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IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?


Lolek2    
6 Apr 2014  #451
If you are implying that any word can be used as a racist slurr I'm not going to argue. Banning perfectly innocent words is not the way to go.
Lenka 2 | 1,067    
6 Apr 2014  #452
Problem was Lenka

I understand Pam and I know you are not one of the know-it-all person however your reaction was absolutely wrong considering it's a neutral word in Polish. You asked now but many ppl instead of asking and learning will transfer the bad connotations of English into Polish which is wrong. It's a bit like with "when in Rome...". While using Polish one has to apply not only grammatical rules but also cultural aspect of the language.
f stop 25 | 2,520    
11 Apr 2014  #453
Here is something that should warm all of your hearts.
This is what an average American will look in 2050:

beautiful

policymic.com/articles/87359/national-geographic-concludes-what-americans-will-look-like-in-2050-and-it-s-beautiful?utm_source=policymicFB&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
11 Apr 2014  #454
Funny, I thought the genes for light coloured eyes and hair were recessive?
Wulkan - | 3,280    
11 Apr 2014  #455
That's the first thing that came to my head after looking at the picture, just another money making bs.
f stop 25 | 2,520    
11 Apr 2014  #456
"The color of green eyes does not result simply from the pigmentation of the iris. Rather, its appearance is caused by the combination of an amber or light brown pigmentation of the stroma, given by a low or moderate concentration of melanin, with the blue tone imparted by the Rayleigh scattering of the reflected light."
Murzyni_com    
27 Dec 2014  #457
Murzyn (noun, plural Murzyni) is an old Polish word used to describe a dark-skinned person. The term derives from a word 'Maur' (see Mauritania) and was initially used to name all people coming from Northern Africa. Etymologically, it comes from the same root as the English word Moor. Semantic range of the word 'Murzyn' has evolved over the years to incorporate a broader meaning; now is predominantly used to describe any male person perceived as dark-skinned relative to others, while belonging to a "black" ethnicity in their particular country, typically having a degree of Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Isidore of Seville, writing in the seventh century, claimed that the Latin word 'Maurus' was derived from the Greek 'mauron', μαύρον, which is the Greek word for black.

as defined here: Murzyni.com/murzyni-is-positive/
Murzyn    
22 Jan 2015  #458
I am not a racist! My family is from Poland (grandmother from Warsaw), grandfather's family from Poland and met in Pittsburgh Pa. I attended school at Tuskegee Institute in Al. I won't mention what I was called there & what I heard spoken when the young ladies referred to their "man". I am proud to be a Murzyn because that is my name and not a word, also I am white! It is what it is! Have a good life!
random-1    
22 Jan 2015  #459
I think in Polish, the word "Murzyn" (in uppercase) is neutral in connotation, and refers to someone who is black or African-(American) as an example. An alternative word would be "czarnoskóry" (adjective for black when referring to people) -- in my mind, it is neutral as well; "czarny" means black.

"Murzyn" is NOT translated to the vulgar N word in English (the N word in Polish would be something like "cz-rn-ch" -- this is offensive so I removed the "a" and the "u" from the actual word).

Keep in mind that sometimes a word in one language conveys the same meaning in another language, but it can carry other connotations. For example, in English the verb "to die" is used for both people and animals. In Polish, you have different verbs for "to die" -- "umrzeć" or "umierać" are used when you are talking about people. If you are referring to animals, etc. , you would use "zdechnąć". If you were to use "zdechnąć" when talking about a person, it would be considered rude and offensive depending to whom you were talking (e.g. Zdechł mu kot. = His cat died. is OK; however, Zdechł mu ojciec. = His father died. is pretty offensive). Some people could use the "zdechnąć" verb with personal pronouns (Chcę zdechnąć = I want to die.) to convey desperation or some other strong emotion so that construction is possible.

Sorry in advance if I made any typos. I'm not an expert in Polish; however, if you know Polish extremely well, and want to correct me, go ahead. My main point is that words sometimes carry more than one connotation, and that connotation is not always the same between languages.
Levi_BR 6 | 220    
22 Jan 2015  #460
Funny, I thought the genes for light coloured eyes and hair were recessive?

This is a myth. Example: In the south of Brazil, when the indigenous population mixed with the Ukrainians/Germans/Poles/Italians colonizers, in just 2 generations all the characteristics of those indigenous (black straight hair, brown eyes, no body hair - including males, they dont have hair on the chest or legs like europeans-, etc...) were vanished.

My grandma was indigenous and i have hair on my legs, chest and white skin.

Actually isolated populations (like Indigenous, Eskimos, Masais, etc) usually have weaker genes, so even Masais being black skinned or Eskimos having dark eyes, those characteristics tend to disappear when they mix.

Famous example: Neymar and his son (yeah, they already comprovated paternity by DNA exam):
cdn.caughtoffside.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Neymar-+-son-Barcelona.jpg

Stick to the topic please
Borek Falecki - | 52    
22 Jan 2015  #461
On etymology of the word:

Zapożyczenia w językach słowiańskich:

murinъ 'Murzyn' (← sgn. mōr, por. niem. Mohr, Maure, isl. mór; ← łac. Maurus 'Maur, Murzyn północnoafrykański'; pośrednictwo germańskie mało prawdopodobne, bo nazwy grup etnicznych z przyrostkiem -inъ mają zwykle rodowód łaciński);

Online Etymology dictionary:

Moor (n.) Look up Moor at Dictionary.com

"North African, Berber," late 14c., from Old French More, from Medieval Latin Morus, from Latin Maurus "inhabitant of Mauritania" (northwest Africa, a region now corresponding to northern Algeria and Morocco), from Greek Mauros, perhaps a native name, or else cognate with mauros "black" (but this adjective only appears in late Greek and may as well be from the people's name as the reverse). Being a dark people in relation to Europeans, their name in the Middle Ages was a synonym for "Negro;" later (16c.-17c.) used indiscriminately of Muslims (Persians, Arabs, etc.) but especially those in India.

Meaning of the word in contemporaty Polish

1. the primary sense of a word «Black person»
2. colloq. «(deeply) tanned man»
3. colloq. «one who works for another without revealing his identity - a ghostwriter»
4. colloq. «one who works very hard and is exploited»

Offensiveness of the word depends on the intention of those who use it and sensitivity of those who are called by it.
random-1    
22 Jan 2015  #462
Is the last sentence from the reference book or is that your own comment?

I went to the Web site of a major Polish newspaper, Rzeczpospolita, rp.pl
I typed in the word "Murzyn" in the search terms. I got a large number of newspaper articles using the word. The word was used inside the body of articles, not just in quotes. This tells me that most people would use it in

the primary sense of a word "Black person"

However, I also found a few articles in how this word could be made offensive in particular sentences/context. So I understand what you mean now. However, neutral words that can be made offensive in particular context also exist in English. I think the problem is that this word has been mistranslated, and there some idiots from Poland who misuse it in an offensive context. However, I would still strongly maintain that primary translation of "Murzyn" is not the offensive "N----r" word in English (if you were to type in the N-word word to search a major English newspaper, would you see it being used by reporters? If the paper is respectable, you would not.)

In any case, I'm not going to fight over this. If someone is not fluent in Polish or grew up speaking Polish or in the Polish culture (this would include some newcomers to Poland like the soccer player mentioned at the beginning of the thread), they will not understand the context of how some words are used. Also, if this word is mistranslated, I could also understand their reaction as well.
Borek Falecki - | 52    
22 Jan 2015  #463
However, I would still strongly maintain that primary translation of "Murzyn" is not the offensive "N----r" word in English (if you were to type in the N-word word to search a major English newspaper, would you see it being used by reporters? If the paper is respectable, you would not.)

Since the time the word was taken from the Latin language to all Slavic languages, it has evolved (look Moor in the online etymological dictionary) both in meaning and sound; after that. The meaning changed, influenced by western languages (so-called loan translation) or I should rather say it was influenced by the connotations reflecting attitudes of the western societies, or elites of the western countries - mostly colonial ones.

It is a general truth that the offensiveness of the word depends on the intention of those who use it and sensitivity of those who are called by it and true not only about the word Murzyn but also about any word; so, I should have rather writen that

Offensiveness of A word depends on the intention of those who use it and sensitivity of those who are called by it. If there are any bad connotations, then you should look for them in the wider context, and not only confined to Poland.
random-1    
22 Jan 2015  #464
Do you actually speak Polish fluently? Didn't you understand my post?
I think I already that yes, this word can be used offensively. However, in most cases, it is not.
random-1    
22 Jan 2015  #466
My opinion is that I think it is OK to use the "Murzyn" word in certain non-offensive contexts. The most long-winded, euphemistic phrase that I heard to describe people who are black is "ludzie z ciemną karnacją" which translates to "people with dark skin complexion". You gave me the history of the word, but I don't think anyone associates the word with Moors anyway.
Cardno85 31 | 976    
22 Jan 2015  #467
My opinion is that I think it is OK to use the "Murzyn" word

Just like saying Nig*er is fine if you know some black people. I have black friends here in Kraków and I can tell you Murzyn is never used positively. It's fine whn moderates are saying it, but the racists ruin it for everyone.

For UK people, think of your grandparents saying "negro"
random1 - | 5    
23 Jan 2015  #468
Let me explain where I'm coming from with my previous posts...
I read mainstream Polish newspapers on-line. I do see the "Murzyn" word within the newspaper articles. It just does not make sense to me that reporters would be allowed to use the "Murzyn" word if it was as offensive as the N-word (=Nig...). If a reporter used a N-word in Canada or the US, he would be fired. This is why it's very hard for me to agree with the statement when people say that the word "Murzyn" is the N-word. However, I don't hear much Polish conversation on the street since I'm not in Poland.

I do agree that this word CAN be worded in an offensive context. Maybe this word is being transformed into something more offensive ?! It's entirely possible since words can change in connotation over time...

I looked for the definition of "Murzyn" in Langenscheidt Polish-English Dictionary, 2003 edition:
Definition: Murzy|n m (-a, -i), ~nka f (-i; G -nek) African; (w USA) Afro-American, Black

I looked at Google Translate. I was shocked. Google translates "Murzyn" as the N-word (Nig...). If people rely on Google to translate, I can see why people get upset. How the hell did Google decide to use the most offensive definition for this word, when it's used in mainstream Polish media?! Google actually gives different terms to "Murzyn" when this used within a text.

Here are some examples of mainstream Polish media, where the word, "Murzyn" is used
Rzeczpospolita article about the movie "Django Unchained" (maybe Google the URL string; I had to remove www and http)
... rp.pl/artykul/1073661-Rewelacyjny-western--o-niewolnictwie.html
Look for words: Murzynów, Murzyna...

Here is an example from a News magazine, "Uważam Rze" (maybe Google the URL string; I had to remove www and http)

uwazamrze.pl/artykul/988264/polska-musi-bronic-wartosci/3

Interview with John Abraham Godson, member of the Polish Parliament (I understand he's from Nigeria)
First sentence on the page. Response of John Godson to reporter's question:
"Tak. Dotychczas ludzie mnie szufladkowali. Uważali, że skoro jestem Murzynem, to jestem lewacki..."
Google translation: "Yes. So far, the people I file it . They thought that since I am a black man , I'm leftist ."

Do you see now why this is so conflicting?
Swiss guy    
23 Jan 2015  #469
Tak. Dotychczas ludzie mnie szufladkowali. Uważali, że skoro jestem Murzynem, to jestem lewacki..."
Google translation: "Yes. So far, the people I file it . They thought that since I am a black man , I'm leftist ."

Godson, the first black Polish MP (born in Nigeria), is right here. Godson who as as black as ebony freely describes himself as Murzyn in public. He sees nothing offfensive in this word.

Google is wrong here, nigger means czarnuch, not Murzyn. No Anglo-Saxon body or person is a proper linguistic authority to decide which word in Polish is racist. Neither are those silly Polish people who blindly follow trends imported from America, the UK or anywhere else.
Less777 - | 50    
23 Jan 2015  #470
but it goes to show that what is acceptable in one country,

A least that is what lefties want people to believe.
Monitor 14 | 1,822    
23 Jan 2015  #471
This is what an average American will look in 2050:

she doesn't look scary :)
Borsukrates    
11 Nov 2015  #472
Either way, look out for the word 'ciapaty'. It's a modern racial slur. It origins from the word 'ciapki', which means colorful spots. Stay away from people who use it.
Billy9999 - | 34    
11 Nov 2015  #473
beautiful

Looks like something out of the walking dead
nothanks - | 667    
11 Nov 2015  #474
Oh boy this is one of the longest running debates on this Western site.

> What Americans will look like in the future: Filipinos
OP Polonius3 1,007 | 12,507    
11 Nov 2015  #475
average American will look in 2050

Maybe yes, maybe no. Today's tabloidised media are more interested in shocking, surprising or titillating than informing, becuse that sells newspapers and incresases viewership amogn the lumpenproles. We have National Geographic Channel airing "the world's 10 most stupid stunts..." or hear "at the present rate, Austria's popularion will drop to......" or "rain forests will be so many % smaller by 2020." Such projections assume that the current rate will continue uninterrupted when we know that many different htigsn cna happen along the way. There is a trend and then there is s backlash that reverses it.
Polsyr 6 | 772    
12 Nov 2015  #476
media are more interested in shocking, surprising or titillating than informing

Absolutely true... Add to that polarizing and manipulating to achieve the goals of their sponsors.
InPolska 11 | 1,823    
12 Nov 2015  #477
The girl is beautiful! Mixed people are usually gorgeous.
Polsyr 6 | 772    
12 Nov 2015  #478
Mixed people are usually gorgeous.

Totally true.

This is the Polish language thread. Let's back on topic please.
Wulkan - | 3,280    
13 Nov 2015  #479
IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?

No, it is not.

Either way, look out for the word 'ciapaty'. It's a modern racial slur.

No, it is not, it's commonly used these days mainly in the UK. It's a modern word and you can't replace it with any other word that would have exactly same meaning.


jon357 65 | 13,627    
13 Nov 2015  #480
ciapaty

Yes, it is a word used among the recent Polish migration to the UK, especially London. Your 'ciapki' analysis is interesting. I've heard 'ciapaki', a conflation of 'chapatti' (Indian restaurant bread) and 'paki'.



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