pomieszać czy zamieszać?

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by radosna, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. radosna Senior Member

    English- USA
    Hi there.

    I'm coordinating the proofing project of one of my company's theatre plays (from English into Polish) and I have to make a final decision by tomorrow about which word to choose in our translation. I suppose the difference is very subtle but I would like the final outcome to reflect the original intent of the playwright as best as possible.

    Usage: Children's play in which one kid (who's very bossy & demanding -- a bit of a bully really) says to the other kid: "Don't go messing up!"
    Context: She's just given the other kid a note that says exactly what she wants and is expecting for Christmas. She won't settle for anything less & this is a phrase she constantly uses when talking with him because he is, at least in her eyes, a loser who always messes everything up (-- "Don't screw up!" is another way we could put it but perhaps a tinge bit stronger than the original version.)

    One (professional) proofer has opted for "Nie zamieszaj!" as the best alternative after exploring many other options.
    The following proofer (who's not a professional, however) said, "We normally say, 'pomieszaj." It should be 'nie pomieszaj' & not 'zamieszaj.'"

    I have looked at PONS dictionary as well as the Word Forum dictionary. A clear delineation is not evident to me. Can anyone help with this?

    It's all pomieszany in my mind now. :)
  2. BezierCurve Senior Member


    in such a situation I'd say "Tylko czegoś nie pomieszaj!", or, even better: "Tylko czegoś nie pomyl!".

    "Nie zamieszaj" could probably be heard among older teenagers, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

    Wait for other propositions.
  3. siurpryza Member

    polski, Polska
    in such a situation I'd say "Tylko czegoś nie pomieszaj!"

    Totally agree. "Nie zamieszaj" doesn't sound natural to me.
  4. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    I agree with Bezier and Siurpyza, except for one point made by the former -- "tylko czegoś nie zamieszaj" is extremely unlikely to be heard, among any age group.

    What is the nationality of the professional proofer (is that a shorthand for proofreader?) you're speaking of?
    If he's Polish then he or she clearly doesn't have a good grasp of his/her own language! The unprofessional proofreader was absolutely right, and it's his/her suggestion that you should follow. I could say "zamieszaj zupę" but never "tylko czegoś nie zamieszaj" :eek:
  5. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    They are both wrong, Radosna. I will think about something appropriate in this context and I will add it later. Don't use those. Sorry -- a small change -- I thought it was "messing up" in a different sense. They are still wrong, but the translation would be more like: "nie pomyl się" "Niczego nie poplątaj" -- might be the best, really.

    Zamieszać -- refers to soup in most contexts. Stir the soup, or the sauce. It can also be used poetically, as "zamieszać śnieg, masło", maybe a few other things. It indicates the movement of stirring. Going out in circels. Zamieszać is definitely wrong in this context.

    Pomieszać might be really used but with Niczego, although, I think "nie poplatąj" is the right phrase in this context. Mieszać means just to stir -- without indicating the intensity or precise character of the movement. The prefix po -- indicates the perfective character of the action.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  6. BezierCurve Senior Member

    I wouldn't say "Nie zamieszaj" is impossible (just as it is, with no additional words) in this context. I've heard people use it. Also, it is closely related to "zamieszanie" meaning a very confusing situation or mayhem.
  7. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    I've never heard anyone say it, Bezier, it's always been "pomieszać", but that's fine -- maybe some people do use it, in some regions of Poland. Had I heard it, it would strike me as odd, that's for sure.
  8. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I think only if you are a 100% descriptivist and everything is allowed. :D My impression is that people speak any way they want these days, don't they? The only problem is: how are you supposed to pass certain exams then, where all those things would be marked wrong.
  9. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Well, I only noted that some people tend to use it from time to time, never claimed it was an approved form to be used during exams. Google search gives back ca. 400 results for "nie zamieszaj" (in quotes).
  10. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    What language is the play being translated from? English to Polish? I am a bit confused. I woul say "tylko niczego nie pomyl" or even "tylko nie popsuj przedstawienia", as "to mess up" means rather to spoil than to confuse.

    Sorry for confusing the text with meaningless words which were added by the idiotic mechanism built-in into my IPad by the idiots from Apple. It's very tedious to write in more than one language in one text - it requires constant vigilance while switching between the keyboards.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  11. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    'Tylko niczego nie pomieszaj' would convey precisely the same idea -- the only difference being that it's more colloquial than 'tylko niczego nie pomyl'.
  12. radosna Senior Member

    English- USA
    Thank you all for your input. I really appreciate it.

    To answer some of your questions & requests for clarification...
    The play was written originally in English & translated into Polish by a Polish native. The three proofreaders (including the professional) were also native Poles still living in Poland.

    Dreamlike, I'm not really sure if "proofer" is actually an official abbreviated way of saying "proofreader" but it is a commonly used "in house" term in our theatre company for our translated versions of our plays. "Proof" as a verb, is synonymous & acceptable as a shorter way of saying proofread.

    I had to make a final call & I went with "pomieszaj" rather than "zamieszaj" as suggested. I kept it short as suggested by my proofreaders "Nie pomieszaj!" simply because it fits the rhythm of the play better and it will be clear in the context. It's not a stand alone sentence.

    This afternoon I had to make a final call & I went with "pomieszaj" rather than "zamieszaj" as suggested. I kept it short as suggested by my official proofers because "Nie pomieszaj!" simply fits the rhythm of the play much better than the excellent (but longer) alternatives that have been suggested in this forum. I'm not worried about it being clear in the context of the play and the action that goes with it as well as the sentences that go before and after. It's not a stand alone sentence. (Sorry, I could not give more context because of copyright issues.)

    You're all so brilliant! Thank you again for your help! :)

Share This Page