Polish Equivalent of "Read"/ "Say"

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Kos

Senior Member
English
Cześć wszystkim:)

For a long time now, I've been a little unsure of how to translate the verbs "to read" and "to say" in an intransitive aspect(not sure if this is what its gramatically referred to, but its worth a shot haha :rolleyes:)

For example, if I was explaining to someone that I read some information on a website or in a book, I would say: "The site says/reads that...." or "The book reads/says that....."

My question is, are there any specific phrases or verbs we use in Polish to convey the meaning of something (usually written) "saying" or "reading" something. The only word that comes to mind is "wskazać", which is what I've been using to express such situations ex. "Termometr wskazuje że....." "Artykuł wskazuje że..."

If I didn't explain this well enough or didn't provide enough context, please let me know.

Będę bardzo wdzięczny za odpowiedzi :D
-Kos
 
  • Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Cześć wszystkim:)

    For a long time now, I've been a little unsure of how to translate the verbs "to read" and "to say" in an intransitive aspect(not sure if this is what its gramatically referred to, but its worth a shot haha :rolleyes:)

    For example, if I was explaining to someone that I read some information on a website or in a book, I would say: "The site says/reads that...." or "The book reads/says that....."

    My question is, are there any specific phrases or verbs we use in Polish to convey the meaning of something (usually written) "saying" or "reading" something. The only word that comes to mind is "wskazać", which is what I've been using to express such situations ex. "Termometr wskazuje że....." "Artykuł wskazuje że..."

    If I didn't explain this well enough or didn't provide enough context, please let me know.

    Będę bardzo wdzięczny za odpowiedzi :D
    -Kos
    A colloquial way to say it is: "W artykule pisze/piszą, że ..."
    In a more formal way: "W artykule jest napisane, że ...".
    Even more formal: "Autor artykułu pisze/twierdzi/podaje, że ..."
    twierdzi: states, claims
    podaje: states, gives information about
     
    I would say that it is still considered incorrect by most people who are careful about the language they use.

    However, there are some (not so many) educated folks who follow the logic that if a lie is repeated a thousand times it becomes the truth.

    To me "jest napisane" isn't formal, it's just the only correct way and I always use it, even if I talk to people who prefer to use "tu pisze" themselves. :)
     

    BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    When it comes to books, articles etc. you can sometimes encounter "mówić" or "opowiadać", "wspominać" used in the meaning of "read" ("Ta książka opowiada o losach żołnierzy w niewoli", "Co Biblia mówi o tym starożytnym imperium?").
     

    Kos

    Senior Member
    English
    Thank you very much for your responses everyone :)
    From what I've read, it appears its a safe bet to stick with the phrases "opowiada" and "w...jest napisane że". :D
     
    Yes, "w tym artykule jest napisane/podano/można wyczytać, że wzrosną ceny paliw" and "książka opowiada o losach/przedstawia losy średniowiecznego bohatera" are some of the best options possible here. :)
     

    eleannor

    Senior Member
    Polish
    You can say that ksiązka (though I think 'autor' fits better) opowiada o/porusza temat/koncentruje się na/ przedstawia/sugeruje/wskazuje na/podaje/ etc. There are so many options, actually, varying on what your subject is; you can't really say that termometr opowiada [a thermometer says]. I think that the safest phrases would be opowiada, podaje, wskazuje (na), przedstawia, and the passive forms, jest podane, napisano, so on.
     
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    Yes, by SOME people.
    "Some" suggests as if there were only very few people who think so. Meanwhile, as I said before, it is still simply incorrect to most of the people who know anything about linguistics...

    The opinions of the people who were lazy at school don't matter. ;)

    I didn't know anyone at my high school who wouldn't correct me if I accidentally said something like "tu pisze" (it unfortunately used to happen as I was brought up by funny parents who considered it to be the only possible option...) and I still don't know anyone at my age who would use this form in a conversation between us.

    Btw, there's an interesting anecdote about this popular (mis)use:

    "Idziesz po ulicy, patrzysz, a tam leży g*wno. To sra, czy jest nasrane?" :)
     
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    "it is still simply incorrect to most of the people who know anything about linguistics..."

    Let me disappoint you, people who know anything about linguistics are thin on the ground. :) And yes, their opinions do matter although they're incorrect. In fact, their opinions matter more than those who actually speak correctly. Democracy, you know, is a nasty thing. ;)
     
    Anyway, I don't want to argue. You were yourself the first one to remind us all about this form not being acceptable to everyone. ;)

    Btw, what I basically mean by "incorrect" is that you shall find this form in no dictionary, piece of literature or other respectable source. :)

    And yes, democracy is extremely wicked. :D
     
    So what are you doing on an Internet forum if you don't want to argue? ;)

    Well, yes, I was the first one because I'm aware that this form is incorrect. That, however, doesn't change the reality and the fact that people actually do use the incorrect form. I think more people say 'pisze' rather than 'jest napisane' and therefore I said 'some'. :)

    You won't find 'poszłem' in any dictionary either, but that doesn't mean that it isn't used. :)

    "And yes, democracy is extremely wicked. "
    Mildly put. ;)
     

    ryba

    Senior Member
    Hi, Kos.

    There also exists the option of saying w tekście stoi: „...” / w tekście stoi, że „...”. I would say it sounds quite formal, possibly humorous, and I think it might be a Germanism (which would by no means mean it's incorrect; it is).

    When it comes to Tu pisze, że, W instrukcji pisze, że, I also think people consider it incorrect because they've been told it is, but in natural speech everyone tends to say pisze, że. Some overcome that tendency, most people don't.

    In Spanish, they say Aquí pone (literally, 'tu stawia') and nobody considers it incorrect. The process of semantic bleaching led to a situation in which no one thinks about who's the performer of the action of poner, anymore. You can always say Aquí está escrito ('tu jest napisane'), but it sounds more formal.

    In Polish, the same process occurred, yet many people keep on reminding those who say tu pisze that it does not make sense. Most of them used the expression themselves when they were little, just like Linguos did.

    My opinion on the matter is that Poles tend to overuse the term incorrect. Many people will try to make you believe the pronoun se is incorrect in familiar colloquial speech, just because it does not form part of the literary language.
     

    Kos

    Senior Member
    English
    I see. Thank you for the help, Ryba, as well as everyone else who's contributed :)
    This thread has turned out to be pretty interesting. I'll probably stay with the passive forms, but I'll always keep "tu pisze" in the back of my mind.

    As for the Spanish example, Ryba, I've actually seen it before in Spanish class. The book we learned from told us to use "esta escrito", but I've seen the example with aqui pone before. (sorry for not including the Spanish diacritical marks)

    I completely understand the general argument about the use of the phrase "tu pisze". When it comes to English, theres plenty of such examples, where phrases are incorrect, but we use them anyway, thus making them accepted by the majority of speakers. A prime example of this is the word "ain't". Some people who care a lot about proper speech and grammar will correct you if you use it, but the majority of people just accept it, though they know its incorrect. I'm guilty of using the word almost daily haha :D
     

    eleannor

    Senior Member
    Polish
    By and far, I'm usually corrected when I say "tu pisze, że...". I can agree with that because it is logically incorrect - an article or a book can't really write, right?
    However, I've noticed that plural forms like "Piszą, że..." are deemed, more or less, correct. I've never heard someone being corrected while saying, for example: "Czytałeś ten artykuł? Piszą, że najlepszy dla gwoździa jest młotek.". I think it might have to do with the plural indicating the author or the people who might talk through the article. Either way, while "tu pisze" is frowned upon, "piszą, że" doesn't seem to fit the case. What do you think?
     
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    ryba

    Senior Member
    By and far, I'm usually corrected when I say "tu pisze, że...". I can agree with that because it is logically incorrect - an article or a book can't really write, right?
    However, I've noticed that plural forms like "Piszą, że..." are deemed, more or less, correct. I've never heard someone being corrected while saying, for example: "Czytałeś ten artykuł? Piszą, że najlepszy dla gwoździa jest młotek.". I think it might have to do with the plural indicating the author or the people who might talk through the article. Either way, while "tu pisze" is frowned upon, "piszą, że" doesn't seem to fit the case. What do you think?
    :thumbsup:

    I agree. That's exactly the case, I think piszą is simply colloquial, just as Ben Jamin said. The use of the third-person plural seems to be neutral, as in Mówią, że nie można żyć bez miłości ('They say/People say/It is said...').
     

    ryba

    Senior Member
    Hi, Kos.

    There also exists the option of saying w tekście stoi: „...” / w tekście stoi, że „...”. I would say it sounds quite formal, possibly humorous (...).
    Oh, there's also this common informal expression stoi jak byk. It's used for stressing that a text clearly indicates something.
     

    ryba

    Senior Member
    Btw, there's an interesting anecdote about this popular (mis)use:

    "Idziesz po ulicy, patrzysz, a tam leży g*wno. To sra, czy jest nasrane?" :)
    Well, but it's not the same. Sh*tting is not a communicative act (intrinsically :D).

    Another argument in defense of tu pisze is the fact that in Serbian it is considered a bona fide 100% correct (and not even colloquial) construction. Tu piše da možeš (...) = 'tu pisze, że możesz (...)'. Bus na kom piše "(...)" ('autobus, na którym pisze (...)').
     

    BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    I guess it's all about a missing "proper" verb in Polish that would cover the active aspect of literary communication, so the linguists could accept it... If only we agreed upon "czytać" (or "pisać"), we could avoid the awkward passive voice ("jest napisane") in a way that works for other communication "channels":

    - tutaj słychać śpiew ptaków
    - tutaj widać dachy miasta
    - tutaj czytać ostatnie wiadomości.

    The reason it's missing in Polish is either the not-that-long literary tradition or simply reading/writing being a less natural way of communication than the rest.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Interesting point, Bezier, but I don't consider "jest napisane" awkward, despite it obviously being a passive voice. Usually, a passive voice is best avoided in a regular conversation (unless there's no other way to convey the idea) but that's not the case with "jest napisane" - that's the only correct way to say it, and one should stick to it.

    Using "tutaj pisze" is, to me, a sign of sloppiness, and I'll always wage a war against this usage, because I don't think it takes such a great effort to utter a few more syllables (treat it as my general view on this whole "pisze" versus "jest napisane" thing).

    If we agreed upon "czytać" or "pisać" used the way you suggest, that's something that would sound really awkward. I think language's not something its users can agree to use one way or another - we should let it take its course and adapt to it.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    I think, Dreamlike, unfortunately according to Polish usage rules, at least the ones I know, tutaj pisze is correct, whereas the other construction has long been unacceptable in formal Polish. Things could have changed; you could check some grammar books. In fact I might be wrong. I think both expressions are OK. The first one - pisze, represents the German influence on Polish language, whereas the other one is more of a Russian construction, or just Slavic, perhaps. It may be something regional, the preference.
     
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    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    That's true, "tutaj pisze" -- once considered incorrect -- is now recognized by linguists and dictionaries, probably due to its widespread use. I might have got carried away saying "that's the only correct way to say it" - regrettably, it's not. However, if one wants to be regarded as the person speaking decent Polish, "tutaj pisze" is off-limits.

    It's the other way round, Liliana, it's "tutaj pisze" that has long been unacceptable in Polish, and I think it still is in the formal variety of our language.
     

    BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    As for the awkwardness of the passive voice - it takes 3 syllables more to utter, and that in terms of everyday speech is perceived as awkward (people will tend to use the shorter "tu pisze"; they actually do).

    As for "I think language's not something its users can agree to use one way or another - we should let it take its course and adapt to it." I completely agree with you, which makes your previous point ("I'll always wage a war against this usage") sort of contradictory to it.
     
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    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    I think it may be a little bit regional as well. People from places like Poznan, I think, or Gdansk or Silesia, even if they speak Polish without any accent have a tendency to use pisze, in informal speech, at least.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    BezierCurve said:
    I completely agree with you, which makes your previous point ("I'll always wage a war against this usage") sort of contradictory to it.
    On the face of it, it seems contradictory, but if you give it some thought, it isn't. The form "jest napisane" has always been correct, whereas the form "pisze" has become permissible just recently - because of the staggering amount of people who used it. So, it's not that the language evolved this way - people were simply too lazy to adapt to it, and use the correct form. That's why I wage a war against the form "pisze". When I say "let the language take its course" I don't mean changing grammar rules, and allowing incorrect to become correct, just because some people would be comfortable with it.
     
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    BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    I'm not sure how a language can take its course on its own though, without its users changing the rules (by doing this or by not doing that, doesn't matter how). Hardly any language evolution would be possible without breaking the existing rules.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    You're right - I used this expression in answer to your idea to make some, let's call it, "linguistic agreements", for lack of a better term. My point was that we shouldn't intrude on the language, but adapt to the existing rules -- and come to terms with the fact that in our language we express things this way, not another, rather than "agreeing upon a missing verb".

    It's true that it's the users of a language who affect the way it evolves - but in case of "pisze/jest napisane" no changes were necessary - although they've been made and now the form "tu pisze" is correct. Changes in any language should be justified - and they shouldn't be motivated by pure convenience. If we keep making our language simpler and simpler, what do we end up with?
     
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    BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    Well, hopefully with something simple and having less unjustified exceptions than we have today.

    My "linguistic agreements" were purely theoretical, hence the second conditional ("If only we agreed...").
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Yes, it is correct, but correctness of a form in another language does not really prove anything. What is correct in English may not be correct in Polish. As to poszlem, you are right it sounds terrible. It does not sound in accord with the Polish language, somehow. Pisze, it bothers me less: perhaps I am just used to it. I even like it more than jest napisane.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    The English construction is not correct?The thermometer reads 25 degrees below zero? This is what I was referring to, the post immediately preceding mine. Sorry, it was 42 in the shade, but still.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thomas26 said:
    Termometr wskazują czterdzieści dwa stopnie w cieniu.


    Termometr wskazuje
    No need for diacritic - it's considered a mistake there. Also, note that this sentence would be unremarkable coming from the mouth of a TV weather girl, or boy, for that matter (is that how you call these people?) but in a regular conversation I'd be more likely to say: Na termometrze jest czterdzieści dwa stopnie w cieniu.

    Brezier - it's a language forum, in case you didn't notice :D Don't expect people to be tolerant towards mistakes like "poszłem" or "tu pisze" - these two are just off-limits, and it has little to do with descriptivism vs. prescriptivism, as majlo said.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    I would not be so sure about tu pisze. It might be regional. I know quite a few educated people with perfect accent and command of Polish language who would say tu pisze, but not poszłem.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Then their grasp of Polish is not as good as you think it is. I can't conceive of any educated person, with "perfect accent and command of Polish language" saying "tu pisze" instead of "tu jest napisane". You might find this link useful, Liliana - http://poradnia.pwn.pl/lista.php?id=7268

    W Internecie można znaleźć orzeczenia Rady Języka Polskiego, ale nie przypuszczam, aby Rada uznała zdania typu „Na tablicy pisze, że...” za równorzędne zdaniom typu „Na tablicy jest napisane, że...”. Te pierwsze można uważać co najwyżej za potoczne. Wiele osób jednak nawet w języku potocznym nie widzi dla nich miejsca.— Mirosław Bańko, PWN
     

    BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    Thanks for the tip, dreamlike. The line between what's tolerable and what's not is often blurred here, hence my silly expectations to accept the course our language takes by some of us.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    You're right, sometimes there's a fine between between tolerable and intolerable, but as far as these two are concerned, I think we all have no doubts whatsoever that they fall into the category of "intolerable". They are one of the most egregious errors I can think of.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Yes, they do, Dreamlike. I told you, it might be regional. If a person is used to it, there is nothing strange about it. It is just a construction from Germanic languages.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Let me get this straight. When I was Primary School, I was used to saying "tu pisze", too - but I've been fortunate enough to have kind people around me who helped me stamp out this bad habit. "Perfect command of Polish language" and saying "tu pisze" are mutally exclusive. It's like a driver who caused three accidents in three days would claim to be a perfect driver.
     
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    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    No, the two things are not mutually exclusive; the people may just like this construction.It is true that I am referring to people from parts of Poland which were under the German influence for years. I do not know if this would be said in other parts of Poland.
     
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    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I would not be so sure about tu pisze. It might be regional. I know quite a few educated people with perfect accent and command of Polish language who would say tu pisze, but not poszłem.
    This is certainly conceivable. Only I'd say that 'tu pisze' is colloquial spoken Polish. I subscribe to the comment that professor Bańko gave in the following answer:
    Co tam pisze w gazecie? Powszechnie wiadomą jest prawidłowość zwrotu: jest napisane. Coraz częściej jednak słyszy się zwrot pisze. Czy jest to zwrot poprawny?


    „W gazecie pisało, że...” to konstrukacja typowa dla polszczyzny potocznej. W swobodnej rozmowie nie powinna razić, a piętnowanie jej tu byłoby nadmierną pedanterią. Co innego w języku pisanym i w starannych wypowiedziach mówionych – tu zdecydowanie powinniśmy powiedzieć: „W gazecie było napisane, że...” — Mirosław Bańko
    Some will, of course, always perceive it as mistake.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The German influence notwithstanding, it's still an egregious error to me, although it's recognized by some linguists -it's in common use (although there is a declining number of people who use it, fortunately). I was corrected every time I said "tu pisze", and it worked. It took me a week or so get rid of this bad habit.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    For the sole reason that it's more logical. Let me quote some funny, perhaps a bit vulgar anecdote from the first page of this thread.

    linguous said:
    "Idziesz po ulicy, patrzysz, a tam leży g*wno. To sra, czy jest nasrane?"
     
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