I read recently an article in BBC talking about a motivational sentence in Polish that helps people to take risks (“Jakos to bedzie” which we can translate vastly as “In the end it will be allright”). It motivated me to write a post about my observations about Polish language since 2006.
I am not one of people saying “Hi, I am Polish but I started forgetting this language as I only speak French/German”. But it is true that there are some linguistic phenomena that I do not witness and find out about them either from my always up-to-date sister (she teaches at school so has lots of contact with young people) or some other friends when we visit Poland.
One of first that we learned is an oldie already but we did not know it for about 2-3 years so when started using it, it was already outdated. It is a saying “Oj tam, oj tam”. It is hard to translate but it would mean “Oh don’t exagerate, it wil be fine” or “Come on, relax”. You see it is very difficult to translate many nuances in your mother tongue.
Another one is “Taka sytuacja” which I did not know. It literally means “The situation” and some people would write it under a photo that they posted on Facebook to say something like “See what happened below”.
Last month we had a visit from our Polish friends. As they were travelling by car and it is a long route, they dressed comfortably into a training suit that in Polish you would call “dresy”. They started making fun of these clothes as in Poland if you were them, you are called “Polski dres” or “Polski drehol”. You were “dresy”, you drink a cheap wine and do some acts of vandalism. And then I found out about “slowianski przykuc” which would be a position you take when posing to these kind of photos in “dresy” and about “kolczan prawilnosci”. I am still not sure what it is. Maybe these words existed long time before but I was really not aware of them.
What I like about our local Polish (between my husband and me) is that we also play with all the languages that we know and put it to Polish. No, not in this barbarian way pretending we are forgetting our mother tongue. But e.g. in French “la gare” is “a railway station”. In Polish “gar” with the same pronunciation would mean “a large pot”. We often use the sentence “Spotkajmy sie w garach” which would be translated into “Let’s meet in large pots”. 🙂
We are still improving our German, but we started playing with it too. In Polish “walizka” means “a suitcase”. We leave near a town called “Wallisellen”, So always when packing, my husband asks me where I put our “wallisellen”. 🙂
To not only practise Polish, please check out below 24 new words in English that you should add to your dictionary.
And put away your cell phone, don’t be so “Cellfish”
But before that, tell us about some new words in any languae you know. Share your linguistic experience (lingsperience 😉 ) with us.
From the left:
- A specific, Polish pose for “dresy” – “Slowianski przykuc”
- Cellfish, a new description of selfish people with cell phones
- Are you on board for a beer with me?