Thursday, March 28, 2013

I've Got A Feeling: -czu...

Nouns that contain -czucie have to do with something about a "feeling."

The word "czucie" means "feeling."  "Odczucie" is an "impression," and "poczucie" is a "sense."  "Wyczucie" can also be a "sense" or an "intuition" but can also mean "tact."  "Uczucie" is a "sensation" or a "feeling, emotion, affection."  "Wspólczucie" is "sympathy, compassion."  "Samopoczucie means "state of being, frame of mind."


odczucia zmysłowe - sensations


poczucie humoru - sense of humor
poczucie czasu - sense of time
poczucie obowiązku - sense of duty 
poczucie winy - sense of guilt 
poczucie spełnienia - to (give/have) a sense of fulfillment


dobre samopoczucie - comfort 
złe samopoczucie - discomfort 
mieć dobre samopoczucie - to be in a good frame of mind, to feel well 


wyczucie rytmu - sense of rhythm
robić coś na wyczucie - to do something by feel
wyczucie językowe - feel for a language
wyczucie czasu - sense of timing
z wyczuciem - tactfully
bez wyczucia - tactlessly 


jakie to uczucie? - how does it feel?
mam uczucie, że... - I have a feeling that...
uczucie głodu - feeling of hunger
z uczuciem - with affection


żywe współczucie - deep sympathy
godny współczucia - deserving of compassion

There are other noun endings as well:

"Czułość" means "tenderness, fondness, affection."
"Przeczulenie" is "hypersensitivity."

Verbs that utilize this root contain "-czuć" and/or "-czuwać" or "-czulać/czulić."

Some examples include:

czuć, poczuć - to feel, to smell (add "się" to have it apply to oneself)
odczuwać, odczuć - to experience, to feel
odczulać, odczulić - to desensitize
przeczuwać, przeczuć - to anticipate, to foresee
uczuć - to experience, to feel
uczulać, uczulić - to sensitize, to become allergic
wyczuwać, wyczuć - to intuit, to sense, to smell
współczuć - to feel sorry (for), to sympathize (with)
szczuć, poszczuć - to incite, to bait, to hound

Adjectives include:

czuciowy - sensory
czujny - vigilant, alert, watchful
czuły - tender, affectionate, sensitive
przeczulony - oversensitive, touchy
uczuciowy - emotional
uczulony, uczuleniowy - allergic
współczujący - compassionate
współczulny - sympathetic [in an anatomical sense] (as in "układ nerwowy współczulny" or "sympathetic nervous system")
wyczulony - sensitive, receptive
wyczuwalny - perceptible, noticeable

Sunday, March 24, 2013


OK, first a couple of disclaimers.  I'm using Babbel to study German, not Polish.  So the experience may be slightly different for Polish, but I'm guessing it is about the same or pretty close.  I figured I have plenty of resources for Polish (but would have checked out Polish here if they threw it in along with another language), enough stuff for Dutch, my own resources for Romanian (not much on the Web as it is a fairly minor language), am working with Anki for French, Italian and German, so I figured now is a good time to expand my knowledge of German.  The second disclaimer is that I have only gone through a few lessons and spot-checked some others.

The site is not bad, but it moves along really slowly.  It's probably good for somebody who is just starting out learning a language, but for voracious multi-lingual information processing people, it's going to move at a glacial pace.  What we want is massive amounts of information coming in rapidly and then to know that some of it will stick to the wall and some of it will splatter off or slide downward and we can go back to it.  Vocabulary comes in fairly slowly (just a few words a lesson), but to its credit, it is presented with simple sentences in context that are fairly easily decoded.  There is not much discussion of grammar (there are a few grammar exercises, but you really don't get your hands dirty) and not a lot of oral usage other than repetition of the sentences.

There are a lot of matching exercises.  I'm not a huge fan of matching exercises, but I guess they are OK as an introduction.  Also, there are exercises where you have to type the names of what you are translating, and it takes off points if you make a typo while you are typing instead of grading the whole thing after you have typed it.  So you have to be very careful typing.  It does put in diacriticals (accent marks or special marks) automatically and you don't have to type some special keyboard.  The good: it saves you time.  The bad: you might not get the best knowledge of where the diacriticals are and aren't supposed to be.  On the whole, though, I prefer them being put in without having to type them specially.

As you complete exercises, you earn "Babbel Points."  But I can't find any explanation anywhere of what this means or what the points signify or do.  It would be helpful if this was explained in the FAQ section.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of advanced material, though there is some.  I would guess this is because most language learners are beginners.  Probably some of the best stuff is in the course group called "Specials".  You can review at an A2 level, and there are also some exercises on idioms and false friends.  There are some more advanced narratives in the "Business" part of the language.

The first lesson in any given language is free so you can try it out, and then you have to pay to access the rest.  I got in on a half-off deal, or rather, six months for the price of three.  Six months is a good length of time to check something out so I'll probably report back again at the end of that period.  You have to pay extra if you want another language.  Of course, that is reasonable.  But I'd like to see one of these multi-lingual pay sites offer a little of all their languages for a short period so you can try it out.  Hardly ever do any of them do that, though.

One thing that turned me off is that the first lesson on "Animals" is "Animal Sounds."  Who is ever going to need to communicate how to anthopomorphize a dog's bark or a cow's moo in a different language?  That is pretty low on the priority list and should be the last lesson if at all.  That is one thing that I learned from buying children's books in Poland.  At first, I thought that children's books would help me learn like a child does.  But then I realized that they talk about things that are really not high on a traveler's priority list whereas language courses think more about that.  I really need to know how to ask where the bathroom is when I'm doing a pee dance.  Or I need to know where to get food when I'm hungry, money when I need to buy something, a hostel when I need to crash, etc.  Priorities need to be considered.

Another drawback is you have to email them to stop your subscription.  I really don't like automatic renewals on anything.  You have to give them a credit card number and then they charge you automatically.  That's OK if you are certain you will keep on using it for a while (well, not really, because at some point you might not).  But to add the added step of not being able to unsubscribe on the website and see that you are unsubscribed, and having to contact someone who works there so you can beg off from further payment, that's another layer of jerkdom.

Also, they sent me a survey recently and there were only two choices on everything, either I really love it or it is crappy (whatever feature they were asking me about).  I rated almost everything poorly because they didn't give me more choices, but I might have gone a little higher if there had been more than two choices.

One peculiarity is that when viewing the site in Google Chrome (I prefer Chrome for language learning because of its translation features), it tells you that the site is in Spanish, and asks if you want to translate it from Spanish.  There was no Spanish at all on any of the pages, just German and English.  Maybe some of the HTML or programming comments are in Spanish, who knows.  If you hit the button to "translate", nothing happens, but the dialog goes away.

I'm not going to tell you not to use this, but in my opinion, there is better stuff out there.  If you get a deal on it (I paid a little over $25 for six months), it is probably not bad for the value.  My general rule of thumb is that anything that gives you a deal for under ten bucks a month is worth trying out for a month or two if it looks like it could work.  Six months is probably a longer tryout than I would usually go for, but the price was good.  It won't hurt me to have a half a year of exposure to German, though I don't think I'll do it every day to wring my usage out of it like I have with other trials in the past.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The -wiązywać/wiązać family of verbs

There are a number of Polish verbs that form pairs with -wiązywać/-wiązać.  Some verbs also are formed only with the -wiązać form.

The root -wiązywać/-wiązać appears to have a meaning which involves "tying" or "binding" and seems to sometimes have a connotation of "obliging" or "obligating".

nawiązywać, nawiązać - to establish, to refer, to enter into, to tie

"na-" ("on, in")

obwiązywać - to bind

"ob-"  ("around, about, of")

obowiązywać, obowiązać - to be obligatory, to be in force

odwiązywać - to untie, to come loose

przewiązywać - to bind up, to tie around

"prze-" (in front of, before)

przywiązywać, przywiązać - to attach (to), to tie (to)

"przy-" ("at, near, close to, by")

rozwiązywać, rozwiązać - to untie, to unbind

rozwiązywać się, rozwiązać się

uwiązywać, uwiązać - to tie up, to tie, to lash down, to chain, to tether
"u-" (can mean "off" or "on")

wywiązywać się, wywiązać się - to develop, to comply with, to honor, to carry off
"wy-" ("out") 

związywać - to join

"z-" ("with, down")

zawiązywać, zawiązać - to tie up; to set up, to establish

"za-" ("behind")

zobowiązywać, zobowiązać - to oblige, to obligate

Present tense of nawiązywać, which is an example indicative of the other forms:



Future tense of nawiązać (of course, the "present tense" form of a perfective verb is future tense):



Here is an example of a verb that forms only using the second form (-wiązać):

wiązać, związać - to tie, to tie up, to knot, to oblige

wiązać się, związać się - to associate, to unite

Other words that are related to this root:

związany - related

związek - relation, connection, union, link; can also mean a chemical compound
obowiązek - duty, obligation, responsibility
powiązanie - interrelationship
powiązany - interconnected
zobowiązany - obliged, indebted

Friday, March 15, 2013

Religious Texts in Polish (and other languages)

I remember reading somewhere that a lot of people used the Bible to learn languages, since it was readily available translated into many languages, and since it was relatively standardized across editions, so a Bible in one language could be easily compared to one in another language.  So I looked for a place to find a copy of a Polish Bible online and found

But then I got to thinking about other religious texts.  I was wondering if one could find a Quran in Polish as well.  I found this site that has the Quran translated into several languages, including Polish.  You just have to scroll down to find the link to the Polish language version.  It is in .pdf form, so you can save it to your computer or tablet as well.

What about other religious texts?  I couldn't find the Talmud online, but apparently it has been recently translated into Polish.  I couldn't find any information about the Torah in Polish.  The Bhagavad Gita has apparently been translated as well, but does not appear to be on the Internet.

And some of the Analects of Confucius are available in Polish as well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Real Polish As A Learning Resource

One good learning resource for those who want short audio blurbs with written narrative is Real Polish.  Though the narrative is only in Polish, it is easy to use what I call the Wikipedia Method--one opens the Polish narrative in two tabs in Google Chrome, and translates one into English. You can also purchase materials from the site that include more material...I haven't personally purchased the materials, so I'm not quite sure what value is added from the premium stuff.

But the free material on there is pretty decent.  There are a lot of short blurbs with audio, which is an important part of learning a new language.  Audio with accompanying transcription is hard to come by sometimes.

I have gone through some of the narratives, and found them interesting and valuable educationally.  This is not one of my main sources of learning only because I have become reliant on other things.  But I do rotate it in occasionally and can see how it is helpful.  Perhaps at some point I might possibly utilize it more.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Wiadom-"; information and awareness

As far as I can tell, the root "wiadom-" has something to do with information or awareness.  (Keep in mind that most of what I can tell about Polish roots is from reverse engineering them).  Let's take a look at some of the uses of this root in words that illustrate its meaning.

The main noun seems to be "wiadomość," which means news or message.  "Dobra wiadomość" is "good news" and "zła wiadomość" is "bad news."  "Czekać na wiadomość" is "waiting for news/a message."  "Zostawić wiadomość" is "to leave a message."  

It is often used in the plural as "wiadomości" or "the news."  "Otrzymać wiadomości" is "to receive news."  "Oglądać wiadomości" is "to watch the news."  "Do twojej wiadomości" is "for your information."  "Publicznej wiadomości" is "to make something publicly known."  "Zasób wiadomości" literally means "a stock of news" but can be translated idiomatically as "knowledge" or "education." "Wiadomości z kraju i z zagranicy" is "national and foreign news."

"Wiadomy" means "known" or "well-known."  "Niewiadomy" is "unknown."  When used in the mathematical sense, it is "niewiadoma."  "Z niewiadomych przyczyn" means "for unknown reasons." 

"Wiadomo" means "everyone knows" or "it's a well-known fact." Some idiomatic uses are "nic nie wiadomo" or "nothing is known," "nie wiadomo" ("nobody knows"), or "nigdy nic nie wiadomo" ("you never know.")  I've also seen this as "nigdy nie wiadomo."  I'm always getting these idioms confused so I'll have to keep drilling on them and picturing different ways to use them.  "Było wiadomo, że..." is "everybody knew that..." [Incidentally, Polish puts a comma here where English doesn't--you will see that in phrases like "myślę, że..." (I think that...)]. "Jak wiadomo" means "as everybody knows" or "as is commonly known." "O ile wiadomo" is "as far as can be determined."  "Powszechnie wiadomo, że..." is "it's common knowledge that..."  "Wiadoma osoba" is "you-know-who."

"Powiadomienie" or "zawiadomienie" mean "notification" or "information," from the verb [hang on to your hat] "zawiadamiać/powiadamiać, zawiadomić/powiadomić," which means "to notify/inform."  "Zawiadomienie o ślubie" is a "wedding notice" and "zawiadomienie o pogrzebie" is a "funeral notice."

"Świadomość" means "awareness" or "consciousness."  "Świadomość klasowa" is "class consciousness."  "Próg świadomości" is "threshold of consciousness."

"Świadomy" is the adjective ("aware, conscious") and "świadomie" is the adverb ("intentionally, consciously").  "Świadomy praw i obowiązków" is "aware of rights and responsibilities."  

"Nieświadomy" is "unconscious, involuntary, unaware." "Podświadomy" is an adjective meaning "subconscious"; the noun is "podświadomość".

"Uświadomienie" means "realization" or "awakening."  The verb it derives from is "uświadamiać, uświadomić", which means "to make aware of" or "to make (someone) realize."  Examples: "Ta książka uświadomiła mi, że..." ("This book made me aware that...).  "Nagle uświadomiłem sobie, że to tylko sen" ("Suddenly I realized that it was only a dream.")