"Jaka jest twoja żona?"

Translation:What is your wife like?

February 1, 2016

This discussion is locked.


which of these words is asking the persons to describe his feelings about his wife?


This question is about wife's features/qualities/traits - they can be both physical and psychical. And the word is "jaka".


Jaka. It seems to translate fairly well to Esperanto "kiel" or Portuguese"Como". Can translate into English as "how", "like", or "as" in English, depending on context.

(I am not Polish, take that advice with a grain of salt!)

EDIT: As mentioned below by mihxal, the above is not 100% correct. Serves me right for making a call on a word I've used maybe 2 or 3 times!


It corresponds to Esperanto "kia".


Hmmm, I think you're right in saying it's not "kiel", but "Kia estas la edzino?" sounds pretty weird to me - as if there are several different types of wife he can have and you're asking which type she is.


The problem is about English: it lacks a good word for „kia“, we have to say „what kind of“ :)


Polish like Esperanto differentiates questions about features/traits of something which are often expressed by adjectives - "jaka/jaki/jakie?" (kia?) and the questions about ways of doing something (which are often expressed by adverbs) - "jak?" (kiel?) - English "how?".


Hmm, really? I've never heard the word used that way. That being said, I haven't spoken a lot of Esperanto, and what I have spoken is mainly with English speakers or Brazilians.

I'm used to hearing something in the figurative sense like "Kia hundo ne ŝatas marŝi!?" (rhetorical question) or the literal sense like "Kia hundo vi havas" (Germana ŝafhundo, pudelo ktp.)

I'll keep what you said in mind, though. There's a good chance you're right and I've just been speaking to people who have a bias based on their own natural language.

(Cetere, mi vere havas hundon (pudelo), kiu ne ŝatas marŝi! Li kaŝas sin sub la lito aŭ tablo kiam ajn ni diras al li "walkies!". Stranga besto!)


You can notice the same ending for the question word "kia" and adjectives so Kia estas via hundo? Ĝi estas stranga. It's not a coincidence.


Yes, I noticed that. I've just never heard it before (or, at least, never noticed). I'll be sure to use it and see if people understand. It's definitely an interesting word.


Hmmm "kia estas [o-vorto]" sounds perfectly natural to me as a question asking for a description of a noun. It's hard to translate word for word untill English, I admit.


Ahh thank you. Thinking about it as the English word "How" makes it easier to accept. "How is your wife?"

can you replace Jaka with "Co"? Co jest twoja zona or does that not work?


It never works.

Kim jest twoja żona? - but that is who is your wife - ( answer implies job, sometimes a name or nationality, ethnicity)

Kto jest twoją żoną ( identity question - this lady, name and surname)

Jaka jest twoja żona? ( description guestion, - adjectives or long describing sentences)

Która to twoja żona? ( which (of those ladies) is your wife?)


Just keep in mind that the words are not exactly the same!


Co jest would be asking in general what is she....because she is not human. Co jest twoja żona? Tygrys? Przybysz z obcej planety? itd.


Even then, it would be "czym"


Jaka is closer to "what kind of", imho.


She's stiff, man...


Jaka jest twoja żona. There is no feeling in this sentence. So why do you not agree with "how is your wife" in the other cases you consider that the sentence is used in practice but in this exercise you create a new mold. I do not met such question in english. If i hear "what is your wife like" it sounds as answer "my wife looks like and alien". confused.


Because "how" is "jak", not "jaka". "Jaka jest twoja żona" is quite precisely translated as "what is your wife like". Assume the following dialog: - Jaka jest twoja żona? - Ona jest niesamowita!


How would you say, "How is your wife?" as in, is she doing well. That was my answer, since it's a much more common thing to say, and it was marked wrong.


Jak się ma twoja żona? Jak się miewa twoja żona? (more rare)

Jak się czuje twoja żona? (How does he feel?)


How do you say "How are you?" formally? I haven't found a good answer.

Is it just Jak się ma? (or is pan/pani there somewhere)


In Formal You, you have to always specify the subject, otherwise it looks as if you're talking about some 3rd person that should be known from the context. So "Jak się ma?" seems like a part of "A Julia? Jak się ma?"

So it will be "Jak się pan/pani ma?". A bit informal, but it's not like with every pan/pani you have to be strictly totally formal... after all, you address most people like that, it can be friendly.


Może: Jak się twoja żona ma?


Why doesn't "twoja żona" change to a difference case? Usually after "być" you have Narzędnik, right?


Usually yes, because usually it is an "X is Y" sentence, and of course the part in Instrumental needs to be a noun phrase - a sole adjective would stay in Nominative. But here, in this question, "your wife" is the subject. The answer can be "Moja żona jest wysoka" or "Moja żona jest uroczą kobietą" (My wife is a lovely woman), etc. There's no reason to have "your wife" in Instrumental as she doesn't describe anything, it is her description that we ask for in the question.


Oh, that makes sense. I didn't think into it enough!


So if jaka is in sentence we know the person is asking what the adjective or person is like right?


Here, "jaka" translates to "what ... like".

More often it means "what" in the meaning close to "what [type/sort/kind] of".


What about: how is your wife?


Well, that's like "How does your wife feel?" or similar, right? A completely different sentence.


How would you say how is your wife?


"Jak się [ma/miewa] twoja żona?"


Just to double check, if "twoja" is used, does this assume the speaker is talking to more than 1 husbands? Otherwise it would be "wasza", right?


Actually, it's exactly the other way round. "twoja" is "Your wife, John" and "wasza" would be "Your wife, John and George" (yes, one wife for two husbands, so polygamy).

We accept both singular and plural 'you'/'your' in most sentences, but not in sentences like this one, rejecting "wasza" may make some people realize that important distinction.


Thank you, but now I feel like my head is going to explode!


But why? Don't almost all major languages have separate words for singular and plural 'you'? It's English that is weird :D


Why is not "how is your wife" accepted?


That's not what the Polish sentence means. The answer to the Polish sentence could be for example "My wife is very tall and beautiful. She is a kind and thoughtful person". You ask for some description.


Would a sentence like "Jakie jest twoje małżeństwo?" work? - "What is your marriage like?" or: "Jakie jest twoje śniadanie?"- "How is your brekkie?"


Would a sentence like "Jakie jest twoje małżeństwo?" work? - "What is your marriage like?"


"Jakie jest twoje śniadanie?"- "How is your brekkie?"

It's an odd question in Polish. In theory everything is fine here, but I don't think I'd ever ask that. It sounds as if the answer was supposed to be "My breakfast is big" or something like that.

"How is your breakfast?" is a question meaning "Is everything tasty?", am I right? So I'd ask "Czy wszystko smakuje?", or possibly and kinda colloquially, to match the English question in terms of grammar as well, "Jak twoje śniadanie?".


"How is your wife?" Shouldn't it be accepted?

I've told the sentence to a polish person and they literally replied to me "how is yoir wife?". I think the answer shouldn't care much about the correctness of the English language. Most of us learn Polish via English bc there is no other way.



As already discussed several times in this thread, "How is your wife" is a correct sentence with a very different meaning, which isn't covered by "Jaka jest twoja żona".

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