My most beautiful memory from last year.

A few days ago, there was a nice question at

Pointless Overthinking

: “Which is the most beautiful memory you have from last year?”. So in this post, I’m going to answer it.

From the top of my brain, what I can think of is the feeling when I finished my Polish oral exam last year. Overall, my finals were very difficult for me, not only because finals are always stressful, but also because I had quite a triggering situation happening to me on the first day, so it was all very tense and I can’t think of the exams overall without feeling my brain shuddering. I’m not going to go into details right now, but if you’d like to read about it, you can go

here.

The post is protected so just drop me a line if you’d like the password.

With the Polish oral exam though, it was a little bit different.

I came to the school just as stressed and sick as on all the previous days, mostly because of that scary situation, not the exam itself, although I was a bit jittery about the exam too. At Polish oral finals people usually are asked about obligatory readings. I found most of them rather boring, so only read detailed summaries of most of them, and did some online tests to see how much I know with that, but I was still a little afraid what if I get a very detailed question plus I get stressed and won’t know what to say. I may fail maths, and I did as you probably know, but failing Polish would be a real shame. I rationally don’t think I would, but I was so anxious then all the time that I didn’t think very rationally.

The thing with that being my most beautiful memory is that I had extreme luck that day, and could show all my potential and my possibilities. When I went to the class, one of the committee members very pompously led me to the desk, where I had a Brailler and a ton of paper, ’cause you know they assume you’d have to prepare for the oral exam and write some notes, which in other circumstances I’d probably find very merciful, ’cause I always prefer to write something down before I have to speak and be eloquent. I had to draw a question, and, despite all the anxiety, and how devastated I’d been feeling, at that moment, I felt just a wave of euphoria rushing through my brain. I’d imagine like when you just get to know that you are a billionaire, but not as intense of course. Because, it felt like that question was waiting right there, especially for me! My exam question was something like that, can’t quote exactly – describe the changes that have happened in the Polish language over the years, how has colloquial language evolved, what are some things that have influenced this change. – My notes were really, really, really laconic, it took me maybe a few lines, and a few minutes, definitely less than the time provided, especially that disabled students have that time lengthened (I hated it, it was always only problematic for me). So when I told the committee that I’m ready, they were quite clearly sceptical. But when I started talking, it was  a real logorrhea and their scepticism quickly vanished. 😀 I really don’t remember most of what I was saying, I know I was saying something about social media, and mentioning my favourite Polish book series “Jeżycjada” as a literary example, but it had to be much more. So when I got out of there, I was over the moon. Most of the other poor people there got indeed questions about obligatory readings and didn’t seem as happy.I was really relieved and very appreciative and grateful of my stroke of luck, that was far more than I could imagine, my Mum couldn’t believe that. Well I’ve always had my brain set up for all stuff linguistic, so there couldn’t be many easier things they could ask me about.

So when they were announcing the results, not very surprisingly, I got 100% of it. Was even more over the moon, especially that it was that jerky lady (who was earlier insulting me and all that and triggered me as I wrote in that post I linked to) saying that, so she could clearly see it herself, and my Mum was very happy about it. That same woman had to ruin the experience to me, saying to me in a very sweet tone of voice that it’ll be interesting to see what my math results will be like, which immediately activated my Inner Critic Monkey Maggie again, and indeed, later on it did turn out that I failed maths – I knew it could happen so it wasn’t a shock to me and din’t have to hear that woman’s opinion anymore – but still, overall, I felt like it really was a triumph for me. Especially that then I got 100% at English as well. And then another great thing was the euphoria I felt when finally my exams were over, never mind that I was pretty sure I failed that math thing.

So, while it wasn’t exactly beautiful, with all that intense stuff going on, and I wouldn’t like to go through it all again, the thing with the Polish oral itself clearly showed that I’m actually damn lucky sometimes.

I’ve had lots of nice and beautiful memories last year, but that was simply what came to my mind first. 🙂

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Sabaton – “40:1”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today is Independence Day in Poland, and it’s a special one because it’s 100th anniversary of Polish Independence. So as you can imagine we’re having a lot of celebrations, both on a national, as well as personal/familial level, and all the others in between.

I wanted to make something special on my blog because of this, like something in connection with Poland, but somehow I was very short on ideas, thought about making a little q&a like on 1 August, but thought it doesn’t really make sense now as my blog is private.

Well, turns out that even if I came up with something, I probably wouldn’t do it, because I spent most of the day in bed with a nasty headache and stuff, and then when I finally dragged out we watched the INdependence March or parade or however you call it on TV, and I had that yucky headache until a few hours ago.

Anyway, instead, I decided to celebrate this day with music. And I wanted it to be particularly interesting, so I chose one of the songs that I know that are sung in Polish, but not by Polish people or Polish speakers.

I know quite a lot of such songs because there is such an awesome programme on Polish Radio called “Strefa Rokendrola Wolna Od Angola” which I’ve already mentioned a couple of times, via which I got to know lots and lots of music, particularly rock music, in other languages than English, sometimes really bizarre, but really cool stuff. And once in a while in this programme there is a separate one for music in Polish, but by non Polish people, and another one for music made by Polish people but in other languages than Polish, and than English of course. And oh my God there are so many brilliant songs by non Polish people in Polish! And I admire their courage so so much, and it is just interesting to hear!

But this one that I want to show you is absolutely particular.

Sabaton is a Swedish metal band, which is fairly popular here, which is no wonder because they are fascinated by Polish history, and very often sing about it. I am not particularly crazy about them (even though they are Swedish 😀 ), but I do like them, and I love the fact that they are so fascinated by our country and history!

This song is called “40:1”, and has two language versions, one is in English, and one is in Polish, and I’ll show you both.

It is not connected with Polish Independence as such, it tells the story of battle of Wizna in 1939, but still I think it has the feel that is appropriate for this occasion.

The thing is: the vocalist of Sabaton doesn’t speak Polish, I guess at all. Swedish is generally an easy language for Poles, but definitely NOT vice versa! I wouldn’t exaggerate, as many Polish people like to, that Polish language is so very difficult, even the most difficult in the world as some say – no, or at least, not as very very much, I suppose, but for Swedes, it may be a bit tricky. All those z’s, ź’s, ż’s, rz’s, and so on and so forth… Swedes do not have the letter Z in their language, I mean they do but only in some loanwords or surnames and now it seems to become trendy in baby names when you’ll look at rankings. But even in the words that they do have Z, it’s very difficult for them, usually, and they pronounce it like S. Even in English Swedes very often tend to say “amasing”, “lasy”, “crasy”, which, in my opinion, is SOOOOOO cute. I have a Swedish friend, she currently lives in Poland and has married a Polish guy a while back, she has been almost always interested in Poland and has been learning Polish since years, longer than I am learning Swedish, and she has still some difficulty with those sounds. And there are other sounds, or combinations of sounds, that are incredibly hard for Swedes too.

And this guy did it! I mean of course he sounds very Swedish, and there are parts that Polish vocalists are singing, but still, he did it, and he did it really really well! I’ve heard that apparently it was very exhausting for him to sing this song in Polish, and when they were recording it they had to take multiple breaks and eventually put together small bits of it together, or something like this, because it was too hard for him to do in one piece! I was just in awe when I first heard this song, and I still am, no less. So yeah, chapeau bas
for him! And, as we are at it, even more so for all those who fought for Polish Independence!

Here are the two songs. 🙂

Question of the day (21st October).

What’s the last saying you remember using and what was the context?

My answer:

Dla picu. Dla picu is quite a colloquial saying, it can mean for appearance’s sake, or for a joke, or for no actual, important reason. I was talking to Zofijka, we were talking about school, and I was telling her that nowadays schools only exist dla picu. 😀 I like this saying a lot, and Last week my horse riding instructor used it as well as I can now remember, at a certain moment when I was riding in an area that was familiar to me, and said she said she’s walking beside me just dla picu, meaning that she doesn’t actually have to assist me because I can lead the horse myself. I like bez picu, too, which means something like no kidding. There is also similar sounding, a bit slangy bez kitu, which I use even more, and which means just the same. Oh and yet another one as for sayings with the word pic is – pic na wodę – which means something worthless, made in a slabdash way and not precisely, something useless. My Mum uses it a lot. Funny thing is that as far as I know the word pic itself doesn’t mean anything at all hahaha. But it sounds funny.

You? 🙂

Ask me anything about Poland.

Today is the anniversary of Warsaw Uprising during the WWII, which is quite an important date for Polish people.

Because of this, I thought I should celebrate it on here as well, in a way that could be both fun and educating.

Is there anything, important or just trivial, or in between, that you’d like to know about Poland, or Polish people, or Polish language?

Ask me in the comments, and I will be happy to answer your questions. I can’t promise you I know everything about Poland, Polish people and language, because I don’t, but I am Polish, so I know a lot, plus being Polish I know very many Polish people I can ask, so that way I’ll be learning too.

If there will be any questions that I’ll think deserve some more in depth answer, or that would be particularly interesting for me, I might do a separate post with the answer, we’ll just see how it goes.

So yeah, don’t be shy, just ask me. 🙂


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Question of the day.

Do you prefer cake or pie?

My answer:

It really really depends on what cake or pie it is. Plus, for me this difference isn’t really that important, because in Polish we usually call both the same name, which is ciasto. Of course, you can call a pie placek, but it’s rather rarely heard nowadays, placek is actually in some regions more like a pancake, so just no one cares what is a cake, and what is a pie. 😀

How about you? And what are your favourites, btw? My Mum is just making mole cake, I’m curious what it will be like, as she has never made it before. She is making it with blueberries, not bananas, as most people, because all of us absolutely hate bananas, well maybe except for Dad, but he doesn’t like cakes at all hahaha.

Question of the day.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen, this week?

My answer:

I watched one of my favourite Polish Youtube channels recently, it is about Polish language, you know, all that stuff how to speak properly, like common mistakes people make, about etymology, and words, etc. lots of interesting stuff. and I watched a very interesting video about origin of some words, and their alternate, archaic meanings.

You? 🙂

Word of the week – lipiec.

I’m very pleased to introduce my new series to you, which is called word of the week, which can feature words from any languages, that have something special to them in my opinion. I hope you’ll find it fun, or maybe even inspiring for your new posts. Don’t know for how long I will be doing this, but if it’ll be enjoyable for us it may become a regular feature on my blog. If you have any suggestions regarding the series or any words you’d like to see featured and that you think deserve more attention, please feel free to let me know. So, this week’s word is lipiec.
Lipiec: LEE-pyets, means July in Polish. It is derived from the word lipa (LEE-pah), which means linden, because of lindens blooming in this month.
While its core word lipa isn’t my very favourite – besides linden it can also mean trash or shoddy or generally something of bad quality, or a lie – I really like the word lipiec. I’ve always liked it. For me it sounds just cute. I can’t precise why though. It has such a soft, childish, yet sort of romantic sound to it, it’s really a perfect, sweet name for a summer month.
As you know, I have sort of synesthetic associations with words, or phrases, or other types of sounds, they’re usually tactile.
My main association with the word lipiec are clip-on earrings. Particularly the clip-on earrings my gramma had in the past, I really liked them, but most of clip-on earrings look to me like lipiec as well. I usually don’t know from where my associations derive, but I suppose this one could be because of the -lip part both in the word lipiec and clip-on.
I have also other associations with the word lipiec that are clearly synesthetic and many of them have to do with nature. For example, I associate the word lipiec not surprisingly with linden leaves, but also privet leaves for some reason, tulip petals and muscari petals, blackberries, and many berry fruits. For some reason the word lipiec makes me think of little babies, particularly asleep, maybe because of how childish it sounds to me. Generally lots of ball- round-shaped things I can associate with this word, because it sounds quite round to me.
I often seem to have even taste associations, and the word lipiec is for me forever connected with… salted peanuts! They just taste like lipiec.
I can have just the same associations with some other words, for example those related to lipiec, or that sound similarly, anyway these are my main synesthetic associations with this word.
I know it may seem strange and unrelatable for you, but for me words have always been sort of multisensory, which always helps me with learning new languages, writing, finding inspiration in the words, etc. I quite like it, even if it’s weird and I know only one person who has it similar, and he’s also blind.
My more normal associations include my Mum’s nameday, which is in lipiec, heat, holidays, fun, happiness, and generally lots of idyllic things.
I can’t say lipiec is my most favourite month – it’s usually pretty hot – but I can surely say it’s the month with the most beautiful name.
Something else I can tell you about lipiec is that it is also a Polish surname, and there are quite a few others derived from linden.
I’ve made an audiophile with one of my Polish speech synthesisers (called Jacek) saying this word, so you can get how it sounds naturally as English phonetics are pretty poor in comparison to Polish and it’s hard to explain things just with writing. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8qetmz42ol06nws/Lipiec_.mp3?dl=0 I hope it makes things a bit clearer for you.
What are your thoughts on the word lipiec? What comes to your mind when you hear it? Do you like it, or do you prefer July, or in any other language?