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How to write an email properly in Polish?


Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
9 Jun 2018  #31
This Pan/Pani Polish mozaic of madness is just that - a useless, phony, contrived mozaic of craziness with no benefit to anyone.

In deciding between Pan and Pani, first I have to figure out the gender. What if I guess wrong? I can image how pleased a woman would be hearing prosze pana, especially if she is with her friends who would later tell everybody how Mary was called Pan. How about calling a guy Paniin a bar with his friends watching with amusement and, later, rolling all over the floor, laughing and looking for your teeth.

Then, there is age. Pani goes with 40. At 18, is she Pani or Panna? Where is the age limit? How about Panienka? Who is Panienka?

How about marital status. Is it part of that idiocy? I don't know so I am asking. Is Panna a Pani who is not married and old?

At 10, is a boy Pan? If not and I don't know his first name, then what? At that age gender is not immediately obvious. Saying to a boy Panna (czy Panna wysiada teraz?) can scar the kid for life. How do I address males who are 20?

This is beyond madness. It's self-inflicted masochism without merit

On the other hand, in that unsophisticated, crude and vulgar US, all of this crap is gone and replaced by a universal and oh so simpleyou.

What is even more amazing is the reaction here. Instead of admitting that this whole Pan/Pani thing is a relic from the past like husaria, almost to the last one, the posters here defend it and are actually proud doing it. Which, of course, means that not a single thing in the Polish culture is due for a revision.
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
9 Jun 2018  #32
Is then by your definition the vast scale of honorifics in Korean and Japanese "madness" too??

You're judging ethnocentrically, as with most Americans, ignoring the deep cultural divides which constitute the DNA of any society.

Maybe it is we who are mad, not the Poles. Ever occur to you? What makes the current Anglo-Saxon mode of address any the better?
Atch 16 | 2,646    
9 Jun 2018  #33
In deciding between Pan and Pani,

A native Pole doesn't even think about those questions. They imbibe the answers like mother's milk. It's only the foreigners like you and me who struggle with it and all languages present similar challenges. On the flip side Poles struggle with articles, they just never get it absolutely right whereas you and I as native English speakers know instinctively where and when to use them. We have our articles, Poles have their Pan and Pani.
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
9 Jun 2018  #34
Right on, Atch! That's what I've been trying to tell him:-)
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
9 Jun 2018  #35
Pan and Pani, first I have to figure out the gender

not really an issue for most people

Pani goes with 40. At 18, is she Pani or Panna?

A native speaker of Polish would know that panna hasn't been used as a form of address since long before your supposed departure. for someone who supposedly spent his first twenty some odd years in Poland you have gaping holes of knowledge of the kind that people don't forget... On the other hand, an English speaker trying to pass for a Pole might well be confused and think you can refer to random young women as Panna.... certainly just after barging into a room full of priests and demanding they answer your questions

to help you fake this in the future if you're addressing someone you don't know who's not a small child then use Pan/Pani, using ty with them is like approaching an American you don't know and hugging them and slapping them on the back - an invasion of personal space (which is psychological in Europe rather than physical)

I also notice you don't attack any part of English that is uselessly complex and do cause real problems to native Polish speakers like articles or sequence of tenses or zero complementation etc.Poles don't bother with that totally useless a vs the,

you bought the rug / a rug? who can tell?

I need a / the new phone? what benefit is gained by having to decided whether to use 'the' or 'a'?

How much more elegant and simple Polish is!
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
9 Jun 2018  #36
you bought the rug / a rug? who can tell?

Easy. A rug is any. The rug is specific. Kids learn this distinction from day one. '

Pan vs Pani, on the other hand, always requires that the gender be determined first. Way back it was easy. Today, when men have earings and colored hair, it's not. And, then, there are women with side crewcuts. Looks like s*** and is not helpful in gender identification.

I did notice how you walked around this one:

How about calling a guy Pani in a bar with his friends watching with amusement and, later, rolling all over the floor, laughing and looking for your teeth.

Try it and tell us what how it went.

Yeah, I know in Poland the gender of any person standing with his or her back to you in a dark bar in winter is immediately obvious.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
9 Jun 2018  #37
How about calling a guy Pani in a bar

That's not an insult used in Poland, they'd probably just be confused or think you're drunk or something.

Quick what's the insult for groups of men (begins with P)?

Easy. A rug is any. The rug is specific. Kids learn this distinction from day one. '

English speaking kids do, Poles don't.

Pan/Pani means you're keeping your distance, ty means there's no need for distance. Kids learn that from day one (that is Polish speakers do which obviously lets you out)
dolnoslask 5 | 2,183    
9 Jun 2018  #38
Kids learn that from day one

And if I used ty to an adult my parents would give me a thick ear
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
9 Jun 2018  #39
I'm sure you're right, dolno!

@Rich,
Poles, like Russians, make no distinction between specific and inspecific noun designations any more than most Asians couldn't give a rat's ass concerning tense or verb conjugation forms:-)
dolnoslask 5 | 2,183    
9 Jun 2018  #40
I'm sure you're right, dolno!

Well what I said was not strictly true, my parents never hit me, but they would have sent me to bed early for being rude.
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
9 Jun 2018  #41
Same with mine! I was only allowed to address older friends of my parents as "Aunt" or "Uncle so-and-so!", never as "Oh hi, Phil!", "Hi, Ann!", but "Uncle Phil!" etc.

In France, in many conservative, traditional families, "vous" was used to address grandparents, for example, NEVER by "tu"!
dolnoslask 5 | 2,183    
9 Jun 2018  #42
I was only allowed to address older friends of my parents as "Aunt" or "Uncle so-and-so!", never as "Oh hi, Phil!", "Hi, Ann!", but "Uncle Phil!" etc.

Well not exactly, not sure what point we are trying to prove here, but we both have a common understanding of the basics of polishness , or frenchness as you have just pointed out.

Good stuff heh
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
9 Jun 2018  #43
If he finds it so hard to guess the gender, how does he cope with he/she or mr/mrs/ms - I bet he uses mx in this context.

Panna Andzia ma wychodne was apparently a hit back in the 1930s.
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
10 Jun 2018  #44
Pan/Pani means you're keeping your distance, ty means there's no need for distance.

Perfect.

This single sentence explains why I am so much more comfortable in the US than I was in Poland during my last two visits.

It is my decision what distance I want to keep what I open a conversation. I communicate it with the words I use. Don't like it, then stop me or walk away.

Poles, like Russians, make no distinction between specific and inspecific noun designations

I trust your knowledge in this matter.

My point is that life is too short and too complex to add all these shades of gray to the daily language which do not add anything to the core messaage.

I know it's not the same thing, but just for a moment imagine this Polish politeness injected into the way pilots and the towers communicate - mostly in English.

"Prosze Pana, niech Pan zmieni kurs to avoid hitting that plane right in front of you".

I like simple. I don't need 7 ways to say I love you. Or twarz, buzia, and buziuchna.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
10 Jun 2018  #45
It is my decision what distance I want to keep what I open a conversation.

Rather like a goat, you run around slamming your head into places it's not wanted... paying no attention to anything but your most basic bodily functions. What a horrible existence.

Just more evidence that you're a fraud, no one who didn't start off extremely rich could get ahead in the US since, despite some outsiders' misconceptions, people in the US have finely grained distinctions of politeness, not as overt as ty/Pani but just as important.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
10 Jun 2018  #46
Why would we teach this guy Polish?
Can't he afford it?

No, they don't use Pan/Pani in aerial communication. They use the same thing as in the millitary. You should know it as the military training was obligatory in the 1960s ;)
Lyzko 18 | 5,319    
10 Jun 2018  #47
@Rich, life is made even shorter by indifference to other countries' cultures compared with one's own (American) standard. As one expects foreigners to at least respect the ways and subtleties of the English language, so too ought we try to acquaint ourselves with those of (in this case) the Polish language with all her myriad variety. Otherwise, don't bother speaking it, hire an interpreter so that you can be assured the job'll be done right.

Surely, no native Pole will fault you as a foreigner for not knowing all the permutations of their language. They will though respect you for trying and that can make all the difference.
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
10 Jun 2018  #48
I will probably get another o-warning for this, but my position regarding Polish langauge, stuck somewhere in a distant past, is justified.

Just walking around the malls in Warsaw, Radom, and Gdansk, I realized I am back in the States. All the stores, but a few, were American. The food courts were exclusively American. Billboards on buildings were in English. Stores had English signs. Store clerks would speak nearly perfect English. I was a you to them and I didn't get offended. Nobody called me 'sir'. So, that alleged Polish respect expressed through the overused and worn out Pan/Pani nonsense is just a meaningless formality.

My advice: take the next step and Americanize your human interactions as well after you did this to your commercial life.

No, I don't mean switch to English. BTW, Polish schools would do their students a favor by switching to the American English as more natural and a lot easier.
mafketis 16 | 6,314    
10 Jun 2018  #49
Nobody called me 'sir'

Good because you deserve no respect, you old fraud.

And Polish malls are not full of American stores, they're most full of European and Polish stores and food courts tend toward Asian, Midlde Eastern and traditional Polish which you would know if you'd ever actually been in Poland, you old fraud.

As a former president once said...spieprzaj dziadu!

Back to the topic of the thread (everyone) please



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