Panna (was: Re: Handy Polish phrases)
- 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 unmarriedwoman.".
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
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 :). ButOf course. These words are called "false friends" by linguists (and
> this similiarity causes also some problem: some words are the
> same in both languages but have different meaning.
Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.838.722