Episode 78: She Did See The Lady?

Widziała pani?

English Phonemes: “vee-JAH-wah PAH-nyee”

Literal Translation: She did see the lady?

Elegant Translation: Did you see that, Madam? 

English Equivalent: Did you see that? Get a load of that! Check that out!


First, a bit of follow-up to last week’s show: Listener Karen P. on Twitter pointed out that another English equivalent of “Śpiesz się powoli!” would be “Hurry Slowly”, which I didn’t know was a thing in English. Thanks, Karen!

Today’s phrase is a fabulous example of how weird languages can get. Like nicknames in a family. Sometimes there’s no way to to an outsider explain why you call your little brother “toaster”, for example. Here, this is a correct formal way to ask a woman you don’t know if she saw something. Somehow, it became an idiom to give oomph and remark on something cool that happened, or even a cool conclusion that was reached in conversation. It’s a very, very native, idiomatic, Polish phrase.

Widziała = she did see [3rd person, s., past tense verb]
Pani = woman, lady [s., subject form]

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Julia Tutko