Reasons why I love Polish.

If any of you have been reading my blogfrom it’s early months, you might recall a post I wrote about all the

reasons why I’m learning Welsh

that I could come up with. It was a translated post from my previous, Polish blog, and I wrote it because pretty much every single person whom I mentioned it to would ask me this question as either the first, or the second one, right after “Isn’t it an English dialect?” 馃榾 and because, well, as you can see in that post, there are very many reasons.

I enjoyed writing that post and it got a lot more attention than I thought it would, so the next year I also wrote about

reasons why I’m learning Swedish

and last year

reasons why I’m learning English.

I haven’t started learning any new language since then (even though some people seem to believe that I start learning a new one every month, haha), and I think it’ll be a while yet until I do, but although my language bucket list is long, I’m not rushing anywhere. And, there’s still one language that I know that I think also deserves its own post, even though I’m not learning it. Well, I am technically, but since I’m a native, it’s a different kind of learning, of course. And obviously as you can figure out of the title, or even if you know about me, this language is Polish. I was a little hesitant about writing this post however, even though I was thinking from the beginning of this yearly language series that I should do it. Of course I love Polish, and in a way it’s a more special relationship than with any other of my languages, but, because it’s always been a part of my life and not really as a result of my own, conscious choice as is the case with the others, I thought it would be harder to come up with as many reasons. As someone who hates anything to do with math, I always tend to appreciate quality over quantity, but I wouldn’t like this post to stand out as the shortest of the whole series, that would be sad and unfair, even if just in my opinion.

I shared the dilemma with my Mum, who rightly noticed that it would be much more sad and unfair if I didn’t write it at all. And that perhaps the reasons as such will speak louder here than their amount would. That was a very fair point to me, so that’s why I am writing this post today, after all.

Here are all the reasons why I love Polish:

聽聽 1.

It is, like I said earlier, my mother tongue, so, in a way, I have even more of a connection with it than any other of my languages. It was the first language that sparked the love for language in my brain, I mean language in general, as a phenomenon, linguistics. It made me fall in love with words, my synaesthetic associations with them, it showed me how fun it is to play with words and expand your vocabulary. I love it because it’s the language in which I communicate with people I love – my family. – And because learning it made me more able and open to learn other languages later on.

聽聽 2.

Like all my languages. It is plain beautiful. While other Slavic languages aren’t among my most most most favourites (I do like them a lot, they are super cool and very charming but they aren’t in that MOST group), I strongly believe that even if it wasn’t my mother tongue, I’d still end up loving Polish, I don’t know how I could not.

聽聽 3.

While I’m not inclined to brag like some of us like to do that our language is the most difficult in the world (it depends on what you’re starting with, and there are much, much more complex languages out there), Polish does have a rather complex grammatical structure when compared to English, and – if you can ever be objective about such things – I’d say it’s also more complex phonetically than all the languages I’ve learnt so far. That makes me lucky, because the more difficult language you’re starting with, the easier you’ll likely find learning other languages, because you may be familiar with their trickier bits already from your mother tongue. I don’t have to be scared of languages with genuses or cases, for example, and arduously try to conceptualise them, because I already know what they are all about, now I just have to figure out how they apply to the language I’m learning and what differences there are compared to what I’m used to. And while picking up phonetics of foreign languages seems to be more of an individual trait, I think it does help me with it that, in my mother tongue, there are sounds which can hardly be differentiated from each other by a non-native even though they are different (see 艣 and sz, 膰 and cz etc.).

聽聽 4.

There is a lot of great Polish literature. I don’t know much about how much of it gets translated to other languages and which ones most often, but given that most countries are largely focused either on writing their own literature, or translating things from English, and the Anglophone world doesn’t seem to translate a lot, if I lived anywhere else and didn’t speak Polish, I probably wouldn’t get to know books by people who are now my favourite Polish authors.

聽聽 5.

Some of the swearwords and expletives are priceless. See my post

about gingerbread,

for example, if you want to learn more.

聽聽 6.

It has loads of amusing idioms. And lots of such that are very straightforward and to the point, and lots of such that I just love the sound of.

7.

The archaic Polish language. While I think it’s very true that a language is alive as long as it’s changing, because we are always changing and the times are always changing so it would be weird if the language wouldn’t, hence I don’t understand people who are all against slang, loanwords and other such things, I think it would be fun if we talked more like we used to, used more of that vocabulary we no longer do. Or, why the heck did we stop using initial stress in words to replace it with a paroxytone stress? I guess only highlanders speak with an initial syllable stress now, and I like that because it makes them sound like Finns. 馃榾 Or I hate that we stopped using long and short vowels because that makes the prosody of a language feel more interesting. I love love love reading older Polish books where there are words that we no longer use, some that I don’t even really get and I love learning what they mean and feeling them. People used to have such a delicious way of writing, even at the beginning of the 20th century, not to mention earlier. I feel like it often gets lost now. I say delicious because one of the synaesthesias I have is lexical-gustatory and while words almost always have some sort of a taste and it’s not like the modern Polish language doesn’t and like there aren’t any delicious words in it (far from it), it’s just that more archaic Polish language tends to have something very specific about its taste as a whole, that I really like. My Mum has also always loved reading books written in an archaic or obsolete language, so I guess it must be genetic. She especially has a lot of prayer books from like even before WWI I guess, when even the spelling was different and we used y instead of j, or my grandma has a cook book from the end of 19th century. I just love things like these!

8.

Dialects. You may perhaps remember from my post about English, that I wrote about Polish being a fairly unified language in terms of accent, especially when compared to English. However, there still are some slight variations to how people speak in different regions and it’s interesting to observe. There are also some dialects. I don’t necessarily have to love all of them as such in terms of whether they appeal to me aesthetically, but I love that the ones that exist still do, that we have some linguistic diversity (although I wish there was more or at least that it would be more pronounced), and although I myself don’t speak any dialect or don’t have a particularly distinguishable accent (despite being half-Kashub, and Kashubian is classified as a minority language but I can hardly understand it let alone speak it), I am very easily driven up the wall by people saying things like that it is not “elegant” to speak in a dialect, for example. I do think it’s a good skill to have to be able to speak your language in some universal, standard way that is often considered more formal, but being disapproving of someone speaking in a different way is not only discriminatory but also kind of smothering a person’s identity, and I guess that’s one of the reasons why it bothers me so much whenever I come across such an attitude.

聽聽 9.

Words that are untranslatable to other languages that I know. I am always interested in the concept of untranslatable words, in any language, and the ideas behind them, how you can express sometimes some incredibly complex ideas using one word in one language, but in another, one sentence may sometimes be too little. A very good example of a Polish word that is untranslatable to English is kombinowa膰, which also happens to be a word that I really like and which, as many Poles think, reflects our resourcefulness as a nation. 馃榾 Yes, there is combine, and kombinowa膰 absolutely can mean combine, but it also has another definition. It is something you do when you have a problem that you need to resolve, but there’s no straight way out of it and it needs first a lot of thinking and then coming up with some unconventional work-around strategy, which sometimes may not be the most honest one. Both the thinking process and then carrying your idea out is what kombinowa膰 means. When it is dishonest, you could of course say it’s plain cheating but cheating feels a LOT more weighty and negative, and also kombinowa膰 is more colloquial, plus kombinowa膰 may, but doesn’t have to include, any cheating. It could be coming up with any creative, out-of-the-box solution or idea and then doing what you came up with. It is often translated as being up to something but it’s not the same.

聽聽 10.

Poglish, Ponglish, Pinglish or whatchamacallit. I’ve always said Ponglish, but a lot of people say Poglish and recently I came across Pinglish and I think Pinglish is best. Anyway, obviously you know what I’m talking about, the blend of Polish and English. It is often used by Polish diaspore in the US and the UK (like in Chicago I guess it’s quite a big thing) or by Polish young people in a slangy sort of way, or (voluntarily or not) by Polish speakers learning English/English speakers learning Polish when they’re dealing with language interference and/or nearly discharged/fried brains. It can be so freakishly amusing sometimes.

聽聽 11.

I often gravitate towards languages that are less popular and less heard off, if not obscure. Polish may not be as much as obscure, but, apart from Poland or places in other countries where there are a lot of Polish immigrants, you won’t hear it a lot, and there aren’t super many non-natives who would speak it. This small language factor is very appealing to me.

聽聽 12.

Because, whether it is the most difficult language in the world or not, it is viewed by many learners and natives as difficult, and I was lucky enough to not have to make a conscious effort of learning it. 馃榾 And the difficult factor is also appealing in itself. I like difficult languages, they are fascinating, kind of similarly to how complex human beings are.

What do you love your native language for, if you do, and if you don’t, why? 馃檪

 

What does gingerbread have to do with the windmill, or, why do Poles use gingerbread as an expletive?

Looking back at my blog stats at the end of last year, I came across an interesting search term that brought someone to my blog, namely –
“piernika swearword”. – I like to be sure that when people do find my tiny little Mishmashy islet amid the whole huge Internet sea, they can actually find what they were looking for. I think usually they do, and if they don’t, it’s most often because I can’t provide the info myself, but in this case, I think I can shed some light on it, so that’s what I’ll try to do today.

But what does that “piernika” thing even mean? “Piernika” is both dative and accusative case of the Polish word “piernik”, which means gingerbread, it doesn’t really make much sense on its own in such form, without some broader context. I think someone looking for something on the topic must have heard about the word gingerbread being used in Polish as a swearword/expletive but didn’t have a clear idea so just Googled whatever. There is neither such a swearword in Polish as “piernika” or “piernik”. However, we do have some rather light swearwords which do derive from this word, and that’s what I’ll write about today. I’ll also tell you about other Polish expressions with the word gingerbread, because we not only have famous and yummilicious gingerbreads from Toru艅, but also somehow really like to use this word.

I’d just like people to know that I am not a linguist, just a linguophile who is interested in all things language, so this may not be exhaustive, and that it is only Polish, not English, which is my native language, so some things are a bit awkward to explain in English, but if something isn’t clear let me know and maybe I can explain it differently. Also, there’s not really a whole lot of resources I’ll be working with, as I didn’t find a whole lot of information that would be satisfactory for me on this so very narrow topic. I am mostly writing this as a more rambly sort of postthat I thought could be fun and also interesting, perhaps somewhat educating even, rather than a really valid reference for someone that you can rely on without any reservations, my main resource here is actually a Polish YA book, so… yeah, don’t take it too seriously. 馃榾

I used the phrase “What does gingerbread have to do with a windmill?” in the title of this post, because it is a legit Polish saying, which is “Co ma piernik do wiatraka” in the original. It is used to point out that something is irrelevant to the conversation, or if you feel kind of confused or don’t understand a relationship between things. Let’s say Sofi and Bibiel are in the middle of a heated discussion about their favourite iPhone games, trying to establish what is better, BitLife or Among Us, and suddenly, out of the blue, Sofi informs Bibiel that she ate an ice-cream sandwich… No information about when she did this and why that would even be important! (real life situation 馃榾 ). So then Bibiel can ask: “Eh?! What does a gingerbread have to do with a windmill?”

But, actually, just think of it… doesn’t gingerbread have a whole lot to do with the windmill? When I was a child, there was such a radio station here in Poland called Polish Radio BIS (BIS was the acronym for Bardzo Inna Stacja which means Very different Station, and also I really liked how the word BIS sounded and the whole station was just so cool!). One of my favourite programmes on there was BIS-up, which was generally about all things language, but also travel, different cultures and the like. It was a station mostly geared at youth, like uni students or something like that I suppose, and in BIS-up they did language lessons and had a lot of interesting brainstorming questions and stuff. And one thing they once asked to make people think that I remember very vividly was exactly that – what does gingerbread have to do with a windmill? –
People came up with lots of things, interestingly, mostly linguistic, like that they both have an i as their second letter (even in English!), that they’re both masculine nouns and such… But, of course, they have much more in common. Windmill grinds the grain to flour, from which you can then make gingerbread. And you can make a windmill of gingerbread. 馃榾 So this expression doesn’t really make all that much sense. But doesn’t everything have something in common with each other, if you think long enough? A bit off topic but still on a similar note, we also have an expression that something fits like a flower to a sheepskin coat, meaning it doesn’t fit at all, kinda like a square peg in a round hole. But why do a flower and a sheepskin coat have to make such a dissonance and do they really do? 馃榾

Then there is “stary piernik” which literally means old gingerbread. Many people think that the older gingerbread, the better it is, but here this is definitely negative. Old gingerbread is a scornful or derogatory phrase used in reference to an elderly man. I’ve also come across people saying “old gingerbreads” in relation to elderly people of both genders, but because gingerbread is a masculine noun it seems more natural in reference to a man. Actually I’ve heard it used more often by older people themselves in a sort of self-deprecating manner, like when comparing themselves to someone younger, rather than someone saying this to an older person or describing them this way.

And now, expletives. So we have swearwords like pierdoli膰 or pierdzieli膰. Some of our swearwords, especially the ones which are verbs, can have loads and loads of meanings, some more vulgar than the others, but generally these verbs, in any meaning, aren’t something you’d use in a formal way, or around children or somehow very language-sensitive people. I think their primary meaning though is very much like the English fuck. Most frequently, at least from what I hear, people use it as a way of expressing shock, anger or surprise: “Ja pierdol臋!/Ja pierdziel臋!”, so literally something like “I fuck”. )

We also have some other words starting with pier- which maybe aren’t really swearwords, but generally have a bit of a vulgar feel or aren’t considered appropriate language in a lot of situations, like pierdzie膰 (to fart).

And as you may remember, ginberbread in Polish is piernik. So I think the story behind the origin of Polish piernik-derived expletives is very much like with English heck, flip or shot. That’s how the word pierniczy膰 – a verb derived from piernik – most likely came to be.

Polish works in such a funny way that when you have a verb, you can add various prefixes to it and it’ll change its meaning, sometimes dramatically. And the whole versatility of the word pierniczy膰 is hidden in those prefixes. If you really want to use it all the time, I think you can do so with the right prefixes.

I must admit that I’ve always really liked this expletive. It’s not too offensive, it’s not an actual swearword, but it’s also not totally wishy-washy or smooth and can actually express strong emotions quite well, so you can express yourself to the point without offending someone, unless you’re like really steaming with rage then maybe it won’t feel quite satisfactory. I also like the way it sounds for some reason, there’s something funny about it, and have some nice associations with it, and yes, I love gingerbreads!

The word pierniczy膰 itself, on its own, with no prefixes may mean something similar to pierdoli膰/pierdzieli膰, only milder. I found one human Polish to English translation of this word and they said it’s an equivalent of the English phrase “to tell fibs”. I’m not sure I agree, because while the general meaning is of course the same – to tell something that is not true – I feel like to tell fibs is even milder than pierniczy膰, though I may be wrong here. I’ve come across the expression to tell fibs in an English children’s book, where one child was accusing another of telling fibs, and in another book where an adult was telling a child that she thinks the child is telling fibs. I don’t think I would use the word pierniczy膰 to say this to a child in Polish. I think they could feel hurt or like I was really badly telling them off and it would sound a bit harsh and maybe even slightly vulgar. I could tell that to Sofi, because she is a teenager and I know her well and she’d know I’d probably use it not fully seriously, but with younger children, no. I also don’t think most parents would find it appropriate for younger children to use this word regularly.

Like with pierdzieli膰/pierdoli膰, pierniczy膰 can also be used in the exclamation: “Ja piernicz臋!” to express some disbelief, surprise, frustration, irritation and what not but in a more euphemistic way.

When I was thinking about how I should go about this post, I remembered a young adult book I once read called Klasa Pani Czajki (MS. Czajka’s Class), about secondary/junior high school students who all were in the same class, and their class teacher was the title character Ms. Czajka, who taught them Polish. She has a huge passion for the subject she teaches and doesn’t like any slang expressions (let alone such expletives like “Ja piernicz臋!”). She doesn’t even let their students use the word fajnie (fine), because it’s a relatively modern loanword.

One day, one of her students (Ka艣ka), while sitting in Ms. Czajka’s class, looks out the window and sees a boy (Olek) strolling aimlessly around the school backyard, waiting for another girl. It was warm so he took of his jacket, revealing his muscular shoulders, which must have made a huge impression on Ka艣ka, who exclaimed: “Ja piernicz臋!”

Of course that made her teacher very cross and call the girl out for it. But then one of the boys (Maciek), Ms. Czajka’s most eloquent student, spoke up and started explaining to her, that every language, including Polish, is evolving, and that pierniczy膰 is a word with many different meanings, and its analysis makes one learn grammar. He continues to explain to her that what she just wanted do was to opierniczy膰 (tell off) Ka艣ka as a way of showing her disapproval. (you can also give someone opiernicz and it will mean the same, or you can opiernicza膰 si臋, which will mean that you’re lazing around and not doing what you should). Then Maciek gives a whole very hilarious lecture, to the amusement of his class, and throughout the whole chapter we have the following phrases come up:

odpierniczy膰 si臋 (to bugger off), spierniczy膰 (to run away, but spierniczy膰 something will already mean something completely different –
to destroy or spoil something – ), podpierniczy膰/zapierniczy膰 (to steal, but zapiernicza膰 can also mean to run very fast, or do something very fast, that’s at least how my Dad uses it, I’ve also come across zapiernicz as a noun meaning a very busy, hectic time when you have a lot of work to do), wypierniczy膰 ( to throw away, and then wypiernicza膰 can also mean to leave), wpierniczy膰 (to beat/spank, wpiernicz can mean beating – da膰 komu艣 wpiernicz =give someone a beating – and wpiernicza膰 can mean to eat, but implies that someone is eating fast and/or a lot), “Popierniczy艂o ci臋?” (Are you crazy?, and popierniczony is crazy/nutty), pierniczony (flipping).

And I’m sure there must be some more that people use! Rozpierniczy膰 (to take something apart, to destroy), I’m pretty sure I heard someone using rozpierniczy膰 si臋 meaning to fall (from a bike for example, and wypierniczy膰 si臋 could also mean to fall), popierniczy膰 (to mix something up). Maybe there are even more…

To make things more interesting, we have more spicy expletives like that, involving pepper (pieprz) and horseradish (chrzan).

Pieprzy膰 is very much a synonym of pierdoli膰 and pierdzieli膰, but one which definitely doesn’t have the euphemistic character of pierniczy膰, most people think of it as rather vulgar. It also has gazillions of versions with different prefixes.

Horseradish is lighter, I think maybe even lighter than gingerbread. You can say that something is do chrzanu (for horseradish) means something like crappy. Chrzani膰 is very much like pierniczy膰 (to talk rubbish), and, again, there are many similar verbs with prefixes meaning mostly the same.

And then – although it doesn’t really belong in the expletives/swearwords category – we have cumin (kminek). There is a slang word rozkminia膰 (to wonder, to try to understand, to think deeply), similarly there are rozkminy (singular rozkmina, deep thoughts, attempts at understanding something, creative, sometimes weird, ideas). I really like this word. You can also wykmini膰 something (come up with something) or kmini膰 (think a lot and deeply, usually wondering about something or trying to come up with something).

I feel like my brain might have turned into a piernik by now. 馃榾 And thus I am having a rozkmina: will that make it get better and better as it gets older, as gingerbread normally does? Or will it end up totally popierniczony as a result?

What is your favourite swearword or expletive or any weird phrase in your language? And, what else do you think gingerbread could have to do with a windmill? 馃檪

Ps: I’ve just had supper, over which we were talking with Dad about camper vans (he’s been wanting to buy one for ages and it’s his biggest dream and pretty much an obsession by now), and he said that the one his friend has is very “odpierniczony”, which was supposed to mean that he put a lot of care in it and that it’s very luxurious and neat and fancy etc. As you can see, the potential of gingerbreads is neverending.

Question of the day (16th November).

What’s your favourite number?

My answer:

I don’t have any at all. I generally have an aversion to numbers and was diagnosed with dyscalculia, and they don’t really mean much to me, they could just as well not exist. My Sofi is constantly very undecided and she always asks us, but especially me as I spend most time with her during activities which she has a hard time deciding on something while doing them, “Give me a number from 1 to 8” or things like that. This always drives my family nuts because they can’t understand how she can’t make the simplest decision which of the three outfits she should choose and then when you choose the number that she has assigned to the particular thing she’s not satisfied with it anyway, reorders them or excludes that thing and asks you again, and the show goes on and on until Sofi realises that actually there’s only one thing she likes out of all the things she can choose from. If she thinks afterwards that the choice she made based on the number was wrong, she will blame you. That’s what you call a manipulator. 馃榾 While I can understand inability to make decisions as that sometimes happens to me too although usually not as often and with as simple things, what drives me nuts in this is that it’s simply annoying because I just don’t do numbers and I have a hard time understanding the whole thing. If I have a problem making a decision, the last thing I need is coming up with – or even having someone come up for me – with a random number. 馃榾 But when she asks me and I’m having enough patience at the moment to actually give it any thought, I usually say five if it is possible. Reason? Just because it kinda sounds good in Polish. Not the actual Polish word for five –
“pi臋膰” – but a dialect variation “pi艅膰”. I just really like the sound of it. It always used to make me laugh as a kid (my gran always says so and a lot of older people I know) and I still find it funny and in a way cute. Or any other number that contains “pi艅膰” if it is an option, or if it isn’t an option I don’t say anything. She always knows I will always say pi艅膰, and I guess this alone sort of helps her to make the decision more independently because before I say pi艅膰 she’ll make sure that the fifth thing is at least remotely satisfiable for her. So when she asks me I say, in a very grumpy, bored voice, or sometimes just automatically, or I yell at her if I’m frustrated: “Pi艅膰!” Now, thanks to Apple, their iPhones, family cloud, VoiceOver and some decision app, after Sofi and later I got ourselves iPhones and I set up a family cloud for us which is the only way Mum allows Sofi to use her phone for anything other than calling, texting and taking photos, we hear a bit less of that dreaded question, because Sofi installed some app on her phone that helps her make those big outfit decisions. Thank you, Apple! 馃榾 One day during holidays she even made it decide about what she was going to do at what time during the day, what she should eat for breakfast etc. and considered that a lot of fun and that it was like some YouTubers she watches who sometimes ask their viewers on Instagram or somewhere to decide what they’re going to do, so it made her feel like an influencer.

How about you? Do you have a favourite at all? 馃檪

Question of the day (2nd June).

Hey people! 馃檪

Do you prefer pie or cake? What kind?

My answer:

I’ve asked that question on my blog some two years ago and answered it so in case you haven’t seen that post, I’ll copy my response.

It really really depends on what cake or pie it is. Plus, for me this difference isn鈥檛 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鈥檚 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. 馃榾 How about you? And what are your favourites? 馃檪

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聽 a real logorrhea and their scepticism quickly vanished. 馃榾 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 “Je偶ycjada” 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. 馃檪

Sabaton – “40:1”.

Hi guys! 馃檪

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 馃榾 ), 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, 藕’s, 偶’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. 馃檪

Question of the day (21st October).

What鈥檚 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. 馃榾 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 wod臋 – 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? 馃檪

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. 馃檪


Ta wiadomo艣膰 zosta艂a sprawdzona na obecno艣膰 wirus贸w przez oprogramowanie antywirusowe Avast. https://www.avast.com/antivirus

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. 馃榾

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? 馃檪

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?

My fav word *long post*.

Another challenge I’d like to take part in this week is #WYF hosted by Eve over at Revenge Of Eve

What’s my fav word?

As I saw Eve’s post, my first thought was “But, in which language?”. 馃榾 Guys I have so many favourite words, in so many languages, not only in thesE i am able to communicate in but also other my favourite languages which I didn’t start to learn seriously yet. I even had a time in my life when I was doing a yearly ranking of my favourite words. I am a lover of words and languages and linguistics so this is a damn hard question to answer and I am afraid I won’t be able to answer with just one word, it’s simply impossible, but I’ll try to narrow it down somehow, although am not sure if I’ll manage lol.

OK so in Polish, my mother tongue, my all time favourite word is kulka (KUWL-kah). It means a little ball. I just find it very charming. When I was a little girl, I was playing a lot with glass and metal balls, I just liked them a lot and I liked the word kulka equally. I like how flexible it is. The big ball is kula (but not the ball you can play sports with, this one is pi艂ka), a bit smaller is kulka, smaller than kulka is kuleczka, kulcia, kulinka, kulisia, whatever, the case of your creativity.

My other favourite Polish word is m贸zg (muwsk) which means brain. I am very interested in brain in general, but none of the languages I love and know how brain is called in them, has an equally nice word for it. I just love to use it whenever possible, even overuse it in some eccentric ways, I use it more than I realise. I can even say when I have a headache that my m贸zg is aching. Sometime ago my Mum was washing her hair and someone rang to our door, I opened and the person wanted to see Mum, and was quite astonished when I informed her that Mum is washing her m贸zg. 馃榾

From some more international words that exist in Polish I love miszmasz or mish mash, it’s so funny and nice to hear. It means the same in Polish in case you wondereD

From some older, a bit colloquial and maybe even archaic for some people words I absolutely adore wydudli膰 (vi-DUWD-leech, or something close to it any way). It’s an old, underused word meaning to drink something very quickly and greedily. We also have wtran偶oli膰 (vtrahn-ZHAW-leech) which means to eat something quickly and greedily, although it doesn’t have this slightly childish feel as wydudli膰 has.

For swear words my favourite is pierniczy膰 (pyer-NEE-chich, well English phonetics can’t manage it!). It’s an infinitive, often used in an expressions like “Ja piernicz臋 (a bit of an equivalent of fuck it or something). THe word pierniczy膰 or the phrase ja piernicz臋 doesn’t have any particular meaning as far as I know other than being a swearword, but it’s related (at least etymologically) to the word piernik – ginger bread. It’s such a fantastic swear word, although rather light. Cholera (haw-LE-rah) is one of the words I use in more harsh situations and literally it means the same as in English, as a swearword it’s an equivalent of damn. Cholipa (haw-LEE-pah, the same swear meaning, but not so expressive) is also funny, or its charming diminutive cholipcia.

Recently I’ve come across a deliciously old and archaic, very colloquial word – pitigrili膰 si臋 – for having sex. I just felt in love with it, pity it seems to be no longer in use.

Oh, and I can’t resist to not mention a very modern, every day word, which doesn’t sound like it originated here, but I don’t know where it did. It’s gites (GEE-tes). Someone asks you how you’re doing and if it’s like really really cool you can just say it’s gites. Or simply git.

OK, that’s for Polish.

The word that would climb very high in my yearly ranking if I did one last year would be glimpse. I love this word more and more. It sounds a bit magical. I like many simple words in English, for example I’ve been in love with the word sleep since early childhood. It’s so soothing and… I dunno, sleepy lol. But in a nice way. I love the word hijack. It sounds so ridiculous like “Hi Jack!”, but I like it for that. I like the name Jack, you know. 馃榾 From more sophisticated words (oh yes, I love sophisticated!) I adore mellifluous. It’s so mellifluous, I guess we don’t even have the exact word for it in Polish, I mean like a literal translation of it. And there are so many more, but I don’t want to bore you and make this post longer than necessary. But I need to mention one more word which is cringy.

Now let’s talk about Swedish words a bit.

My favourite Swedish word is krim kram. I guess it also exists in other Germanic languages like Dutch or German, although I’m not sure. Krim kram means pretty much the same as English knick-knacks. But krim kram sounds more lyrical and funny at the same time in my opinion. In Polish krim kram are called bibeloty, and this is also a fantastic, old-fashioned word. There are loads and loads of fascinating Swedish words. As for my absolutely favourite Swedish swearword, well if you speak Swedish it won’t be anything very exotic – I love skit. Skit is pronounced similarly to the word sheet, but sk is quite a weird sound, although I can make it I don’t know how to explain it to other people. It means shit, but I love how creative Swedes are with using it. First of all, it is milder than shit, and heard almost all the time among young people. It’s not like a normal word you’d use in any situation, but a very mild swearword. ANd it may also mean dirt of any kind. It’s a bit like English fucking, you can just throw it in a conversation to strengthen the negativity of what you’re talking about. But they also use in in a positive context, like “Det 盲r skit bra” (This is shit (very) good), Du 盲r skit kull” (You are shit cool). ANd that was kind of new to me and I liked it a lot, to use skit to accentuate something positive. It’s just such a skit cool word.

Then another language I speak a little bit is Welsh. I love, love love the word pilipala (simply pee-lee-pah-lah). It means butterfly and omg it’s so charming, isn’t it? I like words that have pil in them, they’re cute in some way. It often makes me wonder how different impressions this nice little insect might make on people in different languages. We in Polish have motyl – which sounds pretty elegant for me, like a butterfly slowly unwinding its wings and majestically soaring over the meadow. Swedes have fj盲rill – it’s also a cute, little word, but in a different way than pilipala. Pilipala is funny and kinda mischievous, but fj盲rill is very lyrical and almost poetic, it has some nostalgic vibe for me, don’t know why. Germans have their schmeterling (don’t know how it’s written as I’ve learnt German only for three years at school, so excuse me if it’s wrong) and it sounds so heavy. I mean, many people don’t like harsh languages, I like them a lot, but schmeterling just doesn’t match with what it means, imo. I’m not a big fan of French and other ROmance languages, they just don’t speak to me, but French papillon is adorable and when I hear it I feel like this word somehow flies, is light and smooth, just delightful. Dutch vlinder is cool, but it’s hard for me to picture something particular when I hear it. But oh gosh, as much as I love English, I don’t like the word butterfly. What I see in my mind when I hear it and focus on it, is definitely not a butterfly. It is simply a fly, desperately wagging its wings in the butter. Ew… Yuck! I don’t know who created this word, but it’s a little bit weird.

Oh gosh what a long digression!!! but well, I’ll leave it… you can always skip it if you want, but I’ll leave it to show you how freaky my m贸zg can be at times haha.

ANother Welsh word I like is hiraeth. I’ve mentioned it smetime before on my blog. Hiraeth means a longing or yearning to something that basically doesn’t exist. It’s usually in context of your home country, when you’re an emmigrant, and you’ve seen your motherland years ago, idealised it, but it’s not like in your mind. It has changed, plus as I said, the picture in your mind is idealised. But it can also regard anything. I very often experienced hiraeth as a child, that’s probably why I resonate so much with this word. Also I’ve heard from my Welsh friend that hiraeth is a longing for something you can’t precise for some reason. And that’s also a thing I’m familiar with.

I would also like to mention a very expressive Wenglish phrase here. It’s actually Wenglish. Wenglish is easily enough a combination of Welsh and English, mainly spoken in the south of Wales, in the valleys. Actually, in the form I like it the most, it apparently isn’t seriously used. They have three words for describing the feeling of rage, anger, madness… These are: tampin’, fumin’ and ragin’. I love them all! And I’ve heard that there was a series in Wales called “The Valleys” and one of the characters used to say “I’m tampin’ fumin’ ragin'”! I loved it immediately as I’ve heard about it. ‘Cause when you like all these words, why make a choice or compromise? Use them all! I love how accurately they describe it when you’re super mad. It doesn’t happen often to me, but when it does, it’s really hard and overwhelming, and it’s really like tampin’ fumin’ ragin’.

Lastly (I promise!)聽 I want to tell you about my favourite Finnish swear word. I don’t speak Finnish, I know some basics, and my Finnish friend who is also blind taught me a lot of swearwords and other handy expressions like that, but that’s all I can say in Finnish for now. Nevertheless I love this language. It sounds so cool and calm, or at least it seems so, it seems to me just like Finns, but because they always accentuate the first syllable, in my opinion, their language sounds like what you say is very significant. So it’s perfect for declarations of love, or hatred, or releasing your silent anger. You don’t have to scream when you swear in Finnish, just put enough expression in what you say and the rest will come on its own. My favourite swearword of all those I know in Finnish, is vittu, which means cunt or pussy and it is used like fuck in English. For some reason I like it much more than English fuck. It’s also the most popular Finnish swearword apparently. I also like to use perkele, which means devil, or helvetti for hell, or even Swedish helvete with the same meaning, also used in Finland very often.

If you speak any other languages than your native, do you like to swear in it/them, even if not in the country where it’s spoken? I like it a lot and it’s fun, although of course not in all circumstances, sometimes I guess it may lead to pretty awkward situations. 馃榾 I’ve had a few, but they turned out to be pretty funny. My school friend used to joke I have to be possessed, because she heard somewhere that when people are possessed they swear in multiple languages. 馃榾 I doubt it though, that would be a rather weird sign for me and sounds like taken out of some paranormal book. 馃榾

OK, sorry for making it so long, but really wanted to share with you my at least a few most favourite words, and maybe hear what yours are, and what you think of all these i mentioned.

 

Question of the day.

Today, my question for you is:

are there any sayings or words that your family uses, a lot? Do you know how they originated?

My answer:

Both my Mum and me are lovers of words and are rather creative in inventing new words. So yes, there surely are such words or sayings. There are many of them, although I can’t recall very many in this very moment. The Polish phrase “bez sensu” means pointless, no sense or meaningless, something like this. Somehow it happened that actually my entire immediate family, me included, or maybe me the most, started to use this phrase excessively, almost so that it had no sense. We wouldn’t like something – and it immediately was bez sensu, the weather would be crappy – bez sensu, something would fail – bez sensu, something would be funny – bez sensu, we wouldn’t know how to comment something – bez sensu. and so on and so on. And some day my Mum suddenly said: It’s bez sera”. What does this mean? Bez sera means without cheese! 馃榾 Pretty pointless, isn’t it? But as it sounded close to bez sensu, and we used bez sensu so much, she thought it’d be less boring and more enigmatic if she’d start saying that something is without cheese, when it’s pointless/meaningless. 馃榾 At first we didn’t even know what she’s on about, Dad doesn’t know to this day. But the rest of us picked it up quickly and now when something doesn’t make sense, it means it’s without cheese. Honestly, I got so accustomed to saying bez sera that I happened to forget other people in this country don’t rather use it, unless my Mum stole it, but I don’t thing so. So one day I was talking with my school friend on the phone and she was telling me about some absurd situation in which she got and people were rude to her and at a certain moment I got so involved I just screamed “Gosh, those guys are completely without cheese!”. And she was llike… very confused. Me too. 馃榾

Unfortunately, nothing else comes to my mind right now, but we have quite a bunch of our own words. Also, some are a bit of a mix between Polish and Kashubian, as my Dad is Kashubian and we live in Kashubia.

How about your family’s own words and sayings? I love to hear different new words and sayings, so I’m just all ears now. 馃榾

Song of the day – Kortez – “Dla Mamy (for mum).

Hi! 馃檪

Wanted to continue with my favourite Gabrielle Aplin songs, but put aside for today because… because today is my Mum’s and my brother’s birthday, yes, they have birthday on the same day, so I wanted to celebrate it somehow.

And this song seems perfect for this purpose. Kortez is a Polish singer, whom my Mum has a pretty big crush on, almost as big as my crush on Gwilym is right now. Kortez’s music is quite speciffic and he’s rather speciffic too, and I think people most often love his music聽 or hate it, rarely something in between. His songs are very melancholic, depressive even, but beautiful. I like him too and this song is the first song by him I’ve ever heard. It describes Kortez’s relationship with his mum which apparently is very close.

But it also describes perfectly the relationship between my Mum and Olek. She showed me this song last year and asked me if I also think it does and then when we listened to it, we both started to cry. The text is fairly easy so I’ll try to translate it:

 

For mum

I will bruise myself
I will get lost somewhere
I will lie to you
you will refrain from anger.
I will desire stars,
You will give everything
and I will take everything.
I will dance a night away,
I will believe in something,
I will hit the bottom,
I will travel far and wide,
I will make a mistake,
I will shout out the anger
because you stand firmly behind me

I will give you field flowers for that,
I will send you a letter,
I will take you for a walk
I will make a present for you
I will tell you a bedtime story.

I will stand up to somebody,
I will achieve my goal
I will feel ashamed
and I will be upset.
I will raise my voice,
I will build a house
and you will be proud.
I’m not afraid
I know what I want
and I will keep going
I will keep going ahead
I will look back
I will look for you
and I will not find you.

I will give you field flowers for that,
I will send you a letter,
I will take you for a walk
I will make a present for you
I will tell you a bedtime story.
Isn’t it a great description of son-mother relationship?

So here’s the song:

Song of the day – Maja Koman – Babcia M贸wi (Grandma Says).

Hi! 馃檪

I wanted to share another Enya’s song with you today, but then realised that oh wow it’s International Mother Language Day, so, well… mother language, yay! It’s definitely a time to show you something in Polish, this blog exists almost for a month and still nothing in Polish here.

The truth is… I don’t listen to Polish music very much. It’s not I don’t listen to it at all, ’cause I do at times,聽 and it’s not I’m not patriotic or don’t like my mother tongue, in fact I love it and (pretty obviously I think) it’s one of my around 12 favourite languages, I think me and my whole family are very patriotic. But I just listen to so much music in other languages, in Swedish, in all the endangered languages I love, in English obviously, so that most music I listen to in Polish are just random things I hear in radio in the kitchen or somewhere else, and when Ilisten to something in Polish just because I really want to and enjoy it, I mostly like it for the lyrics, it’s most often something alternative, or reggae, some folk at times. So I felt like it would be hard for me to make you like it if you won’t be able to understand the lyrics. So I wondered for quite a while what to pick.

But finally I picked something. It is a humourous, ironical, but also very true song and although lyrics are most important in it, I think you’ll like it.

Maja Koman is a young artist from Greater Poland, she writes songs for herself and plays ukulele, is a bit of an eccentric and her lyrics are usually ironic, honest, funny, a bit sarcastic. She also writes songs in English and French, but most of them are in Polish.

This particular song – “Babcia M贸wi” – is basically about how men and women, very generally, changed since our grandparents were young. This song should be definitely taken with a grain of salt and it’s surely not a generalisation, but it says that men become less masculine, more like females, while women aren’t as feminine as they used to be either. 馃榾 By the way, I feel like it’s a perfect example of that hiraeth thing I wrote about a few posts ago. 馃榾 And although if I’d take it literally, there are some things I can’t agree with, generally, as a person with quite traditional views, I think it’s pretty true. I really like this song and it still makes me smile when I listen to it even though I know it since聽 a few years already.

It’s a pity there aren’t any English lyrics to it anywhere, I tried to translate it on my own, but realised I’d probably only make a bit of a hash of it, because there are lots of colloquialisms, metaphors and words that are more or less emotionally charged and I’m not sure of their adequate English equivalents, so it wouldn’t be as funny and natural. But still I hope you’ll enjoy this song.