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Polish words difficult to translate into English


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Jun 2008 #1
Polish words difficult to translate into English include:
ZABYTEK, ZABYTKOWY: For isnstance: W naszym mieście jest sporo barokowych zabytków; zabytkowy samochód, książka, fresk...
WYCHOWANIE, WYCHOWAWCZY: Ministerstwo Oświaty i Wychowania; zakład wychowawczy
REPREZENTACYJNY: reprezentacyjna sala, fundusz reprezentacyjny
KAMIENICA: On mieszka na parterze zabytkowej kamienicy
KILKANAŚCIE, KILKADZIESIĄT: kilknaście osób, kilkanaście tysięcy dolarów, kilkadziesiąt lat
Any suggestions, other examples?
osiol 55 | 3,922
4 Jun 2008 #2
KILKANAŚCIE

Umpteen? Several (modern sense of the word)...
This was a wild guess from a beginner. (Am I still a beginner after a year and a half?)

Edited (I nearly always edit.)
randompal 7 | 306
4 Jun 2008 #3
KILKANAŚCIE

this probably translates as "a dozen or so..."

KAMIENICA

"building" is sufficient, or stone building

wychowanie is "upbringing" or rearing as in rearing of children

zabytkowy is "historic"
Czarne Oczy 14 | 64
4 Jun 2008 #4
Is there an English word for "potrafi"---does it mean something like "pride"?
z_darius 14 | 3,969
4 Jun 2008 #5
"building" is sufficient

nah, kamienica is more specific.
This is a building, but it can't be called "kamienica"

"potrafi"

he/she/it can, is able to, is capable of
randompal 7 | 306
4 Jun 2008 #6
nah, kamienica is more specific.
This is a building, but it can't be called "kamienica"

no, but you don't find these buildings in the city...when people say "w której kamienicy mieszkasz?" what they really mean is "which building do you live in?" Otherwise fine, have it your way and translate it as "Which urban buiding made of stone do you live in?"
z_darius 14 | 3,969
4 Jun 2008 #7
no, but you don't find these buildings in the city...

you'd be surprised.

when people say "w której kamienicy mieszkasz?" what they really mean is "which building do you live in?"

only if it can be assumed that all buildings are constructed of masonry materials.

Otherwise fine, have it your way and translate it as "Which urban buiding made of stone do you live in?"

Don't be silly. The theme of this thread are literal translations.
Perhaps "brick house"?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
5 Jun 2008 #8
That calls to mind anotter difficult word -- murowany as in "murowany zamek"... English is more precise in specifying whether it was made of brick or stone.

Yes, wychwoanie is upbringing or rearing, but how does that sound in a proper name: Departament of Upbringing, Child Education and Rearing Department???

Can you think of any other such untranslatable or difficult to translate Polish words.
Tamara 9 | 202
5 Jun 2008 #9
Listen to any Stare Dobry Malzenstwo cd and you will find lots of them.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Jun 2008 #10
Zabtyek is an ancient monument I think but I've heard people have a problem with this b4.

Wychowawczy is like a caretaker or even behavioural mentor.
monicagogi
21 Sep 2009 #11
krosno

potrafi- be able
plk123 8 | 4,150
21 Sep 2009 #12
murowaniec = masonry structure
kamienica = cobble stone bldng
kilkanascie = bunch
zabytek = historic, antique, hoary
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Sep 2009 #13
kilkanascie = bunch

Or more exactly dozen(s).
plk123 8 | 4,150
22 Sep 2009 #14
not really.. kilkanaście is more like umpteen which is under 20. ;)
kilkadziesiąt is more then 20 to under 100 (a few 10s)
dziesięć = 10
UptownJohnny - | 1
23 Sep 2009 #15
I have seen gmina translated abount 500 different ways. Nauka too.
OsiedleRuda
23 Sep 2009 #16
Don't be silly. The theme of this thread are literal translations.
Perhaps "brick house"?

Kamienica may literally mean "stone building", but I think the closest English equivalent is "tenement".

If someone was asking you if you live in a kamienica, it is clear from the question that they aren't just asking you which (unspecific) building you live in, because "building" could include tower blocks (wielkie płyty) or other types of construction, but these aren't kamienice.
gumishu 11 | 5,017
23 Sep 2009 #17
upbringing" or rearing as in rearing of children

- this is not exact match translation (at least rearing definitely isn't)

one difficult word to translate is życzliwość - no nearly exact match transaltion in English

does umpteen really mean more than 10 and less than 20 ? I had an impression it means some not certain figure but not a very big one (not several at the same time) - well my impression could just prove wrong
Dice 15 | 452
24 Sep 2009 #18
Another difficult one to translate: "coorvah".

As in: "Coorvah, I woke up, coorvah, took a shower, coorvah, had a cup of coffee, coorvah, drove to work, coorvah, then came back, coorvah, had some dinner, coorvah, watched a game, coorvah, an went to bed, coorvah."

I think the best way to translate "coorvah" is: "comma".
michal_857 2 | 17
25 Sep 2009 #19
other examples?

try "wymemłany koc" ;)
znafca
28 Sep 2009 #20
michal_857

ruffled blanket, but "wymemłany" as you said is kind of slang/dialect word. same goes for "funfle", "dundle", "dutki" and many others, which do not come under "hard to translate" category in my opinion. difficult
Ziemowit 12 | 3,582
28 Sep 2009 #21
"Dutki" is "money" in the language of mountineers.
I wonder how to translate the word "klecha" into English.

The other way round, I think it is often difficult to translate the English word "integrity" (in the sense of a certain quality of a man) into Polish.
gumishu 11 | 5,017
30 Sep 2009 #22
As in: "Coorvah, I woke up, coorvah, took a shower, coorvah, had a cup of coffee, coorvah, drove to work, coorvah, then came back, coorvah, had some dinner, coorvah, watched a game, coorvah, an went to bed, coorvah."

I think the best way to translate "coorvah" is: "comma".

yeah, that was my theory once upon a time ;)
mav - | 7
4 Oct 2009 #23
I always find 'smacznego'* a bit tricky to translate, well I have settled for either:
1. enjoy your meal!
2. bon appetit!
The thing is, the first one doesn't mean exactly the same and the second one isn't really in English, is it :)

*smacznego - derived from the word smaczny/smaczna - tasty

Any thoughts on this one?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Oct 2009 #24
Stick with what you have, it's close enough. More loosely, you could just say 'enjoy'.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
8 Nov 2009 #25
it doesn't make sense to look for the english equivalent of certain words because in some countries they simply don't have certain types of buildings, or food, or anything else for that matter, so naturally they cannot have a word for something that doesn't exist in their country. common sense.

how can you say there is no translation in english for "kurwa"? it's f@ck, only in English, we have many more forms of "f@ck", like with an ing, ed, etc. Like usual, Polish has one word when English has several, all with slightly different meanings, but Polish simplifies it all to one word. A million examples of this in Polish. Anyway, back to Kurwa and F@ck:

na przyklad:

"F@ck, I woke up, f@ckin' took a shower, had a f@ckin' cup of coffee, f@ckin' drove to work, then came the f@ck back..."....so on and so forth.

i've yet to come across a word in Polish that didn't have an English translation, excluding of course things that don't exist in English speaking countries but exist in Poland.
gumishu 11 | 5,017
8 Nov 2009 #26
i've yet to come across a word in Polish that didn't have an English translation, excluding of course things that don't exist in English speaking countries but exist in Poland.

translate życzliwość into English if you will ;)
frd 7 | 1,399
8 Nov 2009 #27
how can you say there is no translation in english for "kurwa"? it's f@ck, only in English, we have many more forms of "f@ck", like with an ing, ed, etc. Like usual, Polish has one word when English has several, all with slightly different meanings, but Polish simplifies it all to one word. A million examples of this in Polish. Anyway, back to Kurwa and F@ck:

You're completelly wrong, kurwa is not precisely fuck, although it might be used in a similar manner, there are few polish words beside kurwa that overlap with the word fuck. Such as jebać, pierdolić, pieprzyć and so on they all have different meaning same as fuck. Don't state something if you don't know the language well enough..
mafketis 21 | 7,392
8 Nov 2009 #28
Many countries have a 'favorite' expletive, usually with some kind of sexual meaning. It's what people say when they get upset and tends to be used often in ways where the literal meaning would make no sense.

For Americans, that word is 'fuck'. For Brits, I guess it's fuck too but I have the impression that it used to be 'bollocks' (a word most in the US are ignorant of).

In Spanish, it varies by country, chinga in Mexico (fuck), puta (whore) in Nicaragua and con~o (cunt) in Cuba and Spain are ones that I know about.

For Poland, that word is kurwa, which means 'whore' of course. But as the expletive of choice, it corresponds to American use of 'fuck' as a semantically empty way of cursing. It does not correspond to fuck in referring to sexual acts.

Shut the fuck up.
Zamknij się kurwa.

What the fuck are you doing?
Co ty kurwa robisz?

etc etc
sadieann 2 | 205
8 Nov 2009 #29
For Poland, that word is kurwa, which means 'whore' of course. But as the expletive of choice, it corresponds to American use of 'fuck' as a semantically empty way of cursing. It does not correspond to fuck in referring to sexual acts.

Good explanation. That's how I've translated it as well.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
8 Nov 2009 #30
życzliwość

my dictionary says "kindness" or "friendliness".

there are few polish words beside kurwa that overlap with the word fuck. Such as jebać, pierdolić, pieprzyć and so on they all have different meaning same as fuck.

sure there are other words/variations, but I can say the same thing about english. no different.


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