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About usage of the special Polish letters: ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ż ź


FlameX 1 | -
17 Aug 2007 #1
about ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ż ź
when do I use them? cos I have problem finding the associated english word in dictionary when one of those appears in a polish word:-(

for example: 'zwrotow'
glowa 1 | 291
17 Aug 2007 #2
'zwrotow'

you can't find this one ('zwrotów'), because it's not in it's basic form (singular, first case - denominator), it is 'zwrot' you should be looking for in this case

it's not the presence of those letters, that makes it hard to find a word in a dictionary
pawian 197 | 19,901
28 Jan 2022 #3
you can't find this one

Fortunately, technology has advanced and now google Translator works fine with such words.
JPW - | 3
7 Feb 2022 #4
One thing to note is dictionary order. As noted on p.11 of The Polish Alphabet (ahem, by me, out now: grijben.com/alphabet/pl/), in terms of alphabetical order, the 'accented' letters are treated as separate letters. So for example, if you look for 'dąb' in the dictionary, it'll come WAY after 'dach' (in the dictionary on my desk, 'dąb' comes just after 'dawny'), because 'ą' comes after 'a' alphabetically.
pawian 197 | 19,901
7 Feb 2022 #5
the 'accented' letters are treated as separate letters

This only means vowels ą and ę. Consonants aren`t accented. Piece of cake, then.

because 'ą' comes after 'a' alphabetically.

And that`s normal and easy to get used to. At least I hope so. :):)
gumishu 12 | 6,007
7 Feb 2022 #6
it's not the presence of those letters, that makes it hard to find a word in a dictionary

there is a web dictionary of Polish that has plenty of forms of Polish words ( here: sjp.pl) - the thing is the defintions are in Polish and the various forms of words are not explained grammatically (which grammatical case (case as in declination) or tense or other categories the word forms belong to) - the basic form is just stated -

of course it still can be of some help for learners of Polish

well I tried sjp.pl a bit and well: it's flawed more than I thought
JPW - | 3
9 Feb 2022 #7
@pawian This only means vowels ą and ę. Consonants aren`t accented. Piece of cake, then.

In terms of consonants, an example would be that mała comes after Malta, because ł comes after l.
gumishu 12 | 6,007
9 Feb 2022 #8
we don't call those 'accents' over consonants 'accents' :) - we don't even call the accent over 'o' (which produces ' ó ' (called 'o z kreską in Polish)) an accent because Polish doesn't have short and long vowels and the accent in a huge majority of Polish words is fixed on the penultimate syllable - historically the 'accent' over 'o' (also over 'e' but this didn't survive) indicated a long vowel which sounded like a cross of Polish 'o' and 'u' - eventually though the accented 'o' merged with 'u' and lost its long quality
Novichok 3 | 6,771
9 Feb 2022 #9
we don't call those 'accents' over consonants 'accents' :)

I call it stupid. If English can exist without these things so can any other language. Time for a major upgrade .... to English. Future Polish generations will be grateful.
pawian 197 | 19,901
9 Feb 2022 #10
example would be that mała comes after Malta,

Yes,. exactly, but the consonant is still not accented, as gumi said. :)

Future Polish generations will be grateful.

Logical error on your part - They won`t be Polish anymore. :):):)
mafketis 35 | 11,201
9 Feb 2022 #11
we don't call those 'accents'

Technically they're diacritics (znaki diakrytyczne) but in everyday non-specialist usage in English 'accent' is also used.

I'm not sure if I've heard a technical term in Polish (I'm sure there is one I've just never really heard it). Quick googling shows 'polskie znaki' (signs) and I think I've heard them just called 'polskie litery' as well.
gumishu 12 | 6,007
9 Feb 2022 #12
if I've heard a technical term in Polis

well the technical term for them is 'znaki diakrytyczne'
Ziemowit 14 | 4,404
11 Feb 2022 #13
historically the 'accent' over 'o' indicated a long vowel which sounded like a cross of Polish 'o' and 'u'

In my view, the former part of this sentence is false, only the latter is true.

Where did you get the idea that the original "ó" was a long vowel from? The "ó" was simply called "o pochyłe" to indicate that it was a little different from the normal "o".
Korvinus 1 | 435
11 Feb 2022 #14
original "ó" was a long vowel

It is so called "iloczas"
edupedia.pl/words/index/show/489183_slownik_terminow_gramatycznych-iloczas.html
Ziemowit 14 | 4,404
11 Feb 2022 #15
It is so called "iloczas"

I know what it is called. All I am saying is that the original "ó" wasn't a long vowel.
Lyzko 37 | 8,549
11 Feb 2022 #16
@Rich,
English will obviously NEVER "replace" the mother tongue of any EU nation, at least in private discourse, any more than Spanish could ever hope to replace English here in the US! International conferences will continue to use interpreters, as well they should, both for clarity's sake, not to mention sheer aesthetics.

The very notion is as idiotic as it is impractical:-)
Novichok 3 | 6,771
11 Feb 2022 #17
The very notion is as idiotic as it is impractical:-)

As idiotic as men becoming women? Fifty years ago you would say what??? English is already the language of international aviation.

English will obviously NEVER "replace" the mother tongue of any EU nation,

...but will become parallel to it - and to the exclusion of all others - so that there will not be any need to ask if the guy speaks English. Good enough for now.
Lyzko 37 | 8,549
11 Feb 2022 #18
Anyone can now google a word/phrase, but that is scarcely "knowing" another language, not even close. Brain cloning or the like is waaayy, way far into the future and so keep dreamin'. Furthermore, it's never enough merely to know a language through study, but to know it well to perfectly by dint of monastic focus combined with raw talent.Otherwise, plain forget about it and throw in the towel!
Novichok 3 | 6,771
11 Feb 2022 #19
Otherwise, plain forget about it and throw in the towel!

I didn't throw any towels when I was in Poland recently. I just spoke English everywhere I went. No, we didn't discuss Plato and the meaning of life.

All those under 30 were as good as any random foreign-born guy in the US. No difference. That would not be the case forty years ago.
Lyzko 37 | 8,549
11 Feb 2022 #20
undefinedto throw in the towel = to give up on a futile pursuit Oh, don't tell me. Ya knew that one too LOL Bottom line here is that maybe (mis-)speaking English with locals was no prob for you, but just maybe it was for the locals, although they didn't care to admit it. Others might indeed have been greatful for the practice. Lord knows they sure need it, admit it or not:-)

polishforums.com/img/p.gif
gumishu 12 | 6,007
11 Feb 2022 #21
Where did you get the idea that the original "ó" was a long vowel from?.

consider two Polish words : dom and bóg - how come one of those o's became 'ó' - what was the difference - to me it's clear one was longer and gradually sounded more and more like a 'u' - (accented e in Polish (that didn't survive) sounded like a mix of e and y - the same happens in present day Hungarian: long (accented) HUngarian e sounds like a mix of e and y)
Lyzko 37 | 8,549
11 Feb 2022 #22
Yet as I seem to recall, Modern Polish has no long or closed vowels compared with Hungarian.
gumishu 12 | 6,007
11 Feb 2022 #23
Modern Polish has no long

indeed
Lyzko 37 | 8,549
11 Feb 2022 #24
@gumishu, however much earlier Polish did, right?
gumishu 12 | 6,007
11 Feb 2022 #25
yes - I have read poems from 18th century that had long (accented) e clearly marked
gumishu 12 | 6,007
12 Feb 2022 #26
In my view, the former part of this sentence is false, only the latter is true.

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanik_iloczasu
mafketis 35 | 11,201
12 Feb 2022 #27
Modern Polish has no long or closed vowels compared with Hungarian.

The pairings are long and short vowels (like Hungarian or Finnish or even German though they're not generally as crucial for understanding as they are in Hungarian )

Open or closed vowels (like Italian or Portuguese or French, which mostly concerns e and o and maybe a)
Lyzko 37 | 8,549
12 Feb 2022 #28
Excellent observation.


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