"Czy mówi pani po angielsku?"

Translation:Do you speak English?

January 1, 2016

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CostelloMusic98

So, if I understood well: pan (litt. sir) -> when addressing to a man pani (litt. lady) -> when addressing a woman panowie (litt. gentlemen) -> when addressing to some men panie (litt. ladies) -> when addressing to some women panstwo -> when addressing to a group where there are both men and women

August 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

yes exactly.

August 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/kozjol

so i use 3rd person when addressing "formal you"?

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

yes

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kamil175561

It is similar to French and Spanish where you say "does the gentelman" or "does the lady". For example Czy pani ma papierosy? Does the gentelman have cigarettes?

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Maybe it was just a typo, but 'pan' is a gentleman, 'pani' is a lady.

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/verticordian

It's incredibly formal these days and it would only ever be used by for instance wait staff or shop assistants in an incredibly posh establishment but I think 'does madam speak English?' would be an acceptable translation. At least that's how I mentally translate the formal second person.

July 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Yeah this is the literal translation, but is it really possible in English? "does madam(e) speak" has altogether 12 results in Google...

July 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/siljil2

I would not hear this in my everyday life, but I certainly would hear it on TV--an English speaking butler saying, "Would the lady like tea? Would the gentleman care for some dinner?" Or, as verticordian said, at ridiculously formal establishments. Therefore the phrasing exists all over the English speaking world, just in contrived instances. (But for any English speakers struggling to understand how to use this, think of a butler in an old movie and suddenly pan and pani meaning "you" makes sense)

September 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Okay, adding it does no harm even if it's 'ridiculously formal' (Polish sentence is after all 'totally normally formal'), so it's gonna work now.

September 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/siljil2

I wasn't advocating for change. I think y'all got it right! (I seriously love this program). I understand you are looking for normal conversation, not contrived wording. I just wanted to help an English speaker understand the Polish construction of these formal sentences. We have it, we just don't really use it. Keep up the good work!

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Well, if that is technically possible and will make literally three people (the number of reports) in a group of few thousands happy, then I guess why not ;)

Thank you for the kind words!

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rslife

It is indeed good English, though it is, as she says, very formal and somewhat dated.

August 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/chb0lingo

Better translation: Do you speak English, ma'am? We have formal nouns in English just no formal conjugations

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MacDiarmata

Yes, and also "Sir/madam, do you speak English?"

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

But that's closer to "Proszę pana/pani, czy mówi pan/pani po angielsku".

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

I'm curious that the vocative isn't used here. Does "Proszę" take genitive?

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

It does in constructions with Formal You, which I guess you can treat as fixed phrases. It's not "proszę" as in "I am asking for", it's rather like "Excuse me, sir/madame".

By the way, it's a relatively common mistake for Polish people to say "Proszę panią" when they should have used "Proszę pani", and a joking answer can be "Do tańca"? "Proszę panią do tańca" is like "I'd like to ask you for a dance, madame" ;)

As for Vocative, it would work perfectly with people, when actually meaning "please". "Proszę, mamo/tato/Marku/Aniu!" = "Please, mom/dad/Marek/Ania!"

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

In Polish, do you do the German thing like when addressing somebody with a doctorate? Such as "Czy mówi pan doktor po angielsku?" (male example in this case).

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

only if: a) they are medicine doctor, even if they don't have doctorate
or
b) it's a university based situation.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

OK. But is not a doctor of medicine a "lekarz"? So would that not be "Pan lekarz" rather than "Pan doktor"?

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/4d1n

"Czy pan lekarz mówi po angielsku" is 100% correct, but nobody will say it in such way. Everyone while talking to the doctor will use form "pan/pani doktor" instead of "pan lekarz/pani lekarka".

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

Presumably, when greeting the "Pan Doktor"/"Pan Ambasador", the Vocative would be required? "Dzień dobry Panie Doktorze / Ambasadorze."?

September 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/4d1n

Yes.

September 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

don't expect logic. the word for a doctor of medicine is "lekarz", the customary polite title is "doktor".

the word for a pharmacist is farmaceuta or aptekarz. the customary title (rarely used) is "magister"

the word for a teacher is "nauczyciel", the customary title used in "liceum" is "profesor" (even if most don't have doctorate)

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Emwue

You can… In fact, for a „Professor zwyczajny”(ie. actual full professor and not 'teaching(or assistant or whatever) professor', it would/could be perceived as impolite or even derogatory not to mention the title. Same goes for Bishops, Cardinals, Prime Ministers(usually Ministers too), Presidents and Rectors.

You can, but it's not obligatory, mention the title for vice-Ministers, Speakers of Parliament(for Speakers of Sejm is mandatory too, I think), Secretaries of State(sekretarz stanu), Ph.D., Ambassadors and priests.

You can and it's overkill, that might(but doesn't have to – all in the context) be perceived as a depreciating jocular manner of speech, mention the titles for MSc(magister), engineers(mgr inż.) and especially for Bachelor's degree/licencjat.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

I'd just add that:

1) priests are not "pan ksiądz", but "ksiądz", and bishops and cardinals are "ksiądz biskup", "ksiądz kardynał". And it's obligatory to use "ksiądz", it is seen as really impolite to use "pan",

2) I think in work places like building sites and factories, engineers are called "inżynier" but in places like design office that would be overkill.

The same thing is with "magister", it's used when talking to teachers in universities, but anywhere else it's too much.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Emwue

Yeah, you just made me realise I put it somehow confusing – it should also be added that when addressing a priest directly it should be „Ojcze”(at least for „ksiądz proboszcz”), for a bishop it should be „Wasza Ekscelencjo” and for Cardinal, „Wasza Eminencjo”.

For ambassadors of Poland it should be „Panie Ambasadorze”/„Pani Ambasador” and for ambassadors of other countries it should be „Wasza Ekscelencjo”.

Obviously, there are also special forms of address for Kings and Queens, but somehow I doubt that will ever be an issue, so I skipped these. ;)

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/passionfruit12

I got distracted and took mówi very literally and put "he speaks". yikes

October 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/elevy23

Can you leave out pani altogether?

March 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

That would change the meaning of the sentence. You can leave out "normal" pronouns, but if you omit the Formal You form, it's just as if you were asking about some 3rd person that must be known from the context.

So "Czy mówi po angielsku?" would be "Does he/she speak English?".

March 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JolantaIli1

One can address a woman more formally in English by saying "Madam, do you speak English" and a man by saying "Sir, do you speak English.

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mim_Fox

Not "Ma'am/madam, do you speak english?"

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

That, and the corresponding "Sir," for the version using "Pan" are OK-ish. More likely English would be to drop the title altogether, and just say, "Excuse me, do you speak English?". But that would be a different Polish construction too!

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mim_Fox

Well yes, we probably wouldn't use the title in most circumstances, but to me that is a different sentence. If I were to be speaking formally to a stranger — like maybe if I were in a fancy hotel or something — I might say "Excuse me, do you speak English, Sir?". And at many schools the students still address the teachers as Miss and Sir. It weirds me out, but they do it.

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Added such a word order (we mostly expected 'madam' at the end of the sentence).

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cszerszen

Why mówi (he/she/It? Why not mówisz Is pani nominative here?

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

"Pani" is indeed nominative here. It is "mówi" and not "mówisz" because "Pan"/"Pani" behave like a 3rd person singular subject. Think of it as "Does the lady (being addressed) speak English?" or "Does Madam speak English?"

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nathanjm

Could some shed some light on the 'po angielsku' bit in terms of the case?

I have English (as in in the adjective to speak English) as angielski in the nominative. What case does 'po' make it?

I checked Wiktionary and it came up with angielsku as 'Old Dative'?

December 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

Well... Wiktionary for "po" (at https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/po#Preposition_6 ) states that "po" takes dative with adjectives when used in the sense of a language. It also states that "Dative adjectives that end in -ski for the lemma take the archaic suffix -sku instead of the usual -skiemu when used with this preposition."

Does that help?

December 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nathanjm

Perfect explanation. Dziękuję bardzo!

December 6, 2018
Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.