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  5. "Co to za dźwięk?"

"Co to za dźwięk?"

Translation:What is this sound?

December 31, 2015



What does 'za' means here? Why is it needed?


"Co to za" is a whole expression where you are askking about the source of sensation (sound, smell). Without "za" this question would translate as "What is a sound?" – as if you've never known a word "sound".


Nice, I like the literal translation: "What is behind that smell, noise, etc.?"


Funny thing is that the literal translation of "to" is never "is". It's not even a verb.

EDIT: I'm also not sure about translating "za" as "behind", since the case doesn't match (and I don't perceive these two meaning close, even if the word is the same).


I guess even if it doesn't actually mean 'behind' in this context it will still help me remember :)


Some English speakers say "what is behind that...?" to mean what is the cause...I wonder if this turn of phrase is typically Irish?


Wouldn't a better translation be "What kind of sound is this?"


I don't think so. I can think of two cases when you use phrase "Co to za dźwięk?": 1. when you suddenly hear something strange or perhaps you are frightened by a sound or noise. 2. when you play guessing game. I am not native English speaker, but I don't think you would use expression "What kind of sound is this?" in any of above cases.


I think it would be "Jaki dźwięk to jest?", but I'm not 100% sure.


Someone could say that, but "Jaki to jest dźwięk?" seems more natural.


Could you not say 'Co jest ten/tamten dźwięk?', or does that not make sense?


No, it does not.


Everything could be so easy... ;-)


That's correct. Other examples: Co to za smak? = what flavor is it? (about food) Co to za książka? = what book is that? Co to za kobieta? = who is that woman? but Co za kobieta! = What a woman! ( doesn't need to be about woman. It's just a common example ) There is also similar expression: Ale kobieta! Means basically the same, but doesn't use "za".


Yes, it's a rare construction used in phrases like "What was that X?!", "What a great X that was!" and similar.

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In English I think we are more likely to ask what is that sound'. Would that still beCo to za dżwięk' in Polish?

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