"Dużo Polaków mieszka w Wielkiej Brytanii."

Translation:Many Polish people live in Great Britain.

December 19, 2015

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Which reminds me of a joke! Q: Who was Alexander Graham Bellenski? A: He was the first telephone Pole.


I'd love to be able to apologise for people in the UK who have such a negative view of foreign nationals and refugees. But they really are beyond excuse. It makes me really sad, and disconnected from some of my neighbours. But for each xenophobe O've met I know several vocal proponents of inclusiveness and human unity. I started learning Polish well before I knew Brexit was coming and am doubly determined to be part of the bond between our cultures now. May we rise above the supposed divisions to come.

Sorry, I know this is the comments section of a language course, but it occurs to me that this might be an appropriate place to put my feelings on the matter anyway. Much love.


Couldn't agree more. Let's build bridges, not walls. And language learning is a great place to start! <3


Good work making the world better and more connected! Keep fighting the good fight over there.


"Polak" is in the genitive because of "many"? As in "lots of poles"?


That is why I'm learning Polish


Is this plural or singular? mieszka looks singular


Dużo is the subject (singular). Note 'Polaków' is in dopełniacz not mianownik


Why dopełniacz there ?


Treat it as "a lot of".


Yeah! That's s very good tip indeed to figure this out logically: "a lot" sub., "of Poles" specification (hence genitive case), and the verb "mieszka" goes according to its logical subject (hence 3rd p. s.).


Usually, when describing a number of something (even a non-counted number, like 'many'), the noun you are describing is in dopełniacz


So the subject of a sentence can only be in nominative?


That's the way it usually should be, but this sentence shows that in Polish it doesn't have to. 'Dużo' is an adverb without any case and 'Polaków' is a noun in genitive. And there can also be whole subjects in genitive like 'trzech mężczyzn'. But that's a very special thing about Polish numeral constructions.


@JanKLinde I'm not claiming that I'm definitely right, but if we changed it to "wielu Polaków" which then would need to change e.g. to "z wieloma Polakami" in Instrumental, I'd say that we can consider it to have some case. And it means exactly the same, after all.


@JanKLinde I don't know why English Wiktionary calls it an adjective, that does not sound correct to me at all. But the Polish one says it an idefinite numeral. But okay, let's say that it's different anyway.


Hmmm, I never heard the term "indefinite numeral" before, only "indefinite pronoun", which certainly is a better category for 'wiele' than calling it an adjective. I think in many languages "numerals" is just another word for numbers, but maybe Polish grammar has a different categorization.

But I'd still insist on 'dużo' being an adverb ;-)


Yes, the meaning is the same, but while 'dużo' is an adverb, 'wiele' is an adjective, that's why it can take different cases.



Okay, thank you


I'd say that as a whole the noun phrase "a lot of Poles" is in Nominative, but as "dużo" takes Genitive, we can say that inside that Nominative noun phrase there's also Genitive.


"Dużo Polaków" is the subject of the sentence, but there is no nominative case at all. Nouns, pronouns and adjectives have cases, adverbs and phrases never do.


Hmm interesting, this gave me a whole new way of seeing it. Thank you.


JanKLinde, the definition of an adverb is "a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb." How is 'Dużo' an adverb here?


Both the English and German wiktionary pages call it an adverb, however, all Polish sources I could find call it a numeral, which makes more sense, I suppose.

Btw, 'dużo' has a second meaning, for example: dużo więcej - much more ('much' in the sense of 'significantly'). In that case it's undoubtedly an adverb.


Well, that's a special thing about Polish grammar, which considers numerals as a separate part of speech. In many languages, they are categorized as pronouns, adjectives or adverbs. The English Wiktionary calls 'dużo' an adverb, and that is obviously what it originally was. Meanwhile, it has taken some additional functions...


'A lot' = 'Lots', they're interchangeable


Whats wrong with using Polish word instead of Poles? Ive never seen any English speaker use Pole to refer to Polish people.


You can use "Polish", but it should be "Polish people" to be grammatical.

But let's make it the main answer now.


I don't think the translation accepted 'Britain' instead of Great Britain - but in English we rarely use the full name.


Added "Britain", but remember that you can't really do that in Polish, "Brytania" itself sounds as if you were talking about the times of Ancient Rome.


this link will explain better so as to understand the word involved


[deactivated user]

    Why not 'we Wielkiej' instead of w Wielkiej?


    Because "w Wielkiej" is easily pronouncable. You use "we" if what follows is W/F and another consonant.

    Compare: we Francji vs w Finlandii, we Wrocławiu vs w Warszawie.


    Why is UK not an acceptable translation?


    You can answer with "in the UK", it should work.


    Great Britain and the UK are different. GB = Wales, Scotland & England. UK = Wales, Scotland, England & Northern Ireland.


    What can I say: yes, you're right. But I'm afraid that people outside of the British Isles may not care much about that distinction. The Polish equivalent of "the United Kingdom" is "Zjednoczone Królestwo". It's basically only used in very official contexts, mostly political. It's not something that you're likely to hear in an everyday conversation. A person thinking about going "to UK" would still almost certainly use "Wielka Brytania" in Polish.

    In a way it's a similar level of imprecisions as using "Americans" for the citizens of the United States. It's not really right, but that's what people use.


    That explains why I always hear Brytania on Polish news then, very disrespectful to the nearly 2million Northern Irish folk lol.

    I can't accept the comparison to calling citizens of the United States of AMERICA, Americans. That's correct. Saying you're visiting Great Britain and then flying to Northern Ireland is not right at all, it's 100% wrong!

    As an educational tool, this is the perfect place to educate people.


    Well, similarly calling the US citizens "Americans" as if they were the only ones who deserve this word and hundreds of millions of people from other countries of the Americas didn't exist could also easily be considered disrespectful. And many citizens of those 'other countries' do in fact consider it disrespectful. But still, English uses this word for the US citizens. So does Polish.

    I'm not saying that it's perfectly okay that Polish almost never distinguishes GB and UK, I'm saying that it's a fact - it doesn't. Even our Wikipedia redirects you from "Zjednoczone Królestwo" to "Wielka Brytania". Your opinion or my opinion on this matter really doesn't change anything.

    As far as educating goes, I can inform the people here that Polish usually doesn't care about this distinction and provide the 'more accurate' wording that is "Zjednoczone Królestwo" (so literally "United Kingdom").


    I was always taught that "Pole" and "Polak" were considered offensive by Polish people?


    I heard it about "Polak" (although that's the basic Polish word, maybe it should rather be Polack?), but "Pole"? Isn't it the basic English one?


    It's a different thing in different languages. The German word "Polacke" is considered very rude and shouldn't be used at all, while in Italian "polacco" is just the basic word.


    This is important. I definitely don't want to offend anyone from Poland. So, I need to be clear. Does it mean that i should the word Polak or Polack only while speaking fully in Polish, but not while speaking in English?


    Yes, it seems it's better to not use it in English.

    But in Polish "Polak" is the right word for a Polish man.


    Why does it not accept "...the Great Britain".. I think we should use article "the" here


    No, it's "the United Kingdom", but Great Britain, like most country names, is used without an article.


    Is " A lot of Poles" unacceptable in this context?


    "A lot of Poles" is accepted. If your answer was rejected, then it must have been something wrong with the rest of the sentence.

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