natychmiast, zamiast, natomiast

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by Wiatrak, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Wiatrak New Member

    Nederlands / Dutch
    Hi everyone!

    Does someone know if these words: natychmiast, zamiast or natomiast have anything to do with miasto?

  2. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Hi. I don't think so. Natychmist -- right away, zamiast -- instead, and natomiast -- however.
  3. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    According to Brückner, yes, they do.

    There is also 'miast' in Polish which means 'zamiast', but it is an archaic word.
  4. Wiatrak New Member

    Nederlands / Dutch
    Thanks for the url Thomas1.

    So, correct me if i'm wrong, 'natychmiast' was written in the 15th century as 'na tem mieście'. Can this be translated as 'in this place'? And is there somehow a connection to the present-day meaning of 'immediately'?
  5. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hello Wiatrak,

    You understood it correctly and this is how I'd translate it too.
    I don't know what the connection is, but I can hazard a guess:
    If you say 'na tem mieście', it can be interpreted as 'right here' and extended to 'right now' (hence the meaning 'immediately').

    It may be worth mentioning that 'natychmiast' can also mean 'instead*' (we don't use it with this meaning today, we use 'zamiast' instead). So I'd suspect that it first took on the meaning of 'instead' and then came to mean 'immediately'.
    This could be additionally supported by the fact that we sometimes use the word 'miejsce' that can be interpreted to have temporal meaning, e.g. Wypowiadając tę partię, aktor robi króką pauzę w tym miejscu. [Saying this part, the actor takes a short pase in this place/moment.]. Or another expression 'z miejsca' meaning 'right away'.

    *If you have a look at the English equivalent, you will notice it is etymologically the same:
    Furthermore, it seems that this is not uncommon in at least some of the European languages:
    Spanish: en lugar de
    French: au lieu de
    Portuguese: em lugar de
    German: (an)statt
    Russian: вме́cто
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  6. Wiatrak New Member

    Nederlands / Dutch
    That's great work Thomas1, you must be right.

    The word 'stead' seems also to be connected with the Latin 'statim' which means 'immediately'! So it all comes together now.
    I can also add that 'instead of' in Dutch means 'in plaats van' or archaic 'in stede van'.
  7. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    If you have a look at the etymology given by the Oxford English Dictionary, you will see further connections:

  8. Roy776

    Roy776 Senior Member

    Kraków, Poland
    German & AmE
    The connection you made between 'right here' and 'right now' could be correct, Thomas. German does it the same way.
    Natychmiast could be translated as 'auf der Stelle' (lit.: na tym miejscu, on the spot/place), but it still means 'right now' / 'immediately'.
    And the wording 'z miejsca' reminds me of the German 'vom Fleck weg' (lit. something like: from the spot away) which also means 'right now' or 'immediately'.

    And though I'm not entirely sure, 'w tym miejscu' in German 'an dieser Stelle' could also refer to a moment in a play.
    Wypowiedziawszy tą partię, aktor robi krótką pauzę w tym miejscu.
    Seinen Part aufgesagt habend, macht der Akteur
    an dieser Stelle eine kurze Pause.

    I'm not sure if I've got the Polish sentence right here, as I've never used an anterior adverbial participle (and I know it's not really in use, at least I've never seen it in modern use), but the first part of the German sentence sounds highly formal or archaic, too. So please correct me if there are any mistakes.

    I suppose that this connection between time and place is at least an Indo-European thing.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  9. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    There is one mystical element in the word 'natychmiast': it is the apparent plural form of the word "na tych miast" instead of "na tem miescie".
  10. Wiatrak New Member

    Nederlands / Dutch
    Hi Ben Jamin! That was bothering me also.

    If I understand Brückner correctly 'na tem mieście' or 'natemieście' was later changed into 'natychmiast' because of this other word 'odtychmiast'. And so somewhere along the way singular has become plural.
  11. marco_2 Senior Member

    In his etymological dictionary Brückner on another place explains as following: "miasto czego", "zamiasto (i namiasto) czego", skrócone w zamiast, namiast, a nawet miast, so he considers it as an abbreviated form, not as a plural form of miasta.
  12. Wiatrak New Member

    Nederlands / Dutch
    You are probably right in the case of 'zamiast' and 'namiast', but the 'tych' in 'natychmiast' and 'odtychmiast' can only mean plural.

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