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Is the term 'Polak' derogatory??


boleta
8 Nov 2011 #151
Here in Poland it isn't.

Pretend to be dumb if you have nothing better to do. I ain't playing.
theKNOWLEDGE
8 Nov 2011 #152
What part of "here in Poland" do you struggle to understand?
Peter Cracow
29 Nov 2011 #153
There is no offensive term for Pole in Polish language. Howgh!
English

Polack

or German

Polacken

are translated as

Polaczek

(a little Pole) witch is a neutral term and always needs comment like: "Ted Turner offend Poles saying..." or: "Nikki Lauda offend Poles saying Polacken what in German language mean..."

Unfortunately to offend Pole (in Polish) you have to use old good staff like moron, dumb, asshole or so.
Dum Dum
29 Nov 2011 #154
like moron, dumb, asshole or so

Whomever started this thread
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
29 Nov 2011 #155
German
Polacken

They make jokes too but they're more on a milder lever like this..


andersm 4 | 32
29 Nov 2011 #156
Here in Canada Polish people, male and female, are referred to as Poles. "Polack' was used several decades ago but in a derogatory way. Now you rarely ever hear it. There was a large influx of Poles following WW2 and though Canada is a country 99.9% comprised of immigrants from all over the world, each new influx in any significant numbers becomes the butt of jokes. Don't ask me why, it's stupid I know, but that's the way it works. So, Polack, a completely legitimate term in its original meaning, became derisory. If anyone said it now older people would scowl and younger people would hardly know what it meant. The Poles, at least among the people I know and from what I read, are admired for their tenacity. Poland broke the back of communism and since it has become a free country and communication channels are opened again, the world is learning just how remarkable it is that Poland was able to rise from its ashes again and again. Now, people wear their Polish heritage with a great deal of pride.

To paraphrase a good friend's quote on leadership: "Poles are the toughest of people in the toughest of times who are resilient, relentless and undaunted."
valpomike 11 | 195
29 Nov 2011 #157
Yes, Polak, is very derogatory, to the great Polish people, worldwide. I hate when someone calls me a Polak, and I correct them, by saying, I am Polish, not a Polak.

Mike
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
29 Nov 2011 #158
Yet another "Pole" who can't speak Polish, and therefore doesn't know the difference between "Polak" and "Polack" - lol!

Come back Delph... all is forgiven :D
boletus 30 | 1,361
29 Nov 2011 #159
Yet another "Pole" who can't speak Polish

Is the term 'Polak' derogatory?
I made a point to often say "I am a Polak" (not Polack though), the way many people here in Canada say "I am a Newfie" as an introduction. This disarms any other typical questions like "Where are you from" (I still speak with pronounced accent), to which I usually respond - "From Mississauga" (a Toronto's former bedroom community, now the metropolis on its own of almost 400,000. I am not lying actually, I used to live there for 12 years.) And that puts any further loaded questions to bed. People can differentiate, even if they are from the lowest strata of the society. I have to, unfortunately, admit that a lot of Poles around here are not the ones you would like to party together.

Long time ago I was very sensitive to all sorts of Polishness issues: I often felt guilty for offences committed by my countrymen. Not any more. I am responsible only for my own behaviour. Why should I feel ashamed for a behaviour of some "kurwa" men? Do you want to call me a Polak? That's fine. As I said - people can see a difference. For example, last night I had an interesting conversation about stoics, stoicism, and the book "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" in a blue collar bar - would you believe it? A Brit, and a Scot, and an Irish, a Cherman(*) and a Pole - all having a good time, with a bit of philosophical twist?

(*) He is actually a German, but we poke fun of his accent and call him Rudi the Cherman, assolutely!
ShortHairThug - | 1,101
29 Nov 2011 #160
Yet another "Pole" who can't speak Polish, and therefore doesn't know the difference between "Polak" and "Polack" - lol!

To your average redneck it’s all the same. Ignorance as to the meaning on their part does not change the intent, anyone that is trying to rationalize it any other way just another fool. Perhaps you know your Polish but you still have a lot to learn about American English.
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
29 Nov 2011 #161
but you still have a lot to learn about American English

Oh well... I'll just have to make do with "British English", I suppose. What a shame :D

To your average redneck it’s all the same. Ignorance as to the meaning on their part does not change the intent, anyone that is trying to rationalize it any other way just another fool.

Nothing is dumber than this thread.

"Polak" is a non-offensive, non-colloquial Polish word which simply and ONLY means "Pole/a Pole/a (male) Polish person", etc. Polack is a Yank word which is pronounced differently, and I've heard it in several American films, etc - it's always used as an insult. Over here, no English speaker uses either version; like a native Pole mentioned earlier, in the UK, you would add an offensive word to get your point across, e.g. f***ing Pole/stupid Pole/dirty Pole, etc. Same in Polish: "pierdolony Polak" etc. Unless people here start talking about "you f***ing Polaks", it's unlikely to be used in offensive manner over here.
ReservoirDog - | 132
29 Nov 2011 #162
Yet another "Pole" who can't speak Polish, and therefore doesn't know the difference between "Polak" and "Polack" - lol!

If you speak polish then it's o.k. to say Polak/Polka. But if you speak other language you shoud stick to it. It would look ridiculous If I started call english people - anglicy/ angielki. Anglicy are nice people, Angielki also :)
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
29 Nov 2011 #163
It would look ridiculous If I started call english people - anglicy/ angielki. Anglicy are nice people, Angielki also :)

Yeah but Poles say "Angol/Angole" if they don't like the English lol :)
falcon11
7 Apr 2012 #164
yes the term Polak is derogatory towards a Polish person. we call each other polaks as a joke and its okay but when someone who is not Polish calls us a Polak it is derogatory towards us.
f stop 25 | 2,507
7 Apr 2012 #165
I really don't like "Pole". The double meaning is not flattering.
Let's switch them around; make Polak the correct one, as it should be, and Pole the derogatory one.
M'key?
FlaglessPole 4 | 662
7 Apr 2012 #166
make Polak the correct one, as it should be, and Pole the derogatory one.

ehm... let's not
f stop 25 | 2,507
7 Apr 2012 #167
I especially like "Polaka". ;)
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
7 Apr 2012 #168
Yes, Polak, is very derogatory, to the great Polish people, worldwide. I hate when someone calls me a Polak, and I correct them, by saying, I am Polish, not a Polak.

Well in the States I've noticed that Hispanics generally don't know it's offensive they think it simply means Polish. I've explained it to a few and they were shocked, asking 'then what's the right way to call a Polish person'?
f stop 25 | 2,507
7 Apr 2012 #169
ahhh... Polakita.. my "street" name ;)
Kapitan - | 1
8 Apr 2012 #170
"Polack" is derogatory."Polak" however, is just Polish to refer to a Polish person, though I wouldn't recommend the use in English.
MediaWatch 10 | 945
8 Apr 2012 #171
yes the term Polak is derogatory towards a Polish person. we call each other polaks as a joke and its okay but when someone who is not Polish calls us a Polak it is derogatory towards us.

Yes.

Its kind of like the N-word with blacks. They can say it among themselves, but non-blacks can't.

I think the P-word is seen as a negative in the English language because it was used in a negative way against Poles in the English language going back to certain elements of the American media that didn't like Poles.

And why would English speaking people feel a need to use a Polish word (although with a little different emphasis/pronunciation of it) to describe Poles instead of the English word "Pole", when they don't use an Italian language word to describe Italians, a German language word to describe Germans, a Hebrew word to describe Jews, etc?
Hipis - | 227
8 Apr 2012 #173
Pollock is a fish en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollock
f stop 25 | 2,507
8 Apr 2012 #174
And why would English speaking people feel a need to use a Polish word (although with a little different emphasis/pronunciation of it) to describe Poles instead of the English word "Pole", when they don't use an Italian language word to describe Italians, a German language word to describe Germans

maybe.. Polanders? I just don't like "Poles". It's like calling Germans "Germs"
MediaWatch 10 | 945
8 Apr 2012 #175
Pollock is better than, "meat head".

I guess you meant "Polack".

Its interesting that you use "Polack" and "meathead" in the same sentence.

The source of both deragatory words aimed at Polish people in the 1970's came from the same anti-Polish Hollywood/TV media source.
puffrooster - | 5
9 Apr 2012 #176
A friend of mine (in Canada) calls me either; "meat-head" or "Polack" (but when he says it, it comes out, "pollock" [pol-uhk]).

It doesn't bother me and I don't care; sticks and stones....


MediaWatch 10 | 945
28 Apr 2012 #177
A friend of mine (in Canada) calls me either; "meat-head" or "Polack"

Gee I wonder where the label "meathead" came from about Polish people in North America?

Let's just say it never existed before that 1970's show "All in the Family" where the bigot character (also called the "loveable bigot" by the rest of the establishment American/North American media) Archie Bunker......day after day after day after day was implanting this anti-Polish sound bite into the millions of viewers' minds who watched the show.

Thanks to that good old Hollywood/TV media white Liberal supremacist anti-Polish bigot producer of "All in the Family" Norman Lear, millions of North Americans had implanted in their minds the notion that "Polish people EQUAL "meathead" and "Polish people EQUAL "dumb Polack".

How tolerant these White Liberal Supremacists in the Hollywood/TV media establishment like Norman Lear are. LOL

The show "All in the Family", that was supposed to be "against ethnic bigotry", actually did a good job of spreading anti-Polish bigotry and anti-Polish soundbites into the minds of the millions of people who watched the dumbing down of America show - "All in the Family"
jasondmzk
28 Apr 2012 #178
Norman Lear founded the civil liberties group "People For the American Way". He's been a long-term supporter of civil rights and liberal issues. He created All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude. These are all "slice of life" comedies that poke fun at the prejudices and foibles of all strata of american life. To point out the character of Archie Bunker as being an example of anything other than an exaggerated parody shows a gross misunderstanding of Norman Lear's body of work, and a complete lack of humor. You're way off base, here. Again.
MediaWatch 10 | 945
28 Apr 2012 #179
Well then maybe you can tell that to the vast majority of Americans who delighted in Archie Bunker's anti-Polish joke/slurs who COULDN'T WAIT to go up to the next Polish American they met in the work force or at school the next day after watching "All in the Family" and tell them how "they were so glad Archie GAVE IT TO THAT DUMB MEATHEAD POLACK on the show for ACTING LIKE A DUMB POLACK!!".

I and many other Polish Americans growing up remember hearing other Americans (insecure of their own ethnic ancestry) just chomping at the bit to go up to people like me and other Polish Americans saying "I AM SO GLAD ARCHIE PUT THAT DUMB POLACK Michael Stivic in his place for acting like "such a dumb Polack".

I remember in particular one Irish American kid screaming to his friends in the playground saying........Did you see how DUMB THAT POLACK WAS ON "All in the Family last night"??? MY GOD WHAT A DUMB STUPID POLACK HE WAS!!! I AM SO GLAD ARCHIE TOLD HIM HOW DUMB A POLACK HE WAS!!!!!

I remember even as a young kid thinking......For GOD SAKES THIS IS JUST A STUPID TV SHOW by some ASSHOLE anti-Polish BIgot Norman Lear who hates Polish people who is portraying a "Polish character" Michael Stivic......who in real life is NOT POLISH.....yet this idiot Irish American kid on an emotional level actually thinks this show is REAL and is too stupid too know "All in the Family" is done by ACTORS and is NOT REALITY.

Yet......this is the POWER OF TV MEDIA. You actually have MILLIONS of viewers who at some level in their mind think this is how Polish people should be treated!! To be called "Dumb Meathead Polack" all the time since THIS is what their brains are IMPLANTED with DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY on this idiot white trash show!

Although "All in the Family" ridiculed many ethnic backgrounds, the ethnic group mocked the most was the POLISH people. So Americans of various ethnic backgrounds ENJOYED seeing it because.....although their own ethnic background was mocked ONCE IN A WHILE by Archie BUnker.......they can feel safe and secure and feel SUPERIOR about their own ethnic background......because it was those "DUMB MEATHEAD POLACKS" who were trashed the most!!!

"All in the Family" was a great show to watch if you were an American of non-Polish ancestry......because you knew at the end of the day........it was those "DUMB MEATHEAD POLACKS" who got the most abuse in the show that the Polish-Hater Norman Lear intended.

Most Non-Polish Americans just couldn't wait to watch Archie Bunker "Give it to that Dumb Polack on the show (who was a Jew in real life) because it made them feel SO SUPERIOR about their OWN ethnic background because they KNEW Archie never went after their ethnic backrground like those "Dumb Meathead Polacks"!

There was a lot of Shaudenfruede at play here. Millions of Americans of NON-Polish ancestry taking DELIGHT at the Polish Bashing they saw was because it made them feel so superior about their own ethnic ancestry that wasn't bashed nearly as much.
Ralph
28 Apr 2012 #180
The word "Polak" is of course a Polish word meaning "Pole" (male). Obviously, it is not offensive if used in the context of a Polish sentence. It is qute all right to say: "Ten Polak, którego spotkałem w sklepie, był bardzo uprzejmy." But to say the same in English and use "Polak" instead of "Pole" or "Polish" is very offensive indeed - you cannot say: "That Polak I met in the shop was very obliging," and remain polite. I know, I know: it is "Polack" and not so much "Polak" that causes the offence, but to the Polish ears there is hardly any difference here.

By the way, it is not offensive, for example, to use the word as part of a Russian sentence: it is offensive in the English context only because in America it is often used in a purposefully derogatory manner.


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