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Difference between wise and intelligent in Polish

sobieski Threads: 123
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 07:58pm  #1

I can come up only with m±dry really. But in Flemish as in English, wise and intelligent are different.


mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 08:04pm  #2

You're going about it wrong. Instead of trying to replicate differences from English/Dutch you should concentrate on the differences important in Polish.

sobieski Threads: 123
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 08:19pm  #3

I know the Polish also make a difference between the two words. Only I cannot find the difference language-wise, that's all.

boletus Threads: 46
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  ♂   Edited by: boletus  Dec 26, 2011, 09:12pm  #4

sobieski:
Only I cannot find the difference language-wise, that's all.

Interesting question. Apparently this is puzzling to many, judging by many such discussions in online media. The standard dictionaries are not that clear here, so people have their own, and quite often disparate, definitions. Here are few samples:

1. uczony(scholar, erudite, savant, scientist)

+ inteligentny (intelligent, sharp, clever)

= m±dry [rozumny, roztropny] (wise, smart, clever, sagacious, sharp-witted, judicious)

2. Some people are eager to point out how close it is from "m±dry" to "mędrek" - somebody with some knowledge but no intelligence at all.

3. Others equalize "inteligencja" with genes, and "m±dro¶ć" with books only.

For me - the first definition makes some sense.

polmed Threads: 1
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  ♀   Dec 26, 2011, 09:36pm  #5

In Polish language the concept of intelligence generally means a set of mental abilities which allows to use resources of your knowledge - resulting from the knowledge learned,
theory and experience - in solving problems.

If it comes to wisdom maybe it would be the best to say that it is a congenital or acquired ability, which allows people to manage their lives well and helps them to secure prosperity, success and even happiness.

sobieski Threads: 123
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 09:51pm  #6

For me somebody who is intelligent is perfectly capable of not being wise.
Again, in Polish I do not see one word describing "wise". "M±dry" for me refers to me to education.

boletus Threads: 46
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 10:07pm  #7

sobieski:
"M±dry" for me refers to me to education.

That's "uczeń", "wyedukowany" or "wykształcony" - and definitely not enough to be called "m±dry". Those that provide this sort of knowledge are "nauczyciel" and "uczony" (academic teacher, and researcher, with good experience and common sense.) One would like to call every "uczony" to be "m±dry" but this is unfortunately not the case every time.

polmed Threads: 1
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  ♀   Dec 26, 2011, 10:11pm  #8

sobieski:
"M±dry" for me refers to me to education.


Not exactly .
Wisdom in the narrowest sense is the ability to make decisions, which in the long term yield positive results. In another words we can say that wisdom is the ability to use knowledge and experience.

This means that some people who are above average intelligent not always possess the ability to make dicisions that yeld in positive results.

peter_olsztyn Threads: 7
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 10:34pm  #10

sobieski:
"M±dry" for me refers to me to education.

No. We can behave wise or stupid (zachować się m±drze lub głupio) We can make a wise or stupid decision (podj±ć m±dr± lub głupi± decyzję)

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 26, 2011, 11:01pm  #11

m±dry = wise
inteligentny = intelligent
wykształcony = educated
uczony = scholar(ly)
sprytny = cunning
bystry = bright

Hope this helps.

mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Dec 26, 2011, 11:07pm  #12

Magdalena:
Hope this helps.


It won't, you're just encouraging the OP in the false belief that every concept has equivalents in every language. That just isn't true....

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 11:18am  #13

mafketis:
That just isn't true....


It may not be true that "every concept has an equivalent in every language" (I wouldn't know, as I don't know all languages). But the OP never said that. The OP wanted to know what the difference between "wise" and "intelligent" was in Polish. I hope you agree that such a difference does exist?

I have a feeling that if we took your stance far enough, it would become impossible to translate anything from any language into another. And that would put me out of work, so I'm not gonna take that lying down ;-p

mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 12:07pm  #14

Magdalena:
I have a feeling that if we took your stance far enough, it would become impossible to translate anything from any language into another.


I kind of believe that tho obviously practical translation is possible. What I disagree with is the idea of a list of words in one language linked by = to words in another. It just don't work that way.

Polish (like English and Dutch) has different kinds of words for different kinds of intelligences but divides them up a litle differently. There's not a single pair on the list that will always match up.

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 12:14pm  #15

mafketis:
There's not a single pair on the list that will always match up.


Not even intelligent / inteligentny?

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 01:16pm  #16

mafketis:
What I disagree with is the idea of a list of words in one language linked by = to words in another.


So what do you think of dictionaries then?

mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 01:44pm  #17

Magdalena:
So what do you think of dictionaries then?


They're very dangerous and should always be used with caution. If there's anything I dread (as a teacher) it's a student who decides to dress up a perfectly acceptable essay by diving into the dictionary for fancy words.... brrrrrrrrrrr

At a minimum you should always reverse check.

Magdalena:
Not even intelligent / inteligentny?


I've heard the Polish used when I wouldn't use the English (probably vice versa too but examples don't spring as easily to mind).

Back to the OP, since I'm not sure if he's a native speaker I can't be sure on what kind of difference he has in mind between wise and intelligent let alone how to render the distinction in Polish.

polmed Threads: 1
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 02:36pm  #18

mafketis:
different kinds of intelligences


You confuse the simple translation of this word with its definition. But these are two different things. As in many languages there are a lot of definitions of that word. But definition of the word as you know it is not the same as its translation. There is not so much of a problem with only translation, because most of the known words in English were already translated into Polish. So your conception of inability to find a specific word in another language is false.

In any language you may find cognate words .That’s why, if you check any dictionary you always find for one sought word few words given as a translation , but that doesn`t mean that there is no proper word for exact meaning . If you are bilingual you will always know the slight difference between those cognate words. English teachers in Poland are misled by the lack of verbal variety in student`s vocabulary so they are mistakenly mislead that in Polish there are no exact and specific words for its English equivalents. But this is just a common misconception due to laziness of students or teachers who rely on someone’s translation instead of searching a dictionary. As an example of that laziness I can give an example of some English teacher who translated for students in a classroom a name of sequoia as "czerwone drzewo”, yes really.

While this name has just one meaning in Polish which is “sekwoja” , but in English one translation comes from Latin, but there is another common name “ a redwood “. In Polish it has only one name derived from Latin. When this teacher found in an English text a name “ a redwood” she translated as it sounded “ czerwone drzewo “ , not even thinking that there is no such name of a tree in Polish language as “czerwone drzewo “ . But what the heck, who cares , that she was talking nonsense . The school headmaster had no idea about her incompetence. She was Polish, but not educated in a public university but some private school ( everybody knows the level of private educational institutions ) and presented some papers from Canada . So for that headmaster such Canadian papers were the best pass for such post ( private primary school English teacher). This is just an example of origins of some misconceptions about these two languages. I am not saying that all Polish or English teachers are lazy and don`t look into dictionaries .

But please don`t sell here some theory of inability of translation from Polish into English in a very precise way .

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 02:42pm  #19

mafketis:
They're very dangerous and should always be used with caution.


Wow. "Dangerous" and "caution." How about dictionaries can be misleading and should be used wisely? A dictionary is a very useful tool (how would you ever hope to learn new vocabulary?), but like any tool, it comes with a set of instructions. Of course, I completely agree that reverse checking and checking in context are required. You can't just open the dictionary and choose a word out of the list because it looks nice to you. That's something I always told my students. Nevetheless, what greater learning opportunity than

mafketis:
diving into the dictionary for fancy words
?

1) you correct the student and explain why this particular word doesn't fit the context, and
2) you show the student how to use the new "fancy" word.

The student learns two things at once. Huge win :-)

It's exactly what small children do when learning their mother tongue, BTW. They hear a "cool" new word and try to fit it into any conversation ;-) With time, they learn when the usage is appropriate.

A good dictionary is a blessing, a bad dictionary (see: Stanisławski) is a terrrible thing, but I cannot imagine either learning a language or translating from one language into another without a set of them.

mafketis:
I've heard the Polish used when I wouldn't use the English


Any examples please?

mafketis:
Back to the OP, since I'm not sure if he's a native speaker I can't be sure on what kind of difference he has in mind between wise and intelligent let alone how to render the distinction in Polish.


That's radical. I might be making a huge assumption here, but to me, the OP was asking about a simple distinction between "someone who has the innate ability to learn (acquire new skills or create them) and adjust their behaviour to changes in the environment" (intelligent) as opposed to "someone who has lived a long time and / or has had a lot of different experiences and has the ability to teach others based on, and / or behave accordingly to this experience" (wise).

Seanus Threads: 18
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 02:46pm  #20

M±dry i inteligentny. It's similar to smart. Skoro/jak jeste¶ taki m±dry.....it's often used a bit sarcastically.

I don't know if inteligentny has yet taken on the other forms it has in English, e.g EI, SI, AI etc

polmed Threads: 1
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 03:18pm  #21

This word has just one translation –“ Intelligence” derives from Latin –“ intelligentia “.

But there are at least 6 meanings in Polish .
1 It is the ability of comprehension , related words in English - sharpness, smartness, brightness.
2 Sensory Intelligence - the ability to perceiving, analysing and optimal (or near-optimal) adaptation to the changing environment.
3 Intelligence-the name of a layer of a social class , in Poland formed from 2. half of the 19TH century
4 Intelligence-type of a specific mental ability

types of intelligence : cognitive ,verbal, emotional, social, creative

5 artificial intelligence
6 IQ

Seanus Threads: 18
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 03:37pm  #22

Thanks, polmed. That clarifies the picture somewhat.

mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 05:05pm  #23

Magdalena:
How about dictionaries can be misleading and should be used wisely?


Not nearly alarming enough.

Magdalena:
Any examples please?


ME: So-and-so did really well on her final
Polish teacher: She's very 'inteligentna'
Me: ??? (all the students in the group were very intelligent this one just happened to do better than expected on the test)

For me (native user of USEnlgish)

wise = knowledgeable about life and human nature

intelligence = genetic endowment (whether realized in an educational setting or not)

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 05:37pm  #24

mafketis:
Not nearly alarming enough.


How do you learn vocab. without ever using dictionaries? Describe please.

mafketis:
all the students in the group were very intelligent


How do you know?

mafketis:
this one just happened to do better than expected on the test


How do you know?

Again, please explain what is wrong with describing a student who did exceptionally well on her exam as "very intelligent". In English, I mean.

Seanus Threads: 18
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 05:41pm  #25

Because tests don't necessarily test intelligence, Magda. On report cards, you usually see 'very smart boy' or sth akin to that. However, just look at Mensa for how to compile an intelligence test. Intelligence has taken on a broader meaning. We just don't do it that way, Magda. The formulation of an intel test and one of school subjects, though not mutually exclusive, are not one and the same.

polmed Threads: 1
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 06:02pm  #26

mafketis:
intelligence = genetic endowment (whether realized in an educational setting or not)


In Polish I am sure in English too intelligence could be inherited through genes or acqured through knowledge and experience . You can broaden your intelligence through learning even if you were not endowed with a high level of it by your genes. This means that traning and stimulating of your brain cells through learning may influence your intelligence .

If it was only inherited we would still be stuck in caves .

mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Edited by: mafketis  Dec 27, 2011, 06:06pm  #27

Magdalena:
How do you learn vocab. without ever using dictionaries? Describe please.


Dictionaries are best at checking meanings of words you find in context. They're less useful for figuring out how to say something beyond the most basic things (unless you cross check a time or three).

Magdalena:
How do you know?


Cause they were all unversity students able to keep up with a tough subject.

Magdalena:
Again, please explain what is wrong with describing a student who did exceptionally well on her exam as "very intelligent". In English, I mean.


Because native intellgence and test taking skills are overlapping but independent phenomena. Sometimes really smarter students do less well on tests than students whose skills include performing well on tests. In the US this is widely reognized in education and the term 'good test taker' means just that, a person who can do well on tests without necessarily being the most knowledgeable about the subject being tested. Obviously a good test taker is also intelligent but test results rarely coincide with absolute intelligence rankings (or knowledge of the subject at hand, which I know from personal experience as a good test taker).

Again in Polish it made sense but it's not how I would have evaluated the situation in English.

polmed:
English too intelligence could be inherited through genes or acqured through knowledge and experience


To some extent but overall genetics are the bigger determiner of intelligence. You can make bigger gains in knowledge than in intelligence.

Magdalena Threads: 3
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  ♀   Dec 27, 2011, 07:04pm  #28

mafketis:
but it's not how I would have evaluated the situation in English.


What if the Polish teacher was describing the overall performance of this particular student, not only at one test? I agree tests are not good at evaluating intelligence. But what if the teacher really wanted to say that student X was intelligent (while test performance or other factors would only serve as examples of this)? Has "intelligent" somehow become a dirty word?

I just don't get it.

mafketis Threads: 16
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 07:59pm  #29

Magdalena:
What if the Polish teacher was describing the overall performance of this particular student, not only at one test?


The context strongly suggested the other teacher was using the test result as particular confirmation of their evaluation of the student as very intelligent.

Magdalena:
Has "intelligent" somehow become a dirty word?


No, not for me, but there's another cultural/linguistic difference between Polisha and (US) English (maybe). In Polish if you single out one member of a group as being very intelligent you're not really saying anything about the other members of the group. In my version of English singling one student out as being intelligent means that you think they're smarter than the others. That is in Polish (IME) saying something about one more members of a group doesn't necessarily imply anything about the others while in English saying something about part of the group will also imply something about the other members, at least those are my intuitions.

Again, this is a question of overall "language feel" that came out of questions about usage (and talking with both English and Polish speakers) about the different implications of translating things in different ways (in other words I didn't just make it up though I can't back it up with independent citations).

boletus Threads: 46
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  ♂   Dec 27, 2011, 09:06pm  #30

mafketis:
in the US this is widely reognized in education and the term 'good test taker' means just that


I am just curious: do you mean a primitive "multiple choice" test or some of its modifications? Select one of four options? Fill the blanks?

It this is what you mean, then I can assure you that no "good test taker" would ever pass any of my reasonably well designed sets of little problems to solve. Say: three-five problems, 20-30 minutes to go. I am not bragging, that's what it was. No, the problems were not designed to test any intelligence of a student, but just two things: his/her problem solving ability and a knowledge he/she supposedly has acquired in some period before. So random guess approach would be completely useless there and any "good test taker" would fail in less than few minutes. I know it. Some tried this road before, until they learned to comply.

Let me put it differently. Envision a scenario of one such student locked in my office, with all those books available in several languages, with no supervision for the next 40 minutes and my blessing to use any of them at her/his leisure. She/he will still fail the test, if she/he was just a "chance taker".

And, for your information, my students still liked me, despite of my "trickiness": I was twice selected by popular vote of our university students the best teacher of the year in both - the junior (labs) and the senior (lectures) - categories. Which I still value a lot, notwithstanding other "more professional" achievements..

And I am not by any means an inventor of any special testing method. Check for example MIT, computer science department.



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Difference between wise and intelligent in Polish

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