Rok, Lat

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by franknagy, Sep 1, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Is the Polish rule for Rok and Lat the same as the Russian one for 1 год, 2-4 года, 5-20 лет?
  2. Ral.G Senior Member

    I have no knowledge of Russian whatsoever, but it does seem that way.

    Or maybe not exactly? I've no idea how you say 21, 31, 41, etc. years in Russian. In Polish you include it in "lat":

    1 rok, 2-4 lata, 5-21 lat, 22-24 lata, 25-31 lat, 32-34 lata, ...
  3. marco_2 Senior Member

    So, in Polish rok apears only after a separate 1: jeden rok, after eg 21 we say: dwadzieścia jeden lat (the Russians say двадцать один год)
  4. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    :idea: Only if you use 'rok' with ordinal numbers, it always keeps its form:
    Jest na drugim roku studiów. -- He's in his second year at university.
    1982/2013 rok -- Year 1982/2013
  5. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Thank you for the answers.
    Very interesting similarity and dissimilarity of Polish and Russian rules.

    1 год, 2-4 года, 5-20 лет, 21 год, 22-24 года, 25-30 лет, 31 год, 32-34 года.

    But how has fallen
    into both soups instead of "year" after certain numerals?

  6. marco_2 Senior Member

    You can found lieto = year even in Old-Church-Slavonic so it is a pretty old phenomenon. It is interesting that in many Polish dialects people also used the noun wiosna (spring) meaning year (Ile sobie liczysz wiosen? = How old are you? - literally How many springs do you count / have you survived?)
  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Not the same.
    In Polish it is 1 rok, 2 lata, 3 lata, 4 lata, 5 lat, all higher numbers xx lat, except those ending in 2, 3 or 4 (two different words, two different cases)
    In Russian 1 god, 2 годa, 3 года, 4 года, 5 лет, all higher numbers xx лет, except those ending in 1, 2, 3 or 4. (on word, three different cases)

    Grammars give the rule "
    двадцать один год" but a Google search yields a lot of "двадцать один лет" too! (Anyone knows why?)
  8. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Dear Marco,
    Which is the dialect saying wiosen?
    What are the Polish dialects?
    I know only 2 dialects: kaszub around Gdańk and góral in Zakopane.
    Which other ones do exist?
    Plz, send me a link with map and a summary of their mai differences.

    TIA, Regards
  9. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    The word 'wiosen' (plural) in the sense of 'lat' is used widely by people from all parts of Poland, it's by no means limited to any dialect. I've heard many people from all over the country use it, and they spoke standard Polish (if such a term is even applicable to our language). It's just colloquial, and perhaps slightly humorous.
  10. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    I would say it is rather more old fashioned and poetic, than colloquial. I have met this usage only in books.
  11. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    There exist many dialects of Polish. You can read about them here:
    Actually the large dialect groups described in this article are still divided into smaller dialects/subdialects. In the XXI century dialects are disappearing, being replaced by variants of the standard Polish language with slight local traits like vocabulary, pronunciation and accent, but you can still find older people in rural environment still proficient in their local dialect.
  12. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    You may have a point. WSJP labels 'wiosna - rok życia człowieka' as indeed 'literary', and SJP PWN as 'old fashioned/archaic' - the term they use in Polish is 'dawniej'. Still, I have come across it informal contexts a great many times.
  13. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    This phenomenon is not only bound to Polish and Russian. It exists in more Slavic languages. It also does in English:'summer' can also be used to mean 'year':
    3. A year: a girl of 13 summers.
    Strangely enough, this use of 'summer' corresponds well to the Polish 'wiosna' meaning 'year' (considered literary and/or archaic/old-fashioned).

    More on the Russian usage of 'god' and 'lieto':

    I've recently come across it in Romance languages:
    Portuguese primavera
    Spanish primavera
    French printemps
    They can all mean 'year'. A sample from a Portuguese dictionary:
    3 Derivação: sentido figurado.
    idade de uma pessoa jovem
    Ex.: completou 12 p.
    Source: Houaiss

    I've just consulted a German dictionary and it says that 'Lenz' (pl. 'Lenze'), meaning 'spring', can also mean 'year'.

    Polish dialectologists used to distinguish five dialects:
    Today kashubian is considered a separate language. Just a little clarification: 'góralski' is technically considered a part of dialekt małopolski, we call it 'gwara'. You may find this website useful:

    I've got the same experience with 'wiosna' as Ben Jamin. Perhaps the dialect from your neck of the woods uses it? :)
  14. ryba

    ryba Senior Member


    When it comes to Polish dialects, I have a fun fact for you. In the Podhale dialect, they generalized the root rok- for all numerals. That is to say, they say:

    jedyn rok (1 rok)
    dwa, trzy, śtyry roki (2-4 roki)
    piyńć (...) dwaścia jedyn roków (5-21 roków)
    22-24 roki
    25-31 roków

    which is exactly what happens in Ukrainian, too:

    один рік (1 rik)
    два, три, чотири роки (2-4 roky)
    п'ять (...) двадцять років (5-20 rokiv)
    двадцять один рік (21 rik)
    22-24 роки
    25-30 років

    Our neighbors from the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania (today known as Belarus), in turn, opted for the other root:

    адзін год (1 hod)
    два, тры, чатыры гады (2-4 hady)
    пяць (...) дваццаць гадоў (5-20 hadoŭ)
    дваццаць адзін год (21 hod)
    22-24 гады
    25-30 гадоў

    It looks like the Slovenes did the opposite and generalized the root corresponding to Polish lat-, Russian лет-: Leto (Wikipedia). It would be interesting to know what the story behind the suppletivity of the 'year'-paradigm (Proto-Slavic *rokъ / *godъ × Proto-Slavic *lěto) exactly is: is the generalization of either of the roots a post-Proto-Slavic innovation or is having a suppletive (mixed) paradigm an innovation (resulting from the co-existence of semantically close fully-fledged paradigms that only relatively recently got fused into a single suppletive paradigm in some Slavic varieties)?

    I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that, in all Slavic languages, cardinal numerals from 1 to 4 govern the nominative case, while 5-10 govern the genitive case (1). This is an Indo-European trait (also present in Old English).

    (1) Exceptions in numbers higher than 10 are language (or language group) specific.

    Nominative in Polish: cardinal numerals from 1 to 4 and those ending in 2-4, except for the teens.
    Genitive in Polish: the rest.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  15. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Hi Thomas,
    The "tavasz" = spring can used in Hungarian to express age - usually old one.

    "Megértem már hetven tavaszt, de még nem láttam ilyen tornádót."
    "I have lived to see seventy springs but I have not seen such a tornado."

    I think that the spring in the expression of the old age is more natural than the summer after all the winter is the hardest season in the point of view of the survival.

    There is a special expression for the age of 77 years in Hungarian: "a két fekete kaszás"="the two black scythe-men".
    (Derived from the crossed form of figure seven of fonts used in old books.)
    Does it exist in Polish or Russian?

    I wonder how the linguistians define the difference of dialects and languages.
    I think it is more political than scientific question.
    I know the following definition:
    "What is the difference between a nation and a nationality?
    The nation is a nationality with an army."

    Thank you for the links to maps of Polish dialects.
    Millions of of people were forced to resettle in Europe after the second world war,
    in case of Poland from The Ucraine to Pomerania, so on.
    What was the portion of Polish people in Silesia and other German possessions before it?

  16. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page