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Feminine surname endings in America?

Magdalena 3 | 1,837
12 Nov 2011 #31
and presumably Pepikistan

...and what country would that be, kind sir?
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
12 Nov 2011 #32
She'll probably correct you if you're right.

She's an expert in law, medicine, aviation, architecture, and is also Polish - how could she possibly be wrong? ;)
mafketis 32 | 10,552
12 Nov 2011 #33
...and what country would that be, kind sir?

Magdalena 3 | 1,837
12 Nov 2011 #34
Byloby mnohem lépe, kdybych nemusela vědět.

Please keep to the language of the forum, which is English!
mafketis 32 | 10,552
12 Nov 2011 #35
"Please keep to the language of the forum, which is English!"

Boy, you guys want to take the fun out of everything!
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
14 Nov 2011 #36
Boy, you guys want to take the fun out of everything!

They always spoil the fun. Nothing wrong with a bit of Czech now and again - it livens things up a bit. Like adding a second ball to a dull game of rugger, really. haha :)

Besides, all Poles know Czech, don't they? (sarcasm ;) ).

But how can a zero cultured redneck understand something like that?

Even worse... they often change the spelling completely to make it "easier to pronounce". No-one does that in the UK! And why should we - no-one Sri Lankan or African changes their name to something easier for the English (they wouldn't be expected to), so why should we? I'm glad we haven't fallen for all this American dumbing-down.
Olaf 6 | 956
14 Nov 2011 #37
Is that the law, or just a cultural rule?
Kinda weird that a woman changes her last name and not even to her new husband's name, technically.

It is more of a language apspect - masculine and feminine language genders (as mentioned before).
It's not weird at all: it is the same name Kowalski and Kowalska. The ending is a grammatical gender suggesting the sex of the person at the same time. Useful thing.

Mafketins has put it out very well.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
14 Nov 2011 #38
Speaking of feminine surnames, anyone know Icelandic? I understand that the son is called Olaffsson (spelling?) whilst a female child uses the Olaffsdottir surname. Anyone know what the American legal system does with that one?
gumishu 11 | 5,878
14 Nov 2011 #39
Olaffsdottir surname.

which makes no sense as her father was no Olaff (typically)
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
15 Nov 2011 #40
Obviously it's a hsitorical thing. Most Johnsons do not have fathers named John, but the original Johnson was a patronymic nick to identify John's son.

The Olaffsdottir surname exists in Icelandic to this day.
15 Nov 2011 #41
In addition, in Reykjavik, the local telphone directory is listed solely by FIRST names, since last names are so common and repetitive. While there must be a thousand Gudrunsdottir or Gulbransson families in the capital alone, there may be only one Olaf-David Gulbransson or Britt-Marie Gudrunsdottir floating around within a particular district.
billpawl - | 32
15 Nov 2011 #42
While in America I am not aware of any laws restricting feminine use of surnames, I personally don't know any women who have taken feminine forms when being married or born in America. However, I do know many women who, being born or married in Poland, have kept the feminine form after immigrating to America. I remember one girlfriend I had, whose younger sister was born in Japan. Her sister also kept the feminine form of her surname, so apparently there weren't any laws against it in Japan either.
Olaf 6 | 956
15 Nov 2011 #43
It's a matter of common sense. Not keeping feminine form of Polish name (and not only Polish, all that have it) makes all Mrs Kowalski sound dumb and ridiculous - aith only exception if it's a person that has no idea about the language of their parents.
24 Nov 2011 #44
English is gender neutral so there's nothing in the language except pronouns referring to specific people that denotes masculine or feminine gender. So that might be one reason the -ska suffix disappeared. Another might be the English culture was rigidly patronymic until a few decades ago. Bottom line neither the mindset nor the culture is flexible enough to adapt to Polish naming conventions.
29 Nov 2011 #45
Comtemporary modern English has definitely simplified in contrast with Old English, a language still rich in gender morphology much as Old Norse ...
ilmc 4 | 136
24 Sep 2012 #46
k really... i'm canadian we don't masculine and feminine forms to our names however it isn't that difficult to understand if you use your noggin a bit people. In french nouns can be masculin and feminine to although they dont change the word just the word in front of it... spanish also has masculine and feminine nouns a name is a noun : a person place or a thing. It is quite simple and if it is explained to you one time and you have any shred of intelligence seeing Kowalski/Kowalska shouldn't be that damned complicated anymore. I had it explained to me once by my boyfriend's mother and now if i do see it ( and in Canada you do among the polish community because we don't force people to do everything our way here like the american government tends to) i am capable of understand that the ski is masculine and the ska is feminine and they have the same friggen last name but shes a girl and hes a boy. Really asking if it is a law i mean come on would you ask someone if it is a law that you use two instead of to when talking about the number 2 in english no you woudln't because it is language and has nothing to do with laws. think of it as your last name with girl or boy after it so my fathers last name is rioux when my mother married him she took his name think of the ski and ska as boy and girl and it would be similar to the english adding boy and girl to the end of a last name my dad would be riouxboy my mom would be riouxgirl although i will admit it doesn't sound as pretty as ski ska haha ... it is still the same name just an indication of masculinity or femininity. This is completley understood by a non polish person who doesnt speak any polish i think it could be understood by anyone.
polonius 54 | 420
24 Sep 2012 #47
So an Icelandic lady emigrates to Canada. At the immirgtration offcie in Toronto when they see Helga Olaffsdottir in her passport do they automatically write down Helga Olaffson in their computer? Or if its Halina Dobrowolska, do they change it to Dobrowoslki right then and there? Anyone know for sure?
ilmc 4 | 136
24 Sep 2012 #48
they would put exactly what it says on her immigration papers unless she requested it be changed. When my boyfriends family immigrated here they suggested to his parents that in school it would be easier on him and his sister to use different first names but the names were not changed just an english version added by his parents choice and with their consent. my boyfriends name is Maciek but he was known in school as Mike ... They wouldn't change it unless requested and authorized to do so in Canada i am not sure about the states. All i was saying was people are writing in this thread that they are so confused by the ski and ska because english language doesnt allow for it... but if it is really that confusing once it is explained to you then you are a complete moron, it may be different but it certainly isnt difficult to understand.

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