z Niemcy vs. z Niemiec

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pacadansc

Senior Member
English
Hello all,
What is the difference, please, between "On jest z Niemcy" and "On jest z Niemiec".
I have seen "On jest z Niemcy" as an answer to "Skąd jest .. ?" and "On jest z Niemiec" in the context of "On mieszka ..."
I don't understand why the change in case. Are these examples correct ?
Many thanks ....
 
  • Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello all,
    What is the difference, please, between "On jest z Niemcy" and "On jest z Niemiec".
    I have seen "On jest z Niemcy" as an answer to "Skąd jest .. ?" and "On jest z Niemiec" in the context of "On mieszka ..."
    I don't understand why the change in case. Are these examples correct ?
    Many thanks ....
    May be it was a typo for "On jest z Niemczy" (Niemcza is a town in Poland).
    "Niemcy" is a rather non-typical form of a name of a country because it is so old. As far as I know there are only three such names where the name of the inhabitants is the same as the name of the country. The others are Węgry (old form of plural, the inhabitants of Hungary are now called Węgrzy) and Czechy. All three countries were neighbours of Poland (now only two). Both Niemcy and Węgry have retained the outdated form of the locative (Niemczech, Węgrzech) when used about the country, but not when used about the people.
     

    pacadansc

    Senior Member
    English
    Well, thank you both very much. Dziękuję bardzo. These examples came from an online polish lesson. In this case there were a number of examples but no explanation of the difference. My quest to learn Polish leads me to try many sources. I think I will drop this one.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    May be it was a typo for "On jest z Niemczy" (Niemcza is a town in Poland).
    "Niemcy" is a rather non-typical form of a name of a country because it is so old. As far as I know there are only three such names where the name of the inhabitants is the same as the name of the country. The others are Węgry (old form of plural, the inhabitants of Hungary are now called Węgrzy) and Czechy. All three countries were neighbours of Poland (now only two). Both Niemcy and Węgry have retained the outdated form of the locative (Niemczech, Węgrzech) when used about the country, but not when used about the people.
    There's also Włochy and Chiny.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    And Indie..
    Nope, Włochy is not the name of the inhabitants of Italy in modern Polish. Chiny and Indie are not names of the inhabitants at all. They are only names in plural, like Filipiny, Komory, Seszele, and (historical) names like Niderlandy and Inflanty.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    But Czechy is also not the name of the inhabitants (it's Czesi).

    Niemcy is the same only because words ending in -c always get "hard" endings (-y insted of -i). You can see that the declension is different.

    People: Niemcy, Niemców, Niemcom ...

    Country: Niemcy, Niemiec, Niemcom ...

    Exactly the same thing happens with Węgry/Węgrzy.
     
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