Polish Word of the Week – Przeprowadzka Posted by Anna on Mar 10, 2009 in Vocabulary
Hi guys! I’m back in the land of internet again! I promise to respond to all your comments shortly. And a couple of them gave me ideas for new blog posts – thanks Pinolona and Jennifer! And audio files are coming back, too! I just need to unpack my boxes to find the mic.
But for now, let’s talk about przeprowadzka (moving house). You have to admit, it can be a very exciting experience. Yes, it’s also awfully stressful and tiresome. Plenty of stuff to do and to take care of. First pakowanie (packing), which can be a total disaster when done wrong. And it definitely went wrong in our case, or at least – not quite right. Being too cheap to hire a moving company, pakowaliśmy wszystko sami (we packed everything ourselves).
Today, when unpacking, I was faced with such life mysteries as socks inside a rice cooker (to economize space, I presume) and a cat carrier stuffed with assorted bathroom items (luckily, we have more than one cat carrier case, otherwise the furry ones would have been in trouble).
After this przeprowadzka, I can honestly say that I’ve had enough of moving house for a long while.
So, because I’m really not looking forward to more rozpakowywanie (unpacking) tonight, let’s talk about przeprowadzka vocabulary instead. Don’t worry, you’ll see it’s a very interesting word.
The word “przeprowadzka” is of course a noun, a feminine noun at that (plural: przeprowadzki). But where does it come from? From a verb. The verb is “przeprowadzać się.” And here is where it gets interesting.
You see, “przeprowadzać się” is an imperfective form of “przeprowadzić się.”
These two guys in turn come from other verbs – “prowadzać się” and “prowadzić się” respectively.
But the meaning of those stem verbs is totally different. And then different again, if you drop the reflexive “się” bit.
Take a look:
- prowadzić (imperfective) – to drive (as in “prowadzić samochód” – to drive a car), to lead (as in “prowadzić naprzód” – to lead forward), to run (as in “prowadzić firmę” – to run a business), to guide (as in “prowadzić wycieczkę”) and so on…
- prowadzić się – to behave, to conduct oneself
And see what happens when you stick “prze-“ to the front of this verb?
- przeprowadzić – to lead (escort) someone across (as in “przeprowadzić babcię przez ulicę” – to escort grandma across the street), to carry out something (as in “przeprowadzić eksperyment” – to carry out an experiment)
- przeprowadzić się – to move house
See? I told you this is an interesting word. How it managed to morph from “to drive” to “to move house” I’m not entirely sure. It’s one of those quirky little things that make Polish so much fun.
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