We deleted it a few days ago because we didn't agree with such a translation, apparently we forgot to change the hints. Changed now, thanks for pointing out.
Of course, in some cases we could argue that to be "alone" is the same as to be "lonely"... still, they are different words.
I guess there are contexts in which "samotny" could translate to "single" (an ad: "Samotny ojciec pozna..." = "A single father will meet..."), but in general those don't mean the same.
"sam"/"sama" could mean "alone" but also "single".
There's also the noun: singiel/singielka for a single person.
Or you can say "wolny"/"wolna".
According to my Wielki Słownik Polsko-Angielski (1978 edition) the fourth entry under "Samotny" is as follows:-
(nieżonaty, niezamężna) single, unmarried
Has the word "samotny" lost the meaning "unmarried" in modern Polish?
Perhaps it's a subjective matter, but I really would consider treating it this way strange. I don't want to argue with dictionaries, but... that really seems too much. Well, I'm not married and I'm definitely not "samotny", and when I was single I was doing quite okay, not "samotny" as well...
"sam" works then, but not "samotny". In my opinion. Basically, same difference as "alone" vs "lonely".
Aaaand now I remember that Isherwood's "A Single Man" is "Samotny mężczyzna"... but then it's a novel from 1964. Plus he could be considered 'lonely' indeed.
Thanks again Jellei. I just thought I'd ask again. I know that Polish is continually changing and that the meanings of words change over time. I have a very old "Teach yourself Polish" book which was first published in 1944 in Scotland!! Wtedy ludzie pisali z piórami a teraz piszą z długopisami! Może dlatego, przed II wojną światową, kaczki i gęsi w Polsce chodziły bez ogonów!! Nawet dobrze wykształceni Polacy w Australii nie mogli pogodzić się z nowym słowem "kim" – woleli używać "kto"!
Jeszcze raz dziękuję Ci za wszystko! Pa!
Nie ma za co :)
"pisali piórami", "piszą długopisami". If you use something as an 'instrument', there's no preposition. Otherwise it's like "they are writing and the pens are writing as well".
Are you sure about that "kim" thing? Not that I read that many older texts, but I would be very surprised to see "kto" where I expect "kim", apart from maybe "Kto ty jesteś?" - I know that this used to be correct.
OK, if it was just "Kto ty jesteś?", then I understand it. See this poem for children, well-known even nowadays: https://pl.wikisource.org/wiki/Katechizm_polskiego_dziecka_(1912)
Yes, "długopis" is a biro. "pióro" still exists, but it's relatively rare and considered... well, classy? But I guess that applies everywhere for those two items.
Many thanks for the correction. I keep on forgetting to omit the preposition which is required in English but not in Polish (old habits die hard!). As a matter of fact I was corrected a few days ago, while practising, to say "kroję nożem". I must say that practising does get one into the habit of saying things correctly — automatically!!
About the "kim" thing. Yes, some of the older people, even the very well educated, used only "kto". I can't remember my parents ever using "kim". Even the word "pióro" was used by most people just after WWII. I don't think that the word "długopis" existed just after WWII. I assume that "długopis" was used to describe the "biro"?
You are right (as always)Jellei. What I meant to say was that even the well educated Poles in Australia would use expressions such as "kto ty jesteś" rather than "kim ty jesteś". They considered "kim ty jesteś" a form of snobbery! "Kim" in this context was to them an unnecessary "invention". The word "kim" of course, did exist as the instrumental/locative case of "kto" as in "z kim poszedłeś" etc. I apologise most profusely for my blunder.