Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

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cjareck
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:31 am

StringerBell wrote:I came across the word "gówno" in my novel, which the internet tells me means "shit". Is gówno considered particularly vulgar?

No, I would say that using it is simple unpolite. Not much more.

StringerBell wrote: I know that kurwa is the all-purpose curseword that can be used anywhere, anytime :) And cholera seems to be used more in the way we'd use "damn" or "hell" in English.

That is true. The first one is the strongest one of all. At least as far as I know.
StringerBell wrote:Would I be correct in saying that cholera is a relatively mild "curse" and kurwa and gówno are both much stronger?

As I said above "Gówno" is not a curse. Other is true.

StringerBell wrote:A character in the show said, "Gówno wiecie" which in the English subtitles was translated as "You don't know shit." I guess literally in Polish this would be saying, "You know shit." Does that English translation make sense? Would you say "Gówno wiecie" to mean "you don't know shit/you don't know anything."?

I do not now English curse words so I would say it is a strong and unpolite way of saying "You don't know anything."

StringerBell wrote:Fun new expressions/vocab:
nie przejmuj się = don't worry about it ***Is this the same as "nie ma sprawy"?

They are different ones. First is don't worry about, but the second is like "you're welcome" when someone thanked you for something

StringerBell wrote:nieumyślne spowodowanie śmierci = involuntary manslaughter

Yes. Thanks to watching crime shows I understand the English term ;)

StringerBell wrote:współpracować = to cooperate <<<this one has been popping up a lot!

Yes, but I don't know the context, which may be important. If it is about communist times, then it probably means that someone was "współpracownik" (cooperator), what means he was a "tajny współpracownik" (secret cooperator) who signed a pact with security service and provided them with information for cash or other profits.
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tajny_wsp ... 2pracownik
We have problems with that today - quite a lot people benefited from that level up in their carriers, and now they are saying, that this was not a problem, they didn't hurt anyone and so one. It is seldom that someone tells "sorry". Unfortunately.
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Radioclare » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:55 pm

StringerBell wrote:I came across the word "gówno" in my novel, which the internet tells me means "shit". Is gówno considered particularly vulgar? I know that kurwa is the all-purpose curseword that can be used anywhere, anytime :)


I just wanted to post to say that these are the first two words of Polish I've understood since I started reading your log :D

I briefly attended a Croatian class a few years ago and the teacher got really flustered one day when one of the students kept referring to "Bosnia and Herzegovna" (as opposed to "Bosnia and Herzegovina") in a discussion we were having in English about the former Yugoslavia. She refused to explain why, but instructed us that we must never pronounce it as "Herzegovna". Eventually with the help of a dictionary I figured out why :lol:
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:40 pm

Mały
domek
czerwonych
biedronek
niestety
musiałam
wyrzucić

This short sentence helps my daughter remember case names in Polish:
Mianownik
Dopełniacz
Celownik
Biernikwe
Narzędnik
Miejscownik
Wołacz
We are repeating with my oldest declination of phrases like "trzy książki". Tomorrow she has a class work on this topic. So yes in Polish schools children learn a lot of this kind of things ;)
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:39 pm

I have no idea what those cases are or how those examples help with the cases! I kind of know that certain cases fulfill certain functions, but I can never remember what they are called or what declension tables are associated with them.

This is how much I know about cases:

1) I know that there is the standard dictionary form of the noun (don't ever remember what that's called): Coffee/Kawa
2) There's the case for when you do something with that noun/it receives some action: I want a coffee/Chcę kawę, except for masculine nouns, those don't change. I can apply this fairly consistently in some situations.
3) I know that the noun usually changes when the sentence is negative, but I'm not sure if that's even a declension: I don't want a coffee/Nie chcę kawy. Can't apply this at all.
4) There's a case for showing possession, that generally means that men's name get an "a" at the end and I think the women's name get a "y". It's probably more complex than this. Can apply this, but not consistently.
5) there are the pronouns mi/ci/mu/jej/nam/wam/im but I didn't even know those were due to a case until a few days ago, I just thought they indicated something was given/said "to" the person, plus it appears in a few other situations. Can apply this fairly consistently.
6) When numbers are involved, I think there's another declension but I don't know how that works.
7) Then there are potentially one or more cases that are a mystery to me.

When I tried learning the cases and the tables many years ago, none of it made sense to me. I couldn't associate a table with a case name, I couldn't apply any of those endings when talking, it was just a giant nightmare of nonsense. One of many problems is that I can't tell the difference between an indirect/direct object on the spot. If I stop and think about it, I can usually eventually tell the difference, but when speaking/listening they become the same thing (someone/something receives an action). I spent a grand total of 2 weeks of my entire life 28 years ago in school diagramming sentences and learning the grammatical functions of words. The distinction between direct/indirect objects in English is really inconsequential, so it's mostly meaningless to me.

I can understand Polish just find without knowing these cases, but I know that without spending some serious time memorizing and studying and practicing them I will never approach anything that resembles being a proficient speaker, yet I am at a total loss for how to go about doing that in a way that isn't painful and won't make me quit Polish. Given my resistance to studying grammar, I don't think it's actually possible for me to sound like anything other than an incompetent foreigner, which really makes me lose any motivation to want to speak or write. I think that the only thing I can do is focus on improving my comprehension, because that's something I know is within my reach, given enough time, and learn to just appreciate my passive skills.
Last edited by StringerBell on Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm

This was a simple sentence where all the words were beginning on the same letter as the case names in the order they appear in all declination tables.
In your post:
1) Mianownik - answers to the questions "Kto? co?" Kawa
2) Biernik - kogo? co? Kawę
3) Dopełniacz - kogo czego? kawy
4) in my opinion same as 3

Grammar is very complicated, but a lot of native speakers makes obvious errors and do not declinate nouns or conjugate verbs correctly. Last, but not the least, do not forget about the 123-year-period when Poland didn't exist. Some of us borrowed words/phrases or patterns from Russian, while other from German.

Comprehension is the most crucial skill. To communicate the most important thing you do not need to apply cases. You still will be understood.
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:55 pm

After being in a little funk this past week I decided 2 things:

1) I need to view language learning as a hobby that I pursue regardless of the outcome, meaning that even if I can never speak in a way that I'm satisfied with, it won't matter. This is easier said than done, but it's the goal, and I'll try to keep reminding myself of this when I start focusing too much on outcomes. This also means that I'm going to continue doing something in Polish (and also Italian) everyday, but I'm not going to aim for a certain amount of time. When I feel like I've done enough, I'll just stop for the day. This is what I've been doing with Italian (but not Polish) I think this will help transition me into considering Polish more as a hobby.

2) I will never be a proficient Italian/Polish/anything speaker, but I can make some small improvements. I need to focus more on these small improvements than getting overwhelmed by the impossibility of larger improvements.

So, I decided to focus on very simple and achievable goals like making 3 or 4 word sentences. (Wait, that sounds like the opposite of what I just said before about not having outcomes...maybe tiny outcomes are ok?)

I listed a bunch of adjectives at the top of the page and just wrote super simple sentences, using GT (hopefully the sentences it gave me were correct!) I decided to take the sentence construction "I have a ______" and make a ton of sample sentences and look for patterns. I made some useful (to me) observations, mainly that having "a person" follows a different rule from having "an object" when the person/object is masculine. It seems like "dog" and "cat" are masculine words that follow the same pattern as people.

The pattern with the feminine words I already knew, and I also knew that masculine words don't change in this situation, but I didn't realize there was a difference between masc. objects and people. So even though this was an exercise that mostly reinforced things I knew it did point out some things that had been very confusing to me. I also discovered a really funky thing that neutral nouns do when they don't end with a "o".

For example:

PERSON:
sąsiad = neighbor (masc)
przyjazny = friendly (masc form)
Mam przyjaznego sąsiada. I have a friendly neighbor.

matka = mother (fem)
bogata = rich (fem form)
Mam bogatą matkę. (I wish!)

OBJECT:
rower = bicycle (masc)
zielony = green (masc form)
Mam zielony rower. I have a green bicycle. NOTHING CHANGES.

kanapa = couch (fem)
nowa = new (fem form)
Mam nową kanapę

NEUTRAL WEIRDNESS:
lustro = mirror (neutral)
Mam duże lustro. NOTHING CHANGES

mieszkania = apartment (neutral, but ends in "a" just to make things confusing)
Mam duże mieszkanie. I have a big apartment.

So next week I'm going to write up as many simple sentences with this construction. I'm going to try to remind myself to revisit this activity with some frequency, otherwise I will totally forget about it and get confused all over again.

2 Second Rant:
So if everyone can totally understand the meaning of sentences where masculine and neutral words don't change endings, why do the feminine ones need to change?

IMG_0068.jpg
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:43 pm

StringerBell wrote:So, I decided to focus on very simple and achievable goals like making 3 or 4 word sentences. (Wait, that sounds like the opposite of what I just said before about not having outcomes...maybe tiny outcomes are ok?)

This is a very reasonable goal. I must admit, that at school I had to start from short sentences level to polish my Polish style ;)
StringerBell wrote:The pattern with the feminine words I already knew, and I also knew that masculine words don't change in this situation, but I didn't realize there was a difference between masc. objects and people. So even though this was an exercise that mostly reinforced things I knew it did point out some things that had been very confusing to me. I also discovered a really funky thing that neutral nouns do when they don't end with a "o".

There is something like "ożywiony" and "nieożywiony" noun. Living things (like people) are different than artificial ones. From my school, I remember only the names for the groups, but I presume that it is something like you described.
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:55 pm

POLISH:

I tried something a little different during my LE today. I chose a short anecdote that I wanted to discuss based on something that happened this week. I wrote the story using sentences that were as simple as possible and I used GT to tidy up what I wrote. Then, at the beginning of the LE, I sent my partner a copy of the Polish paragraphs that I'd written to get her feedback on whether it was understandable, whether there were mistakes, suboptimal wording, etc... She understood everything and only made one change.

Then, I discussed the topic that I'd written about. Since my partner had read through what I wanted to say, it was super easy for her to follow me when I was speaking, and if I got stuck, I could refer to what I'd written. She asked me follow up questions, and since I had already written out certain things, it was easier for me to use some of those phrases in my responses. It took me a good 45 minutes to prepare this writing ahead of time, but I think it was worth it. It allowed me to use some phrases throughout the conversation repeatedly that I knew to be correct, so I wasn't wildly flailing around with the case endings. I hope to do this again in the future as a regular thing.

It was also good practice to force myself to think in simplified sentences. I find this extremely challenging, but I think it's really important. I really need to focus on producing simple sentences that are correct, before I struggle with more complex ones.

ITALIAN:

indeclinable wrote:Also, if you're into Italian, might I suggest L’italiano secondo il «metodo natura» (Is the Familia Romana's younger brother for Italian)?


I unexpectedly came across a recommendation on Ezra's log by indeclinable for an Italian reader. I've never used anything like this, and even though my current level is probably much higher, I decided to just read through it to see how it is. It's a free and legal resource for anyone looking for that. My hope is that it progressively gets more challenging, which I'm assuming it will. Maybe I can use it for scriptorium practice, since I was looking for something relatively simple to use in that way. It's available through archive.org.
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:50 am

POLISH:

I'm making really good progress with my audiobook+novel combo. I had a minor turning point (?) today. After using my usual strategy of reading first in English then in Polish, I was relistening to the same chapter I'd just R+L (but this time without the text) while washing dishes and I suddenly noticed that it was much easier to follow. It didn't feel like I had to strain to understand and follow the narration. There were very few words going by that I didn't know. It *almost* felt comfortable.

I'm sure it's been a very slow progression of getting a tiny bit easier over time, but for some reason today I just spontaneously realized how much easier it was to follow while listening, compared with weeks or months ago.

ITALIAN:

Yesterday I did Chapter 2 of Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Italian Grammar. While I was going through the chapter, it was feeling hopelessly impossible to remember the little nitpicky things mentioned (ex: words ending in -amma and -ema are masculine: il programma) I already knew some of these exceptions, but I didn't realize this was an actual rule. I was convinced I'd never remember it, but then that rule and a few others kept popping into my mind later that evening and today. So, apparently I can remember some things.

I did a little bit of chatting with in-laws in Italian today. I was quite rusty, and had some amount of interference from Polish, as I kept thinking of words I wanted to say in Polish instead of Italian, but at least I realized they were in Polish and didn't actually say them, so that's a small win.
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Re: Polski & Italiano Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:05 am

In case anyone wants to waste a few minutes, here is a link to a site that estimates the number of words you know. I haven't seen this site mentioned before and I don't know anything about how reliable it is. I have a hard time believing I know that many words. I think an 8 year old Polish kid would put me to shame and an 14 year old Italian would leave me in the dust. Maybe I do know some higher level words they wouldn't but I think I probably lucked out with a bunch of cognates and some good guesswork.

My results for Polish and Italian:

Polish.png
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Attachments
Italian.png
Italian.png (62.48 KiB) Viewed 578 times
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Italian goal: transcribe 10 episodes of Lucifer : 8 / 10
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