https://www.duolingo.com/sturlu

Do widzenia / Auf Wiedersehen - related or just similar?

Cześć! I'm new to Polish, and to the whole slavic language family. It is a very interesting experience, my start into Polish so far has been considerably slower than when studying one of the germanic or romanese languages - as was to be expected, of course. Even after practicing for a while now, I still find myself spelling words like "dziewczynka" or "mężczyzna" letter by letter as if I was typing in a cryptic password. Man, Polish spelling is quite someting! ;-)

Anyway, I was wondering: Polish "widzenia" and German "Wiedersehen" sound and look awfully similar. I know where "Wiedersehen" comes from, it means "so see/meet again". Could "widzenia" be related, or is it of normal Polish origin and the similarity just a coincidence?

December 1, 2018

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007

It will rarely be only a coincidence, and it's not. I live in the Czech Republic, the border with Poland and this is what I can tell you:

Wiedersehen = "wieder" + "sehen" = again + see

In German, the word "Wiedersehen" is formed by composition, which occurs when two lexemes are joined into one word.

In Polish, the word "widzenia" shares one lexeme in common with "Wiedersehen" which would be "sehen", or in Polish, "widzieć" (see).

"Do" has the same meaning as "auf" in this case, but translates into "bis" in German or "til" in English.

Hope that helped!

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sturlu

Ah, thanks for the explanation. So the meaning is more or less the same, but there is no "wieder..." in the polish word, the "wid..." is a normal part of the verb "to see".

OK, new theory: That sounds like it might be related to latin "videre"?

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sturlu
December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007

It is related to "videre", indeed.

December 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007

Good observation.

December 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/alik1989

French, Ukrainian and I believe a couple of other languages use more or less the same phrase. So, nothing unusual about that. Regarding etymology, Wiedersehen and widzenia are absolutely not related.

December 1, 2018
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