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"Kupujesz biały czy żółty ser?"

Translation:Do you buy white or yellow cheese?

July 8, 2016



Pamiętam kiedy w sklepach na wsi tylko mieli biały lub żółty ser. Żółty ser z świeżym pomidorem zawsze był najlepszy wybór na wędrówkę w Tatrach!


Does biały ser correspond (roughly) to "fresh cheese" and żółty ser "aged cheese"?


Hmm... I think so? Quick googling seems to confirm, but I don't know much about cheese myself.


Is blue cheese "niebieski ser" or does it have another name?


Apparently yes, although I'm not sure if I have ever heard about it.

I would rather say "ser pleśniowy". I'm not sure if that's exactly the same thing, but Wikipedia lists Gorgonzola and Roquefort both for "niebieski ser" and "ser pleśniowy".

"pleśniowy" comes from "pleśń" = "mold".


Worth noting that ser pleśniowy includes cheeses with an edible mould rind, like camembert, whereas in English we wouldn't group them with blue cheeses (unless they happened sit in both camps, e.g. cambozola). In English we tend to use the level of hardness to broadly categorise cheeses, so we would say camembert is a soft cheese, for example (rather than a mouldy cheese, or a white-on-the-outside-yellow-on-the-inside cheese). At the end of the day, when two languages use different features to classify something, when you translate between them, it isn't going to sound very natural, but that's one of the great things about learning another language, right? It can make you look at things, even the quotidian, in a different way.


So that would literally be "mouldy cheese", right? Then what's the distinction between blue cheese and cheese that's going bad and growing mildew?


The one that went the wrong way is "spleśniały".


Why not: "You are buying white or yellow cheese?" That's a prefectly grammatical way to put this question, I think.


because for duo question should be "are you doing something", and "this is the way" :)


Anything wrong with "Are you buying a white or yellow cheese?"


I have a problem with audio. "ser" in this audio is more like "syr" than a "ser"


I think it does a bit, yeah...


We are talking about the names of two, the most popular classes of cheese:

fresh or farmer's cheese - ser biały (NOT "biały ser"), and
(solid) aged cheese - (twardy) ser żółty (NOT "żółty ser")

Even though aged cheese is not as white as fresh farmer's cheese, the Polish
sentence is not about cheese... color. The English translation has no meaning
unless the classes of cheese or their names, not colors, are specified.

Kupujesz ser biały, czy ser żółty? - Do you buy farmer's cheese or the (solid)
and aged one?/ Do you buy "ser biały" or "ser żółty"?/(eg. Do you buy Ricotta
cheese or Gouda cheese?)


When I went to Poland, I was surprised that in Poland people think that yellow and white cheese is somehow different in some significant way. Usually one just has food coloring and the other doesn't. I guess to Poles yellow cheese is more like a cheap processed cheese. Which is usually the case, but I found it odd that they are differentiated in this way.


That's because they are and in very significant way, that doesn't have anything to do with (artificial or otherwise) food colouring – while the distinction is no longer fully observed, so things are getting more complicated, the original distinction in Polish language was between sour-milk type cheeses(„białe sery”) and rennet(„podpuszczka”) based ones(„żółte sery”).

Nevertheless, the distinction is getting lost, as more and more Poles no longer can recognise the difference between „sery białe” and „sery podpuszczkowe”, because they live in cities these days, and never produced any cheese whatsoever in their entire lives. ;)

BTW, most „żółte sery” sold in Europe(EU) are not artificially coloured in any way, because they are functioning under PDO(Protected Designation of Orgin) law and therefore can't deviate from the original recipe that usually was devised centuries before any artificial colouring was invented – their colouring is due to rennet used.

Also, most(but not all) things that are sold in US under the name 'cheese' are things that in Poland would be called „ser topiony” or (colloquially, especially by foodies) „plastik”, which is a different beast entirely. ;)


You know so much about cheese o.o

I guess it depends on the product… But there are many really good American cheeses that I really wish I could find in Poland. In fact, I miss queso and Monterey Jack so much I would like to learn how to make it xD


"Are you buying sour milk- or rennet-based cheese?" was not accepted as an answer.


Thank you, that answered my query. I must try some Polish cheeses. In Britain cheeses come in all shades between white and yellow so the distinction is alien to us.


In Polish they are totally different, as it actually should be rather translated as "cottage cheese". Another word is "twaróg".

When you check English Wikipedia for "White cheese", ours is under "Quark".


This is correct. One never knew what kind of "yellow" cheese the store had in stock that day (Swiss, cheddar, Gruyere, etc.), but one always knew that yellow cheese was more solid, while white cheese would have the consistency of a farmer's or a cottage cheese.


Why not: "Do you buy white cheese or yellow?"


Seems acceptable, added.

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