The Polish Language and the Tower of Babel

Do you remember? The Tower of Babel? Where did God give each “country” a different language? Well, we now also know who was the last in line… We now call that country Poland…

Phew, what a language!

It is a competition with how many consonants you can put together, especially when they are s sounds. If you look at the letters szcz (sjtsj) in the dictionary, there are several pages filled with words that start with this… Take, for example, the city of Szczecin – pronounced as shtsjètsien.

And then you think you hear a word you know… nope.

Well, you have to be careful with that. There are a lot of the same words in Polish and Russian, but that doesn’t mean they have the same meaning. Divan means sofa in Russian, floor in Polish… Where does your guest sleep? Hitri means sneaky in Russian, stingy in Polish… That is really something else…

And then the grammar… Pffff
A verb with three letters gets an ending with 7 letters in the past tense… Huh? Yes, you read that right: the last letter of the verb is replaced by 7 (!) other letters.

Oh, and have you ever heard of past tense? Well, that’s a topic in it self. So, when you have read a book, you first have to think about who I am (a man or a woman – yes, that is another ending), then you have to think whether you have finished the book or whether you are still in the process of reading it. Reading the book (remember?), depending on that choice, you choose one of the two verbs for ‘read’.

And plural forms of past tense verbs are even more fun. There are two variants of this, namely a group in which at least 1 man is present or a group in which no man is present (women, children, things…). You can therefore deduce from the form that is used whether a man was present or not…

I would like to say: we are steadily struggling, but unfortunately it is a one-man sport: I am steadily struggling 😉

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