Czech/Slovak/Polish: Differences

studencik

Member
polszczyzna
There aren't any between Czech and Slovak I would say. But Polish has got one I can think of. Search for "czerstwy" in the WR searching bar.

Czech pivnice ("brasserie") and Slovak pivnica ("cellar" or "basement") is the only one that comes to mind.

Polish-Czech list of false friends, however, is huge:

CZ: nápad ("idea") PL: napad ("attack")
CZ: čerstvý ("fresh") PL: czerstwy ("stale")
CZ: dívka ("girl") PL: dziwka ("whore")
CZ: jahoda ("strawberry") PL: jagoda ("blueberry")
CZ: záchod ("toilet") PL: zachód ("West")
CZ: květen ("May") PL: kwiecień ("April")
CZ: sklep ("basement") PL: sklep ("shop"/"store")
CZ: pivnice ("brasserie") PL: piwnica ("basement")
CZ: zápach ("reek"/"odor") PL: zapach ("smell")
CZ: nepřítomný ("absent") PL: nieprzytomny ("unconscious")
CZ: obecný ("general"/"common") PL: obecny ("present"/"current")
CZ: šukat ("to fuck") PL: szukać ("to look for")
CZ: konečně ("finally") PL: koniecznie ("necessarily")
CZ: chudý ("poor") PL: chudy ("thin")
CZ: křeslo ("armchair") PL: krzesło ("chair")
CZ: postel ("bed") PL: pościel ("bedding")
CZ: milost ("grace") PL: miłość ("love")
CZ: láska ("love") PL: łaska ("grace"), laska ("stick"/"rod")
CZ: ostatní ("other") PL: ostatni ("last")
CZ: palec ("thumb") PL: palec ("finger")
CZ: skutečný ("real") PL: skuteczny ("effective")
CZ: plyn ("gas") PL: płyn ("liquid")
CZ: divadlo ("theatre") PL: dziwadło ("freak")
CZ: náboženství ("religion") PL: nabożeństwo ("church service")
CZ: zákon ("law") PL: zakon ("order"/"monastery")
CZ: bezcenný ("worthless") PL: bezcenny ("priceless")
CZ: společný ("common") PL: społeczny ("social")
CZ: pevnost ("fortress") PL: pewność ("confidence")
CZ: nebeský ("heavenly") PL: niebieski ("blue")
CZ: platnost ("validity") PL: płatność ("payment")
CZ: nástroj ("instrument") PL: nastrój ("mood")
CZ: odbyt ("sales") PL: odbyt ("anus")
CZ: upřímný ("honest") PL: uprzejmy ("polite"/"kind")
CZ: příprava ("preparation") PL: przyprawa ("spice")
CZ: válka ("war") PL: walka ("fight"/"battle")
CZ: chyba ("mistake"/"error") PL: chyba ("maybe"/"perhaps")
CZ: dluhopis ("obligation") PL: długopis ("pen")
CZ: důstojník ("officer") PL: dostojnik ("dignitary")
CZ: panna ("virgin") PL: panna ("unmarried woman"/"miss")
CZ: zboží ("goods") PL: zboże ("grain"/"cereal")
CZ: žaloba ("complaint"/"lawsuit") PL: żałoba ("mourning")
CZ: ovád ("horsefly") PL: owad ("insect")
CZ: zastávka ("bus stop") PL: zastawka ("valve")
CZ: uniknout ("escape") PL: uniknąć ("avoid")
CZ: dřevo ("wood") PL: drzewo ("tree")
CZ: frajer ("cool guy") PL: frajer ("sucker")

I'm really amazed and curious what caused such mix-up.
 
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  • Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I would like to comment on some of these lines:

    CZ: květen ("May") PL: kwiecień ("April")
    Thes two actually are neighbouring months, so the disparity is not bi
    CZ: obecný ("general"/"common") PL: obecny ("present"/"current")
    These two actually overlap in common/current area.
    CZ: chudý ("poor") PL: chudy ("thin")
    Poor people were once usually thin of malnutrition
    CZ: křeslo ("armchair") PL: krzesło ("chair")

    CZ: postel ("bed") PL: pościel ("bedding") CZ: milost ("grace") PL: miłość ("love")
    Not very far from each other
    CZ: zákon ("law") PL: zakon ("order"/"monastery")
    There is a common root meaning. Moreover: zakon (organization) is not monastery (building).
    CZ: nebeský ("heavenly") PL: niebieski ("blue")
    "Niebieski" can also mean "heavenly" in Polish (ciało niebieskie
    CZ: válka ("war") PL: walka ("fight"/"battle")
    A very close meaning
    CZ: dluhopis ("obligation") PL: długopis ("pen")
    długopis is a specific kind of pen: ball pen
    CZ: uniknout ("escape") PL: uniknąć ("avoid")
    The meaning overlap here.
    CZ: dřevo ("wood") PL: drzewo ("tree")
    Drzewo is much used in Polish in the meaning "wood" (material).

    So, you can see, the discrepancies are much lesser than the list would suggest.
     

    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Nonetheless, if I'm counting correctly, we have two or three false friends whose current meanings are opposite (the ones that are literally antonyms) so far: czerstwy / čerstvý , zapach / zápach and (..?) frajer.
     
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    studencik

    Member
    polszczyzna
    Some of Polish phrases in comparision to Czech and Slovak (correct me if I wrote something wrong):

    PL: Wiem, że nic nie wiem.
    CZ: Vím, že nic nevím.
    SLK: Viem, že nič neviem.
    (I know that I know nothing.)

    PL: A co się tyczy ciebie, Homerze, niczego się nie bój.
    CZ: A co se týče tebe, Homere, ničeho se neboj.
    SLK: A čo sa týka teba, Homer, ničoho sa neboj.
    (And as for you, Homer, don't be afraid.)

    PL: Jak długo muszę jeszcze czekać?
    CZ: Jak dlouho musím ještě čekat?
    SLK: Ako dlho musím ešte čakať?
    (How long must I wait?)

    PL: Moje córki były takie małe.
    CZ: Moje dcery byly tak malé.
    SLK: Moje dcéry boli také malé.
    (My daughters were so small.)

    PL: Jedliśmy biały chleb.
    CZ: Jedli jsme bílý chléb.
    SLK: Jedli sme biely chlieb.
    (We ate white bread.)

    PL: Chcę ci podziękować.
    CZ: Chci ti poděkovat.
    SLK: Chcem sa ti poďakovať.
    (I want to thank you.)

    PL: Będę tego potrzebował.
    CZ: Budu to potřebovat.
    SLK: Budem to potrebovať.
    (I will need it.)

    PL: Czesi są najlepszymi hokeistami na świecie.
    CZ: Češi jsou nejlepší hokejisté na světě.
    SLK: Česi sú najlepší hokejisti na svete.
    (Czechs are the best hockey players in the world.)

    PL: Witaj, sąsiedzie!
    CZ: Vítej, sousede!
    SLK: Vitaj, suseda!
    (Welcome, neighbour!)

    PL: Jak się masz, przyjacielu?
    CZ: Jak se máš, příteli?
    SLK: Ako sa máš, môj priateľ?
    (How are you, friend?)

    PL: Panie, naucz nas modlić się.
    CZ: Pane, nauč nás modlit se.
    SLK: Pane, nauč nás modliť sa.
    (Lord, teach us to pray.)

    PL: Znam cię doskonale, lepiej niż ty sam siebie.
    CZ: Znám tě dokonale, lépe než ty sám sebe.
    SLK: Poznám ťa dokonale, lepšie ako sám seba.
    (I know you perfectly, better than you know yourself.)

    PL: Cicho bądź!
    CZ: Ticho buď!
    SLK: Buď ticho!
    (Be quiet!)

    PL: Nigdy nie wracaj!
    CZ: Nikdy se nevracej!
    SLK: Nikdy sa nevracaj!
    (Never come back!)

    PL: Nie mam na to czasu.
    CZ: Nemám na to čas.
    SLK: Nemám na to čas.
    (I don't have time for this.)

    PL: Na zdrowie!
    CZ: Na zdraví!
    SLK: Na zdravie!
    (Cheers!)

    PL: Boże, co się dzieje?
    CZ: Bože, co se to děje?
    SLK: Bože, čo sa to deje?
    (God, what's happening?)

    PL: Nie dotykaj tego! Myślę, że to niebezpieczne!
    CZ: Nedotýkej se toho! Myslím, že je to nebezpečné!
    SLK: Nedotýkaj sa toho! Myslím, že je to nebezpečné!
    (Don't touch this! I think it's dangerous!)

    PL: Chłopcze, przestań krzyczeć! Bolą mnie uszy!
    CZ: Chlapče, přestaň křičet! Bolí mě uši!
    SLK: Chlapče, prestaň kričať! Bolí ma uši!
    (Boy, stop yelling! My ears are hurting!)

    PL: To szaleństwo!
    CZ: To je šílenství!
    SLK: To je šialenstvo!
    (This is madness!)

    PL: Widzę, ale nie rozumiem.
    CZ: Vidím, ale nerozumím.
    SLK: Vidím, ale nerozumiem.
    (I see but I don't understand.)

    PL: Boję się, że go stracę.
    CZ: Bojím se, že ho ztratím.
    SLK: Bojím sa, že ho stratím.
    (I'm afraid to lose him.)

    PL: Na szczęście mam tylko jednego psa, ale szczeka dość często.
    CZ: Naštěstí mám jen jednoho psa, ale ten štěká docela často.
    SLK: Našťastie mám len jedného psa, ale ten šteká celkom často.
    (Fortunately, I have only one dog, but he barks quite often.)
     

    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    PL: Jak się masz, przyjacielu?
    CZ: Jak se máš, příteli?
    SLK: Ako sa máš, môj priateľ? Also colloquially - Jak sa máš, priateľu / priateľko?
    (How are you, friend?)
    PL: Chłopcze, przestań krzyczeć! Bolą mnie uszy!
    CZ: Chlapče, přestaň křičet! Bolí mě uši!
    SLK: Chlapče, prestaň kričať! Bolí ma uši! 3rd person pl. of bolieť is bolia
    (Boy, stop yelling! My ears are hurting!)
     

    Origin of Polish and Czech

    To better understand how Polish and Czech relate to each other, it is worth exploring the history of how they originated. These two Slavic languages come from the Proto-Indo-European language, an extinct language that existed many centuries BC in Central Europe and Central Asia. In fact, most European languages as we know them today originate from the Proto-Indo-European language.

    diagram of the Slavic languages including Polish and Czech

    However, as a result of tribe migrations, this language started to evolve and divide itself into various dialects and later into separate languages. This is how the Slavic language group came to be and divided into three subgroups: West Slavic, East Slavic, and South Slavic language.

    Furthermore, the West Slavic languages divided into three subgroups: Czech-Slovak, Lechitic, and Sorbian. The Czech language belongs to the Czech-Slovak subgroup together with Slovak

    How Polish and Czech influenced each other

    The Polish and Czech languages developed in parallel. It is said that the Czech language developed in speech from the 10th century, but its first scriptures date back to the 13th century. For Polish, the first scriptures date back to the 9th century. Although it may seem that the Polish language influenced the development of the Czech language, it was actually the other way around.

    The similarities in the vocabulary of these two languages come mostly from historical events. To start with, Poland adopted Christianity through the Czech Republic in the year 966, when the first Polish King - Mieszko I - married a Czech woman called Dobrawa (Doubravka in Czech) from the Přemyslid dynasty.

    Apart from Christianity, this international union also introduced new vocabulary into the Polish language. This is why many words in Polish originate from the Czech language, such as Polish “kościół”, which comes from the Czech “kostel” and means “a church”.

    Later on, in the Middle Ages, the Czech language became very popular in Poland. Almost everyone who belonged to an intellectual circle spoke Czech. This created a fashion for the Czech language, which originated in many lexical changes in the Polish language.

    For example, Polish words that contain the particle “ra” or “ła” between the consonants, such as “brama” (gate) or “błagać” (to beg), typically originate from the Czech language.

    Are Polish and Czech Mutually Intelligible?

    When two languages are mutually intelligible, it essentially means that the speakers of one language can easily understand the other language without the need to learn to speak it.

    Although Polish and Czech belong to the same subgroup of Slavic languages and share many similarities, they are not mutually intelligible. Linguists claim Czech’s oral intelligibility with Polish is only 36% and written intelligibility 46%.

    However, Poles and Czechs are able to learn to understand each other’s language exceptionally quickly based on how much exposure to that language they are experiencing.

    This is why many Polish people who live close to the border with the Czech Republic can easily understand Czechs and vice versa.

    Are Polish and Czech Similar or really Different?
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Skąd pochodzą te teksty polskie z 9 wieku, i gdzie można je znaleźć? Dotychczas przyjmowano, że najstarsze zapisane zdanie po polsku to "daj ać ja pobruczę ...." z 13 wieku. Jakieś nowe znaleziska? To byłaby sensacja.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    The similarities in the vocabulary of these two languages come mostly from historical events.
    The first of which is that until some 12-13th century (according to some sources - even longer) both languages were mutually intelligible, if not virtually identical.

    BTW - The state, social structure, ethnic identity, etnolects, etc. of the period were completely different than today, so it's pretty risky to use the modern terms do describe them - and can be extremely misleading. Poland as a state is generally recognized since the Mieszko baptism, even though from political standpoint it had already existed 2-3 generations earlier - so the people from various Slavic tribes living under his rule - some of them conquered and being sold through Prague to Arabs as slaves, most of them still pagans for few generations more - turned to be Poles overnight? And started speaking Polish in place of their dialects? It does not make much sense.

    To start with, Poland adopted Christianity through the Czech Republic in the year 966,
    Ehm... at the time the Czech Republic did not exist even in the millennial plans. Duchy of Poland - whatever we mean by the term, see above - adopted Christianity through the Duchy of Bohemia.

    when the first Polish King - Mieszko I
    Duke. Mieszko was the ruler, but he has never been crowned as a king. Only his son, Bolesław, received the royal crown shortly before his death.

    married a Czech woman called Dobrawa (Doubravka in Czech) from the Přemyslid dynasty.
    She was not a random woman. She was a daughter of the Duke Boleslaus I the Cruel of Bohemia.

    Later on, in the Middle Ages,
    966 and around are also considered the Middle Ages.

    BTW - the Middle Ages is a very imprecise term, as it spans through more than a thousand years. At the beginning there was no trace of the Slavic people, at the end - we have a whole bunch of well established Slavic kingdoms and duchies - with the Germans (whatever we can understand by the term, see above) ruling quite a big area of the former Slavic and Baltic territories and populations, east of the Elbe river, through to the area of Tallinn, if I remember correctly.
     

    studencik

    Member
    polszczyzna
    For Polish, the first scriptures date back to the 9th century.
    Source to that?

    Later on, in the Middle Ages, the Czech language became very popular in Poland. Almost everyone who belonged to an intellectual circle spoke Czech.
    If Czech was that popular in Poland I'm surprised they drifted apart to the point of not being mutually intelligible anymore. Last time Czech was that popular was in 18th century, so only 300+ years?

    This created a fashion for the Czech language, which originated in many lexical changes in the Polish language.

    For example, Polish words that contain the particle “ra” or “ła” between the consonants, such as “brama” (gate) or “błagać” (to beg), typically originate from the Czech language.
    Let me provide more examples of Czech infulunce of Polish:

    PL: czerwony Old PL: czerwiony ("red")
    PL: wesele Old PL: wiesiele ("wedding reception")
    PL: hańba Old PL: gańba ("disgrace")
    PL: brama Old PL: brona ("gate")
    PL: smutny Old PL: smętny ("sad")
    PL: serce Old PL: sierce ("heart")
    PL: obywatel Old PL: obywaciel ("citizen")
    PL: własny Old PL: włosny ("own")
    PL: jedyny Old PL: jedziny ("the only")
    PL: rzetelny Old PL: rzecielny ("reliable")
    PL: śmiertelny Old PL: śmiercielny ("mortal"/lethal")
    PL: obecny Old PL: obiecny ("present"/"current")
    PL: swoboda Old PL: świeboda ("freedom"/"liberty")
    PL: Wacław Old PL: Więcław (Wenceslaus)

    Although Polish and Czech belong to the same subgroup of Slavic languages and share many similarities, they are not mutually intelligible. Linguists claim Czech’s oral intelligibility with Polish is only 36% and written intelligibility 46%.
    That's surprising. I'd thought that written intelligibility is even more higher. Btw, if a Pole and a Czech spoke in their languages using basic words and sentences, I'm pretty sure they could understand each other. Literary and colloquial language are two different things.

    There are many Czech words/verbs/adjectives/sentences that sound archaic to Poles, but we can still recognize them (thanks to the old literature and scripts). Examples:

    CZ: říci PL: rzec ("to say") - still in use in literary language. Nowadays we use powiedzieć.
    CZ: jenom PL: jeno ("only") - this word appears in one verse of our anthem (Słuchaj jeno bo to nasi biją w tarabany). Nowadays we use tylko.
    CZ: protože PL: przeto że - the word przecież ("yet"/"though") is somewhat related to this word. Nowadays we use dlatego or ponieważ.
    CZ: jsem rad PL: jestem rad ("I'm glad") - from radość ("joy"). Nowadays we use cieszę się.
    CZ: kazit PL: kazić ("to spoil") - nowadays we use psuć/zepsuć.
    CZ: odpustit PL: odpuścić ("to forgive") - we still use odpuścić but nowadays it means more like "let it go". Odpuścić is still used in religious phrases (odpuszczać grzechy "forgive sins", odpuść nam nasze winy "forgive us our trespasses"). Nowadays, we simply use wybaczyć.
    CZ: podle PL: podle/podług ("according to"/"by") - nowadays we use według.
    CZ: spolu PL: społem ("together") - wspólnie/zespół are related to this, so it's not so alien to us, nowadays we use razem.
    CZ: spojit PL: spoić ("to unite") - nowadays we use łączyć/jednoczyć.
    CZ: večeře PL: wieczerza ("supper"/"dinner") - we refer wieczerza only to Christmas Eve Supper, normally we use the Latin loan kolacja.
    CZ: hudba PL: gędźba ("music") - a very forgotten archaism. We use muzyka nowadays.
    CZ: počet PL: poczet ("count"/number") - used more as a collection or set (Poczet władców Polski "List of Polish rulers"). Nowadays we use ilość/liczba.
    CZ: poslední PL: pośledni ("last one"/"final") - used still in Silesian dialect, I think, but overall we say ostatni.
    CZ: zkoušet PL: skusić ("to try") - from pokusa/zakusa. Nowadays we use próbować (a loan from Latin).
    CZ: hledat PL: ględać ("to search") - nowadays we use szukać, which itself is a loan from German suchen (a cognate to English seek).
    CZ: konečně PL: koniecznie ("finally"/"at last") - koniecznie means nowadays "necessarily" in Polish. Nowadays we use nareszcie/wreszcie/w końcu.
    CZ: oběť PL: obiata ("sacrifice"/"victim") - as much forgotten as żertwa (which means the same thing). Nowadays we use ofiara (which we borrowed from German Opfer, which itself comes from Latin offero). However, the word obiad ("lunch"/"dinner") is related to this word.
    CZ: slíbit/slibovat PL: ślubować ("to promise") - today it means "to vow"/"pledge"/"to dedicate". Nowadays, we use obiecać.
    CZ: sever PL: siewior ("North") - a very archaic word for a cardinal direction. Nowadays we just use północ for North (literally "half-night", it's also used for midnight).
    CZ: hnědý PL: gniady ("brown") - used for brown colored horse mostly. Nowadays we use brązowy/brąz (another loanword).
    CZ: modrý PL: modry ("blue") - still used in Silesia, but overall we use now niebieski.
    CZ: jídlo PL: jadło ("food") - an obsolete form of the word jedzenie, which we use nowadays.
    CZ: chuť PL: chuć/chęć ("taste") - chęć today means "desire"/"wish". Nowadays we say smak (a loan from German Geschmack).
    CZ: strýc PL: stryj ("uncle") - today it means paternal uncle, rather than just uncle but even so, the word is mostly unused and will probably be forgotten in a few generations. Nowadays we say wuj/wujek.
    CZ: milovat PL: miłować ("to love") - used in old-fashioned, traditional and religious phrases mostly. Nowadays we use kochać.
    CZ: ostrov PL: ostrów ("island") - not quite forgotten word but it's rather used for a river island surrounded by watercourse arms (Ostrów Tumski). Nowadays we just say wyspa.
    CZ: zdroj PL: zdrój ("source") - used for spa towns mostly (Kudowa-Zdrój, Lądek-Zdrój, etc.). Nowadays we use źródło.
    CZ: zrcadlo PL: zwierciadło ("mirror") - nowadays more like a fairy-tale word for mirror, although we use zwierciadło for some optical instruments. Regardless, when it comes to a simple mirror we normally just say lustro (an Italian loan).
    CZ: polévka PL: polewka ("soup") - Czarna Polewka ("Black Soup") is at least a name of one of our traditional soups, but overall we simply refer to soup as zupa (from German Suppe).
    CZ: život PL: żywot ("life") - a rather literary/obsolete form of the word życie, which we use nowadays.
    CZ: pouť PL: pąć ("pilgrimage") - at least we occasionally refer to pilgrims as pątnicy, but overall we use the word pielgrzymka (from German Pilgrim, from Latin peregrinus).
    CZ: rychly PL: rychły ("quick"/"fast") - not quite forgotten, but nowadays it sounds rather poetic and it means more like "sudden" or "early". Nowadays we say szybki.
    CZ: řit PL: rzyć ("butt"/"ass"/"anus") - a very archaic and forgotten word for tyłek/dupa/odbyt, which we use nowadays.
     
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    jasio

    Senior Member
    If Czech was that popular in Poland I'm surprised they drifted apart to the point of not being mutually intelligible anymore. Last time Czech was that popular was in 18th century, so only 300+ years?
    I'm not, and I would attribute it to the history of both languages.

    First, Wikipedia dates the Czech influence on Polish two centuries earlier, ie. until 16th century. Język czeski – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia - so not 300 years, but 400-500 years. Indeed, as the Czech language seized to be used by the educated Czechs, there was no more reason to learn it in the first place.

    Secondly, the Czech elite was effectively germanised, and the modern Czech language was virtually created anew based on rural dialects. Similarly to many other languages (German, Hebrew) it is to an extent an artificial language, which since its creation began to develop more naturally.

    Thirdly, the German influenced the Czech more strongly than Polish - not only the vocabulary, but also the syntax and even the way of expressing things. Please note that while for centuries only parts of Poland were directly influenced by the German language (originally primarily cities, after 18th century, the Western and to some extent the Southern part of the area), in case of Czech ALL of the country was under German influence. Also, we had a continued presence of our own intellectual and cultural elites, which secured a continuous use and development of the language - and contributed to the Latin and French influence to a much larger extent than in case of the the Czech language.

    Finally, we have to remember that what we call "language" is actually a sociolect used primarily by the educated people and media, typically based on the dialects of the major intellectual centers. Local dialects of both languages along the border are mutually intelligible to a much greater extent than the literary languages. As far as I can recall, people speaking Silesian (leaving aside a discussion whether it's a dialect or a separate language; it's still a part of the language continuum; the experts' opinions vary, and probably both sides have more insults than they have valid arguments) can freely communicate with the people living on the other side of the border.

    EDIT: a side note: a mere fact of being influenced by the same foreign language does not guarantee that the same loanwords or structures will be loaned if they develop independently. A prominent example are variants of Spanish used in various areas under influence of English (Northern Mexico, Southern US, Gibraltar, global US cultural influence, etc).
     
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    studencik

    Member
    polszczyzna
    the modern Czech language was virtually created anew based on rural dialects. Similarly to many other languages (German, Hebrew) it is to an extent an artificial language, which since its creation began to develop more naturally.

    I need texts of Czech before its "recreation". How it looked like and how similar it was to Polish than today.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    It's obviously incorrect, as it means years 801-900, long before Mieszko I was even baptized and recognized as a ruler. The only traces which come to my mind as plausible, are isolated names of locations or persons in Saxon, or perhaps Great Moravian, chronicles. Even though calling them "Polish" would be anachronistic.
     

    Henares

    Senior Member
    Polish
    CZ: jenom PL: jeno ("only") - this word appears in one verse of our anthem (Słuchaj jeno bo to nasi biją w tarabany). Nowadays we use tylko.
    It’s „…Słuchaj jeno, pono nasi biją w tarabany”. In modern Polish it could be rephrased to: „Tylko posłuchaj, podobno nasi grają na wojennych bębnach”.
     

    Sprachmittler224

    New Member
    English - Scottish
    Polish has the most Latin-origin words of all the Slavic languages, although nowhere near as many as English. Centrum in the Polish text example illustrates this although it was the only one I spotted in a quick overview.
     

    Lorenc

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Polish has the most Latin-origin words of all the Slavic languages, although nowhere near as many as English. Centrum in the Polish text example illustrates this although it was the only one I spotted in a quick overview.

    Can you give a reference for this claim? Or, in other words, how do you know? It seems to me that Russian has at least as many Latin-origin words as Polish, if not more (including центр).
     

    Sprachmittler224

    New Member
    English - Scottish
    This very subject came up on this forum in discussions on February 6-7, 2011. Raised by jazyk, a member of this forum.
    Despite some exceptions, Latin and Latin-derived languages had less linguistic impact on Orthodox Slavs than on Catholic ones, pre-eminently Poles.
    Latin was the official language of the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1795, and Mickiewicz ridiculed the macaronic effect Latin could have on the Polish spoken by the szlachta.
    Zapożyczenia z łaciny używane na co dzień - Supertlumaczenia.pl
    I have not found an actual chart comparing Latin loanwords in Polish or other Slavic languages, although I have read the assertion about Latin in Polish and find it credible. The contributors to the 2011 discussion seem to mostly take it for granted that the Latin influence on Polish is heavy. I certainly do not believe Latin had the same impact on Russian.
     

    Lorenc

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I have not found an actual chart comparing Latin loanwords in Polish or other Slavic languages, although I have read the assertion about Latin in Polish and find it credible. The contributors to the 2011 discussion seem to mostly take it for granted that the Latin influence on Polish is heavy.

    Thanks. BTW I'm not claiming that Polish definitely has less Latin-origin words than Russian (I cannot comment about other slavic languages, apart perhaps Ukrainian). It very well may. But claims like that should be backed up by some robust research, not intuition or small lists of selected words.
    To get a foothold on the matter I suggest the following exercise:
    1. Select a text available in all the languages we want to compare. Eg it could be a piece of modern literature, an instruction manual, film subtitles, an extract from the universal declaration of human rights, a wikipedia articles (in the latter case the text wouldn't be the same, but it may be acceptable for some purposes).
    2. Thoroughly analyse the give texts and compute relevant statistics.
    At least this would be 1. reproducible 2. quantitative and 3. representative of how the language is used in actual practice (no wordlists).

    As a proof of concept, I did this using a piece of literature I happened to have near at hand in Polish and Russian, translations of the book A Woman's Life by Maupassant. However, the fragment I considered is much to short to draw significant conclusions. And, besides, it might be argued that 19th century literature is not the best choice for this kind of work.

    To begin with, here is the passage in Russian.
    Word of Slavic origin are in green.
    Word of Latin origin are in blue.
    Word of non-Latin and non-Slavic origin (often Germanic or Turkish) are in red.
    Proper names are in black, as well as words whose etymology I'm unsure about.
    I checked etymologies on Russian/Polish wikidictionaries.
    NB There may be mistakes. I haven't checked the etymology of every single word.

    Уложив чемоданы, Жанна подошла к окну; дождь не переставал.
    Всю ночь стекла звенели и по крышам стучал ливень. Нависшее, отягченное водою небо словно прорвалось, изливаясь на землю, превращая ее в кашу, растворяя, как
    сахар. Порывы ветра дышали тяжким зноем. Рокот разлившихся ручьев наполнял пустынные улицы; дома, как губки, впитывали в себя сырость, проникавшую внутрь и проступавшую испариной на стенах, от подвалов до чердаков.
    Выйдя накануне из
    монастыря и оставив его навсегда, Жанна жаждала наконец приобщиться ко всем радостям жизни, о которых так давно мечтала; она опасалась, что отец будет колебаться с отъездом, если погода не прояснится, и в сотый раз за это утро пытливо осматривала горизонт.
    Затем она заметила, что забыла положить в дорожную
    сумку свой календарь. Она сняла со стены листок картона, разграфленный на месяцы, с золотою цифрою текущего 1819 года в виньетке. Она вычеркнула карандашом четыре первых столбца, заштриховывая все имена святых вплоть до 2 мая – дня своего выхода из монастыря.
    Голос за дверью позвал:
    Жанетта!
    Жанна ответила:
    – Войди,
    папа.
    И в
    комнату вошел ее отец.

    • чемодан (chemodan - suitcase) is a word of Persian origin, arrived into Russian though Tatar.
    • Жанна (Zhanna) is the Russian version of the French name Jeanne, which comes from Latin Johannes (John) but ultimately, being a Biblical name, is from Hebrew. I don't count it at all although one might perhaps count it as "Latin-origin"? How do we count words which were imported though Latin but were imports in Latin itself?
    • сахар (sakhar - sugar) Ultimately from Sanscrit, but this word arrived into Europe by mediation by Arabic, Greek and Latin (saccarum).
    • чердак (cherdak - attic) is from Crimean Tatar.
    • монастырь (monastyr' - monastery). I counted as Latin-origin (monastērĭum) although ultimately it comes from Greek monakhós (monk, hermite. Note the "mono" root). Should it count as Latin-origin?
    • горизонт (gorizont - horizon). Again, it is Latin-origin but ultimately from Greek. Does it count?
    • сумка (sumka - bag) This word has a complicated and, perhaps, uncertain etymology but it should ultimately be from Greek (by way of Germanic languages and Polish).
    • календарь (kalendar' - calendar) This is the first bona fide Latin-origin word, ultimately from calendae 'first day of the month'. It seems Russian got this words though Polish, but surely it still counts?
    • картон (karton - carton) From Latin charta 'paper', but ultimately from Greek khártēs "papyrus". Does it count?
    • разграфленный (razgraflionnyj - rules, divided up by lines). The 'graf' part of the word is from Latin graphĭcus (graphic), but ultimately from Greek. Maybe I shouldn't have counted it.
    • цифра (tsyfra - digit/figure) From Arabic and, in turn, Sanscrit.
    • виньетка (vin'ietka - vignette) From French vignette, and in turn from Latin vinĕam 'vine' (the first page of a book was often decorated with drawings of vines). Should it count?
    • карандаш (karandash - pencil) From a Turkish language.
    • столбец (stol'biets - column). I couldn't find the etymology, it might be of Germaniorigin?
    • заштриховывая (zashtrikhovyvaya - stroking out). The 'shtrikh' part of the word, meaning stroke, is of Germanic origin.
    • май (may - the month of May). From the Latin name of the month, itself from the goddess Maia, mother of Mercury.
    • папа (papa - dad). I believe Russian took it from French or German, of onomatopoeic origin.
    • комната (komnata - room) From Latin "саmеrа camīnāta" "room with a fireplace", although Latin camīnum 'hearth' is of Greek origin.
    I think this small exercise showed how difficult it is to identify property Latin (not Greek) words. In any case in this version of the analysis I count 8 words of (arguably) Latin origin.
     

    Lorenc

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Now Polish. Same colour-coding.

    Janina skończyła pakować walizki i podeszła do okna — deszcz nie ustawał.
    Nisko wiszące niebo zdawało się pękać od nadmiaru wody i wylewać swą zawartość na ziemię, robiąc z niej rzadką papkę, rozpuszczając ją jak
    cukier. Chwilami zrywał się gorący, duszny wiatr. Na pustych ulicach huczały przepełnione ścieki, domy jak gąbki nasiąkały wilgocią, która przenikała do ich wnętrz, osiadając kroplistym potem na ścianach, od piwnic aż po strychy.
    Janina, wczoraj zaledwie opuściwszy
    klasztor, wreszcie wolna, żądna tych wszystkich radości życia, o których marzyła od dawna, lękała się teraz, czy ojciec zechce wyjechać, jeśli się nie rozpogodzi, i już chyba po raz setny od rana spoglądała w niebo.
    Wtem spostrzegła, że zapomniała włożyć do
    torby podróżnej swój kalendarz. Zdjęła ze ściany karton, podzielony podług miesięcy i ozdobiony u góry rysunkiem, pośrodku którego widniała wydrukowana złotymi literami liczba 1819.
    Następnie wykreśliła ołówkiem w pierwszych czterech
    kolumnach wszystkie imiona świętych aż do drugiego maja, dnia opuszczenia klasztoru.
    Za drzwiami odezwał się głos:
    Janinko!
    — Wejdź, tatusiu — odpowiedziała i w progu ukazał się jej ojciec.


    Many of the words have already been covered. Very briefly: "pakować" (to pack), "chwila" (moment), strych (attic) and wydrukowana (printed) are of Germanic origin. "torba" (bag) is of Turkish origin.
    "Walizka" (suitcase) is almost certainly from French but ultimately from Latin bilīcem (a kind of strong cloth).
    "klasztor" (monastery) is of ultimate Latin origin, claustrum (cfr cloister). "Litera" (letter) is from Latin but ultimately Greek origin. "Kolumna" (column) is Latin.
    I'm not sure about 'huczeć' (to roar). I think it's almost certainly Slavic but the initial 'h' suggest a Czech or perhaps Ukrainian origin?
    So for Polish I count 7 words of arguably Latin origin (3 in common with Russian, if I counted correctly).

    Conclusion: no definite conclusions can be drawn from such a short text. However this small analysis didn't reveal that Polish has many more Latin-origin words than Russian.
     
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    studencik

    Member
    polszczyzna
    There's at least four words you omitted:

    rysunek ("drawing"), from German Reißung
    papka ("glop"/"mush"), a diminutive of papa, which was probably borrowed from Latin papa
    wreszcie ("finally"), which literally means "in rest" and as we know, "rest" is a borrowing from German Rest, from Italian resto
    wykreśliła/kreślić ("to draw"), from German krisselen
     
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    Sprachmittler224

    New Member
    English - Scottish
    Well, citing texts can tell everything and nothing. Although that is an impressive amount of etymological work you did there.
    The fact that someone like Mickiewicz could ridicule the tendency of the Polish upper class to sprinkle their Polish with Latin and frequently just speak Latin outright says quite a lot to me. I am unaware of any significant Russian literary figures complaining about Latin being over-used in Russia, although I am aware of complaints about the heavy upper class use of French. Even then it is often a lament that the French used is "terrible", according to a character in Lermontov's Hero Of Our Time.
     

    studencik

    Member
    polszczyzna
    I think the biggest problem between Polish and Czech/Slovak is the pronunciation, sentence order and syntax. This especially creates misunderstandings. Few posts above I gave examples of a few sentences. However, it doesn't mean that every sentence is near identical in these three languages.

    Here's another sentence example. This time it differes by language:

    Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

    PL: Na końcu wszystko będzie dobrze, a jeśli nie jest to znaczy, że to jeszcze nie koniec.
    CZ: Nakonec všechno dobře dopadne a pokud ne, tak to ještě není konec.
    SLK: Nakoniec vždy všetko dobre dopadne. A ak to dobre nedopadlo, tak to ešte nie je koniec.

    Now, a question to Czechs and Slovaks. Down below I changed this sentence a little to make it look more Polish-like. Do you find it odd and something you wouldn't say in such way in your language? Here it is:

    CZ: Na konci všechno bude dobře, a jestli ne je to znači, že to ještě ne je konec.
    SLK: Na konci všetko bude dobre, a ak nie je to znači, že to ešte nie je koniec.

    How often do you use značit and how often znamenat?
     
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    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    CZ: Na konci všechno bude dobře, a jestli ne je to znači, že to ještě ne je není konec. I'd rather say: Nakonec bude všechno v pořádku, a jestli ne, znamená to, že to ještě není konec.

    SLK: Na konci všetko bude dobre, a ak nie je to znači, že to ešte nie je koniec. Nakoniec bude všetko v poriadku, a ak nie, znamená to, že to ešte nie je koniec.

    How often do you use značit and how often znamenat?
    We use both, but značit/značiť usually means something else. See the translation from an online dictionary.
     
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