Prophylactic self-isolation for words structure appreciation. Day 87th


How to remember grammar rules? By funny, but meaningful associations.

Names of professions in Polish

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In English, names of professions usually do not refer to a gender.

In Polish language, the names of professions differ in regards to a gender. For example:

Name of profession
EnglishPolish (masculine)Polish (feminine)
poet (poetess)poetapoetka
Names of professions in English and Polish

Have you noticed the difference? Yes, the letter “k”.

Why “k”? Because, according to my unofficial version, it is related to a woman. The word “woman” in Polish is “kobieta”. Because “k” is the first letter in the word describing a woman, that is why it appears in the names of feminine professions in Polish.

More so, “no-letter-at-the-end” refers to masculine, and “a” refers to feminine, but that is not a strict rule.

P.S. That is only one of the way to indicate a gender in professions in Polish, there are more ways. You could always say (for some of professions):

Pani doctor, or Pani profesor, where “pani” refers to Miss or Missis.

But this concept will not work for a poet profession, because it is not acceptable to say “pani poeta”.

Name of professions in other languages

Many other languages, like Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, use the dual principle to describe professions for both genders. For example:

Name of profession
EnglishPortuguese (masculine)Portuguese (feminine)
poet (poetess)poetapoetisa
Names of professions in English and Portuguese

In Portuguese, you usually would find the difference in gender for professions by the last letter of the word: “o” refers to masculine, and “a” refers to feminine.

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