"dolphins swim after a ship" ?
UPD: And, actually, if I understand the wiktionary entry for za correctly, then the translation for 'the dolphins swim behind the ship' should be 'Delfiny pływają za statkiem'. ?
Płyną describe swimming done here and now by a group. Pływają is mostly used to describe habit.
That's exactly my point. If they (dolphins) happen to be swimming behind the ship => pływają. If they are following her deliberately => płyną.
In my personal view: płyną corresponds to they are swimming whereas pływają to they swim.
Ok, so does "dolphins swim after a ship" fit any of these?
It would probably be "Delfiny pływają za statkiem", but I'm not 100% sure. There is no 1:1 relation between languages.
Ship? Really? o_O
In Ukrainian “statok” means “a fortune” (about one’s wealth, large amount of money) and in Belarusian “statak“ means “a herd”…
Is statkiem instrumental ?
Yes, it is. "za" is among those location-denoting prepositions that take Instrumental.
If they are after, they are in fact behind. Not in frront, side or under.
My eight decades of speaking English automatically have me enter after or behind as it may be.
OK, added "after".
I think they're not 100% interchangeable. "After" says that the dolphins are following the ship, whereas "behind" doesn't say anything about their direction.
As long as the ship is moving, behind suggests that they are following it, IMHO.
Question : statek is more ship or boat ?