1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Uczeń pożycza kartkę od kole…

"Uczeń pożycza kartkę od koleżanki."

Translation:The pupil borrows a sheet of paper from a friend.

April 22, 2016

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnoldpitt

A sheet, without further explanation, in British English would mean a bedsheet


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Becky57701

Completely agreed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mim_Fox

I said "The student is borrowing a sheet of paper from their friend", and it was corrected with "The student is borrowing a sheet of paper from THE friend". That's really strange, and would never be said in English. Koleżanki has to be that student's friend, right? It can't be just a friend of anybody.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, "the" is technically a correct translation, although indeed a weird one.

We can't accept the singular 'their'. In Polish, every noun has a gender, every word for a person suggests the gender. The original sentence has "uczeń", so it's a boy. Therefore 'his' works. I am aware of the usage of 'their'. However, we have absolutely no way of knowing if a person using 'their' does it consciously, or makes a huge mistake in English, or just doesn't understand the Polish sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew_Phelps

I will note that it is becoming more mainstream English to use "their" for singular, third person possession. Often it is used as an alternative to gender based possessive pronouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arminia11_web_de

That is a new usage. Before, "their" was a shortcut for lazy to omit saying, "his OR her..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ten_Pies_I_Brew

Using "they" for a single person is as old as using "you" for a single person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

This does not fly, a sheet can be anything, sheet of paper, bedsheet etc. Please elucidate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KoenOomens

Could "classmate" also be a valid translation for "koleżanki" in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Hmm... I guess it can, as it's probably the most logical to assume this happens in class. OK, added.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

I get sloppy because I'm an old fart, what's your excuse? :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

It would be helpful, if you used the grey Reply option under a specific comment you are replying to, so your response appeared indented, but together with the original poster's (OP's) comment, creating a thread. Otherwise they get separated in the default sorting order "Top post", which reflects the number of "up votes".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilo-A2

Why sometimes duo translates uczeń as pupil and sometimes as student?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

English : student - mainly US (UK usually pupil) someone who is ​learning at a ​school: = Polish uczeń

English : student -a ​person who is ​learning at a ​college or ​university:= Polish student

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/student


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilo-A2

I understand the difference between the Polish words "uczeń" and "student". My question is why duolingo translates "uczeń" as English "pupil" sometimes, and sometimes as English "student".

Like in this sentence, where "uczeń" HAS to be student, and the answer "the pupil borrows a sheet from his friend" is not accepted. But 5 questions before (I don't remember the exact sentence", translating "uczeń" as student was an error because the answer HAS to be pupil.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

that is missing translation, if it happens anywhere else please report it.

Edit "Pupil" was now added to this sentence by course contributors, if you have this mistake in other exercises please report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Good question. Maybe some people would disagree, but I'd say that "student" is a student only, and before university, the proper word is "uczeń" (or "uczennica" for a girl).

It seems that student = uczeń could work in a context like "Mistrz i jego uczeń" - "Master and his student", but not in school contexts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark958555

As mentioned above, this is a difference between UK and US English. In the US we pretty exclusively use student for both uczeń and student (or Schüler and Student in German). Pupil sounds stilted to my ear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, człowiek uczy się przez całe życie... good to know the US point of view, thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcpk

This usage has been spreading in the UK for some time, as schools have started referring to children as students rather than pupils.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

Yes, it is so ridiculous, it spreads to the kindergarten level and below, even in a day care center. Similarly for "teachers" in the U.S. In Polish we did not refer to day care workers as "nauczyciele" - they were "przedszkolanki" (for 3-6 tears olds - never heard of a male). I don't even know what they were called in infant and toddler care centers (Polish "żłobki"), as we did not use these. "Teachers" = "nauczyciele" were at primary school. In high school the teachers insisted to be called "professors," constantly fighting our habit of addressing them "Pan", "Pani".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DiegoMaria15

I always read "Uczeń" as student no matter what


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peej542356

The app picked up the correct spelling "colleague" as a typo and suggested "collegue" as a correction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Fixed, thanks for reporting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duolingouser621

I was marked wrong for "The pupil is borrowing a friend's sheet." OK, I think I see why that was wrong (because it ignores the preposition?), but it was corrected to "The pupil is borrowing a piece from a friend." This is not a good translation because it doesn't say what kind of piece and there's no real reason to assume "a piece of paper".

Edit: Also marked wrong for "The pupil is borrowing a sheet of paper from her friend." I was corrected to use "his" instead of "her". What in the sentence says that the pupil is male? Is there a feminine form of "uczeń" which would be used if the pupil were female?

Edit 2: Fixed a typo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Okcydent

Uczeń (male or general idea), uczennica (female), uczniowie (plural male and general idea), uczennice (plural, only female).

Similarly: kolega (male friend), koleżanka (female friend), koledzy (male friends), koleżanki (female friends).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duolingouser621

Rozumiem, dziękuję bardzo!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Fixed the 'a piece' problem, thanks for reporting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christiane861180

I translated "kolega" with "fellow student" and it counted it as an error. "Colleague" in English usually refers to co-workers rather than schoolmates.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, 'colleague' is not the default answer anymore, it was changed to 'friend' (which is very vague in English but unfortunately it is probably the best answer anyway).

"fellow student" is very specific... but it suits this specific sentence well, so added.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Becky57701

'Classmate' might come close?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

It might, it works.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tczek

The pupil borrows (or is borrowing) paper from a friend ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, "paper" isn't exactly the same as "kartka".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arminia11_web_de

It was always a sheet of paper, or a piece of paper. Or we would say some paper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jwkrasow

Could this mean anything else in Polish though -- is kartka really that ambiguous? The only other meaning I could think of in english would be like a bedsheet, but that would be a weird thing to borrow from a colleague.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ten_Pies_I_Brew

Well, "paper" could be any amount of paper, but isn't "kartka" exactly one sheet of paper?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nico515253

can we add 'a sheet of paper' and 'a piece of paper' as possible correct answers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Actually, both are already accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

From a friend rings my chimes the friend is not good English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ten_Pies_I_Brew

I can't understand what you're saying; can you rephrase, or maybe add some quotation marks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

American slang for, works for me, From a friend is most commonly if not always used. From 'the' friend tells the story but is convoluted English grammar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ten_Pies_I_Brew

I don't want to be impolite or anything, but I feel like I should tell you that I would have understood you right away if you had written:

"From a friend" rings my chimes. "The friend" is not good English.

In any case, I agree; it seems unlikely that anyone would write "The student borrows a sheet of paper from the friend." We'd say "his friend" instead of "the friend".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.K.M

The pupil is borrowing a sheet of paper from his girl friend. (Note the space which differentiates from girlfriend). I could have (almost did) try female instead, but that's a bit formal (and i don't know if that would have been accepted either).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

OK, I guess I can add it. And "female friend" as well, strange as it is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

The friend is not proper useage of the term and never used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

"friend" is actually the best translation, translating "koleżanki" to "colleague" is a big simplification.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

I think @Walkinthedog meant "the" friend as opposed to "a" friend, as in two other posts of his.

BTW, the usage of "their friend" instead of "his friend" or "her friend," when we don't know the gender, is quite common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MC_Mac_MC

Should classmate be accepted for koleżanki


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

"Classmate" has been suggested by KoenOomens and added by jellei about 10 months ago, see above.

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.