"Nie słyszę dziewczynki."
Translation:I do not hear the girl.
30 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
I'm British, and from learning languages at school and being told English is harder I am now finding that hard to believe. "This" is always this in all forms. Cat is always Cat, unless there are 2 or it's a kitten, of course. A boy is always a boy doesn't matter what form. So, to the majority that read this, do you think English is harder than other languages to learn? Just curious :)
I think a huge difference in the difficulty of Polish and English as foreign languages is that we hear much more English in daily life. Tv, films, YouTube, quotes in papers, there's lots of English there already, so even if you've never had one lesson you'll have developed a bit of an idea of how the language works. The first time I heard more than a few sentences is Polish is yet to come, I think.
So no idea which is objectively harder, but I think for most people achieving a certain level in Polish is going to be more challenging than getting the same proficiency in English. (My son taught himself English playing Minecraft aged 10 and was reading LotR before having had one English lesson.)
The main difficulty, I believe, is the inconsistent pronunciation.
See https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghoti#:~:text=Ghoti%20is%20an%20artificial%20word,in%20women%20%2F%CB%88w%C9%AAm%C9%AAn%2F%3B%20and for a pair of somewhat overstated examples.
With "nie słyszę" you use the genitive.
"Słyszę dziewczynkę. Nie słyszę dziewczynki" = "I hear the girl. I do not hear the girl"
"Słyszę dziewczynki. Nie słyszę dziewczynek" = "I hear the girls. I do not hear the girls"
(for the declension see: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dziewczynka#Polish)
As I wrote. You have the verb "słyszeć" and it takes Accusative. It's negated here, and negated Accusative = Genitive.
The Genitive singular form is "dziewczynki". The Genitive plural form is "dziewczynek". Therefore this sentence is undoubtedly in singular.
Most feminine nouns have the following forms identical: Nominative plural, Accusative plural, Genitive singular.
Nie is a very short word that is easy to miss in fast speech and noisy backgrounds, but it also changes the meaning of a sentene substantially. In order to emphasise that we are in fact dealing with a negated verb, we change the case of the object from accusative to genitive.
A similar thing happens in English, by the way. When we use a negation, we add the auxiliary do. Do not gives the negation more 'weight' than just not.
I think you have this a bit wrong. No plural form is being used; this is genitive singular which for this noun happens to look like nominative plural.
The full declension of this noun can be found here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dziewczynka#Polish (and click the 'show' button on the declension table if necessary).
It happens that most (but not all) feminine nouns have Genitive singular which looks like the Nominative plural.