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IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?


jon357 65 | 13,654    
2 Apr 2014  #271
Your post is among the more bizarre and ill-informed on this matter here. A lot of sweeping generalisations too "Poles don't like..." as if all 40 million share the same views.

By the way, the roots of a word can be completely neutral however that has no bearing at all on whether its contemporary use is neutral, and vice versa.

You seem to be trying to excuse something.
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
3 Apr 2014  #272
Jon357,I agree,it does appear to be the case.
Wulkan - | 3,280    
3 Apr 2014  #273
I wouldn't describe it any better
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
3 Apr 2014  #274
By the way, the roots of a word can be completely neutral however that has no bearing at all on whether its contemporary use is neutral, and vice versa.

Contemporary use of the word has not changed, there simply was no reason for it. Unlike the western European countries and the US where a significant portion of the population consisted of minorities and the word was mangled in your respective languages to reflect that negative feeling toward certain groups of people where over time you assigned a negative connotation to it, this is not the case in Poland. The only negative use of this word that percolated to the society in general in the last 20 years or so is through hip hop culture, again an imported idea from the west mainly US. Most people were never exposed or lived in close proximity to minorities to simply develop this racist notion of yours that still dominates the general attitude of the Anglo speaking countries. Those that did were for the most part exposed to foreign students, again a class that does not presents itself in negative way, so what makes you think that this is all BS and an excuse. You simply have a preconceived notion of what this word is and you apply your way of reasoning to Polish language through mistranslation of your own native language passing it on to Polish language, as if. In my opinion this badly reflects on you. You want it so bad to be the case, that you unconsciously reveal yourself to be a bigot and a closet racist. Not only do you still think of minorities in the Anglo way but you want to impose your way of thinking on 40 million Poles and what this word might mean to them just because you think of it in those terms.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #275
Contemporary use of the word has not changed,

It is only used perjoratively nowadays.

Unlike the western European countries and the US where a significant portion of the population consisted of minorities and the word was mangled in

We don't have that word in other languages. The nearest cognate is 'moor' which is archaic.

assigned a negative connotation to it, this is not the case in Poland.

The only negative use of this word that percolated to the society in general in the last 20 years or so is through hip hop culture

So you're contradicting yourself. Thank you for agreeing with my point that it has a negative use.

You simply have a preconceived notion of what this word is and you apply your way of reasoning to Polish language through mistranslation of your own native language passing it on to Polish language,

Or perhaps direct experience of hearing it used at home in Poland. It is used negatively and urban educated people avoid it.

You seem to think that the Polish language is timeless and unchanging (it is not and never has been) or frozen in time on the day you emigrated.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
3 Apr 2014  #276
It is only used perjoratively nowadays.

Again that's just your opinion isn't it?

The nearest cognate is 'moor' which is archaic.

So is the case in Polish, almost never used, perhaps in some obscure literature that most people hardly ever read.

So you're contradicting yourself. Thank you for agreeing with my point that it has a negative use.

Hardly, just pointing out that the western artist themselves are trying to make an imprint on Polish society which is starting to take hold on younger generation.

Or perhaps direct experience of hearing it used at home in Poland.

Somehow I'm not surprised such language and the meaning it carries is used in your household, than again you yourself are a recent immigrant to Poland so whatever meaning of the word that is used in your household in no way reflects on what is meant by it in typical Polish family.

You seem to think that the Polish language is timeless and unchanging (it is not and never has been) or frozen in time

Again if you read my statement carefully you would see I have acknowledge the fact that it is not, you yourself have used it in your quote to illustrate it as a contradiction LOL.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #277
Again that's just your opinion isn't it?

Well, this is a discussion forum.

So is the case in Polish, almost never used, perhaps in some obscure literature that most people hardly ever read.

Youhave been away a long time, haven't you. We hear kurwa boys using it and see the racist graffiti daily.

Somehow I'm not surprised such language and the meaning it carries is used in your household, than again you yourself are a recent immigrant to Poland so whatever meaning of the word that is used in your household in no way reflects on what is meant by it in typical Polish family.

No such thing as a 'typical Polish family', and you certainly wouldn't hear it in my home. Not that recent, either.

Then again, if all you're used to is villages, perhaps you used to hear it. Nowadays people only use it perjoratively. As I said in the first place.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
3 Apr 2014  #278
We hear kurwa boys using it and see the racist graffiti daily.

That's what you get when you substitute one chav location for another, haven't really climbed that social letter, have you?

'typical Polish family', and you certainly wouldn't hear it in my home. Not that recent, either

Don't kid yourself, mixed marriages are still a very tiny percentage of households in Poland so by very definition your household is not typical Polish household is it. Can't comment on what is said or not in your house as you never invited me for a beer btw recent is a relative term so what is not to you might very well be recent to me, either way it can't be more than twenty years and more than half of your life spent in Poland for you to be an expert on what Polish people mean when they say .....

Nowadays people only use it perjoratively

Nope, you grew up with this concept therefor you see it that way, As I have said.
Harry    
3 Apr 2014  #279
mixed marriages are still a very tiny percentage of households in Poland

One that grows every month, although I suppose one would have to at least visit Poland every decade in order to see that, so we can't expect you to have seen it.

you yourself are a recent immigrant to Poland

The best part of two decades is recent to you?!

either way it can't be more than twenty years and more than half of your life spent in Poland

Why can't it have been? I know more than a few foreigners who have been here for more than twenty years. My own twentieth is next summer.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #280
That's what you get when you substitute one chav location for another, haven't really climbed that social letter, have you?

Oddly enough, I don't come from one and I don't live in one, but go on making assumptions based on your life experience, why not. Especially if you don't have any point to make.

Don't kid yourself, mixed marriages are still a very tiny percentage of households in Poland so by very definition your household is not typical Polish household is it.

Again, more assumptions - one of the silliest being that there's such a thing as a 'typical Polish household'. Though for the length of time, you're almost right.

Nope, you grew up with this concept therefor you see it that way, As I have said.

And as ever, said wrongly. You'd actually be quite surprised if you knew.

As I say, you're either very out of touch with what happens in PL and how people speak, or you're trying to push some sort of agenda.

You say the word isn't perjorative. I wonder if the people who spray racist graffiti imagine they're being linguistically neutral when they use it.
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #281
It is only used perjoratively nowadays.

One of the biggest ******** I ever read here (I mean in the "normal" threads". Yes, young ppl use black more often but that's because of all the bad attention murzyn aquired (due to foreigners imo). Ppl over 40 will use the word murzyn naturally and without any bad connotations. Quite frankly I hear "black" being used in a pejorative way more often.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #282
all the bad attention murzyn aquired

Exactly. the tone of the word has changed along with society. In PL, we no longer live in an isolated bubble.
Harry    
3 Apr 2014  #283
Ppl over 40 will use the word murzyn naturally and without any bad connotations.

So it's much like the word 'N1gger' in the south of the US in the 1960s.
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #284
Oh give it a rest. It's a perfectly normal word and it's not used in a bad way 99% of the time. I use the word black simply because it's logical- I'm white so black ppl are black.

I have enough of ppl telling Poles that some word is offensive (even if it isn't) just because they percive it this way. It's like me going to UK and saying that the word "to polish" is offensive cos it's the same spelling as Polish. Sick.
Harry    
3 Apr 2014  #285
It's a perfectly normal word

As was 'n1gger'. Words change.

It's like me going to UK and saying that the word "to polish" is offensive cos it's the same spelling as Polish.

Er, those two words don't have the same spelling.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #286
Sick.

Not really. I wonder how many people in Poland would use it to a black person's face while visiting their home? In Warsaw at least, I suspect it'd be very few.
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #287
Ok, so now two foreigners are trying to convince me they know the connotations of a word better than me. Splendid!
Listen ppl, from where did you get the idea it's a racist word, huh? Of course it can be used in a racist way but the word "black" or "Afro-American" can be as well.

It wasn't an offensive word and only sick minded ppl made it so.
As I said- I use the word "black" however suggesting that ppl using the word murzyn are racist is just dumb.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #288
Listen ppl, from where did you get the idea it's a racist word, huh?

Probably from those Polish people who advised us not to use it in polite speech.

So Lenka, would you use it to a black person's face while visiting their home?
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #289
Probably from those Polish people who advised us not to use it in polite speech.

Then you had to talk to ppl that didn't get the fact that that word simply means a dark skinned person.

So Lenka, would you use it to a black person's face while visiting their home?

As I said I use the word "black" however if I did use it and they made a big deal out of it I would know what to think.
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
3 Apr 2014  #290
urban educated people avoid it

so what do they use instead? - there is no other originally Polish word to describe a black person of African origin which is no cumbersome - the word czarny has not very pleasant connotations

btw it's as if urban educated people cannot be bigots
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #291
the word czarny has not very pleasant connotations

Oh yes, it can sound very unpleasant in certain sentences. I stick to it however very often I would use the word murzyn for better sound. Logic is logic though and I stick to black :)

btw it's as if urban educated people cannot be bigots

Good point.
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #292
Then you had to talk to ppl that didn't get the fact that that word simply means a dark skinned person.

So does the 'n' word when push comes to shove. As I remember, the person who first advised me not to say the 'm' word has a doctorate in Polish philology.

As I said I use the word "black"

So in fact you don't say it. Nor do I.

We can use a traditional noun for Germans, Italians, British people, French people etc. If however a group of people has had a particularly rough deal - then there's every reason to be careful about how we describe them. There's enough grumbling on this forum from Pol-Ams who dislike the word Pollack and with good reason. Like the word 'Murzyn', neither started out as offensive or insulting, however emphases change.
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #293
Sorry Jon, but I still don't buy it. If someone wants to make a big deal out of it cool, but it's really funny (as in looking at something so stupid that it's funny) that ppl will change a word (a good one, very often having better connotations than the word black) cos someone had some paranoia.

I use the word black because of logic, not because I find the word murzyn offensive. The same way I won't use Afro- American (considering black ppl from USA).
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #294
but it's really funny (as in looking at something so stupid that it's funny) that ppl will change a word (a good one, very often having better connotations than the word black)

That reminds me so much of the people about 20 or 30 years ago who used to grumble bitterly about the word 'gay', complaining that "a perfectly good word has been ruined". Emphases do change and most people when speaking do not wish to consciously offend. There are doubtless people who still say 'murzyn' without picking up on that - but as time goes on they are getting fewer and fewer.
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
3 Apr 2014  #295
There's enough grumbling on this forum from Pol-Ams who dislike the word Pollack

I don't believe the word Pollack had ever neutral connotations - the neutral word and a proper word in English is a Pole - Murzyn is neutral as you can get in Polish and your philology doctor was a bigot
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
3 Apr 2014  #296
If that's the case I will take an offence in the word "chair". I don't know the reason yet but I will find it :)

I'm not too attached to the word however I find ridiculous what I read here.
The word is getting out of use. True. It will probably disappear in 2 generations. It's natural. However suggesting it's a racist word is wrong, stupid and has no use.
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
3 Apr 2014  #297
There are doubtless people who still say 'murzyn' without picking up on that - but as time goes on they are getting fewer and fewer.

once again murzyn is a neutral word - the derogative word for a black person is czarnuch - perhaps some black people in Poland object to being called murzyni but we won't change the language to suit the sensitivities (sick sensitivities) of the few
jon357 65 | 13,654    
3 Apr 2014  #298
It's changing whether you like it or you don't. Unless PL does a North Korea (where the language has ossified compared with the south to the point that the young people of Pyongyang sound like old folks to the South Koreans) and isolate itself from cultural influences.

But you'd probably like Ciemnogrod.
Harry    
3 Apr 2014  #299
I don't believe the word Pollack had ever neutral connotations

Looks like you're wrong:

According to Online Etymology Dictionary by Douglas Harper, "Polack" meant as "Polish immigrant, person of Polish descent" was used in American English until the late 19th century (1879) to describe a "Polish person" in a non-offensive way (1574).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polack

perhaps some black people in Poland object to being called murzyni but we won't change the language to suit the sensitivities (sick sensitivities) of the few

Perhaps some Polish people in the USA object to being called Pollacks but we won't change the language to suit the sensitivities (sick sensitivities) of the few, yes?
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
3 Apr 2014  #300
the word Pollack is no longer neutral - if it ever was - there is a proper neutral word in English and this is a Pole - Murzyn is a proper neutral word to describe a black person in Polish - end of story - we won't change neutral words to suit the needs of the few



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