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


jon357 67 | 17,530
25 May 2017 #61
In English, a shot sounds like something from a students' bar, and a bump wouldn't make sense.
Atch 16 | 3,366
25 May 2017 #62
Ok, firstly regarding the term 'beaker', as Jon says a beaker was a drinking vessel minus a handle and was a commonly used term for picnic mugs when they were first manufactured from plastic back in the 1930s. Nowadays a beaker is the term used specifically for a bone china mug. The term has been in use for some years though not everybody bothers to make the distinction, however in Ireland I have been asked on occasion if I would prefer my tea from a cup, a beaker or a mug. Elderly people especially make the distinction. It's a compromise between a cup and a mug as it has the delicacy of the cup and the practicality of the mug, if you like. Ireland is actually a bigger tea drinking culture than the UK and many people are quite fussy about what they drink from, as the tea seems to taste different. I detest tea from a thick mug and favour the bone china tea cup that makes a lovely clink on the saucer!

@ Paulina, the point I was making is tea from a cup and saucer is I believe a relatively new thing in Poland as the glass was more commonly used. Certainly the glass would have been used by the upper classes too but the porcelain or bone china cup would have been exclusively an upper class thing as porcelain wasn't even manufactured in Poland until the nineteenth century and had to be imported. It was therefore a luxury item, not mass produced as it was in England. In England there were numerous potteries and ceramics factories producing tea sets and dinner services affordable for the lower middle class homes and by the turn of the 19th century coming up to the twentieth, every working class home had a 'good teaset' for high days and holidays. There was a distinction in the UK between high end makers like Wedgewood, Royal Doulton, Worcester, Spode etc and factories such as Wellington and Colclough.

I've read that Russian merchants poured tea from teacups into saucers in order to cool it down

Yes, this was common everywhere. It actually started because the first cups were bowls without handles and they were too hot to hold! So it was actually a very common practice amongst the upper classes of England during the 18th century. The practice of drinking the first draught of tea from the saucer carried on as Jon says for a long time, elderly people used to do it all the time in Ireland when I was a child.

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

Do you mean names of glasses in English? Well glasses have names yes. A bog standard cylindrical water glass is a tumbler, a long narrow glass for champagne is a flute and so on.
Ironside 51 | 11,510
25 May 2017 #63
Atch, I'm not some kind of expert on history of drinking tea in Russia and Poland,

In Poland long before partitions nobility had been drinking coffee not tea, turkish style (the real one). In 18th century upper crust drank coffee and chocolate - the Paris style.

--

hard to get china sets could be considered a luxury,

Maybe in the 50', later on you could get a really nice set of china ...
Hell, there were even manufactured in Soviet Poland.
mafketis 29 | 9,973
25 May 2017 #64
Do you mean names of glasses in English?

The problem of a pluricentric language* is that there is no unified terminology for lots of vocabulary, each country (sometimes parts of countries) will have their own and while the different vocabulary sets interact they never merge (nor should they).

It's hard to impress this upon Polish learners who _really_ want a single corresponding term in English for each term in Polish. It's one of the hurdles that distinguishes the better language learners - the ability to accept different classification systems from their own language (and different systems within the target language).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluricentric_language
jon357 67 | 17,530
25 May 2017 #65
Remember, I-S, that both were fantastically expensive during those years. Even in Britain, a tea drinking country then, the poorest were drinking things made from nettles etc well into the C19th and tea leaves, even among the better off, were routinely re-used.In Poland at that time, in villages there were wooden and tin mugs.

The problem of a pluricentric language* is that there is no unified terminology for lots of vocabulary, each country (sometimes parts of countries) will have their own and while the different vocabulary sets interact they never merge (nor should they).

Indeed, though I'd say it's a joy rather than a problem, unless you're a learner with certain L1s. A huge problem for Poles (I'll do a thread on this later maybe) is words in English that have come directly from other languages - they keep asking "but what's the English word?" and aren't always happy with (to keep it on topic) 'demi-tasse' or whatever.

the ability to accept different classification systems from their own language (and different systems within the target language).

Sociolects, for example, do exist in Polish, especially around food and drinks. It's simply that the drift to a standard language during the post-war years has meant that not everyone is sensitive to that.
mafketis 29 | 9,973
25 May 2017 #66
Indeed, though I'd say it's a joy rather than a problem, unless you're a learner

Unless you're a learner who simply wants a useful and stable lingua franca and not a plethora of regionalisms masquerading as a universal system....
jon357 67 | 17,530
25 May 2017 #67
In which case, we have to stress the headwords like cup.

a plethora of regionalisms masquerading as a universal system

That's the nature of some languages, English, Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish. The lingua franca develops without the regional alternatives which are just something to learn as needed. No 'masquerading' though.

There's already a standard European English, used as a lingua franca here. Poles learn 'cup' and 'glass'; other terms are encountered later.
Paulina 12 | 2,042
25 May 2017 #68
as porcelain wasn't even manufactured in Poland until the nineteenth century and had to be imported.

Yes, I know - my region is home to the oldest porcelain factory in Poland (in Ćmielów), the factory and the Porcelain Museum was a typical school trip destination during my school days (and probably still is) :) However, before it started with porcelain it produced faience - wasn't that more affordable?

I get what you mean about mass production of porcelain in England and it being a luxury item in Poland, but for some time Poland didn't officially exist - it was a part of three different countries. Porcelain seemed common enough in Russia and since a chunk of Poland was part of Russian Empire porcelain wasn't really "imported", and, I'm guessing, could be popularised to some extent by Russians. In 1939 only 15% of porcelain in Poland was imported. Ćmielów factory was even exporting porcelain to the US, the Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and covered almost the whole porcelain market in the Free City of Danzig (Gdańsk). Those were the times when Polish porcelain was valued more and was more expensive in Poland than the one made by "young" German manufactory Rosenthal. Also, I wasn't writing about using glass in general - I can imagine its use was more common - I meant drinking tea from a glass with a holder (that was what you wrote about) which is, apparently, a specifically Russian custom.

Here's a fragment from an article about Ćmielów factory (article titled '220 lat najstarszej polskiej fabryki porcelany - "Ćmielów"' on budnet.pl):
"It was the time of great prosperity. The nobility and the growing rich burgesses wanted to have the most beautiful dinnerware sets - the evidence of wealth and a wonderful dowry for their daughters. Bolesław Prus wrote in "Lalka" ("The Doll") that Miss Izabela Łęcka 'would eat from silver plates and porcelain as expensive as gold'".

So it looks like not only the nobility were using porcelain, but also the burgesses.

Do you mean names of glasses in English?

Not exactly, I meant the distinction between "kieliszek" and "szklanka". "Kieliszek" is used for alcohol only (vodka, wine, liqueur, champagne) and looks different than "szklanka". I guess the only "pure" alcohol drunk in a "szklanka" (from Polish perspective) is whiskey?

Btw, I've never heard the word "beaker" before. Is it used in the same way in the US as in the UK?
In Polish it's always called "kubek" no matter whether it has a handle or not.
What about Polish "kufel" (for drinking beer)? What are the British and American equivalents?

@Ironside, that's true, Poles were (in the second half of the 18th century in Poland 470 tons of coffee were sold a year and only 19 tons of tea!) and still are, apparently, a coffee nation (a bit surprising for me since all my family, except for me, drinks tea as if it was water lol):

newsweek.pl/styl-zycia/gdzie-pije-sie-najwiecej-kawy-a-gdzie-kroluje-herbata-,artykuly,372988,1.html

It looks like the British, Irish and Russians are the biggest drinkers of tea in Europe ;)

And, yes, porcelain sets were also manufactured in the communist Poland... My parents still have a few Ćmielów sets from those times (most of them belonged to my late grandparents) - one of those sets is from Goplana series from the 1960's, and some other porcelain stuff from Ćmielów, like this Calypso vase (pity it's damaged at the top though):

artinfo.pl/aukcje/zbigniewa-sliwowska-wawrzyniak/wazon-calypso-zps-mielow-proj-1957-r2

Another fragment from that article about the factory in Ćmielów:

"The factory in Ćmielów survived also those years when the love for anything 'pre-war' was frowned upon and the mass production of ordinary, practical crockery was the most profitable."

Actually, the history of this factory is, in a way, a reflection of Polish history. It was almost completely destroyed during the World War I. Word War II was also a difficult period - the factory was taken over by Germans - not only did they focused more on faience but also later on they replaced it with the production of porcelit (in that part of factory in Chodzież). In that article about Ćmielów factory a bitter fragment of the poem by Stanisław Barańczak is quoted: "If porcelain then only of the kind that won't be pitied under the boot of a porter or a tank's caterpillar." I also remember very well from my high school times a sad and beautiful poem by Czesław Miłosz "Piosenka o porcelanie" ("Song of Porcelain"). It contains a refrain: "Sir, nothing else do I pity more than porcelain". Of course, the poem is about World War II and porcelain is interpreted as a metaphor of all that was beautiful, cultured, fragile and good which was destroyed by the war. I remember that I couldn't get that poem out of my head because of that touching metaphor.
mafketis 29 | 9,973
25 May 2017 #69
There's already a standard European English

link?
Atch 16 | 3,366
26 May 2017 #70
However, before it started with porcelain it produced faience - wasn't that more affordable?

This was the case with England too. The 'potteries' existed long before the porcelain production and as with Poland it was produced in a part of the country where the local clay was abundant and most suitable. Poland, like England had its pottery guilds and master craftsmen in those early days. As to affordable, as Jon says, the masses pretty much all over Europe in those days were more likely to use wooden vessels than ceramic. But by the mid-Victorian period the English potteries were doing huge business partly due to the coming of the railways which allowed them to transport their wares all over the country in large amounts. I would imagine (more speculation!) that in your region of Poland and the places nearby, the pottery you refer to would have been seen in more prosperous homes, not rich but comfortably off farmers, small business men etc. but I don't think it's likely that it would have been found in most homes in Poland.

On the other hand in the UK there was a pottery in Staffordshire which was producing items which were particularly associated with the working classes and bottom rung of the middle classes, in particular the famous Staffordshire 'dog's which stood either side of the mantel shelf over the fireplace in thousands of humble homes around the country. They also produced satiricial figures which lampooned various political characters of the time or tribute pieces to national heroes. These wares were exclusively aimed at the lower orders of society. They would never have been found in upper class homes.

growing rich burgesses

Oh Paulina, you'd try the patience of a saint. That's the very point I made originally. Class of those days works this way;

Royalty - everybody genuflect please.
Aristocracy, nobility, landed gentry - that's the upper class
Industrialists, big business owners, bankers etc - upper middle class
Professionals such as lawyers, doctors - middle class
White collar workers, bank clerk, teacher, skilled craftsmen such as stonemasons, master cabinet makers - lower middle class
Manual worker of any kind - working class

(In Poland though, you had that particular category of nobility who were noble but often without land or money). The upper and upper middle classes were the market for fine porcelain objects thoughout the the 18th century but in Poland, it remained that way as you missed out on the rapid industrialisation improved and social reforms which lead to increased prosperity among the lower ranks of the UK. This didn't happen in Poland so the spread of the use of china tea sets for everyday use in humble homes never took off in the way it did in Britain (or indeed Ireland which despite the image of poor peasants had quite a large and prosperous middle class).

drinking tea from a glass with a holder (that was what you wrote about) which is, apparently, a specifically Russian custom.

Yes, but apparently from what I've read, when entertaining guests, Russians favour a china tea set and tea pot!

Anyway, the bottom line is that before the advent of the mug in recent years, the tea set was in common everday use in British and Irish households. When I was a kid, we had several tea sets. Many households had a 'breakfast set' complete with cereal bowls, egg cups etc and an afternoon set for teatime. There was always at least one 'good' set in addition used for special occasions or visiting dignitaries! The everyday stuff was generally made by an English factory called Queens or sometimes Duchess and was pretty but sturdier than the 'good' stuff which was almost transparent and very delicate.


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