2018  #15
Miloslaw
Why should it? Are we giving away some sort of state secretes? Paranoia goes to far.

Comicking
Szczeniak means basically brat, by a little sharper, smarkacz is similar in that regard.
Mafketis' suggestions don't require polishing, I assume "Oszalałeś!" is a typo :)

As for a message, I don't think stupid child is something a mother would never say, it depends on level of anger and despair. I'll stand behind szczeniaku\smarkaczu.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
29 Mar 2018  #16
I assume "Oszalałeś!" is a typo :)

I hope so...

I don't think stupid child is something a mother would never say

I've heard lots of Polish parents call their child 'debil' (moron, idiot)... though that wouldn't fit the context the author is looking for

I like nieznośny in the context (more or less 'brat' in American usage but it's an adjective)


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