Młody łotewski chłop uczy się do sesji egzaminacyjnej.

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by SaintRite, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. SaintRite New Member

    Swedish
    Młody łotewski chłop uczy się do sesji egzaminacyjnej. Musi opisać smak ziemnioka.Ale zna ino tylko smak kamieni i łez. Z pomocą przychodzi Politbiuro. Proponuje chłopu ziemnioka w zamian za 10 lat gułagu. Ucieszon chłop myśli, że wygrał życie.
    Ale ziemnioka nie ma. Sesji też nie ma.
    Jest tylko mróz i halucynacje z niedożywienia. I Politbiuro. Takie życie.

    Can you give me the bottom line of this joke? I saw it on facebook.
     
  2. ChipMacShmon

    ChipMacShmon Senior Member

    j. polski
    I don't think that it is a joke. Nothing funny for me...

    I'd translate the bottom line as follows:
    There is only frost and hallucinations from undernourishment. And Politburo. Life is like that.
     
  3. SaintRite New Member

    Swedish
    It IS a joke. It's just black humour. There are plenty of such jokes about Latvian villagers swarming the Polish internet, particularly on facebook. Thanks.
     
  4. rdimd Junior Member

    Riga
    Latvian, Slow Russian
    I found a Facebook page called Dowcipy o Łotewskich Chłopach.
    (...deleted...)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  5. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    This text is written in a mixture of standard Polish, and a dialect (possibly from Lesser Poland). The words ziemniok (ziemniak), ino (ale) and ucieszon (ucieszony) are not standard Polish. It looks strange.
     
  6. rdimd Junior Member

    Riga
    Latvian, Slow Russian
    It is not unusual for people to find some place - Gabrov in Bulgaria or Chukotka in Russia or Latvia for Poland and put there 'rednecks' or 'different' or 'not very smart' people who talk 'strange'. However, usually it is about jokes and humour.

    I think it would be better if Polish people would explain me what exactly mean these Dowcipy o Łotewskich Chłopach for them. Because these gulag and communist past topics are very sensitive, so jokes about them could be so 'black' that could be considered as blasphemy. Or to 'deep' to understand for outsiders.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  7. BezierCurve Senior Member

    They are, sort of. This trend (jokes on Latvian peasants) involves including in each "joke" some repetitive motifs ("śmierć z niedożywienia", "Politbiuro", "zimnioki" / "ziemnioki" etc.). The general rule of these "jokes" is to get the hopelessness, poverty and starvation to the extreme using those motifs.
     
  8. BezierCurve Senior Member

    You'd probably have to ask each person considering themselves to be Polish what it means for them, but from what I've seen so far it's not something widely known or very popular; I'd come across that FB page a few days earlier just because I saw a comment from an FB friend there and my impression was that it was a way to project part of our own historical burden onto someone else, so we can - if not laugh at it, because it's hard to laugh at - deal with it better. That's only my impression though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  9. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Frankly speaking, it's the first time I've come across it. It goes down like a lead balloon, if you ask me.
     
  10. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I think there is no reason to feel offended. There is not much of "redneckishness" about the heroes of the jokes. The location has been chosen haphazardly too. Latvians are a nation that Poles have actually no relation to whatsoever.

    But the "jokes" are not funny for me, and I find them being primitive and of quite bad taste.
     
  11. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    The bottom line is that, in the place where the peasant in question lives, there is nothing but poverty, hunger, freeze and the Politbiuro. There's no alternative for those who live under the Politbiuro regime, an authoritarian and ruthless entitiy mistreating people. The alledged 'exam session' is, I think, to exemplify the primitive and moronic methods used by the Politbiuro.

    I'd say that 'ino' means 'tylko' in this context. I can't quite understand why both are beside each other in the text, though.
     
  12. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    I thought, mistakenly it would seem, that we're on a language forum. The 'joke' (the internet will never cease to amaze me, how come such a crap is popular with netizens?) translates as follows:

    Young latvian peasant is learning for his final exams. His task is to describe the taste of a potato. But he only knows how stones and tears taaste. Politbiuro comes to the rescue. They offer him a potato in exchange for 10 years in Gulag. The peasant thinks he's just made a deal of his life. But there is no potato. And there aren't final exams. There are punishing cold and hallucinations induced by femine. And politbiuro. Life at its worst.

    By the way, these jokes originated in English, you can readily find them on the internet. What we're doing now is translating them back into English.
     
  13. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    i agree with you. My mistake. The whole wording of the joke is poor.
     
  14. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    * or "these are not final exams"
    By the way "Politburo comes to the rescue" reveals the poor knowledge of the communist system. Politburo was a central organ of the Communist Party. They gave only orders from the top, concerning the country as a whole.
     
  15. rdimd Junior Member

    Riga
    Latvian, Slow Russian
    I think, it is not coincidence that these jokes are about Latvia. We (or our politicians) care very much about history and difficult times before and after WW2. For example, here, in Latvia we have 3 days of Mourning and Commemorations related to victims of Soviet deportations and others.

    It is fully understandable that for 'outsiders' this all seems 'too much' or even funny and some young kids start playing with all this stuff not understanding all details or just having fun.
     
  16. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I think that those who chose Latvians for the heroes of their jokes didn't have anything particular in mind. It was just a country of the former USSR for them, completely on random. Good enough that they new that Latvia was once in USSR. Somebody could include Finland, Albania, or any other country.
     
  17. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    That's what it's supposed to be. In case you haven't noticed, the joke has been stylized, and the author(s) wanted it to be just that, poor.

    * or "these are not final exams"

    'Z pomocą przychodzi politburo' translates into English as exactly that, 'Politburo comes to the rescue', blame the authors for their ignorance -- I don't even think we're dealing with one here, it's a joke, not a historical chronicle. 'Sesja egzaminacyjna' could very well be 'final exams'. There's 'any' missing between 'There aren't' and 'final exams'. As to the rest, these are mere typos. I should have read my post before submitting it, but
    I was in a hurry.
     
  18. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    The note on Politburo was a comment on the original text, not the translation, which was accurate.
     
  19. SaintRite New Member

    Swedish
  20. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Please note that, as I've already said, and as evidenced by links provided by SaintRite, these jokes originated in English.

    I don't know what people who first came up with them were motivated by (things that happen in the internet are sometimes hard to understand), but Polish people didn't invent those, they merely translated them into our language. Personally, like many people in this thread, I find these jokes to be lame and daft, but I know of people who find them funny.

    That all being said, I can see how you might be angry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  21. głupi Junior Member

    English - UK
    I'd never come across this particular type of "joke" before, but according to one of the pages linked to above, they were invented by two American guys, one of whom apparently spent three years living in Latvia, where he experienced firsthand the "Latvian trademark black humor", supposedly on which the jokes are based. To quote this guy:

    "Latvia" came to be a stand-in term for Obscure Former Soviet Nation Western People Don't Know Shit About.


    As mentioned in a previous post, the jokes are purposefully written "using bad grammar" and with a particular style to give the impression they are narrated by someone from "an obscure former Soviet nation..." (they do actually succeed in this at least).

    I can see how they would lose any trace of humour when translated (especially if done badly) into a language such as Polish.

    EDIT: I've been reading through a few more of these jokes on that page, and some of them are actually not that bad :D.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  22. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that they would 'lose any trace of humour' when translated into Polish, because Polish jokes use non-standard language as well, for example words that are typical for rural people, so the style is retained in Polish. Some even argue that, in terms of style and language, Polish jokes are superior to English, that is to say they are funnier. I guess you just need to have a right sense of humour to appreciate those. ;)
     
  23. głupi Junior Member

    English - UK
    Polish jokes use non-standard language as well? Blimey, I never would have imagined such advanced humour techniques were possible in other languages. It's a well known fact that jokes conjured up in the English-speaking world are, in terms of style, language and everything else, far superior to anything produced anywhere else on Earth, if not the entire universe and beyond. I guess Johnny-foreigner types are simply incapable of appreciating the exquisite mirthful delights to be found in those uproarious Latvian gags. Shame, but as a Latvian himself might say: "Stereotype easy laugh, good for internet. But dog taste better."
     
  24. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    What makes you think so? :D I wouldn't be so sure about that. Polish lends itself readily to using 'advanced humour techniques', possibly even more readily than English.

    These gags strike me as being pretty... nerdy. Maybe it takes being a nerd to truly appreciate them, I don't know.
     
  25. głupi Junior Member

    English - UK
    I was being a tad sarcastic in that last post, I have to admit ;).
    For me they are just very... 'internety', which I'd sum up as: a cheap laugh at any cost.
     
  26. rdimd Junior Member

    Riga
    Latvian, Slow Russian
    Not exactly. What bolsheviks did in 1940, deeply traumatized Latvians and Nazis used that in 1941. That is why some Latvians did the same what Germans did to Bolsheviks and whoever they thought were Bolsheviks.

    So, this trauma can cause us do big things both good and bad. But if we laugh at this we (maybe) can heal this trauma and this trauma cannot cause us to do big things both GOOD and bad anymore.
     
  27. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Rdimd, to laugh at the atrocities of war is a terrible idea, whatever the way it is done in and whatever the motive may be. Had the same jokes been made about Poland, there sure would've been a huge outcry. That is all to say, I perfectly understand your anger. The argument about 'relieving the trauma' doesn't quite convince me. There are certain things that should be subject to jokes, this is one of them.
     
  28. NotNow Senior Member

    English
    I hope you forgot the word not.
     
  29. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Clearly, I did. That's very observant of you.
     
  30. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Very radical. Each person has their own way to deal with issues that seem to be very hard to deal with. Judging it as intrinsically wrong may seem morally right, but certainly is lacking the psychological aspect. As long as you don't get anyone offended it is your own business (like exchanging messages with your friend). I agree that taking it out on a website where it can hurt other people's feelings lacks understanding as well.
     
  31. fledgeling New Member

    Polish
    I registered on this forum, just to post it here, the amount of nonsense written here is beyond belief...

    The joke above is an example of "latvian jokes", which originated in English and according to some sources (actually the only source is the guy himself?) were created by Chris Connelly. The jokes are simply a form of black humor, that uses a setup that some people consider funny: the action takes place in Latvia (Obscure Former Soviet Nation Western People Don't Know Shit About - this does not only refer to people from USA, Latvia is generally not very known in Poland either, due to the fact that it is simply a small country; the jokes could as well be about, or Bolivia for that matter... Latvia simply fits the theme); it is very cold in Latvia, also very dark, people are starving and struggling, there is barely any food - a single potato is the synonym of full belly and survival, while at the same time the bad Politbiuro oppresses the people. Some people find this setup and the jokes funny; some people find them unacceptable. The jokes, however, are not an example of "racism" (as the "experts" above wrote), but rather black humor and could in fact be written about Martians as well. The general idea of the jokes is also their high level of absurdity ("I will salt the potato using your tear" - wtf).

    I am the original translator of the jokes from English to Polish and Ive selected the ones that I considered the most funny for and the most random as the kids/trolls nowadays say, and translated posted them on website wykop.pl which is polish equivalent of reddit/digg (google search for "zbiór dowcipów o łotewskich chłopach wykop - I cannot post a link because "new members cannot post links on this board" ). During the translation process I've added something of my own, as they are not direct translations.
    Apparently a lot of people seemed to enjoy them, because shit hit the fan and you could find them all across the internet... they became a sort of a meme for like 2 or 3 weeks; even the press wrote about them (what made me proud :) ). As the proud author, Ive decided to see where did the jokes actually go.. and found your forum via google.

    As for the rural vocabulary - it was simply used, because I find such language funny. So "zimniok" instead of "ziemniak" - nothing to do with Lesser Poland, as written above by someone, an eloquent Polish reader can emulate hilly billy talk, just like an English speaker can speak like "ze Germans in de alcoves" in the movie In Bruges; you dont need to over-think this. Apparently some people enjoyed my translations, because some phrases seem to become popular and staple part of those jokes - maybe they will even enter the mainstream? Probably not... We will see in few years e.g. trud skończony (struggle is over), halucynacja z niedożywienia i śmierć (hallucination* and death from malnutrition; lack of plural was actually intended), takie jest życie (such is life), Politbiuro - used as synonym of oppressor (actually most people know history and understand what Politbiuro was, but the guy above who wrote that the jokes are "not historically correct" obviously has problems in understanding what is a joke...); in fact I hid a joke inside the joke there with śmiałem się wiele-raz (lost in translation, something like: I laughed many times at this - once)
    The original punchlines of some jokes seem to become sort of popular too: twoja łza posoli zimnioka (your tear will salt the potato), due their general blackishness/absurdity. Some people enjoyed shortening trud skończony to trud skończon - personally I dont like it much.
    I am not the person who should judge own work, some enjoy such language play, some dont; some wrote that the Polish translations were better, some wrote that English ones are better; some wrote that all the jokes suck :)

    Anyway, to play joke explainer - since you seem to be genuinely interested in the joke posted in the first post of this thread.
    Let's start with stating the obvious fact that the joke is simply not very funny. It is "1 Karol Strassburger" funny = not funny at all**
    What it is exactly? It's a combination of two memes; one is the "Latvian jokes" meme which I described above; second part is the fact that the joke is about "final exams", known as sesja in Polish. Sesja is the key word used by most people who studied in Poland (and by studying I mean only university level education, the word is used strictly for university examinations). Basically, in many polish universities, students have most if not all exams at the same time, during a "week of death". Everyone and their dog knows that such a concept of multiple exams during one or two weeks is retarded... but that's how it is, to some degree at most universities*. So in general, the students struggle a lot during their finals. There are a lot of jokes and sayings about "final week" (e.g. best parties are always during the finals) and I dont think you have an equivalent of this type of humor - at least not in USA. Also, the fact that people joke about the finals does not mean that they do not take them seriously - I think in USA/Western Europe the exams are simply more spread out in time.. which makes sense... but if you cant change something - you laugh at it, right? Maybe now you can understand the context.

    So, to sum up, someone decided to combine latvian jokes with the struggle during final exams meme and created a not very funny joke about some poor student struggling during his finals. Actually if you would have 10 exams during 5 days, it could also be funny for you :)

    btw. I actually was in Latvia and know quite a lot about it, so do not write me that "Latvia isnt a poor country", because those are simply jokes. And no one cares that they are not historically, nor grammatically correct. Also, they arent some sort of a "mirror image of Poland". They are simply black humor.

    btw2. If you do a google search for "Melbourne International Film Festival "Polish" Cinema" you can find a video on youtube, that shows the kind of setup from the jokes ("new members cannot post links in this section").


    *It's not that EVERY university has this (there are also exams during the semester). It also does not mean that finals are THAT bad, but obviously no one in this thread studied in Poland, so I just wanted to provide you with some context.

    **a joke that would have to be explained again... polish speakers will understand this ;-)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  32. fledgeling New Member

    Polish
    Also, if we are pointing things out I think "głupek" would be better than "głupi" as a nickname, because the first one is a noun, while other is an adjective.

    Since my general hobby is writing, I would be grateful if anyone could point out any spelling/grammatical errors in the post above.
     
  33. NotNow Senior Member

    English
    A definite article should be used with the USA.
     
  34. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    What are you specifically referring to? If you use words such as 'nonsense', be so kind as to justify your opinion. Thanks for your detailed post anyway, even if a bit chaotic and illegible. And oh, welcome to the forum!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  35. głupi Junior Member

    English - UK
    Let's not get carried away. None of the Poles in this forum at least seemed to find your translations remotely amusing (just saying ;)). Obviously you have a different audience on Generation Y message boards where absurd/random/memey humour is the norm. Latvian joke translator work hard for feed family. Every laugh win one potato. Family die, only Politbiuro have smile.

    PS. Oh and thanks, I'll try to remember not to use an adjective as my username next time...
     

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