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"Cup of coffee" translated in Poland as Kubek kawy. Why not a mug?


Chemikiem
22 May 2017 #31
krzesło - fotel (both would usually just be 'chair' in the US)

Not over here. Fotel was one of the first words I learned, and in the UK it would mean armchair rather than chair. There is a difference. I only found out there was more than one word for chair later on, and I much preferred 'fotel'. Krzesło was a nightmare to pronounce for me as a new learner at that time.

filiżanka - kubek (usually 'cup' in the US)

In the UK, that would be cup and mug respectively.

Over here though it is increasingly popular to get both tea and coffee served in mugs, even if you initially ask for a cup of coffee. If you go out for coffee, you would most likely get a latte for example, in a mug or tall glass because it's a long drink.What tea is served in sometimes depends on the place itself. Cafes serving fried breakfasts would be more likely to offer tea in a mug, as these places originally were most popular with hungry workers. More upmarket places would serve tea in a teapot with a cup and saucer.

In Poland I've always had coffee in a cup, but then I normally just ask for a large white coffee, and that is what is given. Never yet been given a mug.
Atch 20 | 4,155
22 May 2017 #32
Polish is much pickier about maintaining certain distinctions than English

In the English language, the term cup of coffee or tea, as you would know Maf, doesn't literally mean a cup, it means rather a drink of tea or coffee and may be served in any receptacle, even a styrofoam or plastic container. As to Polish in general I find there are fewer distinctions but the few that exist are observed much more srictly than those in English which are used increasingly by a minority of people. However I think most people do distinguish between 'chair' and 'armchair just as one does in Polish with krzesło and fotel.

But if you take the example of chair, in English, if you were to use all the terms available you'd have:

Arm chair and there loads of different styles (the club chair, the wing chair etc)
Dining chair, Carver (which is a dining chair with arms)
Kitchen chair (within which there are a variety of designs which all have names, the Windsor, the ladderback)
There are even specific terms for the types of legs, arms, backs etc. I don't think Polish goes into quite that level of detail but I'm open to correction if a native speaker would like to oblige.

As to cup and mug, they are definitely two different things in English.
mafketis 37 | 10,880
22 May 2017 #33
cup of coffee or tea, as you would know Maf, doesn't literally mean a cup, it means rather a drink of tea or coffee

Or a standardized portion.... (a drink could be one swig from someone else's drinking vessel)

However I think most people do distinguish between 'chair' and 'armchair just as one does in Polish with krzesło and fotel.

Not in GAE [general american english] (you _can_ distinguish them when you want to, but in everyday usage it's not necessary at all while the distinction is kind of mandatory in Polish) This iconic TV item is always called "Archie Bunker's chair"....

/ids.si.edu/ids/deliveryService?id=NMAH-2006-10060

I've even heard people refer to recliners as 'chairs'

content.blueport.com/ProductImages/0/349147.jpg

As to cup and mug, they are definitely two different things in English.

There's no single system in English (American semantics are independent of other varieties). For my American linguistic intuition a mug needs to be about 12 centimeters tall and/or about 10 across... (and you can drink beer or have soup from it) I might call filiżanka a teacup but again, I'd normally just say cup...

I don't think Polish goes into quite that level

The general point is that languages constantly fluctuate between essential and elective levels of precision and that these levels break down differently between Polish and English (esp GAE which tends to broader more general classes than does Polish).
Atch 20 | 4,155
22 May 2017 #34
Or a standardized portion.

Yes that's a better definition.

I see what you mean about chair, in that yes, in English (either British or American) one can simply use the general term of chair to describe a chair of any kind, but in Polish a chair is a chair and an armchair is an armchair and never the twain shall meet. I wonder what they would call a carver, probably 'a dining chair with arms'. I must take a look at some furniture sites later.

There's no single system in English

That's true but the Oxford dictionary defines them as follows:

Mug: A large cup, typically cylindrical with a handle and used without a saucer.

Cup: A small bowl-shaped container for drinking from, typically having a handle.

and Meriam Webster:

Mug: A cylindrical drinking cup
Cup: An open usually bowl-shaped drinking vessel

So pretty close though as you can see the American definintion lacks the extra detail of the British one. However both agree that a mug is cylindrical and a cup bowl shaped. That's the main difference between the two items.

GAE which tends to broader more general classes than does Polish

Not only than Polish. American English is more general than British English too. I wonder if it's because originally so many different nationalities settled simultaneously in America and many had to learn English so a form of more basic/simplified everyday usage emerged.
jon357 74 | 22,473
22 May 2017 #35
cup bowl shaped

There are of course cylindrical cups (coffee always seems to taste nicer from a straight-sided white cup) and some pretty odd shaped mugs.

With the difference between English and Polish, we have to take into account headwords - important in English, sometimes a challenge for speakers of other languages.

Basically, a mug is a type of cup, an armchair is a type of chair, a roll is a type of bread.
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
22 May 2017 #36
Forgive my lack of form, but I simply say "Prosze o kawe!" when ordering from a Polish waiter/waitress and simply dispense with the "cup of":-)
jon357 74 | 22,473
22 May 2017 #37
This is normal in Polish, Lyzko. People just ask for coffee here, rather than a vessel of it. You'd need to specify what type though ;-)
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
22 May 2017 #38
Interesting, jon. I've never asked for a cup of coffee any other way in Polish than how I just phrased it! In German, I'd naturally ask "Eine Tasse Kaffee, bitte!", other than that, I haven't felt the need to be any more specific. Then again, I don't pretend to be a native Polish speakerLOL

As coffee in my recollection is normally always served in a "cup", whether or not it's a "regular" saucer cup or a mug, makes little difference to me.

On a different note, I do recall asking for beer differently in German-speaking countries than either in Poland or the States:-)
jon357 74 | 22,473
22 May 2017 #39
Here, when you ask for a coffee they want to know if is black white, 'sypana', instant or from the 'ekspres'.

But it's fine to start off "a coffee please". If someone asked for a "filiżanka kawy" they'd probably say that it isn't a china shop ;-)
mafketis 37 | 10,880
23 May 2017 #40
black white, 'sypana', instant or from the 'ekspres'.

What got me was when they asked if I wanted coffee 'po turecku' which is what they called the old PRL method (dump grounds in a glass (in a wire frame) and then pour boiling water over it). About as Turkish as bacon bits... An alternate name was 'po naszemu' (our way).

I actually got to where I could drink coffe made that way.... I can't say I ever really enjoyed it much (though I really like real Turkish/Greek coffee).

In other news... is the term "white coffee" used in the US now? I only rarely drank coffee when I lived there but I don't remember that phrase being used I only learned it in the mid 90s from British TV...
Atch 20 | 4,155
23 May 2017 #41
coffee 'po turecku'

That's how we drink our coffee chez Atch :)) But the water shouldn't be boiling, it should be just off the boil. Then let it sit for a minute or two, depending on how strong you want it (in our house, we use two dessert spoons of espresso blend per 200ml cup, and let it sit for about two minutes. Stir and let it sit for another minute for the grounds to settle - Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt, a really delicious cup of coffee. We only drink it first thing in the morning though, the rest of the day it's tea, English Breakfast or Earl Grey, proper loose tea from Twinings, none of your rubbishy old teabags with the sweepings from the blending room floor! Mr Atch drinks Yerba Matte instead of coffee for an energy boost but I loathe it, horribly bitter.
mafketis 37 | 10,880
23 May 2017 #42
a really delicious cup of coffee

I'm kind of a coffee slob, there's no telling what I'll like. I had an expensive machine but it just produced nasty bitter sludge, now I have an italian moka pot and love it (though I drink it spanish style in a larger cup 50/50 coffee and milk).
jon357 74 | 22,473
23 May 2017 #43
I actually like 'po turecku', it has a lot of flavour. For the past few years I've been using an expensive and fancy machine, the kind where you just press a button, however that's now packed up and until I buy either another or something different I've been drinking 'po turecku'.

Very hard to understand the appeal of instant coffee.
Atch 20 | 4,155
23 May 2017 #44
coffee and milk

Kinder kaffee!! Ya big Jessie!

fancy machine,

Did you use coffee beans with that Jon?
jon357 74 | 22,473
23 May 2017 #45
Yes, beans in the top, water in the back and coffee coming out of the front. Quite nice, though the motor's finally burnt out, probably through overuse.
Iza22 4 | 13
23 May 2017 #46
Isn't a filiżanka like a glass, not a mug? Like the glass you drink water from?
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
23 May 2017 #47
"Szklanka" is a regular glass, I believe, and "filizanka" is more like a demi-tasse cup, right?
Atch 20 | 4,155
23 May 2017 #48
No it's a tea cup of fine china, in the English style though it's probably a legacy of the French influence. The other thing you're probably thinking of is the tea glass in the holder Russian style.
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
23 May 2017 #49
Thanks, Atch!

Co wiedziemy my Prusy o kawie? Was wissen wir Pieken ueberhaupt vom Kaffeetrinken? What the heck do we Prussians know about coffee anyway?
Berlin's an exceptionLOL
Atch 20 | 4,155
23 May 2017 #50
Sorry Lyzko I was answering Izza22 and our posts must have crossed. Yes, you're right that 'szklanka' is a glass. It can be a drinking glass for water or lemonade but it's also used for the tea glass. The most common kind of tea glass here is the 'mug' type, just a cylinder with a handle in heatproof glass. And filiżanka is a china cup for either tea or coffee. Very fancy ones of bone china are popular gifts here among the older generation but I think they're rarely used.

I would imagine that drinking tea in a glass with a holder was the most common way of doing it here years ago and the bone china cup was an upper class thing that never really worked its way down the social scale due to the lack of a large middle class such as you had in England. In England the middle classes very much aped the ways of their betters :)) and the establishment of the English ceramics industry led to the mass production of bone china in the Victorian era so it could be produced cheaply enough to be affordable not just for the gentry.
Paulina 17 | 4,469
23 May 2017 #51
I would imagine that drinking tea in a glass with a holder (...) and the bone china cup was an upper class thing (...) due to the lack of a large middle class such as you had in England.

No, it didn't have anything to do with the middle class. Tea in Poland was popularised by Russians during the partitions:

newsweek.pl/historia/jejmosc-radzi-herbate,83442,1,1.htm
A quote from the article:

"Soon samovars became a standard home accessory. 'A lot of other Russian customs catched on: serving tea in glasses, not in tea cups, drinking it with jam or while holding a cube of sugar in one's mouth' - Tarasiewicz describes."

This is normal in Polish, Lyzko. People just ask for coffee here, rather than a vessel of it. You'd need to specify what type though ;-)

That's true, although, of course, in theory, while you're a guest at someone's house when you're asked what would you like to drink you can also say: "Poproszę (o) filiżankę kawy/herbaty" ("I'd like a cup of coffee/tea, please").

In cafés in Poland the way they serve coffee often depends on the type of coffee - regular coffee, cappuccino are served in tea cups, espresso in a smaller tea cup, latte macchiato in a tall, big glass (layers are visible thanks to this). Although I had once an Irish coffee served in a tea cup and it should be served in a glass, I guess?
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
23 May 2017 #52
Righto, Paulina! Russians are the big tea drinkers, what with their samovars and tea infusers. Many of us in the Occident forget that coffee may well have traveled from South, then East (Ethiopia) to West (Turkey, later Austria), but tea was always the preferred beverage of the Russian Court:-)
Atch 20 | 4,155
24 May 2017 #53
No, it didn't have anything to do with the middle class. Tea in Poland was popularised by Russians during the partitions:

Yes but upper class Russians drank not only from tea glasses but from porcelain or bone china cups.

Minyakov

Peter the Great probably introduced that custom with his great enthusiasm for all things western. They were manufacturing porcelain in Russia from the early 18th century onwards. The last Tsar of Russia, poor old Nicholas II, God rest his soul, during exile drank his tea from a bone china cup and saucer patterned with violets. The cup and saucer were saved and treasured by Sophie Buxhoevden, lady in waiting to the Empress.
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
24 May 2017 #54
Yes, that sounds about right.
Paulina 17 | 4,469
24 May 2017 #55
"catched on" - caught on, sorry lol

Lyzko, indeed :) Russians have a whole tea culture which is, I think, 300 years old.

Yes but upper class Russians drank not only from tea glasses but from porcelain or bone china cups.

That may very well be. But I'm not sure what's your point? I didn't write that they didn't use teacups at all. My point was that the custom of "drinking tea in a glass with a holder" wasn't related to the size of whichever social class but was a Russian custom that appeared in Poland during partitions. The article I linked to didn't specify which social classes in Poland were using them. In Russia the use of glasses with holders wasn't restricted to lower classes so probably Polish upper classes were using them too. I suppose they could use both. My mum, for example, drinks her tea and coffee both from teacups and glasses. She usually drinks from a teacup in the morning during a breakfast and when eating some cake or dessert and uses a glass when eating a dinner (more liquid fits in it :)).

Of course, that's just guesswork on my part.
You wrote that "In England the middle classes very much aped the ways of their betters" - do you assume that Polish middle class wasn't doing that?

I've read that Russian merchants poured tea from teacups into saucers in order to cool it down and drank from them which was, apparently, frowned upon among the nobility - that's all I've managed to find out for now as far as class divisions in Russia were concerned.

Here you can see Russians from lower classes drinking it in this way in a tea room:

I've also read that traditionally Russian women preffered drinking from teacups and men from glasses with metal holders.
I doubt lower classes could afford gilded silver glass holders like this one:
galeriazak.pl/pl/p/Wasilij-Siemienow-Podstakannik%2C-Moskwa%2C-ok.-1915-r./1197

Atch, I'm not some kind of expert on history of drinking tea in Russia and Poland, of course. I myself used to think that "drinking tea in a glass with a holder" was a PRL/communist thing and that's why it was done both in Poland and Russia. Common sense would also suggest that during communist times when in Poland often even the most basic things were hard to get china sets could be considered a luxury, I don't know. I don't think they were considered by the communists as a nobility/bourgeoisie thing because then they wouldn't be produced during PRL times, I suppose.

However, no matter what article I read in whichever language - it is stated that drinking tea in a glass with a holder is a very typical, traditional Russian way of drinking tea. Drinking tea with a slice of lemon (typical "Polish" way of drinking tea) is also apparently a Russian invention. Of course, not only Russians drank tea from glasses, it's also the traditional way of drinking tea in other countries like Turkey, Iran (served in a glass on a porcelain saucer), Egypt, Morocco, Libya, in the Sahel region, etc. According to Wiki, Iranians traditionally drink tea by pouring it into a saucer and putting a lump of rock sugar in the mouth before drinking the tea, so maybe this Russian tradition has its roots in Iran.

Btw, what this Iranian general is holding in his hand in Poland would be called "kieliszek" rather than "szklanka" because of its size:

Iranian general drinking tea

Is there a similar distinction in the English language? Because all I ever heard was "a glass" (or "a shot of vodka").
As for drinking coffee in Poland I've read on two sites that before communist times Poles would drink coffee in teacups and that drinking it in glasses is a PRL legacy. Those sites also stated that nowadays the most popular way in Poland is drinking coffee from mugs, especially among younger generations.
jon357 74 | 22,473
24 May 2017 #56
That was something fairly universal. My great-grandfather, born in the 1870s used to do that. Not elegant nowadays, but normal once.

As for Russian tea, Tolstoy writes about (the coachman in the Masonic inn scene in War and Peace) taking a big loaf of sugar from his pocket and nibbling it to sweeten the tea. I haven't heard of that here (or anywhere else) however I've been in cafes here (nice ones) who sell 'Russian Tea', meaning it comes with small dish of jam sitting on top of the cup.

drinking it in glasses is a PRL legacy. Those sites also stated that nowadays the most popular way in Poland is drinking coffee from mugs, especially among younger generations.

This seems spot on. Glasses were cheaper. Hot to hold a glass with tea or coffee in though.

Is there a similar distinction in the English language? Because all I ever heard was "a glass" (or "a shot of vodka").

The English term 'a glass' can cover a lot of things. A tall one is sometimes a 'highball glass', a medium sized one a 'whisky glass' (and there are other terms for both of these) and a small one, of thetype used in Poland for vodka would be a 'shot glass', or just 'a tot of whisky'
OP Polonius3 990 | 12,349
24 May 2017 #57
coffee from mugs

What is the differnece (if any) between a beaker and a mug? Hyacinth Bucket/Bouquet of "Keeping up appearances" fame always referred to what you call a mug as a beaker.
jon357 74 | 22,473
24 May 2017 #58
Hyacinth was the epitome of pretentiousness. A beaker is normally a mug without a handle, and not necessarily ceramic - it can be plastic. Fine china companies however, tend to call mugs beakers because it sounds less inelegant.
Lyzko 45 | 9,513
24 May 2017 #59
...but oh soooooo entertainingly different for us Yanks:-))
mafketis 37 | 10,880
25 May 2017 #60
'a tot of whisky'

sounds like an alcoholic infants, I'd say "a shot" or "a bump".


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