"Zwiedzam stare miasto."

Translation:I am sightseeing in the old town.

January 25, 2016

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SaraWie

Odwiedzić is the Polish word used commonly for 'to visit', as in: visiting family or friends. Zwiedzić apparently really means visiting in the sightseeing way, so I would say Duolingo has a point here

April 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Emwue

Yes, but the problem is, apparently English doesn't have this distinction, which is what is causing troubles for English native speakers since 'to sightsee'(which is the closest thing in English to "zwiedzać") is rarely used as a verb. ;-)

It would be easier in German(as far as I understand):

  • "zwiedzać" = besichtigen

  • "odwiedzać" = besuchen

April 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Philipp88107

Danke. Das macht Sinn. ;)

April 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RadhaTereska

You may have a point. My experience is that my Polish relatives do much more "sightseeing" than I or my friends do here in the US - We do tend to "visit" more casually - I think of sightseeing as something that is more organized and formal, perhaps with a tour guide. I almost never do that kind of Zwiedzanie.

April 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

organized and formal, perhaps with a tour guide. is what I think when they say "zwiedzać" :)

April 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kulink

Is there an grammatical explanation of how adding the prepositions 'Od' and 'Z' as prefixes modifies the meaning of the root? I've also noticed other verbs with 'Przed' and 'Na' prefixes.

May 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/styppy

This was my thought as well. Wiedzać by itself can be translated as knowing. Z (with) as prefix - may help a native English speaker (like myself) think of zwiedzać as "with knowing" making the sightseeing an active experience. In the same way, Od (from, of, off, between, off, away) as a prefix may help us think of odwiedzać as "between knowing" or "away from knowing" making the visit a more passive instead of active action.

In any case, reading this whole thread of discussion, this is what makes sense in my head to help me keep them straight.

Still, in English one does not say I am sightseeing something. We go sightseeing to a place as in "I am going sightseeing around the old town."

June 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Just in case you don't know or someone else doesn't know: "wiedzać" is not a word, "to know" = "wiedzieć". But if the rest of the logic helps you remember, that's great :)

June 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/styppy

Thank you! I just did a rough google translate of the original word and its parts and compared that info to this thread. It is good to confirm that I was suspicious of the translation google made. Thanks for clarifying.

June 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

they change the meaning of the verb. But there are no actual rules for exact meaning. You can sometimes guess , but sometimes meaning has changed so much you the connection is lost. It's like with English phrasal verbs.

May 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JaneMansle

I am British and a native English speaker. We rarely use the word sightseeing outside of foreign language classes! We say, for example "I am going to Paris". We might add the purpose more generally, "I am going to Paris...on holiday/for work/to visit friends. In the first, sightseeing is implied. In the second and third, there is a chance that you might be asked, "Will you get the time for some sightseeing while you are there?". That's about the only situation I can think of when it would be natural to use it.

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

I understand, but we have this distinction and using these rather unnatural English sentences is I think the only way to teach this rather important (for tourists) word.

January 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JaneMansle

Yes, you're absolutely right. And it makes sense to learn this word as it is the Duolingo tree for English speakers to learn Polish, not the other way round!

January 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cosmicstresshead

I also find the word 'sightseeing' a bit awkward - I would translate this sentence as 'I am touring the old town'. I find this easier on the ear, and also it makes for a more literal translation than 'sightseeing in', but it might still not be a common way to say it in English

August 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AlisonSinc

I was given 'touring the old town' instead of 'visiting', and I think this is a case where it suggests transport (coach, bike) whereas the most likely in an old town is that you'd walk.

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RadhaTereska

Why can't I say visiting the old town - does it only translate as sightseeing?

February 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/alukasiak
Mod
  • 2070

“Zwiedzać” always describes the active process of walking around a place, seeing the sights etc. “Odwiedzać” has a much broader sense, but it is basically used for the passive process of going to a place and simply being there.

We cannot accept “to visit” here, as it changes the meaning of the sentence. If it said “Odwiedzam stare miasto” then sure – “I am visiting the old town” would be the default translation.

May 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paraguayanpolka

I wrote "I'm exploring the old town," but they didn't buy it.

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker

Exploring isn't the same as sightseeing.

February 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

This is a question for English speakers.

On the Polish side

zwiedzać- see a place while taking a walk or travelling through it pwn.sjp.pl
or get to know a place during travel or a walk wsjp.pl

March 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Mascha335

As a native English speaker, I would never use the verb "to sightsee". Instead, you can say, for example, "I'm going sightseeing." For me, zwiedzac means to visit.

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinB896941

"I'm going sightseeing" feels just right to this UK Englishman. The Poles here seem to use zwiedzac to express this, whereas odwiedzać means to visit.

EDIT: After reading the 50+ posts of this topic, I recommend promoting "I am going sightseeing in the old town" to Preferred Translation. It's good English and an accurate translation - just what Duo needs.

[28 Jan 2019]

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit

in English we visit people just to be there with them but we visit places to look around them. a bit of sightseeing is implied. if we are not going to do any sightseeing we just say we are going there, not that we are visiting. so i think you should accept visit in the implied context of this sentence.

July 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RadhaTereska

YES, this is for English speakers who often use the word "visit" instead of sightsee.

March 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

does it mean you would use visit?

March 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/elbose86

I would, yes. As Mascha said, we wouldn't really use 'sightsee' as a verb on its own, but with the verb 'go'. The best one word verb equivalent would be 'tour' or 'visit'.

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ozgoty

This is not a good english sentence!

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker

It looks ok to me. What do you think is wrong with it?

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ornithoryn1

It feels weird to count wrong the translation "i'm visiting the old town " as it really is correct and the most commonly used phrasing for a lot of english speakers. I understand the point of underlining the 2 different polish words, though.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Celina689105

"I am going sightseeing around the old town"?

April 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Makes sense to me, added.

April 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/C.Amaro1981

English and Polish have the verb "to be" "być" which can have two separate meanings which in Portuguese can be the verb "estar" ou "ser". To visit can actually work the same way for Zwiedzać and odwiedzać.

April 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Emwue

Actually, if you want to get technical, Polish has three, sort of – based on my browsing of some dictionaries, it seems that (note that I do not speak any Portuguese or any other Romance language for that matter, so I can easily be wrong here) "estar" = „stać” (but it only works for locational "to be", not for general notion of current state and never as an auxiliary verb, unlike in Portuguese, so it has much narrower use in Polish); "ser" = „być”, and we also use „mieć” ('to have') for negations of 'to be'. ;)

But your general notion that sometimes semantic equivalence can't be established between words in different languages is obviously true. ;)

April 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cosmicstresshead

I have been to the old town in Warsaw and it's really quite nice :)

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michele212550

this makes me remember an old song "Pójdę na stare miasto"

February 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/emetelak

Why does the English require the use of in?

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/kakarot98

Why is it "the old town" and not just "old town" without the?

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DarkoNedel

Can "miasto" be translated as "place" too? That is the exact meaning in other slavic languages.

January 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

But not in Polish :) What you mean is "miejsce". Still close, but a bit more different.

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BenConway6

"I am sightseeing in the old town" sounds really unnatural to me as a native English speaker. As many others have said, 'visit' is the closest natural-sounding English verb for 'zwiedzać'.

I guess to force the use of the word 'sightseeing' over 'visiting' would be like if Duolingo insisted on 'whom' when translating 'kto' in the non-nominative cases (kogo, komu and kim). It's technically correct, but it doesn't sound natural to most modern-day native English speakers.

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

'whom' vs 'who' was a never-ending debate, but 'who' has won ;)

I know, I know. But sometimes we can't be natural in both languages at the same time. Or rather: we can, but it doesn't help in learning. If "I am visiting" was the main answer, then we would have no right to reject "Odwiedzam Stare Miasto", which isn't exactly the most common Polish sentence and isn't what was meant. Basically, it's better if we're unnatural in English than in Polish.

Oh, "visit" isn't even accepted... well, it should be. Added now.

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlisonSinc

Clearly this one goes on and on! While you're about it (thank you for adding 'visit', by the way), I wonder if you could remove 'touring'. This is one of the few instances where the English suggests that travelling in a vehicle that you distinguish in Polish from walking.... Most old towns are such that you are unlikely to get good vehicular access, especially by coach (which is what comes to mind). We might 'tour' a country, or a region, we might even include a 'town' on a tour, but I don't think it is what the Polish sentence suggests. Thanks for your patience, by the way!

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

What about the segways? ;) Some people use them... or the melexes... this seems possible, although not the greatest. It's only an accepted version anyway.

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlisonSinc

I think you could possibly use a melex, but not a Segway for this! The mind begins to boggle...

June 11, 2018
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