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Speaking with wrong Polish case endings?


Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
27 Nov 2011  #1
Hi all

I just wanted to know what the general consensus is regarding hearing conversational Polish. As most of you are aware, I'm striving to learn Polish. During (basic) conversations I use most nouns, adjectives and numbers in their nominative (dictionary) form. (Don't know their case endings yet). If native Pole hears a converstion littered with ending errors, does it sound strange/funny/uneducated? I just wondered. I used to say 'Jestem Angielski' :-( . Only realising my error a few months ago.

:-)
Lyzko
27 Nov 2011  #2
Poles whom I've know admit they make such mistakes right and left. The key to being "conversational" in almist any language is by NOT striving for absolute grammatical correctness in speaking, but for natural fluency-:)

Cases will come, to be sure. In writing, they're d******d important, in speech, far less so. Unless the error really stands out, e.g. "Szukam mój ołówek.", or something like that, trust me, most Poles won't even notice. If they know or sense you're a foreigner, they'll notice even less!
m1ke - | 12
27 Nov 2011  #3
don't worry about it. I used to pronounce word funny like fanny for several years in England cause I didn't realize it is a different vowel sound. No one ever asked me why I say vagina instead of hilarious
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
27 Nov 2011  #4
No one ever asked me why I say vagina instead of hilarious

very fanny Mike..;)
OP Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
27 Nov 2011  #5
Poles whom I've know admit they make such mistakes right and left

I'm quite shocked at this Lyzko. I thought all natives would be 100% accurate. Maybe it highlights the difficulty of the language.

Having said that, native English people make errors in speech, and writing especially the (mis)use of the apostrophe for possession. I don't think it's used in Polish; I think Poles use the Genitive case instead. Also used for omission of a letter: 'it's' for 'it is'.

One common example: People insert apostrophes anywhere. Instead of a market stall displaying the sign

'Pears 39 pence a lb', they put

Pear's 39 pence a lb.

Anywhere they see a plural, in goes an apostrophe. I've even seen an advert 'House's for sale'. This is just one of my pet hates.
Lyzko
27 Nov 2011  #6
Of the two languages though, I think that particularly US English speakers are more bound to make mistakes than UK speakers, and far more basic errors in their native language than Polish speakers in their mother tongue!
OP Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
27 Nov 2011  #7
funny like fanny

ooohhh errrr! I hear this all over the place here. It's a very common phonetic blip spoken by most foreigners. At least you can see the 'fanny' side of it?!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
27 Nov 2011  #8
native English people make errors in speech,

like 'he don't', and 'borrow me some money'....these grate but do not destroy meaning....
oh and my pet hate...'I brought a new coat for £100 today'.

Lets get back to the topic,speaking with wrong case endings.
OP Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
27 Nov 2011  #9
Polish speakers in their mother tongue!

I hope my post didn't imply anything. I was just interested that mistakes can be made. Hope I haven't cause any offense :-/
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
27 Nov 2011  #10
Lets get back to the topic,speaking with wrong case endings

it is part of the topic, I was continuing the discussion with examples clear to us native English speakers that grammatical errors don't affect meaning and understanding, as were other posters, why is mine the only post with red comments all over it?.:)
OP Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
27 Nov 2011  #11
why is mine the only post with red comments all over it?.

Nic nie szkodze... I've had a few red marks on my posts...

Anyway, I've got a work colleague who's 7 year old (Polish) son has started to forget his case endings, or getting them mixed up. At what age do Polish kids start learning this? Does it come insinctively or do they have to rote learn them?
Vincent 9 | 809 Moderator
27 Nov 2011  #12
The guideline for the " General Language* section is "This is a place for learners of the Polish language".

why is mine the only post with red comments all over it?.:)

Because at the time of writing, yours was the latest post.
a.k.
27 Nov 2011  #13
During (basic) conversations I use most nouns, adjectives and numbers in their nominative (dictionary) form. (Don't know their case endings yet). If native Pole hears a converstion littered with ending errors, does it sound strange/funny/uneducated?

Neither. If you use all nouns in nominative it simply might be difficult to make out what you mean. If you make errors from time to time just like in example provided by Lyzko:

Szukam mój ołówek.

it won't be any problem for you to be understood. It doesnt sound funny or uneducated. I guess the perception of such mistakes is the same as when it happens to me to write he do something instead of does. Would it sound for you like unedicated or funny? No, just like foreigner trying to speak foreign language :)

I'm quite shocked at this Lyzko. I thought all natives would be 100% accurate. Maybe it highlights the difficulty of the language.

It's not about difficulty, it's about how people learn a native language. You see if in some region/family for some reason a certain grammatical/frazeological mistake is prevalent then a person from that family/region makes that mistake unconciously because that's how he thinks is correct.

People don't learn a native language through gramatical rules but by listening so that they unconciously memorize phrases. Of course in this way people learn unconciously grammatical rules of a language, therefore they can apply those rules easly to new words.... but sometimes an intuition can mislead us.

Of course some (actually most) grammatical mistakes that foreigners do a native speaker would not do.

At least you can see the 'fanny' side of it?!

beach - b*tch, funny - f*nny, sheet - sh*t... For good sake, what else? Are they a deliberately set trap for foreigners? ;)
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
27 Nov 2011  #14
"This is a place for learners of the Polish language

well, obviously. I was merely facilitating this with general illustrative examples from English, the language of the forum..:)
a.k.
27 Nov 2011  #15
At what age do Polish kids start learning this? Does it come insinctively or do they have to rote learn them?

They don't learn it at school. It's instinctively.

I've got a work colleague who's 7 year old (Polish) son has started to forget his case endings

Happens. A world famous architect who was born in Poland and at the age of 10 left it to go to Israel and later to the USA forgot how to speak Polish at all. His parents didn't use Polish at home and now he cannot put words together if he is not lacking of them.
Vincent 9 | 809 Moderator
27 Nov 2011  #16
Are they a deliberately set trap for foreigners? ;)

What about Prosię and Proszę? A Polish trap for foreigners? :)
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
27 Nov 2011  #17
If native Pole hears a converstion littered with ending errors, does it sound strange/funny/uneducated? I just wondered. I used to say 'Jestem Angielski' :-(

It sounds funny a bit but we know in the twinkling of an eye that you are striving to learn Polish and we try to understand as much as possible ;)
Lyzko
2 Dec 2011  #18
Maybe if a farmer wishes to politely request to see another's prize piglet, this sentence is possible LOL
Then again, a "polite" peasant???? Kinda oxymoronic (..or just plain moronic he-he!)
scottie1113 7 | 898
2 Dec 2011  #19
Of the two languages though, I think that particularly US English speakers are more bound to make mistakes than UK speakers, and far more basic errors in their native language than Polish speakers in their mother tongue!

And why do you think that?

On topic-I've asked my Polish friends to correct me when I make mistakes using case ending. They do, and they tell me that although they can understand what I mean, it doesn't sound right. I wanted to buy a ticket on SKM to Gdansk just after I had started learning Polish. I asked the man at the lkiosk for a ticket do Gdansku (I was thinking that it was like do domu). He smiled, gave me the ticket and said do Gdanska. He had understood me even though I had made a mistake, and I learned from it. We make mistakes because we're trying to speak quickly and don't think the grammar through and we learn from our mistakes. That's OK unless we make the same mistakes repeatedly. That ain't good.
pam
2 Dec 2011  #20
a ticket do Gdansku (I was thinking that it was like do domu). He smiled, gave me the ticket and said do Gdanska. He had understood me even though I had made a mistake, and I learned from it.

i did this all the time, and my friends always understood what i was trying to say. i know better now, but still make lots of mistakes. not sure will ever get to grips with word endings, but have learned language only by conversation. what i do find interesting is that polatsy seem to have a problem with writing their grammar. for example.. my friend dominika was writing a letter to her mum in poland. she looked puzzled so i asked her what the problem was. she told me she couldnt remember how to write the ending to the word she was trying to spell... and she is certainly not stupid. i think even polatsy have problems because the grammar is so complicated !!
OP Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
2 Dec 2011  #21
for a ticket do Gdansku (I was thinking that it was like do domu)

... ok I'm gonna have a try and see why it is infact 'GdanskA'. Is is cos Gdansk is a neuter noun and in the Genitive, therefore an -a ending?

...
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
3 Dec 2011  #22
I've even seen an advert 'House's for sale'.

dear God...
strzyga 2 | 993
3 Dec 2011  #23
Is is cos Gdansk is a neuter noun and in the Genitive, therefore an -a ending?

nope, Gdańsk is masculine. Similar place names - Pińsk, Płońsk have the same declension pattern. I'm sorry I can't help you more, you need to look in your books for a declension pattern that would fit here. It's: M. Gdańsk, D. Gdańska, C. Gdańskowi, B. Gdańsk, N. Gdańskiem, Mc. Gdańsku.
OP Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
4 Dec 2011  #24
Gdańsk is masculine

It's 'masculine' I think, and the Genitive 'Gdanska' does fit the pattern. :-/

Have a happy Sunday!
gumishu 11 | 5,012
5 Dec 2011  #25
and she is certainly not stupid. i think even polatsy have problems because the grammar is so complicated !!

heh - I consider myself an educated person but still I consistently make one grammatical mistake when speaking - I always say 'poszłem' ( I went) instead of 'poszedłem' ( its 'poszedłem' for a male but 'poszłam' for a female)
boletus 30 | 1,366
5 Dec 2011  #26
Chrzaszcz
In the "politically incorrect" novel "In desert and wilderness" by H. Sienkiewicz, one of the lesser characters, Kali - a son of a powerful tribal chief - speaks solely with infinitives. Very few readers care to notice that all the characters in the novel supposedly speak English, so the Kali's conjugation-less way of speaking should not be funny at all. But it still is - to children, as well as to some self deprecating adults, who like to point out Polish hypocrisy by quoting one of Kali's rules of ethics: "Jak Kali ukraść krowa to dobrze, jak Kalemu ukraść krowa to żle".

You should be fine, Chrząszcz, do not worry. Poles are not French, we appreciate your effort put into learning Polish.
catsoldier 62 | 596
5 Dec 2011  #27
Kali - a son of a powerful tribal chief

Thanks, I didn't know who Kali was until now. Kali pić i kali jeść! :-(
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
5 Dec 2011  #28
I consider myself an educated person but still I consistently make one grammatical mistake when speaking - I always say 'poszłem' ( I went) instead of 'poszedłem'

I'm sure you know a new, improved versions poszłedłem and wyszłedłem ;)
catsoldier 62 | 596
5 Dec 2011  #29
This guy is doing his best with the case endings. What age is he do you think?


strzyga 2 | 993
5 Dec 2011  #30
poszłedłem and wyszłedłem

shouldn't it be poszedłam and wyszedłam?

What age is he do you think?

well he's got a beard so not less than 16 :)


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