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About the phrases "A co, szukasz partnera?" and "Jestem wolna"


maclinux 1 | 1
5 Nov 2014 #1
Hello Forum,

my name is Olaf, I live in Germany and I am learning polish since 4 years.
I have a problem to understand why in the Lections the coursebook is using phrases like
"A co, szukasz partnera?" and "Jestem wolna".

First phrase:
"A co, szukasz partnera?"

Literally (english): And what, are looking for a partner?
Analogously, (english): Why, are looking for a partner?

Question: Why "A co" is used and not "Dlaczego" or "czemu"?

Second phrase:
"Jestem wolna."

Literally (english): I am free.
Analogously, (english): I have time.

Question: Why "Jestem wolna" and not "Mam czas", what I woud say with my beginner skills?

Sincerly, Olaf Neumann
Nathans
5 Nov 2014 #2
Question: Why "A co" is used and not "Dlaczego" or "czemu"?

Hm, it could be tricky for a Polish learner ;).

'A co' is the colloquial form used in informal conversations, for example when two teens talking to each other.

Dlaczego / czemu could also be used, BUT to make it sound correct you'd have to add the word 'pytasz' (asking) after these. So:

Dlaczego pytasz, szukasz partnera?
Czemu pytasz, szukasz partnera?

So the bottom line is, 'A co' is informal of 'dlaczego / czemu pytasz' and it should not be used in a formal setting.

"Jestem wolna" in Polish means (literally): I'm available. 'Wolna' = 'available' in this context.

You're right that 'wolna' also means 'free' but in this case the conversation is about dating, not freedom; hence, the translation is 'wolna = available (for dating/meeting, etc.).
gumishu 11 | 5,127
5 Nov 2014 #3
it begs for some more context

is this a dance floor situation?
OP maclinux 1 | 1
5 Nov 2014 #4
Hello Forum, hello gumishu,

here you are, this is the dialog from the Assimill polish course:

Lekcja dziewiąta - Okazja na rewanż

1- Często grasz w tenisa?
2- A co, szukasz partnera?
3- Tak. To fantastycznie, ja też.
4- To kiedy gramy?
5- Co robisz teraz, na przykład?
6- Jestem wolna. To chodżmy.
7- No i jak? Jesteś zmęczona?
8- Trochę. Może wystarczy na dzisiaj?
9- Dobrze. Jutro masz okazję rewanż.

I think that Nathans got it. It is realy not easy for a beginner with my skills, because
sometimes it is not the same how polish people speak und what is written in courses.

Sincerly, Olaf Neumann
gumishu 11 | 5,127
5 Nov 2014 #5
well the dialogue looks very natural to me i.e. this is the way Polish people would speak normally

"jestem wolna" can have a couple of meanings and in this context it can well mean "I have time"


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