Category Archives: COMPETITIONS

Polish-English Translation competition #6 (closed)

Hey, this time you can’t tell me election fever is not yet on the wane!

I have mixed feelings about the fifth competition. I fully realised it would be difficult to guess most of the idioms, but I didn’t expect it would turn out to be that ghastly. I concede it was really challenging, but on the other hand this is what the translation competitions are all about – there’s no fun when one contestant guesses five out of ten words and the competition is closed after two days.

I’d be glad if you told me what you make of it. My own conclusion is that when I pick phrases I should strike a balance between complexity and simplicity.

The sixth round also abounds in colloquialisms and is a follow-up of the fifth one, but this time it’s going to be a tad easier. As Wildphelps suggested, I some phrases are supplemented with a context in which they should be used. Maybe this move will help ambiguity disappear…

1. czuć się jak nowonarodzony – to feel like a new man (Steve)
2. baby z dziadeM brakuje (used to describe a place) – everything but the kitchen sink (ella)
3. żyć ponad stan (might refer to individuals, governments, social groups) – to live beyond one’s means (Steve)
4. mieć psi obowiązek coś zrobić – to be duty bound to do sth (Steve)
5. w stroju Adama (used to describe a man) – in one’s birthday suit (Kasia)
6. bez groszA przy duszy (British and American variants possible)  – without a penny / cent to one’s name (Steve)
7. dawać komuś fory – to give sb a head start (arturwarrior)
8. połknąć bakcyla – to get into the spirit of sth (-)
9. pępek świata (it’s not a place) – the hub of the universe (Maggie)
10. rusz głową! – use your nut (island1)

Have fun!

Note: Internet says one thing about pepek świata, the most reputable dictionary by PWN says another… Gnash…

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Polish-English Translation competition #5 (closed)

Election fever is on the wane, things are getting back to normal and Polandian hits you with the next bi-weekly set of puzzling phrases.

Learners of both Polish and English surely have reached, or are going to reach, a certain level of fluency in a foreign language where basic communication is not the main thing that matters. At that stage in order to move ahead you need to get to grips with colloquialisms, understand puns and, sometimes, read between the lines.

In everyday situations we often want to express ideas that can be easily conveyed in informal language, but we realise this can be hardly ever learned at school — we are on the spot and communication breakdown is imminent.

Today’s set includes ten very colloquial phrases that you might hear (as a foreigner) or might want to use (as a Pole) in a casual conversation.

I hope you’ll find the idioms below particularly useful.

1. pilnuj interesu! – mind the store (Filip)
2. wikt i opierunek – board and lodging (Maggie)
3. złożyć coś do lamusa – consign sth to the dustbin (Maggie)
4. kupować na kreskę – to buy sth on account (Maggie)
5. odcedzić kartofelki – to take a leak (Filip)
6. kaktus mi wyrośnie – I’m a Dutchman (ella)
7. jechać po bandzie – not pull any punches / pull no punches (Maggie)
8. wypluj to słowo – perish the thought (ella)
9. robić coś na spontan – to play it by ear (Maggie)
10. odpicowany – spick and span (ella)

Good luck

PS. None of the phrases was used in Dom Zły…

That was a rough ride…

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Polish-English Translation competition #4 (closed)

Exam periods, presidential campaigns, floods. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The author of Polandian PL->EN Translation Competition has absolutely no intention of sending you to early grave, he is just bending over backwards to make you scratch your heads over some peculiarities of both languages.

This week’s stars are phrasal verbs. For Poles they are generally hard to acquire because, as many claim at least, they have no equivalent in Polish. Beware though, some verbs akin to English phrasals occur in many languages – German abounds in Die zusammengestezten Verben (aufnehmen, absprechen, einfuehren, etc.), in Polish there are many verbs to which you can add a prefix to get a slightly different meaning, such as: nadsyłać (send in), rozsyłać (send out), wysyłać (send off), odsyłać (send back). There are also other less polite examples that tend to start with with ‘f’ in English and ‘p’ in Polish.

Bearing all this in mind I made a conscious decision to find out how quickly you could guess the right word when you are asked to come up with a phrasal verb.

1. stroić focha – to kick up a fuss (arturwarrior)
2. ględzić o – to rabbit on about (scatts)
3. wyżywać się na kimś – to take it out on sb (Anna)
4. rozgryźć kogoś – to work sb out (scatts)
5. walać się – to kick around (Jerzy Stachowiak)
6. przesrać (pieniądze) – to lash out (money) (Maggie)
7. dokazywać – to lark around (Basia z Szwecji)
8. besztać – to tick sb off (arturwarrior)
9. pajacować – to fool around (Anna)
10. rozbebeszyć – to jumble up (Anglopole)

This competition was almost ideal – it took the contestant over four days to guess all words and we have seven winners! I know you’re looking forward to the fifth round – don’t worry it comes out on (Polish) Father’s Day!

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Polish-English translation competition #3 (closed)

Mr Invincible is back. Despite having his (exam) period he brings along a new portion of linguistic confusion and is determined to catch you out.

You may reproach me over the content of the previous competition can tell me it was a flop as most words could be found in the allegedly best Polish-English PWN Oxford dictionary. I concede that the accident has taught me a lesson, it’s time to learn from my mistakes.

I can’t forbid using dictionaries as that’s technically unfeasibe. Thus I have to resort to more effective methods of curbing such practises. Today I’m challenging you with another handful of Polish words that describe people. Some of the them cannot be found in PWN Oxford and even those that can are not the ones I’m waiting for. This time your command of both languages will be put to a slightly tougher test but I know you’re up to the task!

As usual, I’ll be contributing, giving hints and updating the post over the course of the competition.

1. watażka – chieftain (Filip)
2. heteryk – straight (Filip)
3. farciarz – lucky dog (Iota)
4. opryszek – racketeer (Iota)
5. złota rączka – handyman (Decoy)
6. cwaniaczek – smarty pants (Filip)
7. osiłek – bruiser (Filip)
8. chwalipięta – boaster (Decoy)
9. ekscentryk – wacko (Littleivory)
10. przydupas – sidekick (Filip)

Good luck!

And the winner of the third round of PL->EN translation contest is a would-be CAE holder from Poznań. We are damn sure you’ll get A, but please don’t show off some words used above.

The rest, no matter if you have any certificates or not, get ready for the 4th round (coming soon).

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