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It is not possible to translate names into English or Polish!

13 Apr 2012 #31
Beata translates better as Beatrice (Ela is closer to Betty) and Jacek, believe it or not, translates as Hyacinth.

very interesting!!jacek means hyacinth?this is a flower. why have you changed your name?
jon357 67 | 16,921
13 Apr 2012 #32
!jacek means hyacinth?

Yes. It surprised me when I found out. Apparently there was an early Christian martyr called Hyacinth. I suspect the flower is named after him.

why have you changed your name?

I just fancied a change - It's the 4th name I've had over the years.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
13 Apr 2012 #33
Even the dumbest Anglo can say MAR-cheen (marcin). You may have to repeat it very slowly several times but eventually it'll sink in..
Dodgefan07 1 | 19
14 Apr 2012 #34
Hello Bobik,

Give them some slack, :-) Part of the problem is that hundreds of names around the world have equivalents -- due to the fact that in many European Countries, and even in some middle eastern countries, many common names have Biblical roots. Marek =Mark, Jan =John, Piotr = Peter, Lukasz = Luke, Mateusz = Matthew, Marta = Martha, etc etc.

Another factor is that lots of surnames in English were originally names of the occupation, thus Cooper, Smith, Carpenter, Tanner, Baker, etc, etc, and likewise the son of a person = Johnson, Wilson, Anderson.

Also, it is very popular for Polish people with names like Marek, or Dariusz or Michaeł, to use the English Michael, or Mark, or Darek.

Just explain that many names don't have a meaning, and so you don't translate last names as a rule.

Then, there is the added complexity of letters and sounds in POlish that don't exist in English, so recorders at Ellis Island either wrote what the name sounded like, or would substitute an English letter that they thought was close, but actually had totally different sounds. £ in a first name like £ukasz clealy looks like L but as a lower case letter, ł easily gets confused or changed with english t.

Cudziło was transcribed incorrectly as Cudzillo, which sounds more like Spanish. The root of this was "Strange or foreign".

Just explain that some names translate and some don't. :-)
jon357 67 | 16,921
14 Apr 2012 #35
Cooper, Smith, Carpenter, Tanner, Baker,

And of course each of these gas a direct Polish equivalent.
grzybami 4 | 27
7 Dec 2013 #36
one more thing about Jaszczak, the "szcz" is the polish letter "Ш" or "Щ".

I've never seen those letters listed in any Polish alphabet I've ever seen...what exactly are they?
grubas 12 | 1,390
7 Dec 2013 #37
other polish names have no translation,eg wieslaw.

How about Wesley?Maybe not direct translation but this is how it's done in Illinois and Czesław is Chester here.
Wulkan - | 3,249
7 Dec 2013 #38
You need to understand the the difference between translation and Americanisation of the name
7 Dec 2013 #39
Maybe not direct translation but this is how it's done in Illinois and Czesław is Chester here.

Wulkan is right on this one. Czesław is not the easiest name to pronounce and has probably been mangled so many times by non-Polish speaking Americans, it's easier to come up with an Americanized version. This isn't common here in the UK.

But for anyone who's interested, here's a link to Polish Christian names and their English equivalents:
Hubertus 4 | 26
8 Dec 2013 #40
Why to translate in first place...?

I totally agree. But maybe it's a courtesy of someone to offer the translation of their name. But since my name is Tyler, I can't. I always try to call people by their real, given name though.
AnielaMaria 1 | 3
11 Mar 2018 #41
My uncle's name actually translated to a girls name in English so he had to go with the closest English Male name possible and chose Walter. His parents put the English name on his application so he has no issues now in Canada. However with my mom they only translated her middle name as that is the name they always called her. They never translated her first name so it is still in Polish. She tried to translate it herself going by someone else who supposedly had the English version and her parents said it was the same name as hers. Years later the Passport office said it was not the right translation. Still, close enough so they finally allowed her to get her passport but had to keep her Polish name on it. Not the English translation. My mom told me not all names can be translated for a number of reasons. Not just different alphabet.
11 Mar 2018 #42
My mom told me not all names can be translated for a number of reasons.

Simply because sometimes there isn't an English equivalent of a Polish name. Sometimes a name isn't actually Polish at all as you can read about in this nice little article on Polish names:
AnielaMaria 1 | 3
11 Mar 2018 #43
That is cool! I am asking my mom now what my Uncle's name was in Poland before coming to Canada and changing it. I know that she was saying it would have translated to Wanda but they didn't put his as that for English because that is considered a girl's name and he was just a little boy and would have been made fun of.
11 Mar 2018 #44
it would have translated to Wanda

It certainly wouldn't have been pronounced as that because in Polish the letter W is pronounced as a V. Curious to know what his original name was though.
kaprys 3 | 2,511
11 Mar 2018 #45
But Wanda is used in Poland for women. It's a Polish name.
11 Mar 2018 #46
I didn't know that Kaprys. I have heard the name before but pronounced as it's spelt, with a W.
So is there a male version of Wanda then as AnielaMaria is taking about her Uncle?
kaprys 3 | 2,511
11 Mar 2018 #47

Wanda was a daughter of king Krak, the legendary founder of Kraków. It's pronounced /vanda/ in Polish and it was quite popular in the 20th century.

I don't know it's male equivalent.
11 Mar 2018 #48
Thanks for that link Kaprys, I always thought it was an American name, surprised to learn it is Polish. I don't know anyone with this name though, so maybe it's not as popular as it used to be.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,840
11 Mar 2018 #49
There was a girl at my school called Wanda..:) I think she did have a Polish surname.
dolnoslask 6 | 3,085
11 Mar 2018 #50
There also a fish called wanda, It starred basil and jamie curtis, never saw the fish tho.
Miloslaw 9 | 3,038
14 Mar 2018 #51
Wanda is indeed a Polish name but of course it is pronounced quite differently in Polish.
Although the Polish spelling of Wanda is used in English I suspect the best English translation would be Wendy.
pawian 176 | 15,400
3 Oct 2020 #52
One time a guy asked me about the meaning of the last name "Kolinski" --- I had no idea how to translate it.

Hmmm. Koliński might come from koło - wheel/circle. How about Wheelinsky/Circlinsky???

Funny thread. I think we might have a nice party here.

I didn't know that Kaprys. I have heard the name before but pronounced as it's spelt, with a W.

Did you watch the film about the Fish Called Wanda?

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