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  5. "Mówisz po polsku."

"Mówisz po polsku."

Translation:You speak Polish.

December 12, 2015



Do languages in Polish generally end with -sku in the same way languages in Swedish generally end with -ska?


The nominative form is "polski". It's true that most of the languages end with -ski: polski, angielski (English), duński (Danish), francuski (French), or chiński (Chinese). But there are also some exceptions: niemiecki (German), niderlandzki(*) (Dutch), szwedzki (Swedish), grecki (Greek).

(*) "holenderski" is also correct


To be honest, "polsku" isn't even one of the seven cases of "polski". "po" + language name is its own unique form in a way when the final "i" from nominative form becomes "u".


I understand "polsku" is technically an archaic form of the dative case, which in modern Polish is "polskiemu." It's an irregularity of Polish that -ski adjectives take this ending specifically after the preposition "po."


What about the dishes? Barszcz po ukraińsku, ryba po grecku, karp po żydowsku, placki po cygańsku, placki po węgiersku - it's a situation-specific from, but a very much used one.


po+ adjective +u - in a specific way

WSJP.pl dictionary does not have definition for "po", but has various definitions for "po+ adjective+u"

po afrykańsku= 1) in a way that is considered typical to Africa, it's sights, climate, geographical circumstances, and way of functioning/
2) in a way that is seen as characteristic to inhabitants of Africa/ 3) in a way that is seen as according to traditional culinary receipts of inhabitants of Africa

po królewsku= in a way that is seen as typical for a King and Queen/according to a refined recipe for a dish

po bożemu= in a way that agrees with moral rules of one religion/ (joking) in a way it is supposed to be

po inżyniersku-in a way that is perceived as characteristic for an engineer

po polsku= 1) in a way that is characteristic to Poland it's geography, sights, way it functions, culture, history, economy 2) in a way that is perceived as characteristic to habitants of Poland 3) in a way that is assumed to be according to traditional recipe of inhabitants of Poland

4) in Polish language

po ojcowsku - in a way that is seen as characteristic for a father

po Warszawsku - in a way that is perceived as characteristic to inhabitants of Warsaw/ in a way that is assumed to be according to traditional recipe of inhabitants of Warsaw

I think we can agree that all those have something in common (in a way that is perceived as characteristic to someone/somewhere)

And there is no way "po ukraińskiemu" is in any way correct in stadard Polish. I don't know if it's just a common mistake or it exists in some regional forms or as calque from other Slavic language.


Isn't it whenever the dative case is used with "po?" That's my understanding.


So would you add "Czy" to the start of this sentence to make it into a question?

ie. "Czy mówisz po polsku" = "Do you speak (in) polish?"


You can do that, especially if you want to be unambiguous, but it's not required. To create a yes/no question all you need is a change of intonation (when speaking) or a question mark (in writing). Note that this TTS intonation is… unreliable, so you should try finding other sources to learn that.


Is it similar to English or French where raising the tone at the end indicates a question?


Yes, that's should be it, unless some phonology rules I don't know says otherwise.


Is there a formal version of this?


Yes. Pan mówi po polsku. Pani mówi po polsku.


Couldn't this also mean "do you speak Polish?". At least that is how I say it towards my family in Poland if I ask if they speak English. I think the punctuation is always throwing me off


The difference would be intonation - or a question mark at the end, in writing. "Mówisz po polsku?" would mean "do you speak Polish?" - "Mówisz po polsku." means "you speak Polish."


is it not capitalized like in English? just curious


Indeed it's not, although you may occasionally see a person incorrectly capitalizing it, especially if influenced by English (and the other way around, Polish people who forget to capitalize it when writing English).

In Polish, all adjectives are normally lowercase, even if derived from the proper noun (and language names are essentially adjectives). On the other hand, the names of nationalities (people) are still written uppercase, while the names of particular city dwellers are lowercase. Even I find it crazy and I bet the change was at least discussed among the regulating body in recent years.


thanks so much for the reply :)


Hello! Is anyone able to write out and "endings" chart such as how it would be "ja mowie" meaning 'I speak' vs. "ty mowisz" meaning 'you speak'?


Ja mówię, ty mówisz, on/ona/ono mówi, my mówimy, wy mówicie, oni/one mówią


DUOLINGO ONLY MENTIONS I,You,he/she! I prefer all conjugations!. Thanks.


Quick question. How come earlier it used "Mówicie" in you speak English and "Mówisz" for you speak Polish?


It makes no difference, English or Polish. Mówisz means "you speak" if you are talking to one person. "Mówicie" means "you speak" if you are talking to two or more people.


*if one person is talking

I makes no differece how many people you are talking to


You obviously don't understand the difference of ty versus wy. If I am talking to one person, I would say

[Ty] Mówisz po polsku.

If I am talking to a classroom full of students, or to two people, I'd say.

[Wy] Mówicie po polsku.


I meant, it makes no difference how many people you are actually talking to, only how many people you are referring to. I should have phrased that differently.

Imagine someone is a member of a politcal party which is against the implementation of a miminum wage law. Then you might say to that person: "Wy mówicie (cała partia), że takie ustawy negatywnie wpływają na wzrost gospodarczy, czy nie tak?"

That is why your "rule" seemed confusing to me.


This phrase can also means "Speak in Polish." If used with Imperativ


No. The imperative would be

Mów po polsku.


Mówisz po polsku? Do you speak Polish. You speak Polish= Ty mówisz po polsku

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