Dałem zrobić sobie zdjęcie. (Question)


#1

Some advice please … the English translation is given as ‘I had my picture taken’. But I’m a bit confused by the original Polish sentence construction. I understand that ‘zrobić sobie zdjęcie’ is a phrase meaning ‘to have a picture taken (of myself, yourself, ourselves etc)’. However I’m not sure how ‘dałem’ (I gave) fits with the rest of the sentence. In this context, maybe ‘I allowed my picture to be taken’?. Can anyone please explain? Thanks!


#2

You got it right! I would translate it as either “‘I allowed my picture to be taken” or “I let [them/someone] take a picture of me”, whichever sounds better to you.

“Dać” is quite often used in the sense of “let / allow”, especially in colloquial language. Some examples:

  • Daj mi posłuchać muzyki. (“Let me listen to music”, might imply that the other person is interrupting you)
  • Dajcie mi sobie pomóc. (“Just let me help you”, implies that the addressees aren’t willing to accept help)

As you can see here, when used in this context, “dać coś zrobić” usually refers to something that is inconvenient, unwanted, etc.