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Translation request: words like the / and / or / left / right / this, etc...


Essell 2 | 7
6 Sep 2009 #1
Hi, I'm new to the forum, and to the Polish language. I'm from England but have recently accepted a job in Warsaw, and will moving over in a couple of weeks (!).

I'm in the process of teaching myself the basics of the language, and while I'm picking up the usual beginner phrases (hello, thank you, do you speak english, etc.), I've a list of very general words that I was hoping someone could translate for me...?

Thanks in advance.

a =
the =
and =
or =

if =
then =
maybe =

left =
right =
up =
down =

in =
next to =
between =

it =
this =
that =

all =
more =
less =
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
6 Sep 2009 #2
¨
a =
the =

The structure of the Polish language is different.

There are no translations for a, an and the. There is no difference in Polish between a car and the car. You must learn a new way of thinking.

Eg. samochód means (1) car, (2) the car, (3) a car.
OP Essell 2 | 7
6 Sep 2009 #3
That's the impression I was getting - thanks for the confirmation :)

Can you elaborate on what this new approach to this part of language is, or where / how I could pick it up?
frd 7 | 1,399
6 Sep 2009 #4
I'm afraid most of these word would need something more than just a simple translation. I'm pretty lazy so I'm just gonna translate those straightforward ones : p

left = lewo
right = prawo
up = góra
down = dół
in = w
next to = obok
between = między / pomiędzy
among = między : p

all = wszystko / wszyscy
more = więcej
less = mniej

Most of these words mean something different when they are in a different context..
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
6 Sep 2009 #5
Can you elaborate on what this new approach to this part of language is, or where / how I could pick it up?

This thing is not so difficult to understand. The problem will solve itself when you get some experience of Polish.

Other differences is that in English, the order of the words usually determines who/what is the subject, object etc of a sentence. In Polish, this is usually done by putting different endings to a word (there are many of them!).

In English you say I work, they work, you work etc.

In Polish the words I, they, you etc are often excluded from the sentence. And instead an ending of the verb shows who is doing something.

For example:
I work = pracuję
You (singular) work = pracujesz
We work = pracujemy
and so on....

You have to get a book of course, and maybe attend a course.
OP Essell 2 | 7
6 Sep 2009 #6
Wow - that sounds like a lot of variations of a lot of words to learn...!

And yeah, I will likely attend a course once I'm in Warsaw :)

And thanks for the translation, frd. Does "and" not have a simple translation either?
Kamil_pl - | 59
6 Sep 2009 #7
Does "and" not have a simple translation either?

Hehe. Sure it has. I recommend a dictionary. Online dictionary for the start.
nana
6 Sep 2009 #8
Essell
a =
the =

Doesn't exist in polish language

and = i
or = lub

if = jesli/jeżeli
then = wtedy
maybe = może

left = lewo
right = prawo
up = góra
down = dół

in = w
next to = obok
between = między/pomiędzy

it = to
this = ten/ta/to - generally in polish there's no difference
that = ten(masculine)/ta(feminine)/to (neutral)

all = wszystko
more = więcej
less = mniej
OP Essell 2 | 7
6 Sep 2009 #9
Thanks all :)
plg 17 | 263
6 Sep 2009 #10
Essell:
¨
a =
the =
The structure of the Polish language is different.

There are no translations for a, an and the. There is no difference in Polish between a car and the car. You must learn a new way of thinking.

Eg. samochód means (1) car, (2) the car, (3) a car.

your car? my car? his car? our car?

just to really confuse him!
Ystad 2 | 16
7 Sep 2009 #11
Wow - that sounds like a lot of variations of a lot of words to learn...!

Yep! And unfortunately this deters a lot of people (especially anglophones) from persevering. This is a pity because, while these variations can be very demanding, it's a really satisfying and interesting language to learn. I know this can be said of any language, but the sense of achievement when you manage to string a couple of Polish sentences together in public is really rewarding:)

My suggestion is to combine a basic phrasebook (I love the Rough Guide one), for inital practical situations, with an introductory grammar (such as 'Basic Polish' by Bielec) for study. Using the two together will help you see why and where these variations occur.

Good luck in Warsaw.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
7 Sep 2009 #12
Search this website and you will find book recommendations. I absolutely recommend 301 Polish Verbs by Janecki. If you want to learn good grammar of verbs.

your car? my car? his car? our car?

just to really confuse him!

But they are written as separate words, like in English.

Mój samochód
Twój samochód
Jego samochód
Nasz samochód
etc...
polack's gurl
10 Aug 2010 #13
is it possible that there is other dialects in polish because i read okay translates to dourbze..but when i told him he said he never heard of that word before..waaatt???
jonni 16 | 2,485
10 Aug 2010 #14
301 Polish Verbs by Janecki

This is a really good book. Don't let the 301 pages of grammar tables freak you out though.

"Teach yourself Polish" (most good UK bookshops have it) and "Polish in 40 days" (a bit of an optimistic title) are both good books to start with.

dict.pl/dict_iso is a very good online dictionary.

Many people recommend an audio course called "Pimsleur Polish". It's very American in style, but don't let that put you off - the American method of second language acqusition has a lot of good points. One benefit of the Pimsleur series is that you will be speaking from the very first lesson. I don't know where you can buy it in Europe, but since it works well without the accompanying coursebook, somebody unscrupulous might download it from IsoHunt or PirateBay, though obviously that might not be legal. I used their Pimsleur Arabic with some success.

is it possible that there is other dialects in polish

There are, not there is, and yes there are dialects, but much less so than in most other major languages.

because i read okay translates to dourbze

You can say OK in Polish. 'Dobrze' (remember that the 'rz' sounds a bit like the 's' in 'pleasure' (think 'pleasure' but change the 'plea..' to a 'dob...' and you're nearly there) means 'well' (as in "I did it well") but Poles often use it to mean OK. "Dobra dobra" is used by some people, but can sound sarcastic or over-jolly, and "spoko" or "spox" is popular with young people, sk8ters etc..

Remember, one less than appealing habit of some Polish people is that when a foreigner uses a Polish word, they'll pretend it's wrong and tell you an alternative. When you use that alternative to another Pole, they'll insist that one's wrong too. Not everyone in Poland does that, but some certainly do. In Polish culture, there's nothing strange about telling someone they're wrong, even if you only think they're wrong (some Polish people will argue that black is white just for the hell of it), and correcting someone's grammar isn't seen as bad manners.
101s
10 Aug 2010 #15
and = i
in = w

How are these one-character words spelled, short or long or in some peculiar way? What others there are, z,...?
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
10 Aug 2010 #16
How are these one-character words spelled

i - Italy
w - vulnerable
jonni 16 | 2,485
10 Aug 2010 #17
i - Italy

Or i = eat
kondzior 9 | 954
12 Aug 2010 #18
and = i
in = w

It needs to be remembered that words like "on" and "in" are only roughly translated as "na" and "w". And "at" can mean both "w" and "na". I had problems with that when learning English. Like, in English you can sleep on the train but in Polish it sounds as if you slept on the roof of the train. In Poland you can only sleep in the train. As inside. And that is just a tip of the iceberg. I sometimes still do confuse "in"s, "on"s and "at"s when speaking/writing English.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
28 Aug 2010 #19
It needs to be remembered that words like "on" and "in" are only roughly translated as "na" and "w".

See here


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