Ahoj gromada, czołem ferajna

anthox

Senior Member
English - Northeast US
I'm working on a translation of this rap song by DonGuralesko - Migają lampy 2

Trying to get the sense of the line in bold (other lines for context):

Folwark zwierzęcy, Polskę dziś pisze Orwell
Pęd do pieniędzy, pełen prestiżu portfel
Lecą muchy do łajna, tak trwa zabawa fajna
Ahoj gromada, czołem ferajna, szkic Lebensteina
Polska złotonioska, Europa mlekodajna
Chleba naszego powszedniego daj nam

I understand "Ahoj" and "czołem" here as essentially greetings, but I am wondering why "gromada" and "ferajna" are both nominative. I feel like they should be vocative or dative. Is it just a slight grammatical compromise to allow for internal rhyme?

Also, I understand "ferajna" to mean "criminal gang", but "gromada" I find hard to translate - I know it can refer to a cluster of objects, or I suppose a tightly-packed group of people? Can it just mean "crowd" or "masses"?

Dziękuję serdecznie.
 
  • Piotr_WRF

    Senior Member
    Polish, German
    UsIng nominative instead of vocative isn't that uncommon. In this particular case I even think that nominative fits better.

    Ferajna doesn't mean criminal gang, it's just a close group of people. Gromada means crowd. Those two terms are basically synonyms here.
     

    anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    UsIng nominative instead of vocative isn't that uncommon. In this particular case I even think that nominative fits better.

    Ferajna doesn't mean criminal gang, it's just a close group of people. Gromada means crowd. Those two terms are basically synonyms here.
    Thanks for the clarification! I’m not sure where I got that idea about “ferajna,” must have misunderstood a reference somewhere.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks for the clarification! I’m not sure where I got that idea about “ferajna,” must have misunderstood a reference somewhere.
    Ferajna is slangy, while gromada belongs to standard litterary language. Ferajna has its origin from urban slang, especially from Warsaw, and was then used by young people from the working class and criminals. The word is borrowed from German 'verein', either directly or through Yiddish.
     

    haes

    Member
    Polish - Poland
    1/ Why nominative here? Probably because this is a song and music/poetry/art has its own taste. Here it also rhymes nicely with other words. I would really NOT learn the language from the songs, it can be tricky.

    2/ Nominative vs vocative - nominative currently ousts vocative almost completely from daily language. I would say that in 50 or 100 years vocative will be dead, completely. With exception of professions (panie doktorze, vocative), people use almost exclusively nominative (Cześć Mariusz, nominative, and not Cześć Mariuszu, vocative).
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    1/ Why nominative here? Probably because this is a song and music/poetry/art has its own taste. Here it also rhymes nicely with other words. I would really NOT learn the language from the songs, it can be tricky.

    2/ Nominative vs vocative - nominative currently ousts vocative almost completely from daily language. I would say that in 50 or 100 years vocative will be dead, completely. With exception of professions (panie doktorze, vocative), people use almost exclusively nominative (Cześć Mariusz, nominative, and not Cześć Mariuszu, vocative).
    I think you are too categorical, in the age group over 50 years many people still use the vocative, and many begin to use it after getting older. I understand that among the younger generation it is not cool to use the vocative, especially when many are together.
     

    haes

    Member
    Polish - Poland
    I think you are too categorical, in the age group over 50 years many people still use the vocative, and many begin to use it after getting older. I understand that among the younger generation it is not cool to use the vocative, especially when many are together.
    That's why I say "almost ". :) I know one guy who is dead fixed on saying to his peers "cześć RoberCIE, cześć ArtuRZE, cześć MarcinIE... " etc, but this is really rare.
     

    haes

    Member
    Polish - Poland
    Would you say "dzień dobry pan Robert"?
    No, because same like for professions, addressing formally by pan/pani requires vocative. Really, what's the point of this - I am talking general trend, vocative is ousted by nominative on almost every level nowadays. Over and out from me, cheers.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    No, because same like for professions, addressing formally by pan/pani requires vocative. Really, what's the point of this - I am talking general trend, vocative is ousted by nominative on almost every level nowadays. Over and out from me, cheers.
    So to be precise, vocative is being replaced by nominative ONLY when it is used to address persons by their first name.
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So to be precise, vocative is being replaced by nominative ONLY when it is used to address persons by their first name.
    Can you quote instances where vocative is not replaced when using a surname? As far as I know addressing somebody by "panie Nowaku" is rather not practiced and sound strange in Polish (unlike in Czech). I have heard it only in joking situations. By the way, it is not possible to form a vocative form for most of Polish surnames, as all surnames in adjective form (ending in -ski, -cki, and so on) have no distinctive vocative form. It applies also to all "noun formed" names with ending -ko, and many others.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Can you quote instances where vocative is not replaced when using a surname? As far as I know addressing somebody by "panie Nowaku" is rather not practiced and sound strange in Polish (unlike in Czech). I have heard it only in joking situations.
    It's not that simple, because "panie" apparently is in the vocative case, so the whole clause is in vocative case as well even, if the name itself does not seem to be. On the other hand, "dear Watson", "dear Holmes" are usually translated to "drogi Watsonie" and "drogi Holmesie", isn't it? Whether an old translation or a new one, I've never seen "drogi Watson" (in the context where the vocative case should be used, of course).
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It's not that simple, because "panie" apparently is in the vocative case, so the whole clause is in vocative case as well even, if the name itself does not seem to be. On the other hand, "dear Watson", "dear Holmes" are usually translated to "drogi Watsonie" and "drogi Holmesie", isn't it? Whether an old translation or a new one, I've never seen "drogi Watson" (in the context where the vocative case should be used, of course).
    Well, your example is OK, but I was thinking about Polish surnames. Such treatment of English surnames is a small and very special niche, I would say "an exception that confirms the rule".
     
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