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How to write an email properly in Polish?


Dan7373    
7 Jun 2018  #1
Hello / Dzien Dobry,

Nie umiem najlepiej pisac po polsku wiec prosze o pomoc w przetlumaczeniu to co ponizej:

"Thank you for your reply. Can you please tell me when the house was sold and for what price? If you cannot disclose this information, due to privacy concerns, then could you at least tell me the general "ballpark" figure or approximate number (plus/minus)? I'd be grateful for this information. Thank you again."

DZIEKUJE!
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
7 Jun 2018  #2
Cannot be done. You used "you" five times. "Ty" in Polish is so extreme rude it's bordering on criminal.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 438    
7 Jun 2018  #3
@Dan7373
first, it should be: "(..) Nie umiem dobrze (..) pomoc w przetłumaczeniu poniższego tekstu (or: "tego, co poniższe")":

but hey it goes- because I don't know if the person who is supposed to read this email is male or female, I'll try to avoid "gender" form. Also, I assume you are a male so I'll use a correct verb form.

"Dziękuję bardzo za odpowiedź!
Czy mógłbym się dowiedzieć kiedy ten dom został sprzedany, oraz za jaką cenę? Jeśli nie można podać owej informacji ze względu na zasady prywatności, to czy mógłbym się dowiedzieć, mniej-więcej po ile podobne domy są sprzedawane? Byłbym bardzo wdzięczny za informacje.

Dziękuję"

it's not 100% word-to-word translation, but it's not too bad methinks
OP Dan7373    
7 Jun 2018  #4
Wow, thank you so much for the quick replies!

Rich Mazur: I understand and agree about the use of "You/Ty" (in the Polish language) and that's why I was hoping for a proper translation and not a word for word one. I was certainly not going to use "Ty" in the email but it's impossible in English to not use "You", without sounding silly... Dziekuje Panu. :)

RubasznyRumcajs: I'm sorry I should have indicated that I'd be referring to a female (Pani) but you helped me out a lot, thanks!
Ziemowit 12 | 3,109    
7 Jun 2018  #5
You used "you" five times. "Ty" in Polish is so extreme rude it's bordering on criminal.

And you don't have to use "Ty" in translation at all. And you should know, mądralo ty wielka, that the English "you" coresponds to both the Polish "ty" and "wy" (and the modern version of "wy" in Polish is "Pan/Pani").
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
7 Jun 2018  #6
Then how do you (sorry, Pan) distinguish between ty Pan and some other Pan. In English it's simple: you vs he.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
7 Jun 2018  #7
In Polish it's simple and clear to native speakers as well ;)
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
7 Jun 2018  #8
It's clear by making things even weirder.

Pan alone is me. I got it. Another Pan standing 20 feet away from me is Pan Kowalski. How about just "you and him"? Too complicated?

How about you and John? Yes, so rude!
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
7 Jun 2018  #9
In Polish it's simple and clear to native speakers

Yes, a real native speaker who completed higher education would not find Pan/ty or second vs third person Pan confusing. A Russian troll, on the other hand, probably would....
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
7 Jun 2018  #10
It's not confusing. It's stupid.

A neutral sentence should be just that - neutral. No respect and no disrespect either. Just say it.

That "Polish" respect that comes with Pan and Pani is just a fake bs. If I want to show respect I will. In the Polish language with that stupid obligatory Pan and Pani, I am forced to show respect even if I don't want to.

In "Pani jest idiotka", is "Pani" respectful or sarcastic?
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
7 Jun 2018  #11
I am forced to show respect even if I don't want to.

Forced to show respect for other human beings (rather than just bargin into rooms and yelling at them). How very tragic for you.

How did bureaucrats address you before you left?
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
7 Jun 2018  #12
@Rich Mazur
See ... just because you didn't understand elementary lessons of Polish as a foreign language ...
Do it, mr Kowalski - Niech Pan to zrobi, panie Kowalski.
Let mr Kowalski do it. - Niech to zrobi pan Kowalski.
You're welcome.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,109    
7 Jun 2018  #13
In "Pani jest idiotka", is "Pani" respectful or sarcastic?

To a Russian troll like Rich Mazur the use of "Pani" in such a sentence may indeed sound weird.

Generally, Russian people find our "Pan/Pani" form rather weird. I remember my teacher od Russian telling us once a very amusing story. She once travelled in a train from Moscow to Warsaw where she met a Russian lady who after some time of conversation told her very authoritatively: "Your habit of addressing almost everybody with "Pan" is extremely strange. You even call a shoe that way: Pan-tofel !"
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
7 Jun 2018  #14
Do it, mr Kowalski - Niech Pan to zrobi, panie Kowalski.

The American version: Would you mind doing this, John?

Now, honestly, it's not even close.

BTW, what kind of verbal tumor is "niech"?

Forced to show respect for other human beings (rather than just bargin into rooms and yelling at them). How very tragic for you.

The American equivalent of Pan is gentleman.

A rape victim said this to the jury: ...and then the gentleman proceeded to rape me.

That's your kind of speech. With respect. Always.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
8 Jun 2018  #15
As for 'niech, compare it with 'let' -same thing.
In Russian (and some rural Polish dialects) it's 'wy', isn't it? You use the plural for addressing someone you don't know well or to show some social differences or respect etc.

I often wonder how it's similar to English 'you' used for one person.
As for more free tips concerning Polish, the word 'pan' is not often used as 'gentleman' - in fact it's only in 'panie i panowie'-'ladies and gentlemen'.

Don't give up. Just keep learning.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
8 Jun 2018  #16
the word 'pan' is not often used as 'gentleman'

He's right there (to some extent). In spoken American English the words lady and gentlemen are often used to refer to people you don't know (especially if they are within earshot)

Donnie, stand still and let the gentleman pass.

I think I know that lady over there in the green blouse.

I wonder how Rich liked being called Pan by bureaucrats....
terri 1 | 1,454    
8 Jun 2018  #17
It is usual in Poland to call people Pan/Pani unless they have given you permission to use their first name. Even, in an almighty argument with almost fists flying, a man will refer to another as 'Pan'. There is a serial 'Swiat wedlug Kiepskich' where two or three men always argue, but always use Pan. For those who can speak Polish it is worth listening/watching this serial to get a feel of how Pan/Pani is used.

I am a woman and if anyone did not use Pani to me, they would get a mouthful with the words 'since when are we on first name terms, prosze Pana/Pani?' I myself use Pan/Pani to teenagers upwards. If a anyone does not use it, it could be and is considered very bad manners.

As for the 'wy' (plural of singular 'you') this is a mark of respect for older people in the villages in Poland, I use it myself instead of Pani, but here it depends on the situation.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,109    
8 Jun 2018  #18
In spoken American English the words lady and gentlemen are often used to refer to people you don't know

But not directly, whereas in Polish you use the form "Pan" speaking directly to someone.

The Polish form "Pan" is similar to the Spanish form of address "Usted/Ustedes" or to the German form "Sie". The German form of address is even more weird as literally they directly address a single person using the third person plural rather than singular.

- Sind Sie ein Berliner? - would literally translate into Polish as "Czy oni są berlińczykiem?" (meaning: Czy Pan jest berlińczykiem?). And the answer could be: "Ja, ich bin ein Berliner" rather than: "Ja, sie sind ein Berliner" (Tak, oni są berlińczykiem)".

Russian troll......yes,probably....they seem to love this forum

Rich Mazur is definitely someone else than he claims to be. If he left Poland directly after graduating from Politechnika Warszawska as he claims, he would have had no difficulty in grasping the concept of "Pan/Pani" even now after so many years in the US. This concept is so much inherited in the language and so often used on a daily basis that a person of 23 years of age would be perfectly used to it even after 50 years spent abroad with total immersion in another language. I would understand his difficulty with grasping that concept now if he left at, say, 14 years of age at the maximum, but not at the 23-24 years. He is either lying or trolling or both, there is no third option.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
8 Jun 2018  #19
But not directly, whereas in Polish you use the form "Pan" speaking directly to someone.

Although in the service industries it's sometimes possible to use 'the gentleman' or 'the lady' in direct address.

Would the gentleman be so kind as to sign here?

Would the lady like anything else?

Old fashioned and kind of pretentious but certainly possible.
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
8 Jun 2018  #20
...he would have had no difficulty in grasping the concept of "Pan/Pani" even now after so many years in the US.

I have no difficulty in grasping anything. After 50 some years in the US, I can better see the insanity of speaking in third person to somebody standing in front of me because 400 years back szlachta spoke that way.

So, get with it, Poles. Ty or the first name and the world will not explode.
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
8 Jun 2018  #21
Never as yet heard/read, "Pan"/Pani" used with "Ty". Interestingly enough in German, "Sie" + first name is actually more common than one might imagine, should both persons wish a guardedly cordial while never intimate or especially close (although completely friendly) relationship.
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
8 Jun 2018  #22
The beauty of English and the American customs can be really appreciated in this sentence:

Good morning, Mister President. Did you actually call him "a little rocket man"?

That you did not give anyone a heart attack. Nobody said, how dare you, and the country lived to see another day.

Never as yet heard/read, "Pan"/Pani" used with "Ty".

Using Pan/Pani carries a risk "you" does not. The speaker has to divine the person's gender. "You" is neutral.

That risk is similar to the risk of asking a fatso when the baby is due.
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
8 Jun 2018  #23
Culture goes (far) deeper than language, Rich. Surprised you haven't learned that by this time, what with all your country hopping!
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
8 Jun 2018  #24
And what do you guys think of using you for the second person singular - why did thou disappear?
Is it possible it's because you was used in the similar context as 'wy'? What's the reason behind its disappearance?
As for addressing someone directly, don't you use sir/madam/miss rather than gentleman/lady for pan/pani ?
Like in 'excuse me, sir'. You won't use 'excuse me, gentleman,will you?
@mafketis @Ziemowit
@terri
Panie Boczek .... ;)

BTW, as in the famous quote: gdyby głupota miała skrzydła, latałaby Pani jak gołębica ;) -of course you can be offensive using Pan/Pani.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
8 Jun 2018  #25
"Pan"/Pani" used with "Ty".

There are occasional marginal uses of Pan/i with ty verb forms, put "pan jesteś" into google for some examples...

Good morning, Mister President. Did you actually call him "a little rocket man"?

I guess you'd prefer "Good morning, you. Did you actually...." using Pan/Pani isn't any more taxing for a person of normal intelligence than remembering titles and honorifics"
terri 1 | 1,454    
8 Jun 2018  #26
I wonder how many of you who think that it is o.k. to speak to someone in Poland per 'ty' actually live there. I spend 6 months a year in Poland and would never use anything other than Pan/Pani to people who have not authorized me to call them anything else.

This should not be a discussion that the the English speaking countries we use 'you' to refer to people and that in Poland they do it differently. If anyone feels that people in Poland should use 'you (ty) please will you send a petition to The Chairman (J.Kaczynski) and suggest that they have a vote on this in the Polish Parliament./ Then we will be obliged to do as they instruct us, but until that time, please show some respect for different culture which exists in Poland and where using Pan/Pani is the norm..
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
8 Jun 2018  #27
I spend 6 months a year in Poland and would never use

I spent 17 days in Poland and would never use Polish unless I absolutely had to. Even then, Pan and Pani never came out of me.

If this is big time offensive, Poland has its priority list all screwed up.

Fix your restrooms and, then, I will fix my manners.
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
8 Jun 2018  #28
As the English "thee" and "thou"/"ye" in common parlance all but died out more than two centuries ago, the issue isn't comparable with Polish "Ty" vs. "Pan"/"Pani"!

As with all linguistic questions, they are though no end fascinating to ponder, if not particularly useful, except for historical purposes.
terri 1 | 1,454    
9 Jun 2018  #29
The phrases thee, thou are still being used...Get thee behind me Satan......
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
9 Jun 2018  #30
In the Bible though, hardly in common speech, right?



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