'Feedback' is an example of Ponglish - KeyCheck Translation blog

Ponglish (Poglish? Polglish?) – examples

I have been toying with the idea of writing again about Ponglish (Polglish? Poglish? – call it what you like) since I wrote the original post in 2012 and, having been off for the most part of 2015, I have been putting it off until now. That said, in the meantime I have been collecting various terms that either have been Polonised (so that the spelling is adjusted to Polish conventions) or incorporated raw in their English form (so that the spelling remains English).

Classification of imported words

Before we look at the list, however, let us look at the linguistic classification of imported words and phrases:

Loanword_classification_tree_3

Classification of imported words. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loanword

 

My interest in Ponglish has been aroused by the fact that it is a very recent phenomenon that is happening right now, in my lifetime, and it affects the terminology used every day by normal people and by businesses in virtually every industry, especially management, finance, aviation, IT, tourism etc.

Moreover, I disapprove of the mindless usage of foreign words by masses, when appropriate terminology can be either comfortably translated, or at least vaguely localised into Polish without much effort. I do not feel that having an English-sounding company name makes it somehow better, yet there is a vast number of businesses whose names sound anything but Polish. (Some of them sound Ponglish, if anything… and are often the object of ridicule.)

 

Ponglish – the list

Most terms in my list belong either in the “foreign word” category, or the “loanword” category of the above classification – or somewhere in between. I’m no expert on the details and I might have made a mistake. If I have, please let me know politely – I am doing this just for fun and have already invested lots of my private time in this.

What’s included?

The list is non-exhaustive and there are hundreds, if not thousands, more Ponglish terms existent and functioning in today’s Poland. Some are used by more people than others. The list doesn’t mean that everybody in the (Polish) grandmother will understand the terms in it – it just means that the use of these terms has been observed in otherwise Polish speech/writing. Some of these terms are also included in dictionaries.

Words and phrases with an asterisk * – check the other part of the list to see the English/Polonised version

 

Foreign words – English words spotted in today’s Poland

The part of speech in brackets explains how the word is used by Polish speakers, not how it can be used in English.

account, account manager

B2B (business-to-business)

back cover (marketing)

back-end (management, sales)

baseline (marketing)

benchmark

billboard

birdie (noun, sports)

bleed (advertising)

blind date

blister (in the sense: retail package in which a clear or opaque plastic or metal-foil seal holds the product)

blues (in the sense: melancholy, noun, music genre, noun)

bluetooth

bluff, bluffować (noun, verb) *

bogey (noun, sports)

BOGOF (buy one get one free)

brand, branding

brief, briefing (noun, noun)

broker

call center / call centre

case study casting (in the sense: the choice of actors to play particular roles in a play or movie)

celebrity *

chutney

coach

content (in the sense: online content) *

content marketing *

cookie

copywriter, copywriting

CPA (cost-per-action)

CPC (cost-per-click)

cross, cross country, crossowiec, crossowy (cross sportsman, of/relating to cross sports) (sports) *

cross-dressing

crossover (noun)

cross-selling (marketing)

dealer (dealer, esp. car dealer) *

demarketing

design, designer *

designerski (of/relating to design) *

desktop marketing

dip (noun)

director’s cut

downsizing

DTP, desktop publishing

dress code

early birds

e-commerce

e-mail marketing

error (mieć error, to have an error meaning: to not understand)

establishment survey (marketing)

event (in the sense: something that happens at a given place and time), eventowy (of/relating to an organised event) *

face lifting (noun)

fast food

feature

feedback

fitness

flat fee (advertising)

flip chart

flop (advertising, sales)

flow (noun, e.g. flow of a speech or presentation)

freeboard (advertising)

fulfilment (marketing)

front-end (management, sales)

gender

green (noun, sports)

growth hacking (online marketing)

hamburger

helpdesk

hit (in the sense: link clicks)

hot dog

HR

image (in the sense: a personal façade that one presents to the world)

inbound marketing

influencer (in the context of social media & the Internet)

interview (noun) *

IT

jazz, jazzband, jazzman *

jeansy (jeans) *

job (management)

joker (in cards) *

joystick *

know-how

launch (marketing)

laptop

layout (in the context of media editing)

lead (in the sense: sales leads)

leasing (noun) *

legginsy (leggings)

lifestyle, lifestylowy (of/relating to a lifestyle)

lifting (noun)

link (noun, in the sense: hyperlink) *

lobby, lobbying (noun, noun)

marketing *

media plan

merchandising

modsy (mods, subculture) *

multitasking

newsletter

offset (printing)

off-topic (noun)

parenting *

pasta (despite the previous meaning of the word pasta meaning paste, noun)

pop corn

pop-up, reklama pop-up (pop-up advertisement)

PR *

prime time

pub

punki (punks, subculture)

research (noun)

rockersi (rockers, subculture)

sampling (noun, marketing)

shockvertising

shot (noun, in the context of alcohol consumption) *

show (noun)

site-centric (market research)

skinheadzi (skinheads, subculture)

slump (in the sense: something that happens at a given place and time)

social media

sparring (sports) *

speaker (in the sense: announcer) *

speech (in the sense: the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience)

sprint (noun)

squatter

stand (noun)

starter (in the sense: food or drink to stimulate the appetite)

start-up

stew (noun)

storytelling, sometimes misspelled storyteling

team, teamowy (of/relating to a/the team)

teddy boysi (teddy boys, subculture)

teleprompter

telerecording

timing (e.g. mieć dobry timing meaning: to have good timing)

tracking, trackingowe (of/relating to tracking)

trade marketing

trendsetter, trendsetterka (female trendsetter)

trendspotting

trendy

update (noun, IT)

upgrade (noun)

up-selling

TV weekend

user

user-centric

wow (exclamation)

Loan words – adapted from English into Polish

ad serwer (ad server, marketing)

aut (out, in sports)

autentykacja (authentication, IT)

baner (banner)

biznes (business)

biznesplan (business plan)

blef, blefować (bluff, noun, bluff, verb) *

buton internetowy (internet button)

celebryta, celebrytka (male celebrity, female celebrity)

czipsy (US: chips, UK: crisps)

dedykowany (dedicated)

destynacja (destination)

deweloper (developer)

digitalizacja (digitalisation)

diler, dilerka (drug dealer, female drug dealer or the act of drug dealing)

dizajn, dizajner (design, designer) *

doker (docker, dock worker)

dumpingować (dump, verb)

dumpingowe (dumping, adj.)

dżingiel (jingle, broadcasting)

dżinsy (jeans) *

dżez, dżezbend, dżezmen, dżezować, dżezowy (jazz, noun, jazzband, jazzman, to jazz, of/relating to jazz) *

dżojstik (joystick) *

dżoker (joker) *

faul (foul, in sports)

fejs (shortening from fejsbuk, phonetic spelling for Facebook)

flejm, flejmik (flame, in the context of social media)

grupa fokusowa (focus group, market research)

hostessa (hostess)

hejt, hejtować, hejter (hate, noun, to hate, hater; in the context of social media)

interwiew (interview, noun) *

kierownik webstudia (webstudio manager)

klikać (click, verb)

komputer (computer)

kontent (content, in the sense: online content) *

korner (corner, in sports)

kros, krosowiec, krosowy (cross, cross sportsman, of/relating to cross, sports) *

lajk, lajkować, dać lajka (like, noun, like, verb, to give a like, in the context of social media)

leasingować, lizingować (to lease)*

marketingowiec (marketing specialist) *

marketingowy (of/relating to marketing) *

mejl, mejlować (e-mail, noun, e-mail, verb)

menadżer, menedżer (rare) (manager) *

modzi (mods, subculture) *

nostalgia (nostalgia, in the sense: melancholy; before the re-introduction of nostalgia into Polish, the word only used to mean the feeling of missing one’s original country)

parentingowy (of/relating to parenting) *

piar (PR) *

piarowiec (PR specialist)

podlinkować (to hyperlink) *

skaner (scanner)

slajd (slide, noun, in the sense: a presentation slide)

slogan

slumsy (slums)

smartfon (smartphone)

smog

sparing (sparring, sports) *

spiker (speaker) *

sprej (spray, noun)

szot (shot, noun, in the context of alcohol consumption) *

trening (training, noun)

 

Why I don’t like Ponglish

Because it leads to utter gibberish. I’ll take the liberty to quote an (allegedly) Polish translation that Sylwia Chalimoniuk, a member of the “Tłumacze” group on Facebook, had to proofread:

Dedykowana destynacja rekomendowana przez naszego turoperatora.”

I’m having a wild guess that the English original was:

“A dedicated destination recommended by our tour operator.”

Words that have been borrowed from English in this sentence and have very short (and rotten, if you ask me) roots in Polish are in bold. To a normal, educated Polish speaker this is pure nonsense.

Why my dislike of Ponglish doesn’t matter – but the topic does

Regardless of my surface dislike of Ponglish, the phenomenon is complex and multifaceted.

As discussed on “Tłumacze” on Facebook, some loan- and foreign-words are well established in their respective industry and can’t be confused for anything else, unlike numerous inconsistent potential translations. Some are used more often in speech rather than writing; and some are even used in writing as if they were being spoken (e.g. on Facebook groups and other forms of internet forums).

Furthermore, the use of foreign language by Polish speakers has often been thought to elevate them or the subject of their speech. That is, some foreign- and loan-words are used because the speaker may think that they make her sound more “cool” or make products she talks about more desirable/interesting.

My particular concern regards situations where industry-speak leaks out to Polish speakers outside of that industry and affects their vocabulary and sometimes even their syntax, i.e., the ways that they form their sentences (whether in writing, or in speech). An example quoted by someone on the group was the use of “for” as “dla”, e.g. in “an application for Android”. In Polish the preposition “for” should be translated not as “dla”, but as “do” (EN to) or “na” (EN on) – and often isn’t.

So while this list may be considered a random rant on the topic of Ponglish rather than a properly structured academic investigation into this fascinating and complex phenomenon, the ways that it affects how we talk and think cannot be dismissed so easily as unimportant.

Your input

Do you like what you see? Are you interested in the phenomenon of Ponglish? What aspect do you find the most intriguing or worrying? Or perhaps you have some pet hates that you’d like me to include in the above? Please comment below!

 

Sources

In the compilation the following sources were used to varying degrees:

The Internet, including several blogs (can’t remember which ones, sorry)
Facebook, particularly “Tłumacze” group but also private posts by various connections of mine
A. Markowski, ed., “Wielki słownik poprawnej polszczyzny PWN”
W. Kopaliński, “Słownik wyrazów obcych i zwrotów obcojęzycznych z almanachem”
WordWeb 7.1 by WordWeb Software (software)
Słownik języka polskiego PWN, 2009 (software)
pwn.pl (online)

What are your thoughts? Please share!