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Panna (was: Re: Handy Polish phrases)

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  • Alastair Millar
    In reply to my question what was the Virgin Mary known as in Polish at this time? Magdalena replies ... To me, though, this seems to contradict the assertion
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 22, 2003
      In reply to my question "what was the Virgin Mary known as in Polish at this
      time?" Magdalena replies
      > "Answer: 'Najswietsza Panna'."

      To me, though, this seems to contradict the assertion in the same post that
      > "Virgin in Polish is "dziewica' (thiavitza), 'Panna' this is unmarried
      woman.".

      Surely the Poles did not refer to the BVM as the "most holy unmarried woman"
      but rather as the "most holy Virgin" - surely everyone knows that she was
      married to Joseph, right? I mean OK, we can quibble about marriage only
      counting if consummated, but were the Poles *really* the only European
      nation not to explicitly (no pun intended) refer to Mary's virginity in the
      standard titulature?

      To me - as a fluent Czech speaker but not a Polish speaker - it still looks
      like "dziewica" should translate as "maiden" and "panna" as "virgin", sorry!
      (The confusion would thus arise from the different shades of meaning
      possible within the word 'maiden', and the fact that respectably unmarried
      women were expected to be virgins!)

      You also say
      > It is true that Polish and Czech are very close related :). But
      > this similiarity causes also some problem: some words are the
      > same in both languages but have different meaning.

      Of course. These words are called "false friends" by linguists (and
      translators!).

      ttfn

      Alastair

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