The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered [13]  |  Archives [1] 
 
User: Guest

Language  100% width632 posts«« 1 - page 13 of 22

IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?


jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #361
you meant to be insulting

No. Not at all, but feel free to think that - you certainly have plenty of varied views.

it would seem to me that they should know what they are talking about

We all do. As I said, this is a political issue first and foremost.

You still haven't mentioned your time in PL or exposure to the culture of PL. If I comment on things in the US, I can say at least that I've been there a few times and frankly any English speaking person gets some exposure to their culture.

Not even one who learned very little about Polish grammar because he spent most of his school-days carving swastikas (backwards ones most probably) into desks? Magda appears to be too naive to even know why a racist might want a black person to be near a tree. But if you prefer to say that the graffiti must have been written by a foreigner because all Poles have perfect knowledge of Polish grammar, go ahead.

Absolutely. Hit. Nail. Head.
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
4 Apr 2014  #362
Harry,so what did you mean when you said much like?
Harry    
4 Apr 2014  #363
I mean that some people in Poland think there's nothing wrong with the word, just as some people in the south of the USA in the first part of the 20th century thought that there was nothing wrong with the word 'n1gger'; while other people in Poland know that the word is better avoided, just as some people in the USA then knew not to call black people 'n1ggers'.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
4 Apr 2014  #364
Bad grammar on graffiti is less implausible (even very common) than a non-Pole writing it.

"Murzyny do drewa" written by a native Polish speaker is about as plausible as a native English speaker writing "set" instead of "sad" or "he's under the pub" instead of "he's down the pub".

These are not mistakes, these are errors, i.e. constructions which are not used by native speakers, no matter how intelligent or educated they are (or aren't).

Hmm, I wonder what use a racist might have for a tree when it comes to black people. Any ideas?

You are probably thinking of lynching and hanging: sorry to disappoint you, but the Polish "na drzewo", which BTW is not used exclusively towards black-skinned persons, is also racist (though not always, you can say it to anyone, also to people of your own ethnicity) and rude, but not to the same dramatic extent, i.e. it means "go back to the tree (and sit on it) like the monkey you are".

riposty.cba.pl/?qa=1219/wracaj-na-drzewo-doko%C5%84czy%C4%87-ewolucje
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
4 Apr 2014  #365
LOL good answer Harry ;) right,so your suggesting that Lenka as well as some of the others on here would fall in the category of those who would not know that that term is obviously a heavy racial slur,if you're comparing it to the n word and the way it was used in the south in the 60's.I don't see how she or the others on here would not know this.Not with the access they have to information that they didn't have back then.
jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #366
"Murzyny do drewa" written by a native Polish speaker is about as plausible as a native English speaker writing "set" instead of "sad" or "he's under the pub" instead of "he's down the pub".These are not mistakes, these are errors, i.e. constructions which are not used by native speakers, no matter how intelligent or educated they are (or aren't).

Crikey, you're fixating on this entirely irrelevant side issue about some semi-literate graffiti almost in the way an OCPD person might fixate on something that freaks them out. We're talking about cultural change that occurs within languages, not some Polish graffiti chav's unusual way of writing. Worth mentioning that graffiti anywhere falls outside all normal use of grammar and language - you can easily find many, many examples of graffiti that barely make sense. An example is some on a wall near a place I have in the UK. It reads 'fvck me static'. That makes no real sense in the English language, however to one of the local chavvies it was certainly relevant enough to spray on a wall.

It's what they write rather than the way they write it that's significant.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
4 Apr 2014  #367
Could you get any more utterly pathetic? I said that the word is used by certain people in much the same way as the word 'n1gger' was in the south of the US in the 1960s; I do not say that the word 'n1gger' has the same meaning as the word 'murzyn'.

Pathetic? 1960's height of civil rights movement, segregation etc. The only meaning was to insult certain section of the population stating that it's LIKE that you put it on equal terms. You argue for argument sake but in my eyes you're just too stupid to realize the significance of your own words, Don't bother explaining yourself, you wiggle like a litle worm now, can't even admit to what you've actually said, end of story.
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
4 Apr 2014  #368
John357,what do you mean by you all do?they are saying that the term itself is not offensive.Granted you could make it that way,depending on tone and such.But certain words no matter how you say it will be taken only one way.Do you maintain that this word is one of those?
jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #369
We all of us in this thread. Those of us who a. speak the language and b. live there and hear how it's used. No educated person under a certain age and in the capital would have the slightest doubt that it is a word to use with care.

It looks like you're just trying to stir things. I'm sure you're not, but be aware that this is part of a much wider debate in society in PL.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
4 Apr 2014  #370
Crikey, you're fixating on this entirely irrelevant side issue about some semi-literate graffiti

I'm "fixating" on it because it's an impossible sentence. It's not semi-literate; it's simply not Polish, not even if you stretch your imagination and good will to the limit.

The only person who could have written it, or who could think it could be understood as Polish, is a non-native learner. End of story.
jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #371
I'm "fixating" on it because it's an impossible sentence. It's

Who ever said that graffiti had to be in sentences. And yes, Magdalena, you are fixating as if you had OCPD as far as language matters are concerned.

End of story.

Far from it, Perhaps you'd like to visit Warsaw and have a look yourself - I can show you where it is.
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
4 Apr 2014  #372
Jon357,I'm not trying to stir things up,by all means feel free to think that,you're more than welcome to.I was just curios,because I don't speak Polish,and I been watching ya'll debate this the last couple of days,I almost chimed in yesterday,but got sidetracked.I never think that you're trying to stir things up when you jump into my discussions,why would you think that?And why would I be stirring things?I'm watching you argue with them about it and they are saying that you are wrong.If you're going to take me debating with you,as stirring things up.I don't know what to say.Sorry if you took it that way.
jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #373
Remember that this is part of a wider debate about societal change in Poland (and elsewhere - there are parallels in the US too). One point of view is that things should never change (in Poland, you hear some quite fierce discussions about language - what is 'correct' and what isn't; another point of view is that change happens organically due to all sorts of factors and that Poland's culture is not isolated from trends in the rest of the world. There are those who think it should be.
Harry    
4 Apr 2014  #374
1960's height of civil rights movement, segregation etc.

OK, so let's make it the 1950s; the point remains the same.

you're just too stupid ... you wiggle like a litle worm

One assumes that you resort to insults because you know you cannot support your point (if you had one) with anything else.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
4 Apr 2014  #375
Perhaps you'd like to visit Warsaw and have a look yourself - I can show you where it is.

Warsaw is a multicultural city. My suspicion is that another nationality has started learning Polish and giving vent to their racism this way.
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
4 Apr 2014  #376
I know this Jon,I understand that,But that is not what I was asking about.I seen people say that the word is not used or taken that way,and from what I gather,it certainly can't be compared to that other word.What I'm getting from them here,is that you can use the word,and that it is not bad.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
4 Apr 2014  #377
One assumes that you resort to insults because you know you cannot support your point (if you had one) with anything else.

Did not mean it as an insult, just stating obvious fact, you simply can't hide ignorance. Your comprehension of your own native language needs polishing yet here you are trying to teach the natives their own language,
jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #378
from what I gather,it certainly can't be compared to that other word.

The words are different, but there are valid comparisons. Most people in Poland do not seek to either offend or be seen to drag themselves down by their use of vocabulary. Some of the posters here think it's acceptable - others think it is not. Very subjective, however one thing is indisputable - that sensibilities around use of language are changing.
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
4 Apr 2014  #379
I'm "fixating" on it because it's an impossible sentence. It's not semi-literate; it's simply not Polish, not even if you stretch your imagination and good will to the limit.

I asked all Poles I could (3 now) about that sentence and not even one recognised the meaning when I said it the first time. All ppl said it's absolutely not written by a native speaker. One person added that whoever tries to make it a "Polish" graffiti has something wrong with their heads (I'm just a messanger).
jon357 65 | 13,627    
4 Apr 2014  #380
One person added that whoever tries to make it a "Polish" graffiti has something wrong with their heads (I'm just a messanger).

Well, it certainly isn't in Chinese, Lenka, and given that it's in a doorway half way down Grochowska the likely nationalities of the 'writer' are small.
Harry    
4 Apr 2014  #381
My suspicion is that another nationality has started learning Polish and giving vent to their racism this way.

Yes, it must be one of the foreigners, because all Poles speak perfect Polish, even the ones who are stupid enough to daub racist graffiti on walls, not that any Poles could possibly ever be racist enough daub any racist graffiti anywhere anyway.

How does that sand look Magda?
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
4 Apr 2014  #382
Ok I think the discussion is over. Obviously you both know Polish better than natives. No point in arguing. I think ppl reading this thread have enough info on the subject and can decide for themselfs. I'm out, I know when there's no point in prolonging.
p3undone 8 | 1,150    
4 Apr 2014  #383
Jon357,so you are saying that there are valid comparisons between that word and the N word.No one finds the N word acceptable at all,it is used to offend,and is a heavy slur.So I don't see how any comparison to it can be valid.But like I said before I would find it very hard to believe that the posters here wouldn't know if the word was acceptable,now if at least one of them here agreed with you,then I could think that you might be correct.
Harry    
4 Apr 2014  #384
No one finds the N word acceptable at all,it is used to offend,and is a heavy slur.

Now people do not. A 120 years ago it was a perfectly acceptable word, see for example the book The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' by Joseph Conrad. The point is that words evolve and meanings change. Murzyn is becoming unacceptable, just as 'Pollack' did in the past.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
4 Apr 2014  #385
Yes, it must be one of the foreigners, because all Poles speak perfect Polish

No, not all Poles speak perfect Polish, but when they are semi-literate or stupid, they make mistakes typical for native speakers, they might spell "dżewo" instead of "drzewo" for example, but not mistake a "na + noun" structure with a "do + noun" structure.

Poles could possibly ever be racist enough daub any racist graffiti anywhere anyway.

I never said that. They do that, a lot, e.g. "Żydzi do gazu", "Biała siła", why not? I just haven't seen that much graffiti employing the word "Murzyn" as it's not generally perceived as pejorative, esp. not in the less educated circles of society. I asked for pictures of graffiti and got one, plus info about "Murzyny do drewa" which is definitely not a native Polish effort.

I have never said anywhere that Polish people are never racist. I have, on the other hand, claimed that the word "Murzyn" is not racist. Of course, with time and patience, the "progressive" element of Polish society will force us to accept that it is now officially racist, and make us replace it with some monstrosity such as "czarnoskóry" ("Blackskin") which, when we compare it with "Redskin" which has been banned as racist, does not sound all that great either, does it?
Harry    
4 Apr 2014  #386
"Redskin" which has been banned as racist

Some people still claim that word isn't racist (for example the owner of the NFL team in Washington DC: the Redskins).
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
4 Apr 2014  #387
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redskin_%28slang%29

They are probably fighting a losing battle.
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
4 Apr 2014  #388
The whole argument about nigg1r [I would write it, but I would only be told I am a racist] being acceptable in the USA at one time, even though it was wrong, being similar to how Poland now, is bogus.

Yes people used to say nigg1r in the USA some time ago, but it was still derogatory. They didn't think anything of it, but the USA was that type of society, where black people being slaves was normal, or where black people having to sit at the back of a bus, was normal. So calling a black person something derogatory was second nature for a big part of white American society.

This is different to Poland. Unless used by racists, the Polish word for black people is not meant in a derogatory way. It is simply used just as another term for black people. Bambo that children would read about in schools, was a nice little kid who they learnt about. That story is not derogatory. Even the term Jew can be used in a racist way if used by racists, but we know that Jew is not a derogatory word.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
4 Apr 2014  #389
Murzyn is becoming unacceptable, just as 'Pollack' did in the past.

There's no such word as Pollack in Polish language therefor derogatory and offensive, changing the spelling brings out obvious negative connotation and it only exist in Anglo speaking world, there's nothing wrong with using proper spelling of this word which is Polak meaning a Pole. Contrary to what you claim here the word for a Pole Polak is still very much in use and acceptable in both languages the meaning of Murzyn nor the spelling of it on the other hand ever changed, it's original meaning is intact. Just like the word Polak in Polish language describes a person of Polish heritage the word Murzyn describes a person of African heritage, end of story. No racism here whatsoever.
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,052    
4 Apr 2014  #390
Personally I am not offended by the word Polak or Pollack, but if it was used in a derogatory way to Polish people in America for a long time, then I would understand why some Polish people might be upset. Having said that, it is a funny word to use to try to be offensive to Polish people, since, as mentioned, spelled a little differently, it just means Polish person in Polish. I wouldn't be offended by it.

By the way, just curious, would white people here get offended if they were called a honky?



Home / Language / IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?
Bold Italic [quote]

 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary and unique username or login and post as a member.