Jestem teraz uczciwy. (Sentence Note)

Note: uczciwy (adj) honest. (adv) uczciwie

The Polish sentence caught my attention as not very natural / probable. I like it even less now that I’ve seen that the English translation is “I’m being honest.”

“Honest” can be translated to Polish in two ways, depending on whether it describes the person’s general fairness or their truthfulness in a specific situation.

“Uczciwy” is only used to describe someone’s character or actions (e.g. “On jest uczciwym człowiekiem”.) So “Jestem teraz uczciwy” would be understood as meaning “I am an honest person now” [I’ve changed my ways], and definitely not as “I am being honest” [I’m telling the truth, I’m not deceiving you].

Here, the more appropriate word would be “szczery”, which is also a possible translation of “honest”, but is only used to refer to the person’s sincerity and truthfulness in speech.

Technically, even the two words are very often translated into “honest”, it’s possible to be “uczciwy” while not being “szczery” (e.g. if you’re telling white lies in a good cause) and the other way around. But I digress!

I’d suggest “Mówię prawdę” as the translation of “I am being honest” – this is what a Polish person would most likely say in the same context.

1 Like

My first guess at the Cloze word was ‘szczery’, thanks for the advice about the difference in the two words and what the most natural usage would be. I’ll report it next time around.

Russian Translation

Они обманули нас.