po rozum

jacquesvd

Senior Member
Dutch
Dear all, I cannot explain 'po rozum do głowy' in following sentence of which I understand the meaning roughly as follows:

Po tegorocznym werdykcie Komitetu Noblowskiego aż chce się zakrzyknąć, że jego członkowie wreszcie poszli po rozum do głowy

This year's verdict of the Nobel Committee makes one want to cry out that reason has finally entered the heads of the members again.

I suppose that's tehe meaning but please correct if I'm mistaken. However, grammatically I can't explain to myself 'po rozum do głowy': through intelligence to the head?
 
  • Bart1981

    New Member
    English/Polish
    Hello there,

    I think I would use ...It's high time the members used their brains...

    From my poin of view, this is the best translation of the Polish idiom po rozum do glowy

    regards
    bart
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Or, perhaps: ...it's high time the members listened to reason.

     
    Last edited:

    haes

    Member
    Polish - Poland
    It is an idiom. If you want to understand, first look at the part "pójść po..". "Pójść po.." means "go to get something", e.g "pójść po mięso do sklepu" = "to go to get (buy) some meat from the store". "Pójść po poradę" = "to go to get some advice" (from physician, from psycologist, from friends, etc)

    thus "pójść po rozum do głowy" would literally mean "to go to get you brain from/in your head" :) In other words, this means "become wise" or "become wiser, smarter".
     

    asuuucar

    Senior Member
    Poland, Polish
    If I can add a few pennies to the discussion :)

    As you are studying Polish, have a look at the definition of the word rozum:

    1. «właściwa człowiekowi zdolność myślenia, poznawania świata, analizowania i wyciągania wniosków»
    2. «umiejętność radzenia sobie w życiu»

    In my humble opinion the word rozum in isc po rozum do glowy may refer to any of the two meanings in the sentence you wrote.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It's funny to think that I've always misinterpreted the literal meaning of this idiom in my own twisted way.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello there,

    I think I would use ...It's high time the members used their brains...

    From my poin of view, this is the best translation of the Polish idiom po rozum do glowy

    regards
    bart
    'It's high time' brzmi jak życzenie, a tu chodzi o fakt dokonany.
    Nie znam odpowiedniego idiomu angielskiego, ale znaczenie polskiego idiomu to 'zmądrzeli' czyli 'they became wiser' -> 'came to their senses'.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    If I can add a few pennies to the discussion :)

    As you are studying Polish, have a look at the definition of the word rozum:

    1. «właściwa człowiekowi zdolność myślenia, poznawania świata, analizowania i wyciągania wniosków»
    2. «umiejętność radzenia sobie w życiu»

    In my humble opinion the word rozum in isc po rozum do glowy may refer to any of the two meanings in the sentence you wrote.
    Yes, it does. jść po rozum do glowy (not iść, it's always perfective)means 'to use one's brains', 'come to one's senses' 'to find a solution by thinking/reasoning', 'to become using brain'.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It is an idiom. If you want to understand, first look at the part "pójść po..". "Pójść po.." means "go to get something", e.g "pójść po mięso do sklepu" = "to go to get (buy) some meat from the store". "Pójść po poradę" = "to go to get some advice" (from physician, from psycologist, from friends, etc)

    thus "pójść po rozum do głowy" would literally mean "to go to get you brain from/in your head" :) In other words, this means "become wise" or "become wiser, smarter".
    "to go and get some brain for your head", or "go in order to get"
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    'It's high time' brzmi jak życzenie, a tu chodzi o fakt dokonany.
    Nie znam odpowiedniego idiomu angielskiego, ale znaczenie polskiego idiomu to 'zmądrzeli' czyli 'they became wiser' -> 'came to their senses'.
    Racja, trochę zasugerowałem się pierwszą odpowiedzią i błędnie założyłem, że w wyjściowym zdaniu było "żeby".

    "to go and get some brain for your head"
    Really? So I'm not the only to think that.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Racja, trochę zasugerowałem się pierwszą odpowiedzią i błędnie założyłem, że w wyjściowym zdaniu było "żeby".



    Really? So I'm not the only to think that.
    "pójść po rozum do głowy" can grammatically have two meanings:
    1. To go to one's head to fetch some wisdom (brains).
    2. To go (somewhere) to fetch (get) some wisdom (brains)
    Sentence 2 has, however, much less sense, as you should look for the 'brains' for your head somewhere else, if you lack it at the moment.
    It is possible that many people understand the idiom in the sense 2, but usually it is due to not reflecting about the meaning.
    An example of a similar ambigous sentence is 'Pójść po koło do samochodu'.
    Here both meanings can have sense, and are equally likely.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Yes, it does. jść po rozum do glowy (not iść, it's always perfective)means 'to use one's brains', 'come to one's senses' 'to find a solution by thinking/reasoning', 'to become using brain'.
    Would you say that the following is not correct, Ben Jamin?
    Rodzice zarażonych dzieci idą po rozum do głowy, jak jest już za późno.

    Not sure about others, but it sounds fine to me and I can't see why 'iść' is off-base, I won't go to bat for it ;) but seriously why it's got to be perfective?
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Would you say that the following is not correct, Ben Jamin?
    Rodzice zarażonych dzieci idą po rozum do głowy, jak jest już za późno.

    Not sure about others, but it sounds fine to me and I can't see why 'iść' is off-base, I won't go to bat for it ;) but seriously why it's got to be perfective?
    I would not say it is incorrect, it is perfectly grammatically correct, but this is a rather new idiom. The old is "Poszli po rozum do głowy".
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    Would you say that the following is not correct, Ben Jamin?
    Rodzice zarażonych dzieci idą po rozum do głowy, jak jest już za późno.

    Not sure about others, but it sounds fine to me and I can't see why 'iść' is off-base, I won't go to bat for it ;) but seriously why it's got to be perfective?
    I must say that this, for me, is completely incorrect, but this is due to the example you gave. I would never use the imperfective, but that's not that important - the situation, to me, doesn't fit the meaning of the idiom. "Pójść po rozum do głowy" is "to start to act sensibly" (make sensible decisions, etc.). Note how this doesn't fit your example.

    But I think it can be used in the imperfective, if you want to imply "are slowly/gradually beginning to act/decide sensibly" (smart up), like in this example:

    Amerykanie idą po rozum do głowy a co my zrobimy?
    www.papierosyforum.pl/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4501&start=0
     

    arturolczykowski

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I must say that this, for me, is completely incorrect, but this is due to the example you gave. I would never use the imperfective, but that's not that important - the situation, to me, doesn't fit the meaning of the idiom. "Pójść po rozum do głowy" is "to start to act sensibly" (make sensible decisions, etc.). Note how this doesn't fit your example.
    I don't understand why you think that above example doesn't fit the meaning of the idiom. You said yourself that it means "to start acting sensibly". These parents didn't act sensibly and now they're trying to "catch up" (they start taking suitable precautions), though it's too late.....
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    It's hard to explain, but in this example (again, it's about the situation, not just the language), to me it means: They started acting like they knew the sensible thing to do (they demonstrated that in their actions). "Pójść po rozum do głowy" implies a change of character/reasoning reflected in more sensible behavior. The "jak jest już za późno" part makes it incorrect for me. I can explain with another example:

    Kiedy jej córka była chora, nie wiedziała, jak jej pomóc. Kiedy dziewczynka umarła, matka zrozumiała, co trzeba zrobić.

    Strangely enough, the example you gave would be fine for me if instead of "jak", it said "ale", i.e.:

    Rodzice zarażonych dzieci idą po rozum do głowy, ale jest już za późno.

    Note that this is just a discussion about the finer points of the idiom, and my understanding of it may not be representative of the way it's usually used. Plus it's great that you gave an example, anyway :D
     

    cpuzey1

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    they came to their senses is the best English translation and the correct idiom.

    To start acting sensibly isn't good English and we would never say that.
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    "there's no fool like an old fool
    proverb the foolish behaviour of an older person seems especially foolish as they are expected to think and act more sensibly than a younger one. "

    Source: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fool

    See also http://www.nick-james.com/public/livebig/index.cfm
    http://www.seekwellness.com/wellness/reports/2007-03-29.htm

    Now, who's "we"? ;)
    Also, I think the asker was asking for an explanation, not a translation, that's why a more literal rendering would be more helpful in this case. "Come to your senses" is a great equivalent, though!
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    Please, why do you think I have "Polish pride"? Being a "native speaker" does not mean you are an authority on all of English phrasing, and all of the English dialects of the world. You said that an undefined group - "we" would never use a certain expression, and I gave you examples to prove that it "exists." I prefer viable research to claims of native omniscience. Plus, if you refer to my earlier post, you will see that I commended you on the equivalent that you suggested, and explained why previous posts used an expression that you were not familiar with.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Here are the finds of the incriminated expression, search by Google, langauge English,
    Area Great Britain:
    "started acting sensibly" 124
    "start acting sensibly" 312
    ”Acting sensibly” 2 610
    ”Act sensibly” 13 500

    Area: USA
    "started acting sensibly" 71
    "start acting sensibly" 33 100
    ”acting sensibly” 16 100
    ”act sensibly” 40 800

    Note: The number of "acting sensibly" in USA is lower than the number of "start acting sensibly", which is not logical.
    This means that the numbers are not quite reliable, perhaps due to arbitrary treatment of repeating finds.
     
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    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    It's hard to explain, but in this example (again, it's about the situation, not just the language), to me it means: They started acting like they knew the sensible thing to do (they demonstrated that in their actions). "Pójść po rozum do głowy" implies a change of character/reasoning reflected in more sensible behavior. The "jak jest już za późno" part makes it incorrect for me. I can explain with another example:

    Kiedy jej córka była chora, nie wiedziała, jak jej pomóc. Kiedy dziewczynka umarła, matka zrozumiała, co trzeba zrobić.

    Strangely enough, the example you gave would be fine for me if instead of "jak", it said "ale", i.e.:

    Rodzice zarażonych dzieci idą po rozum do głowy, ale jest już za późno.

    Note that this is just a discussion about the finer points of the idiom, and my understanding of it may not be representative of the way it's usually used. Plus it's great that you gave an example, anyway :D
    You changed tenses in your example which changes a lot the usage of the Polish idiom.

    The conjunction 'ale' works as well in the sample I gave but it focuses more on the contrast while 'jak' more on the time (you could replace it with 'gdy/kiedy'. The sentence means that the parents know that they should do X in order to not let Y happen. They don't do X, though. That's why Y happens and this is when they come to senses (and start doing X). The sentence describes how parents usually act. I can't see why you think the sentence is incorrect.
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    Yes, exactly - "That's why Y happens and this is when they come to senses (and start doing X)" - this doesn't make sense to me, but I think the problem is that I'm reading "jest już za późno" as "the kid died." So then "start doing X" sounds strange. But I now see that "jest już za późno" may mean something like "the kid gets worse," and then it would make sense.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Kiedy jej córka była chora, nie wiedziała, jak jej pomóc. Kiedy dziewczynka umarła, matka zrozumiała, co trzeba zrobić.
    Kiedy dziewczynka umarła, to trzeba ją pochować,
    żeby zdanie miało sens powinno być:
    "Kiedy dziewczynka umarła, matka zrozumiała, co trzeba było zrobić."
    When the girl died her mother understood what she should had done.
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    Yes, that's why I phrased that the way I did, to show why the idiom would not apply in my interpretation.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Yes, exactly - "That's why Y happens and this is when they come to senses (and start doing X)" - this doesn't make sense to me, but I think the problem is that I'm reading "jest już za późno" as "the kid died." So then "start doing X" sounds strange. But I now see that "jest już za późno" may mean something like "the kid gets worse," and then it would make sense.
    What a pesimistic scenario, Symbolt. I, for one, didn't slay anyone in mine. :D
    Anyway, it can even work when someone gets killed.
    Let's take another scenario: say, there's a pedestrian crossing where many accidents occurs and lots of people get hurt. The authorities know that and they know that they can prevent the situation, for example, by building traffic lights. They don't do anything with it. One day, one person gets killed by a car at this place. The authorities come to senses and start acting. So now, a journalist might write:
    Władze idą po rozum do głowy gdy jest już za późno.
    Rozpoczęto budowę sygnalizacji świetlnej przy przejściu dla pieszych na ul. X. Mimo że od dawna było wiadomo, że na przejściu regularnie dochodzi do wypadków, władze nic z tym nie robiły. Dopiero teraz zdecydowały się na przeznaczenie środków na budowę świateł. Czy naprawdę musiało dojść do tragedii, żeby uświadomić urzędnikom, że sygnalizator jest w tym miejscu nieodzowny?

    @Ben Jamin: the quotation you cited is Symbolt's.
     

    symbolt

    Member
    Polish / Poland
    Yes, see, this example is ok, because now we have two "spaces" or scenarios: one with "jest już za późno DLA PRZECHODNIA," the other with "władze poszły po rozum do głowy" (so their current behavior - past-death - has changed). Then, your title is ok, because it describes a tendency (sounds like a proverb or saying), and the semantics (due to the different scenarios in that event) of the sentence make it grammatically correct to me.

    Maybe we should stop discussing that idiom now? Let's go for rozum do głowy.
     
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