"Nic nie widzę!"

Translation:I cannot see anything!

April 16, 2016

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Compare to Dutch 'niets' and German 'nichts'


Nie wiesz nic, Jon Snou.


Niczego nie wiesz, Jon Snow would be the correct right?


Both "nic" and "niczego" are valid Genitive forms, so both "Nie wiesz nic" and "Niczego nie wiesz" are correct.

As you're addressing Jon Snow by saying that, you need Vocative. Now, Vocative is kinda vanishing with first names, so if it was just "You know nothing, Jon" then "Niczego nie wiesz, Jon" would probably be more common than the Vocative "Niczego nie wiesz, Jonie". However, here you have both the first name and the last name, and then you definitely do need Vocative for the first name: "Niczego nie wiesz, Jonie Snow".

For surnames, you do not use Vocative, and with the surname Snow (pronounced the English way of course) it would sound very weird anyway... "Snole"? I'm not even sure.


You could say niczego here as well, right?


Sgt. Schultz?


"I don't see anything" should be ok. Here common speach always uses contractions, sounds rather strange when you don't!


This is accepted. Such contractions should be accepted automatically by means of coding.


Told me it was wrong? Maybe i made a typo but pretty sure i didn't


Is this more understood as "I cannot see anything" or "i dont see anything"? The recommended answer suggests the former.


Literally "I do not see", but you wouldn't really translate "I cannot see" any other way.


How about "I don't see a thing"?


Makes sense to me, added.


Seems like this should only be, "I do not see anything," not "I cannot see anything." Why is it acceptable to add "can?" Cannot see means I'm incapable of seeing (ever) (i.e. I'm blind), whereas do not see just means just can't right now (because it's too dark, etc)


I guess "cannot see" could also be used to mean "do not see," if it's taken less literally/more figuratively, but "cannot see" is definitely more ambiguous and I would think not as good for the main translation (especially outside of context).


Firstly, "what can you see..." is a very, very common instruction in exercises like "describe the picture". I don't think that answering "I can see a car" differs in meaning from "I see a car".

Secondly, it is very unusual to translate "cannot see" literally into Polish, in fact, you'd only do it if the English sentence actually said "I am unable to see" or something similar.

Thirdly, only by translating such sentences not-literally to "cannot see" or "cannot hear" we can teach people not to try weird literal translations like "nie mogę zobaczyć" (or even worse "nie mogę widzieć").


Gotcha. I do think adding the helping verb "can" makes a subtle change to the meaning, but it seems they're both expressed the same way in Polish.

So Polish doesn't have a clear way to distinguish "I see" from "I can see." Or "I don't see" from "I can't see." ?

(In English, can/can't puts more emphasis on the speaker's ability to do so, where do/don't is more a neutral statement about your current status; i.e., I can see, but I don't see it currently)


To a Polish person, those English (pairs of) sentences are virtually identical.

Only if your "I can't see" really means "I am unable to see", then you could possibly say something like "Nie mogę dostrzec" or "Nie jestem w stanie dostrzec". But that's nowhere as common as English "I can't see".


Why "I can't see anything " is not correct?

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