"That child is evil."

Translation:Tamto dziecko jest złe.

June 3, 2016

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Why is it "zle" and not "zly?"


Dziecko is neuter. You can check the declension.


Anyone else having trouble memorizing man, girl, and child?


Should be: The child is angry, not evil.


Both are correct intepretations. But "evil" is more literal, one could argue that understanding "zły" as "angry" is slightly colloquial.


I'm Polish :) Translating "The child is evil" would be translated to Polish as: "To dziecko jest złem" OR (free translation pointing the way of thinking while translating an evil child) "To dziecko to diabeł./ To dziecko jest diabłem" (this child is a devil). Btw... There could be another translation for "To dziecko jest złe" - in a context of the child being naughty :) "The child is naughty". However... "The child is evil" isn't really a good translation for it.


Well, I see your point, and frankly, the adjective 'zły', seemingly a very basic one, is strangely problematic in usage and translation. That's why in our new course we're waiting with introducing it until we are sure that we have enough vocabulary and grammar to be able to provide natural sentences with it.

Maybe 'angry' is the most probable interpretation, I can agree, but then the question is "why isn't 'wściekłe' the default Polish answer"? And bad (sic!) as it is, this is a sentence teaching the adjective "zły". So right now I think we should make 'angry' a starred answer as well, so people can notice more easily that this can be the meaning, but I'd leave 'evil' as the main answer.


I'm just trying to help with understanding that specific way of thinking we have in Poland about some words. Honestly, the "evil" is misleading. As you've mentioned in Polish we have a different words which still can be directly translated as "evil". "niegrzeczny" - "naughty" - "evil", "wściekły" - "angry" - "evil" but ("wściekły" - "mad" as well!), "szalony" - "mad"- "evil", "bad" - "źle, zły, niedobry, niepasujący...". "evil" - "zło, diabeł, szatan... etc". The context is VERY important for some sentences and sometimes they can get a different meaning when the context is missing. I know it's hard for the foreigners to get the same or similar thinking about that word. It's one of the nuances of the Polish language. Trust me, the translation is bad (ha, but not evil ;) ). Nobody in Poland will ever say "To dziecko jest złe" without any context - as stanalone it's grammatically incorrect and sounds odd. You can say "that tool is wrong ([context]for that job)" - "to narzędzie jest złe (do tej pracy/roboty)". However... saying about a child being "evil" - you can only say that child is a psycho :) However... saying "To dziecko jest złe [context-]na Ciebie" - is perfectly fine! "That child is mad on you/because of you". There's a context explaining why the child is angry... but still not EVIL. You can say "The Evil Forest/House" - "Las grozy/Dom grozy" or "Las zła/Dom zła".


Again, I generally agree, but... from what I see, this is a sentence from the "Adjectives 1" skill. Which is the 9th skill on the tree. So our learners' vocabulary is... very limited. It doesn't allow for more natural sentences, for context - because, for example, it's before we can write "na ciebie".

In my opinion, it was a bad decision to teach this word so early, because indeed it is a problematic one. We try to learn on our (and someone else's) mistakes, so in the new tree the word "zły" is planned... in Adjectives 4. But we cannot really touch this in the current one. We need some sentences for the neuter form "złe", and this is one of them.

But you know what? I guess I can make 'angry' the best version after all. It shouldn't hurt the learning process.

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