Similar words – cześć

Today I was listening to a polish radio interview & doing my best to keep up with the general gist of the report.  My listening comprehension isn’t yet to the level where I can understand even half of what is being said by a native speaker, but I usually understand enough of the words to know roughly what they’re talking about – even if I don’t know what they’re saying about it..

I came away today rather confused though because no matter how many times I played it back, I couldn’t figure out what they were saying in one section and it all came down to a series of words which (to me) sounded practically the same.  So the idea for a new post was born.

Similar words or podobne słowa.

Today – ones which (to me) all sound a bit too close to Cześć to easily differentiate when I hear them spoken quickly in a sentence!  I decided it would be useful for me to write them all down in one place so I can see them together and hopefully learn to tell them apart better (each word is clickable to hear the pronunciation)

Cześć – Hi

Część – Part

Często – Often

Czeski – Czech

Czysty – Clean (adj)

Czynsz – Rent (noun)

Ciężki – Heavy

Cieszę się – To be pleased with

 

How to add Polish to your iPhone/iPad keyboard

Similar to my earlier post on How to type Polish letters in Windows 10 on your English keyboard, a quick post on how to add Polish to your keyboard on an iPhone/iPad.  It’s very simple and will take you 30 seconds & won’t affect your normal English keyboard at all.

You don’t actually need to do this to type Polish characters, but if you don’t then the auto-correct will keep “fixing” your polish or at least underlining every Polish word as a mistake.

First you need to open up your Settings :

IMG_0404

Then scroll down to find General :

IMG_0392

 

Scroll down again to find Keyboard :

IMG_0393

 

Select Keyboards at the top :

IMG_0394

 

Add New Keyboard :

IMG_0395

 

Find Polish in the list and select it.  You’re half way there!

Now go back a couple of menus until you’re on the General page again, and this time select Language & Region.

IMG_0406

 

Choose to Add Language & then find and select Polish (Polski) from the list.

IMG_0407

 

That’s it, you’re done!

Now on your keyboard in whatever application you’re using, there will be a button at the bottom left which lets you swap keyboard languages & auto-correct will be appropriate for whatever language your keyboard is in!

IMG_0399

Keyboard in English with language button highlighted

 

Once you press that language button you will see this instead :

IMG_0400

Keyboard in Polish with auto-correction marks gone

 

When you want to type the special Polish letters like ż, ź, ę, ą, ł, etc, you simply hold down the English letter until the popup menu appears and choose the one you want:

IMG_0403

Hold down English letter to offer Polish letters

 

That’s all there is to it.  You’ll now get Polish auto-corrections/suggestions in your texts & emails when your keyboard is in Polish.

As an added bonus, if you have Dictation switched on (which it is by default), then when your keyboard is in Polish and you press the Microphone symbol (next to the space bar), speak Polish into it and it’ll recognise (hopefully) your Polish and dictate for you in Polish rather than English!

Powodzenia!

Pronouncing numbers – tip

A quick tip today on how some of the polish numbers are usually pronounced.  This one is direct from my teacher and made a huge difference to the stuttering noises coming out of my mouth when trying to say these words.

The cluster of letters is …ćdz…  You see it in the following numbers :

Pięćdziesiąt (15)

Sześćdziesiąt (16)

Dziewięćdziesiąt (19)

When you try to say these as they’re written, you end up trying to quickly change your mouth from saying CH to DZ.  In Polish however, the ć ends up being silent in these words.

Try saying them again like this :

Pięćdziesiąt

Sześćdziesiąt

Dziewięćdziesiąt

Much easier!

Common words with 1, 2-4 & 5+

I’ve mentioned in a previous post How many summers do you have? that there is some magic polish grammar that changes when you’re talking about 1 thing, 2-4 things or 5+ things.  It then repeats for 21, 22-24, 25+ then 31, 32-34, 35+ etc.  Though for the sake of completion, I’ll note here that teens (11,12,13,14,15+) all follow the 5+ pattern, so just be aware of that.

Today I thought I’d share some more case of common words which change in the same way.  I’m going to skip going into which case these come from & why today, so just worry about a few new words to learn and when to use them.

(Thanks to Marta, my great polish teacher on skype for helping my get my head around these better in today’s lesson – although any mistakes are purely my own! )

Tysiąc (thousand)

# word example
1 tysiąc tysiąc
2-4 tysiące dwa tysiące
5+ tysięcy pięć tysięcy

Milion (million)

# word example
1 milion jeden milion
2-4 miliony dwa miliony
5+ milionów pięć milionów

Rok (year)

# word example
1 rok jeden rok
2-4 lata dwa lata
5+ lat pięć lat

Godzina (hour)

# word example
1 godzina jedna godzina
2-4 godziny dwie godziny
5+ godzin pięć godzin

Minuta (minute)

# word example
1 minuta jedna minuta
2-4 minuty dwie minuty
5+ minut pięć minut

There are also similar patterns in the basic number words, but it’s not quite as simple to write, so I’ll list them below and highlight, which hopefully will make sense to you with a few examples :

10 – dziesięć

20 – dwadzieścia

30 – trzydziesći

40 – czterdzieści

50 – pięćdzieściąt

60-90  – ……dzieściąt

And the 100’s

100 – sto

200 – dwieście

300 – trzysta

400 – czterysta

500 – pięćset

600-900 – ……set

How to type Polish letters in Windows 10 on your English keyboard

I’ve spoken to a few people who didn’t realise how simple it is to type Polish letters from your existing keyboard in Windows 10.  In previous versions of Windows it was a bit trickier, but it couldn’t be much simpler in Windows 10.

If you want to do this on your iPhone/iPad, I have a post on how to do it here : How to add Polish to your iPhone/iPad keyboard

Start by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard and typing the word LANGUAGE and you will see this option appear in the menu : “Region & language settings”.  Select it.

1

Next, under Languages, click on “Add a language”

2

On the following screen, select the language you want (Polski / Polish)

3

This may take a few moments to add the language, but then it will return to the previous screen and you should now see Polski in your list of languages.

4

If you want to change Windows so that it can use Polish for things like Menus, Tooltips, MessageBoxes, etc, then go ahead and click it again to download the Language Pack.  However if all you want to do is type in Polish sometimes, then you are now done.

If you look at your Windows taskbar (at the bottom of the screen usually), you will now see that near the clock there is a new bit that says “ENG”.

5

This reflects that currently your keyboard will be typing in English.  There are several ways to change the language you’re typing in.

  1. Click on ENG with your mouse and select the new language from the menu which appears
  2. On your keyboard, hold the Windows Key and press the Space bar.  This will pop the same menu.  Continue to hold the Windows Key and each press of space will change the language.
  3. On your keyboard, hold down the Shift Key and press the ALT Key to the left side of your Space bar.  This doesn’t pop up the menu, it just switches the language.  This is the way I do it as it’s faster and becomes an easy habit.

After any of these ways you should see that your taskbar has changed to look like this.

6

Now you can type Polish letters very easily.  Your letter keys still type the English letters as you would expect, but in order to make the special Polish letters, you need to hold the ALTGR key on the RIGHT side of your Space bar.

Just like holding Shift and pressing a letter changes the letter to the capital version of that letter, the ALTGR key changes it to a Polish form (more or less).

The following combinations now work:

ALTGR + Z = ż

ALTGR + X = ź

ALTGR + S = ś

ALTGR + C = ć

ALTGR + L = ł

ALTGR + O = ó

ALTGR + E = ę

ALTGR + A = ą

If you need a capital letter such as a Ą or Ę, you simply hold down the Shift key too as you would normally.

Mostly you could get away with leaving your keyboard in Polish all the time and never notice the difference, but various other keys also change their meaning.  For example, the ” and @ keys are swapped around when using a UK English keyboard.  I imagine if you have a US English or different keyboard you will find some other keys are changed too, so you’ll probably end up hoping back and forth between ENG and PL modes as you need them, but now you can see that’s really easy to do.

I hope this simple article shows that it’s not at all difficult to have your keyboard in a different language.

 

 

Challenging word of the day – źdźbło

I try to write down a handful of new words every day.  I won’t guarantee that I’ll learn them straight away, but at least they’re in my notebook in the appropriate section and I’ll read them out loud a few times, sometimes using this site to try to improve my pronunciation if it’s a tricky one.

Every now and then though, I stumble across a word that makes me ponder how the human tongue is supposed to make a sound like a bumble bee trapped inside a glockenspiel.  So I thought I’d celebrate these words when I find them with a new category of post, my Challenging word of the day.

Today is :

źdźbło

It means a blade or stalk

źdźbło trawy = a blade of grass

You can listen to how it’s meant to sound here

 

Directions vs Time of Day

For some reason, for a long time I had a mental block when it came to remembering the Polish words for North, South, East and West.

For reference, here they are :

Połnoc = North

Południe = South

Wschód = East

Zachód = West

I could often remember the 2 words for North/South, but not which was which.  The same for East/West.

I needed a pattern or something to help my brain tag them.

North and South

Then I realized one day that the word for afternoon was Popołudnie and since my habit when learning words is to pull apart the prepositions (po, od, na, etc) to break them down into other words, I looked it up and found that popołudnie could be thought of as po + południe (after + noon) and that południe is the word for noon or midday!

It’s amazing what you don’t notice until you look at a word from a different angle or context.  So, if południe means both South and Midday, what about Połnoc?  Well it turns out that it also means midnight!  Which when you think about it is fairly obvious..

Poł = half

Połnoc = Poł + noc

= half + night

= midnight

On a similar tangent :

Południe = Poł + udnie

= Poł + u + dni + e

= half + ? + day + ?

= midday

Ok, so that’s not perfect with the extra u and e, but it’s close enough to help me remember it..  One day I may find a logical grammatical reason for the u and e & I’ll come back and update this post.

East and West

So that spurred me on to look for something similar in the words for East (Wschód) and West (Zachód).  What I found wasn’t quite as satisfying, but it’s a start.

On this big spinning globe of ours, the sun rises every morning in the East and it sets in the West.  Lo and behold, the phrase for sunrise in Polish is Wschód słońca, which you could literally translate to East Sun as the word for Sun is Słońce.

Consistently, the word for sunset in Polish is Zachód słońca, or West Sun.

I would love to be able to say that chód meant something connected, then I could tie the prepositions of Za and Ws in a logical way, but so far I haven’t found one, so we just have to memorize the two words.  Again, if I find something, or if anyone reading this can suggest a link I would be very happy to update this.

My final problem then is remembering which of Za+chód and Ws + chód is East and which is West.  I have a mental note here which I try to remember it by – it’s not great, but it’s the best I have come up with & it’ll do until I consistently remember which is which & don’t need the help anymore..

  • Za = Behind, so Zachód is West because Sunset is when the sun goes behind the earth (and sun sets in the west)

  • W = In, so Wschód is East because Sunrise is when you are in the sun (and the sun rises in the east)

I’ve also produced a couple of pictures for my wall, laying out the compass directions next to the times of day if you visualize the day as a 24 hour clock.

24hr_clockcompass

I hope some of the rationale above or the pictures help someone else remember these words.  When learning new words, I recommend looking at the words carefully and seeing if they’re actually compound words made up from other words.  It not only helps to remember the word itself, but it can often lead to learning several other new words.

More examples on this theme to follow in future posts.