Translating Polish road names

06Paźdź11

The following, posted on W-wa Jeziorki, should be sent to every translation agency in Poland.

A note on Polish road-naming. Most roads or streets are simply ‚ulica’ (pronounced „ooLEETsuh”, abbreviated to ‚ul.’). The word ulica means street, although there’s no need to translate it into English (any more than one needs to translate strasse from German into English or rue from French into English as ‚Road’).

Plac (abbreviated to Pl*.) in Polish is ‚square’ (as in the French place or German Platz). There’s also skwer (as in the English ‚square’), though these are rare in Warsaw. Roundabouts are rondo (neither skwer nor rondo are abbreviated).

So Aleje – from the French and German Allee. We have Aleje (plural) and Aleja (singular). So – Aleje Jerozolimskie, but Aleja Stanów Zjednoczonych (both are abbreviated to Al.*). Allee in English is ‚avenue’ – but then so is avenue. Aleje Jerozolimskie in English is exactly that. Rue St. Michel doesn’t need to be translated, nor does Bahnhoffstrasse. So hey, Mr Translator, no Jerusalem Avenue, please!

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