Did ya hear the one about the parrot....

On Sunday I joined some friends who were having a birthday picnic in Pole Mokotowskie, one of the most popular and action packed parks in Warsaw.

Bad Polish

Niedziela dołączyłem z przyjaciołmi w pole mokotowskie (jedna najpopularniejszy oraz pełny rozrywka w warszawie)z powodu impreza urodzinowy.

Good Polish

W niedzielę byłem z przyjaciółmi na polach mokotowskich (jedna z najpopularniejszych i pełny rozrywek park w warszawie) na imprezie urodzinowej.


As we were about to leave, I saw an old woman casually walking around with a parrot perched on her right arm.

Bad Polish
Kiedy mieliśmy wyjść, widziałem starę kobietę która szła swobodnie z papugę posiedzenia na prawym ramieniu.

Good Polish

Kiedy mieliśmy iść, zauważyłem starą kobietę która szła beztrosko z papugą na prawym ramieniu.

Today I was telling my students about it and one of them said he was also in the park at that time and knew about her and the parrot.

Bad Polish
Dzisiaj powiedziałem moich uczeniowie o tej sytuacje ale największość już ją wiedzieli oraz jej znana papuga.

Good Polish
Dzisiaj powiedziałem moim uczniom o tej sytuacji a jeden z nich też był wtedy w parku i ją wiedział oraz jej papugę.

I thought it a good occasion to explore whether there are some interesting phrases or idioms in Polish about parrots or birds.

Bad Polish

Pomyślałem że to byłoby dobry okazji żeby się dowiedzieć jakieś polski wyrazenia o papugach albo ptaki.

Good Polish
Pomyślałem że to byłaby dobra okazja żeby się nauczyć jakichś polskich wyrażeń o papugach albo ptakach.

But I probaby haven't translated it well yet.

Bad Polish
Ale chyba jeszcze nie udało mi się dobrze wytłumaczyć.

Good Polish
Ale chyba nie udało mi się ich dobrze przetłumaczyć.

Some sayings

* Papuga znaczy też naśladowcę - Parrot can also mean a copycat

**"Kruk krukowi oka nie wykole" - A Raven won't gorge another raven's eye

***"Zły to ptak, co własne gniazdo kala" - it's an ill bird that fouls its own nest //You shouldn't shit on your own doorstep

****"Sowa - mądra głowa" - Wise as an owl

*****"Jeśli wejdziesz między wrony, musisz krakać jak i one" - If you are among crows, you have to caw like them

******"Jedna jaskółka wiosny nie czyni" - One swallow does not make a spring

Bits of Polish blog have some other interesting ones


"Zły to ptak, co własne gniazdo kala" - it's an ill bird that fouls its own nest //You shouldn't shit on your own doorstep?"

This is one where I definitely prefer the English version...so much more 'colourful'!

And nice post here matey, I might knuckle down and try to learn some of these... but then again, I do have same beer in the house so...
Damien Moran said…
Yip, my mum was big into teaching me life's lessons through proverbs. I guess that is sometimes the way with small town/country people.

When I worked in Ghana I found it interesting how morality is passed down through storytelling and with proverbial messages/warnings rather than primarily through the written word.

I'm thinking of going through different sets of idioms, like house and home, animals, food, etc. in the next few posts cause they are such a rich bank for learning. Even though I guess younger people don't use them so much now there is a lot to be learned from them, cu5lturally-speaking. The words used are often ones you don't come across in textbooks and stuff but people seem to use them in everyday speech. I've added you to my blogroll - do you know how I can/if I can add like a thumbnail with my blogroll so when people add something new it shows up? I have
Damien Moran said…
If you are wondering why the last comment finished with 'I have...', it's because I fell asleep at the computer, dribbling all over the keys.
Anonymous said…
We also have proverbs about sójka (Eurasian Jay) - "Każda sójka swój ogonek chwali", and "Wybierała się jak sójka za morze".

And about swallows - "Mówiły jaskółki, że niedobre spółki."

And about turkey - "Myślał indyk o niedzieli, a w sobotę głowę ścięli."
Miaou said…
@ Anon: Thanks for them, they're really great. I'll try my hand at translating them.

"Każda sójka swój ogonek chwali" - Every jay worships his own tail.

"Wybierała się jak sójka za morze" - She took as long as jay flying over the sea (About someone who takes ages while getting ready to leave).

"Myślał indyk o niedzieli, a w sobotę głowę ścięli." - A turkey who thought of Sunday, had their head cut off on Saturday (Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today).

What do you think?
Anonymous said…
You translated it OK.

The saying about turkey is more about the futility of planning (You can plan as much as you want, but reality will be different anyway). This tells much about Polish love for improvisation, I guess. Or maybe I'm thinking in stereotypes.
Jeremy said…
Hello, Damiem. I did not realise you were back in Poland and married now; congratulations. I will try to keep track of your blog from now on. Jeremy (Varus at Lodz Wonderer).
Damien Moran said…
Good man Varus, great to touch base again. Tanks for the wishes and straight back at ya. I look forward to perusing your new website.
Michelle James said…
Hi Damien,

I hope you don't mind me getting in touch. I found your details on your website and I hope you might be able to help me with my strange request…

I am a Producer working on a television show called House Hunters International which follows English speaking expats in their quest to purchase a house abroad. I wonder if you or any of your expat contacts might be interested in getting involved?! Please find a little blurb about the show below:

House Hunters International is a half-hour program currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America.
The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying process by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where buyers and their real estate agents tour 3 homes.

At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

You can watch some examples of the show here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh0Q6DYe3QM - London from South Africa (1600 series) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLmhKEzm5kg - Dubai from Illinois (2000 series)

Please get in touch if you have any more questions about the show. I look forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes and many thanks,


Michelle James
1-3 St Peter's Street, London N1 8JD - +44 20 7704 3300
EEEC said…
Hey, This blog was recently nominated by @Kolin for submission into the 'East Eur Expat Blog Comp'!

Congratualtions! and don't forget all nominated blogs can display our nomination award as seen our home page.

pixymagic said…
I wanted to thank you for this great post!! I enjoyed every little bit of it, I have you bookmarked and waiting for all the new stuff you post.
Pontiac Solstice Turbo

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