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"No woman works here."

Translation:Żadna kobieta tu nie pracuje.

June 14, 2016

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman_f1

"Nie pracuje tu żadna kobieta" - why not?


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

Is this a double-negative...in English it translates directly to No woman not work here...why do we need żadna and nie in the same sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

Double negatives are frowned upon in BBC English - but some English dialects happily translate the Polish sentence directly to "No woman b'ain't be working here!", or "No woman don't work here!" - or even "No women don't work here!" (breaking a further grammatical rule).

In most forms of English, negatives cancel out pairwise to give a positive, but Polish appears to love multiple negatives (maybe to ensure that hearers really get the negative point), so my rule of thumb (don't tell Jellei!) is to negate every possible word in my Polish translation of a single-negative English sentence. Sometimes I'm OTT, but I'm surprisingly often right.

EDIT: As luck would have it, just to confuse us, today's Polish lesson presented me with a Polish sentence that needs a single negative and is hopelessly messed up by any attempt at more:
"Ona nigdy nie zwiedza z przewodnikiem" –
"She never goes sightseeing with a guide".         [28 Jan 2019]


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

Unless I'm forgetting something, double negative is generally a must everywhere if only it's possible.

For example if we translate "No woman works here" word-by word, we get "Żadna kobieta pracuje tutaj", and that's nonsense. So it's not like double negative emphasises something, it is just the only way.


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

Yes perhaps you are forgetting something because there is such a thing as a double-negative in the English language which is a big no-no for grammar in English. However in French and Spanish it's OK, it highlights that something is really bad. Thus why, as a non-native speaker I'm finding it difficult to wrap my head around it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

Things like this remind me that Polish and English are very different languages - all part of the fun, really.


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

I was only talking about Polish ;) Of course it's a no-no in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hal417689

Ha! I see what you did there. A cleverly disguised double negative...


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

Thanks for reinforcing my point


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

zadna kobieta nie tu pracuje, why not?


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

You negated "here" instead of "works".


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

One more asking about the order, sorry... "Tu żadna kobieta nie pracuje" ?


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

I think that it would be "No woman here works", actually. There are women here, none of them works.


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

Yup, now that you pointed it out, I agree – guess I was too hasty with saying it should be accepted, eh? ;)


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

Perfectly fine Polish sentence, but it emphasises „nie pracuje”, so there might be women here but even if, none of them are working here, sort of – still, it should have been accepted, if it wasn't, please report it next time. :)


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

Kobiety tutaj nie pracują?


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

Women do not work here. More of an interpretation than a translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DMR680865

When I see negative, I think genitive, but here it is not used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

There's no verb object to conjugate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Galois33

Jellei you stated that "if we translate "No woman works here" word-by word, we get "Żadna kobieta pracuje tutaj", and that's nonsense. " But I do not understand why it is nonsense. Why is it strange to Polish speakers? How would they interpret it? when to me it sounds fine and tells me that in this place there is no woman working.


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

To you it tells this and makes sense, because you think in English (or your native language if it's different). But really "Żadna kobieta pracuje tutaj" has no meaning. The double negative is a must. To compare, it makes about that much sense as "No woman does not work here".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hharves1

What is wrong with word order of: zadna kobieta nie tu pracuje?


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

You try to negate "here" instead of "working here", so you arrive at something like "No woman works not-here".

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