"small boys, small girls"
Translation:mali chłopcy, małe dziewczynki
In Polish, plural has two forms: masculine personal gender, and not masculine-personal gender. The first one is used almost exclusively for groups of all-male people and mixed groups of people, the second one for groups all-female people and basically everything else.
So boys = chłopcy is obviously masculine personal. And while many adjectives have the -ły ending in masculine singular, in plural (masculine personal plural) it turns into -li.
@Keag: This is a very good question! Not in the sense that "mali chłopaki" should be accepted, but why in the world a masculine gender personal word "chłopak" takes on a nonmasculine adjective "małe?" Unlike "chłopacy," which takes on the masculine adjective "mali?" This is an inconsistency that I cannot explain.
a small boy - mały chłopiec/mały chłopak
small boys - mali chłopcy/małe chłopaki
a small girl - mała dziewczynka
small girls - małe dziewczynki
It is awkward to say "mała dziewczyna", because the term "dziewczyna", already refers to older and bigger girl than "dziewczynka" (little girl).
Note that it's "maŁe", but "maLi".
There are two plurals in Polish. "mali" is the 'masculine personal' form. It's usually different than the other forms (that's why here it has L and not Ł). 'masculine personal' is used for 'groups of people with at least one man'. Like "boys", of course.
The other plural is called 'not masculine-personal'. Basically, it's used for anything else. Women, children (if you use the word 'children' instead of specifying the gender), dogs, trees, boxes, cars, etc.
I'm not sure why changing it to "little girl" would make a difference. Both 'small' and 'little' are synonyms that denote lesser size/amount not age. So, for example, a puppy might be a little dog but a little dog does not necessarily have to be a puppy.
Maybe there's no way to make this into a clear translation since girl is more broad than dziewczynka/dziewczyna. I am curious, though, why you can't say 'mała dziewczyna' and how you would indicate that an older girl is small/petite.
We say “drobna dziewczyna” for a petite size girl, who is at least a teenager. For a short girl we say “niska dziewczyna.”Mała” does mean short, but it has a somewhat paternizing connotation: “Ty, mała, nie podskakuj.”
On the other hand the English “little girl” more often than not means just a very young girl, which should be translated to “dziewczynka.”