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  5. "Many people are going abroad…

"Many people are going abroad."

Translation:Dużo osób jedzie za granicę.

September 3, 2016



Would ludzie work here instead of osób?


Yes. I'd actually go with "Wielu ludzi" myself, probably. "Dużo ludzi" seems weird to me, although I don't think there's anything incorrect in it...


idzie does not work here?


Only in Cieszyn/Těšín. ;) „Iść” implies going by foot, and going abroad by foot is rather rare, I would think.


In Medyka you can go by foot to Ukraine, actually :) But true, that's rather a rare interpretation.


Well… Not in Baarle-Nassau. Some people walk abroad to brush their teeth in the morning.


It's not rare along the southern border of the US lately.


Why is "idą za granicę"? incorrect?


What about "Dużo ludzi" here?


"Wielu ludzi jeździ za granicę"?


"Many people go abroad."


"wiele ludzi idą za granicę" was wrong, I am still unclear about verbs of motion... assuming the mode of transport does not matter, I'm curious to learn why iść was not the right verb or why ludzi was the wrong term or maybe why I couldn't say wiele instead of dużo. Would using wiele change the person of the verb (dużo being singular, wiele being plural (I think))?


Ludzi is masculine personal (virile), so wiele must inflect accordingly to wielu.

Idą za granicę means "they are going abroad on foot" which only fits a very specific and quite unlikely context. That's why we want you to use jechać here.


And one more complication: you correctly put "ludzi" in Genitive after "wiele" (even though it had to be "wielu"), and those noun phrases built as "numeral/quantifier + noun in Genitive" are actually grammatically singular: so it should be "Wielu ludzi idzie". Or rather "jedzie" here ;)


Trzy kobiety jadą za granicę. (Three women go abroad) -> "trzy" is among those numerals that use Nominative, the verb is plural. Let's add two women there.

We arrive at "Pięć kobiet jedzie za granicę". The noun takes Genitive now, and the verb changes to singular.

Also, those numerals that take Nominative have a separate form for the 'virile' form, just like Alik mentioned about wiele->wielu. And this virile form also takes Genitive. So if the sentence was about three men, not three women... it would be "Trzech mężczyzn jedzie za granicę".

I truly believe that Polish numerals may be the most complicated part of this language and the hardest to learn...


Part of the charm of Polish for me is its seemingly gratuitous complexity. It it rigorous, like German, but also full of exceptions, like French. This might be received as controversial and seem insulting, but Russian almost seems like Polish as spoken by farmers in my view. It simplifies a lot of the original complexities of a slavic root which is rich in variety and style. I truly do not mean to insult anyone by saying this - I speak Afrikaans, which is like Dutch spoken by farmers, and it both a language and a people that I dearly love - nor certainly could the Russian culture be dismissed as a culture of farmers. It just seems to be the direction the language went towards.


I also studied Russian, and I find Polish immeasurably more complicated.


I seriously doubt that you've studied Russian in-depth, otherwise you wouldn't make such oversimplified remarks.

Russian has 7 distinct intonation patters which have an influence on the meaning of a sentence.


Such a complex intonational system is absent from Polish.

Furthermore, Polish has fixed stress on the penultimate syllable, whereas Russian uses dynamic stress to make a distinction in meaning.

  • За́мок (castle)
  • Замо́к (lock, zipper)

In Polish both words (zamek) are pronounced the same way.

About semantic complexity: Russian incorporated both Old Slavonic and dialectal words into its everyday vocabulary, which resulted in more differentiated lexemes:

  • моложе - younger by appearence (orinigated from spoken dialects)

  • младше - younger by age or rank (originated from Old Slavonic)

Such disctinctions are missing from Polish.

I could go on and on about secondary partitive and locative cases...


...past active imperfective participles...


...but I think you get the point.


My intention was not to make an oversimplistic remark, but to draw a parallel between two pairs of languages. My intention, as evidenced by my choice of words and presentation of ideas, was also clearly not to offend anyone. You are correct that, while I speak Russian well enough, it is not a language I have studied in depth, and I am mostly unaware of its subtleties as you point out. I did not mean to suggest Russian was boorish. I think my mention of the vast riches of Russian culture (my original motivation in learning the language) leaves no doubt as to my regard for the language and the people. However, I stand by my core idea - just as I have thought that Afrikaans was Dutch spoken by farmers, and French (my native tongue) is Italian as spoken by farmers, I think Russian is Polish as spoken by farmers. The statement does not attempt to be a statement of history or any kind of fact, but simply an expression of impression when hearing it or speaking it. Historically, Polish is more of a "melting pot" language than Russian, with diverse influences, leading to more of a general chaotic feel which I find is not without charm. Russian, like Italian and German, is solid in its complexity, homogenous, at least in the general direction the language takes us. Afrikaans, French and Polish are all over the lot. As a fluent or budding speaker of all 6, I observe this relationship between the language pairs, and it is no comment on the people or the culture or the inherent expressiveness of any of them. They are all fairly equal in vocabulary and power of expression.


So, to recap:

Iść -> To go, when by foot or by an irrelevant mode of transportation, or when transportation itself is not a logical part of the meaning, for example when the transfer is part of a trip.

Jechać -> to go, when transportation is assumed or specified.

Virile: a group of people or animals where at least one male is present.

Non-virile: a group of females or children, human or animal.

Numbers 2+ have a different form for virile and non-virile

counted subjects are either virile + genitive + singular verb, or non-virile + plural nominative + plural verb.

Am I on the right track?


"iść" - generally yes, although I'm not sure what you mean by "when transportation itself is not a logical part of the meaning, for example when the transfer is part of a trip". Isn't the first part what you already mentioned as "irrelevant mode of transportation"? And the second... transferring from a bus to a train, or what?

"jechać" - yes. A ground vehicle, although for going abroad, even if I'm taking a plane or (that's rare) a ship, "jechać" is still fine if we assume that the plane/ship is irrelevant. But 'walking' abroad is just not very probable at all, so "jechać" is used then.

"virile" - usually called 'masculine personal plural' here, but we're trying to make people used to the shorter term. It's only for people - a group of male animals doesnt undergo this plural. So a group (of people) with at least one man.

"non-virile" - usually called 'not masculine-personal plural', and let's face it, it's a nightmare term (although it describes its function well). It's the 'everything else' plural, used for everything that is not in the abovementioned 'group with at least one man'. So: women, girls, tigers, trees, houses, boxes, children, etc. Almost everything, apart from male people.

Numbers 2+ have a different form for virile and non-virile - yes. But that is only visible in Nominative and Accusative.

counted subjects are either virile + genitive + singular verb, or non-virile + plural nominative + plural verb. - not exactly.

Most numbers take Genitive, actually. Those that do not, are 1, 2, 3, 4 and those that end with words "dwa", "trzy" or "cztery" (therefore 12, 13 and 14 are excluded, they also take Genitive). So if they take Genitive, they also take a singular verb.

Every number bigger than 1 has a separate virile form which always takes Genitive, regardless of whether the basic form took Genitive or Nominative. Compare "trzy kucharki" vs "trzech kucharzy" (three female/male cooks, first takes Nominative, the second Genitive) and "pięć kucharek" vs "pięciu kucharzy" (five female/male cooks, both take Genitive).

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