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.")

1 comment:

  1. Just musing...but I wonder if "wiadom-" has deeper roots in "wieć" (to know) and "dom" (home)?