sobota, 28 maja 2011

Vocabulary: Opinion vs Reputation

In this blog, we'll look at several different kinds of common errors and problems.  Today, we'll start with a vocabulary problem--a problem understanding how to use certain words.  Today's words are opinion and reputation, which are often confused by Polish people using English.


The hospital has a very good opinion in this region.

John has a good opinion.  Everybody respects him.


The hospital has a very good reputation in this region.

John has a good reputation.  Everybody respects him.


Everybody respects John’s opinion about politics.  He is very smart.

In English, the word opinion means what we think about something or somebody else.  We use the word reputation for what other people think about us.  Businesses, people, institutions, restaurants … all can have reputations, good or bad.  A reputation usually depends on people’s experience with this person or thing.  For example, if I go to a restaurant and get a terrible meal, with terrible service, I’ll tell all my friends that I have a terrible opinion of this place.  If other people do the same thing, soon the restaurant will have a bad reputation.

niedziela, 15 maja 2011

The Big Three Differences

There are many areas of difference between English and Polish.  Here are three of the most important:
1.      Different sounds: English uses several sounds that don’t exist in Polish, and vice versa—that is, Polish uses a few sounds that don’t exist in English.
2.      Different spelling system: The English spelling system is hardly a system at all, but a mix of many systems, including Latin, French and German. By contrast, Polish uses a logical system and one can usually pronounce a Polish word just by looking at it. The two systems have some similarities, but also many differences.
3.      Different grammar: English grammar works differently from Polish grammar; that is, the words work together in a different way. For this reason, translating Polish words to English words is not enough. We usually need to change the grammar—sometimes drastically!—to say the same thing.
In the blog entries to come, we’ll take a closer look at some of these differences. We’ll look at some common (and some uncommon!) examples and typical mistakes, and learn what to do about them.

sobota, 14 maja 2011


Welcome to the Editing Perfection Blog!
This weblog (or “blog” for short) is intended to help the users of Editing Perfection answer any questions they might have about the corrections made on their documents.  It will take a look at some of the common problems Polish students encounter when they use English, and will give suggestions and reminders how to overcome these problems.
Many people who want to learn a foreign language think that the new language is basically the same as their own language—that only the words are different.  For instance, if we want to say Ja jestem chory, we can just change each word to its English counterpart: I am ill.  This is sometimes true, especially if the new language and the old are part of the same language family.  In most cases, though, the languages are very different in many ways—like English and Polish.  For instance, if we want to say Mam trzydzieści lat, changing the words to English—Have thirty years—will not work.  The new English sentence is meaningless.
English and Polish are related—they are both members of the Indo-European family of languages—but they are like very distant cousins.  Early English was similar to German, Swedish, Danish, and many other languages of the so-called “Germanic” group.  Later on, English was strongly influenced by French as a result of the Norman invasion of 1066.  Polish, on the other hand, is a Slavic language, related to Russian, Czech, Serbo-Croatian, and others.
The next blog entry will discuss some of the main areas of difference between English and Polish.