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Polish-American mutilation of the Polish language


delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
22 Jul 2011 #1
I recently found some interesting examples of how Polish-Americans have mutilated the pure, beautifully poetic Polish language. Perhaps you can add your own examples, too?

"CARA." - what? (car)
"ANCZKA" - errr... (orange)
"Merdyci" - nope, give up... (tomato)
"Bananese" - Italian? (Banana)
"shusy" - get outta here (shoes)
"karwatka" - a dish, perhaps? no? (tie)
"Jajas" - what the hell? (eggs)

Rather disgraceful, if you ask me. Language should be respected, not mutilated.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
23 Jul 2011 #2
cara was the only one i've heard . If there are some differences it's Ponglish.
pawian 179 | 16,124
23 Jul 2011 #3
At uni we were introduced to this Ponglish: resvaria.net/2009/07/10/zargon-w-praktyce-czyli-dziad-i-bab a-w-ponglish
Był sobie Dziad i Baba, stara bajka się chwali
On się Dzianem nazywał, na nią Mery wołali.

Bardzo starzy oboje, na retajer już byli
Filowali nie bardzo, bo lat wiele przeżyli.

...............
linguista
23 Jul 2011 #4
Rather disgraceful, if you ask me. Language should be respected, not mutilated.

who cares, all languages change, especially in any diaspora. the Look at all the varieties of English, they are its strength.
BBman - | 344
23 Jul 2011 #5
Another thread by the one forumer obsessed with attempting to insult the Polish diaspora.

Polish-Americans have mutilated the pure, beautifully poetic Polish language

lol You can't even speak/read Polish, even though you've been in poland for a couple of years now. Are you jealous that a yankie of Polish descent you has probably never been to Poland can speak better Polish than a limey who has been living in Poland for a couple of years?

Rather disgraceful, if you ask me. Language should be respected, not mutilated.

I agree. Those Scots should learn to speak English the proper way instead of sounding like a bum begging for money.

Seriously though, languages change as populations spread you idiot! What are you going to do next, complain about the German language in Germany vs Austria vs Switzerland? Maybe Canada vs USA vs UK vs Aus vs Ireland vs NZ vs SA? French in quebec vs France vs Africa?

What a disrespectful world we live in!

You're a joke delphi.
gumishu 11 | 5,740
23 Jul 2011 #6
Rather disgraceful, if you ask me. Language should be respected, not mutilated.

I agree. Those Scots should learn to speak English the proper way instead of sounding like a bum begging for money.

I love it :) heheh - and hey what about these young Brits who can't speak proper English either (suppo'ive anyone - look becomes some strange loo' and I always wandered how do they say 'hot' :P:P:P:P:P)
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
23 Jul 2011 #7
"Bananese" - Italian? (Banana)

This one's my favorite.
chichimera 1 | 186
23 Jul 2011 #8
"karwatka" - a dish, perhaps? no? (tie)

that one is not Ponglish. Some people in Poland say "krawatka" - I don't know why, maybe they don't like the male (sexist) sound of "krawat" ;)
Softsong 5 | 495
23 Jul 2011 #9
hahaha......word choice is everything. Would have been a cute thread if titled "Funny Polish-American Adaptations of the Polish language."

Inserting the word mutilation into the thread title shows the intent to discredit a whole group. As said by others, languages always change. Otherwise, a lot of folks in Europe would be speaking Latin. Oh those disrespectful French, Italian, Germans and Spaniards! :-P
onet_pl
23 Jul 2011 #10
Rather disgraceful, if you ask me. Language should be respected, not mutilated.

So you are a foreigner living in Poland? Then you are a walking mutilation if you attempt to speak Polish.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
23 Jul 2011 #11
hahaha......word choice is everything. Would have been a cute thread if titled "Funny Polish-American Adaptations of the Polish language."

Inserting the word mutilation into the thread title shows the intent to discredit a whole group. As said by others, languages always change. Otherwise, a lot of folks in Europe would be speaking Latin. Oh those disrespectful French, Italian, Germans and Spaniards! :-P

Amen, those are funny words and to talk of mutilation is just silliness. It also applies to every language out there. Plenty of "swenglish" words in Swedish, no harm done.

In Amero-Polish "busha" must be by far the weirdest word. The Russian word Babushka became Babusha -> Busha. It's more Russian than Polish yet half the Amero-Poles claim it's a Polish word? What happened to Babcia??
OP delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Jul 2011 #12
In Amero-Polish "busha" must be by far the weirdest word. The Russian word Babushka became Babusha -> Busha. It's more Russian than Polish yet half the Amero-Poles claim it's a Polish word? What happened to Babcia??

I *think* the most rational explanation for it is that many of the Polish-Americans are descended from poor people from what used to be Eastern Poland (Kresy, etc) - and there, the language would have been heavily, heavily influenced by Ukrainian and other languages that used to flourish there. Babusha is apparently used in Ukrainian - so "Busha" does make some sense if you consider that it's highly unlikely that they would've spoken "pure" Polish - but rather some sort of mix anyway.

As this group would have been "dominant" in the United States, it's then understandable how it took hold.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
23 Jul 2011 #13
That's a very logical explanation and I was thinking the same. A bastardized Russian/Ukrainian word en vogue with the American Poles. Go figure... ;)
legend 3 | 664
23 Jul 2011 #14
hmm I have never heard those before.

I try to speak Polish with family or with guests unless its a tough word than I put in the English word.
OP delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
23 Jul 2011 #15
That's a very logical explanation and I was thinking the same. A bastardized Russian/Ukrainian word en vogue with the American Poles. Go figure... ;)

Makes me appreciate languages, to be honest :)

I actually would love to find out the origin of the Busha word - is it really so simple?

One thing that I know is that some people from that part of the world identified themselves to the American authorities as Polish - even when they were actually Ukrainian/etc. It's quite possible that they continued to identify as Polish, especially as Poland was "known" in the world at the time, whereas there wasn't much concept of Ukrainian self-identity during those times.

For me, the most interesting thing is that many first generation immigrants seemed to have demanded the use of the word "Busha" - which is distinctly odd as they would've known the proper word. But then again - maybe Babcia came from the harsher Western accent, while Babusha would sound fine in the softer Eastern accent?

I don't know - but I'd like to know!
Softsong 5 | 495
23 Jul 2011 #16
In Amero-Polish "busha" must be by far the weirdest word.

Actually, I never heard the word Busha or Busia before my visits to PF. My Polish origins are from the Gniezno-Poznan area and we used Babcia in my family for what a grandmother is called in Polish. But, we "mutilated" it when affectionately calling our own grandmother. I guess it was because we were English speakers and the English language uses endings like doggy, Mommy, etc. So, I called my grandmother (sounds like) Bopchee.

And everyone in my area of New York did the same thing. Someone on the forum once said that it could also have something to do with a wrong way of using a variation of the way proper names are declined in Poland. I have no idea.

My German roots in Poland are from the east and I called that grandmother Nana.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
23 Jul 2011 #17
who cares, all languages change, especially in any diaspora. the Look at all the varieties of English, they are its strength.

amen
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
23 Jul 2011 #18
Poglish : "A cop gave me a ticket on the highway," or (in standard Polish), "Policjant dał mi mandat na autostradzie," a Polonian might say (in Poglish), "Kap dał mi tiketa na hajłeju."
Softsong 5 | 495
23 Jul 2011 #19
"Kap dał mi tiketa na hajłeju."

And, being an English speaker, I think I would understand that sentence! Thanks for the example, PB.

I also wanted to clarify that although I never heard of Busia or Busha, I think it is cute. Very few people go around saying, "Hello Grandmother." As babies we make simple sounds for our Grammy, Nana, Mee-Maw, or G-G. So why not some simple sound for Babcia that a baby can say. Especially a baby growing up in an English-speaking environment. No harm meant.

My own name is Joan, (my mother and grandmother were both Joanna and I was named after them). Just look at some of the variations for my name. Several look and sound nothing like Joanna.

Joasia
Asia
Joanka
Joaneczka
Asiulek
Asiulka
Asiuleczka
Asiuleńka
Aśka
Joaśka

I was told by a native Pole that "Polish is like an ocean of diminutives for names."
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
23 Jul 2011 #20
I also wanted to clarify that although I never heard of Busia or Busha, I think it is cute.

I see your point but I don't like it. It's like leftover from Russian filth...
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
23 Jul 2011 #21
Asiulek

lol wtf? never heard of that one
Softsong 5 | 495
23 Jul 2011 #22
Me either, but I was told it was a variation. :-D

I see your point but I don't like it. It's like leftover from Russian filth...

And, I see your point, too. Russia dominated Poland for far too long. One reason why one set of my grandparents had Russian citizenship, instead of Polish.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
23 Jul 2011 #23
And, I see your point, too. Russia dominated Poland for far too long. One reason why one set of my grandparents had Russian citizenship, instead of Polish.

A relative of ours died in Katyn, my mother still has the last letter he wrote to his then wife. Yeah, the less Russian influence the better. I know languages soak in words from other languages but Busha sounds purely Russian to me.
gumishu 11 | 5,740
23 Jul 2011 #24
whole Russian phrases are used in every day Polish ('biez poł litra nie rozbieriosz', 'ruskaja tiechnika - gniotsja nie łamiotsja','wsio rowno/rawno' ) and hardly anybody has qualms about it - in my opinion it just gives more flavour to Polish
porzeczka - | 102
23 Jul 2011 #25
Some people in Poland say "krawatka"

Indeed. It can be either a paper label on a neck of a bottle of beer, "[twenga.pl/dir-Hobby-i-Rozrywka,Koraliki,Krawatka-do-wisiorka] - zawieszka do wisiorka", or a diminutive of cravat.

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krawatka

One thing that I know is that some people from that part of the world identified themselves to the American authorities as Polish - even whenthey were actually Ukrainian/etc. It's quite possible that they continued to identify as Polish, especially as Poland was "known" in the world at the time, whereas there wasn't much concept of Ukrainian self-identity during those times.

I assume by "during those times" you mean the period of partitions. They could have as well stated that they are Ruthenian/"Little Russian" or just Austrian or Russian.

There was a Polish dialect in Red Ruthenia, called [staff.amu.edu.pl/~hjp/teksty/kurz1.pdf] - dialect "południowokresowy" - Polish language influenced by Ruthenian. I wouldn't consider it a mutilation of Polish language.
jyjkhfa
23 Jul 2011 #26
I see your point but I don't like it. It's like leftover from Russian filth...

In Polish language there two ways of making diminiutives: by adding a suffix containing sia/ś or by adding a suffix containing nia. In many words before nia/sia we add u.

Babunia was a fairly common diminiutive form of babcia. Babusia, although I've never heard such diminiutive, is probably the real origin of the word busia.
Softsong 5 | 495
23 Jul 2011 #27
A relative of ours died in Katyn, my mother still has the last letter he wrote to his then wife. Yeah, the less Russian influence the better. I know languages soak in words from other languages but Busha sounds purely Russian to me.

Very, very sorry for your family's horrible loss.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
23 Jul 2011 #28
Babusia, although I've never heard such diminiutive, is probably the real origin of the word busia.

Interesting, my mom called her grandmother babusia, silesian background. Note that busia and busha are different words, I've heard a Chicagoan lady use the busha word, it had a strong sh (or sz) sound to it as in the russian devushka (girl).

Very, very sorry for your family's horrible loss.

It's life and my family has moved on (his wife never did, she died as a single "widow" although she never called herself a widow, she believed he'd come back because his last letter said he'd be back soon). I'll cherish that letter, my mom already told me that one day it'll be mine. For one, I'm in the military (like he was) and I like history; my sister - not so much.
jyjkhfa
23 Jul 2011 #29
Note that busia and busha are different words, I've heard a Chicagoan lady use the busha word, it had a strong sh (or sz) sound to it as in the russian devushka (girl).

Most anglophones can't properly pronounce "si" sound.
pip 10 | 1,659
23 Jul 2011 #30
There is enough mutilation of the Polish language right here in Poland.

Weekend, Parking, Hard drive, I could go on and on. What I find funny is Poles like to add a little English to their speech- and many don't speak a word of English.


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