'podobać się' is best translated as 'to be liked by', so 'samochód' is the subject and 'mężczyzna' is (in Polish) an indirect object which is in dative case here.
Its looks like the same mechanism for verbs like "gustar" (to please) in Spanish. Even down to the indirect object or pronoun coming first in the sentence, and the subject of the verb at the end.
As a Spanish teacher for Polish students, this is going to be useful :)
Thanks for that, 'podobać się' is something I have struggled to understand.
But presumably if you said "Mężczyzna lubi swój nowy samochód" to a Polish speaker, you would be understood?
yes. It just will mean different thing. (Podobać się is more superficial, shotr term first impression, lubić is long-term relationsip). If "on go lubi" then he already had enough time to "polubić go".
Why is mężczyźnie used here? Doesn't it mean men? And if so, wouldn't it be podobają się? The men like his new car?
in this sentence the car is subject and a man is object.
It is more like the car is liked by a man.
mężczyźnie is dative/celownik singular
Hey, this is interesting, I thought it was curious that Polish (until now in the course) had no dative verb to express liking something, as pretty much most other European languages including Poland's neighboring German and Russian languages.