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Learn a Polish Phrase per Week

Let me introduce ... - Learn how to present other people in Polish. December 09 2016, 0 Comments

Let me introduce myself. My name is Daria and I'm writing this blog to show you how to present other people in Polish.

As usually, certain situations call for a certain level of formality. When it comes to introducing others in a relaxed situation with your friends you just say the following: 

  • To (jest) moja dziewczyna, Anka. (This is my girlfriend, Anka) 
    • To (jest) mój chłopak, Maciek. (This is my boyfriend, Maciek)

      You can simply leave out the word jest in the above sentences and use a shorter version as in these examples:

      • To moja żona. (This is my wife)
        • To mój mąż. (This is my husband)
          • To moja koleżanka z pracy, Maria. (This is my [female] work colleague, Maria)
            • To mój kolega z pracy, Marcin. (This is my [male] work colleague, Marcin)
              • Poznaj mojego chłopaka. (Meet my boyfriend) - used when introducing someone to one person
                • Poznajcie moją żonę. (Meet my wife) - use it when you introduce someone to a group of people
                  • Czy wy się znacie? (Do you know each other?) - asking a group of people
                    • Kto to jest? (Who is this?)
                      • Znasz go?/Znasz ją? (Do you know him/Do you know her?)

                        Formal introductions look like the following:

                        • Chciałbym przedstawić naszego nowego dyrektora, pana Jana Nowickiego. (Let me introduce our new director, Mr. Jan Nowicki) - a man speaking
                          • Czy państwo się znają? (Do you know each other?) - speaking to a group of people

                           Check out my other blog to learn how to introduce yourself (but not only) when on the phone.

                          No way! - 7 phrases to express your disagreement in Polish. November 11 2016, 0 Comments

                          Let's now learn phrases you can use to disagree in Polish.

                          There are certain situation when you can no longer hold back but have to express your disagreement with what someone is saying. Here are expressions you can use to end the discussion:

                          • Nie ma mowy! (No way) Literally it means something like no speaking/no saying
                            • W żadnym wypadku! (In no case)
                              • Absolutnie nie! (Absolutely not)
                                • Nie zgadzam się! (I do not agree/I disagree)
                                  • Nie pozwalam ci tak myśleć. (I do not allow you to think so)
                                    • Zabraniam ci tak mówić. (I forbid you to say so)

                                    Us the following phrase for a more official situation like giving a formal disapproval of something:

                                    • Nie wyrażam zgody. (I do not allow/approve)

                                    Would you like to find out how to be helpful in Polish? Check out our blog to learn 10 phrases you can use to offer your help.

                                    Feeling under the weather - Learn 10 ways of saying you’re not well in Polish. October 15 2016, 0 Comments

                                    Learn how to say you are not well in Polish.

                                    Let's learn 10 Polish phrases to say you’re not well.

                                    No matter how healthy your lifestyle is, you sometimes can’t help it but catch a cold. Here is how you talk about it in Polish:

                                      • Źle się czuję. (I’m not feeling well) literally: I’m feeling badly.
                                      • Jestem przeziębiony/Jestem przeziębiona. (I have a cold)
                                      • Wszystko mnie boli. (Everything hurts)
                                      • Mam katar. (I have a runny nose)
                                      • Mam kaszel. (I have a cough)
                                      • Mam dreszcze. (I’m shivering)
                                      • Mam temperaturę/gorączkę. (I have a temperature/fever).
                                      • Mam grypę. (I have flu)
                                      • Boli mnie głowa. (I have a head ache)
                                    • Jest mi niedobrze. (I feel sick)

                                    Master the following expressions so that you can wish your friend a speedy recovery:

                                      • Życzę ci szybkiego powrotu do zdrowia! (I wish you a speedy recovery)
                                    or it’s shorter version
                                    • Zdrowiej szybko! (Get well soon)

                                    Interested in more Polish phrases with their pronunciation? Check out our blog.

                                    Learn how to say "I like" in Polish. July 09 2016, 0 Comments

                                    I like

                                    Let's learn how to say "I like" in Polish.


                                    I bet you won't be surprised to learn that there is no single way of saying I like in Polish. In fact, there are two verbs which translate to I like - one being Lubię followed by a noun in the accusative case and the other Podoba mi się followed by the nominative case (oh, dear - those cases again!).

                                    Use podoba mi się when you talk about your first positive impression on something as in these examples:

                                    Bardzo mi się tu podoba. (I like it in here.) [You’ve never been here before.]


                                      Podoba mi się ten pomysł. (I like this idea.) [This is the first time you’ve heard this idea.]


                                        You can employ the other verb - lubię - when you’ve developed some positive feelings towards someone or something:

                                        Bardzo lubię to miejsce. (I like this place very much.) [You’ve probably been here a couple of times and you know it quite well.]


                                          Lubię Ankę. Jest bardzo sympatyczna. (I like Anka. She’s very nice.) [You most likely know her quite well.]


                                            Say podoba mi się when you refer to someone’s appearance or when you find someone attractive:

                                            Podoba mi się twoja nowa fryzura. (I like your new hair style.)


                                              Adam mi się bardzo podoba. (I like Adam very much/I find him very attractive.)


                                                Do you like Polish food? Great! You can then definitely use lubię when talking about your dietary preferences:

                                                Lubię polskie jedzenie. (I like Polish food.)


                                                  Nie lubię pierogów. (I don’t like dumplings.)


                                                    Finally, use lubię when you talk about things you enjoy doing and do frequently, or you tend to do:

                                                    Bardzo lubię podróżować. (I like travelling a lot.)


                                                      Lubię chodzić na siłownię. (I enjoy going to the gym.)

                                                        On lubi się spóźniać. (He tends to be late.)


                                                          Before you go, test yourself!

                                                          And I really enjoy writing this blog for you! Hope you enjoy reading it.


                                                          Keep an eye on Polish idioms - Learn 5 funny Polish phrases related to eyes and ears. June 26 2016, 0 Comments

                                                          Here are a couple of interesting idioms eyes and ears related:

                                                          Mieć oczy i uszy otwarte

                                                          Nie wiadomo, co on planuje. Miej oczy i uszy otwarte! (No one knows his plans. Keep your eyes and ears open)

                                                          Mieć oczy dookoła głowy

                                                          Rodzice muszą mieć oczy dokoła głowy. (Parents have to have eyes in the back of their head)

                                                          Ściany mają uszy

                                                          Mów ciszej! Ściany mają uszy! (Keep your voice down! Walls have ears!)

                                                          Mieć powyżej uszu

                                                          Mam powyżej uszu twoich wymówek! (I’m sick and tired of your excuses!)

                                                          Mieć kogoś na oku

                                                          On jest niebezpieczny. Trzeba mieć go na oku. (He’s dangerous. We’ve got to keep an eye on him)



                                                          Dryn, dryn (Ring, ring) - answering the phone in Polish. January 10 2016, 0 Comments


                                                          Talking on the phone, especially in a foreign language can prove challenging. Let's learn how Poles answer the phone in Polish:

                                                          Halo? (There is no direct equivalent in English for halo)

                                                          Słucham? (literally: I'm listening)

                                                          You may also hear less common but definitely not infrequent: 

                                                          Proszę? (which you may already know as please, you're welcome or there you go)

                                                          Tak? (this one is very confusing as it translates to yes in English)

                                                          All of the above are pronounced with rising intonation, as in a question.


                                                          Now it's your turn to greet a person you're speaking to and introduce yourself:

                                                          Cześć! Mówi Marta. (Hi! It's Marta speaking)

                                                          or it's shorter version:

                                                          Cześć! Tu Adrian! (Hi! It's Adrian [here])


                                                          When you call a company in Poland you will hear the company name first, then the name of the person answering the phone followed by słucham? or w czym mogę pomóc? (how can I help you). Check out this example:

                                                          Poczta Polska, Sylwia Nowak, w czym mogę pomóc? (Polish Post Office, Sylwia Nowak, how can I help you?)

                                                          When speaking formally, you can use the following phrases to introduce yourself:

                                                          Dzień dobry. Mówi Maria Kowalska. (Hello. Maria Kowalska speaking)

                                                          Dobry wieczór. Piotr Malinowski z tej strony. (literally: Good evening. Piotr Malinowski at this end)

                                                          Do usłyszenia! (Literally: hear you later!)

                                                          Can you repeat, please? December 10 2015, 0 Comments


                                                          Do you find Poles to be speaking fast and unclear?  You're among a typical complaint made by all people learning a foreign language! :)

                                                          Speaking on a busy road or over the phone does not make it any easier for you to understand what is being said. Don't get too stressed, though. Simply master a couple of can you repeat, please phrases in Polish and you'll be all sorted. And don't panic when you are asked to repeat your own message again - Poles may have similar difficulties to work out what you are saying.


                                                          The following expressions should help you to make out the words:

                                                          Przepraszam, nie rozumiem. (I'm sorry, I don't understand)

                                                          Przepraszam, ale nie słyszę. (I'm sorry, I can't hear you)

                                                          Możesz powtórzyć? (Can you repeat, please?) informal

                                                          Proszę powtórzyć. (Please repeat) formal

                                                          Czy może pan/pani powtórzyć? (Can you repeat, please?) speaking to  man/woman formally

                                                          Słucham? (Pardon?/Excuse me?)

                                                          Słabo cię/pana/panią słyszę. (I can't hear you very well) informal/formal to a man/woman

                                                          Proszę mówić wolno/wolniej. (Please speak slowly/more slowly) formal

                                                          Powiedz to innymi słowami, bo nie zrozumiałem/zrozumiałam. (Say it in different words because I didn't get it [man/woman speaking]) informal

                                                          Jestem obcokrajowcem i nie wszystko rozumiem. (I'm a foreigner and I don't understand everything)

                                                          Dopiero się uczę polskiego. (literally: I'm only learning Polish)

                                                          10 ways to ask for someone's telephone number in Polish November 05 2015, 0 Comments


                                                          There is no better way to learn, practice and develop your language skills than via phone conversations with native speakers. This is far more challenging than a normal, face-to-face conversation so take it step by step. Get started with learning how to ask for someone's telephone number in an informal way.

                                                          Możesz mi podać swój numer telefonu? (Can I have your telephone number, please? literally: Can you give me your telephone number?)

                                                          Podaj mi swój telefon komórkowy! (Literally: Give me your mobile number!)

                                                          Jaki masz numer komórki? (What's your mobile number?)

                                                          or it's longer but equally frequently used version:

                                                          Jaki masz mumer telefonu komórkowego? 

                                                          Czy możesz mi podać swój telefon stacjonarny/domowy/w pracy? (Can you give me your landline/home/work number, please?)

                                                          Remember! There is no need to say proszę as the equivalent of the English please in the above sentences. Saying them with a friendly intonation will turn them into polite questions.


                                                          Here is the most general way of requesting someone's phone number formally:

                                                          Czy mogę prosić o numer telefonu? (Can I have [your] phone number? literally: Can I ask for a telephone number?)

                                                          Follow these examples as for how to reveal your phone number to someone:

                                                          Mój numer to ... (My number is ...)

                                                          Niestety, nie pamiętam numeru telefonu w pracy. (Unfortunately, I don't remember my work number.)

                                                          Mam nowy telefon komórkowy i jeszcze nie pamiętam numeru. (I've got a new mobile phone and can't remember the new number yet.)

                                                          Zmieniłem/zmieniłam ostatnio numer komórki. Nowy numer to ... (I [man/woman] recently changed my mobile number. The new one is ...)



                                                          Next week you will learn how to answer the phone in Polish, introduce yourself and ask to speak to someone.

                                                          Pronouncing Polish -ą and -ę at the end of a word October 10 2015, 0 Comments


                                                          The two nasal vowels and (please excuse the need of using some serious grammatical terms here!) may put you off a bit when you come across them for the first time. No need to worry! Simply follow these rules as to how to pronounce them at the end of a word:

                                                          Think of the way you pronounce the an in fiance. Or if you happen to know some French as the on in bon voyage. They are both pretty similar to how Poles say their -ą at the end of a word. Check out these words and phrases:

                                                          z moją dziewczyną (with my girlfriend)

                                                          pozdrów ją! (say hello to her!)

                                                          ciesz się chwilą! (enjoy the moment)

                                                          wiosną/jesienią/zimą (in the spring/autumn/in winter)

                                                          płacę gotówką/kartą (I'm paying by cash/by card)

                                                          This one is straightforward as it looses it's nasal sound. At the end of a word say it like the e in yes.

                                                          imię (first name)

                                                          spóźnię się chwilę (I'm running a bit late)

                                                          idę na siłownię (I'm going to the gym)

                                                          cieszę się (I'm happy, pleased, glad)

                                                          w środę/w sobotę/w niedzielę (on Wednesday/Saturday/Sunday)

                                                          You may be puzzled when you go to a Polish church and hear a priest (and frequently those in faith too) saying a clear and nasal -ę at the end of words. This is simply incorrect. What's grammatically acceptable is just a little bit of nasal sound. However, you as a foreigner should avoid it by all means. There is no point in making a difficult language even harder for yourself!

                                                          The mystery of the and pronunciation in the middle of a world will be revealed some other time, so keep on reading (and listening) to our Polish phrase of the week.

                                                          Trzymaj się! (Take care!)

                                                          The trap of the "How are you?" question - Learn Polish 10 ways of saying hello October 03 2015, 0 Comments

                                                          Everyone wants to sound friendly, especially when they start using a foreign language with native speakers. Undoubtedly, among the first expressions you want to master are hello and how are you. Watch out for the trap of the How are you? question in Polish, though. 

                                                          No matter how tempted you are to say How are you? in Polish, don't. It doesn't belong to the greeting ritual as it does in English and sounds unnecessary, unnatural and in some cases even nosy.

                                                          In fact, saying Dzień dobry (formal hello used during the day) or Dobry wieczór (formal good evening) will just do.

                                                          I bet that you were already taught by a Polish person, or came across in a Polish course book with the following phrase: 

                                                          Jak się masz? or even it's formal equivalent: Jak się pan/pani ma?

                                                          Indeed, they translate to How are you? but are not really used in this meaning. If at all, you will hear it when we check someone's wellbeing after an illness or some tragic events.

                                                          However,  Jak się czujesz?/Jak się pan/pani czuje? (How are you feeling? [informal/formal]) sound far more "Polish" and in place here. 

                                                          Here are a couple of the How are you? phrases reserved for contacts with family and friends:

                                                          Co słychać? (How are things?)

                                                          Co nowego? (What's new?)

                                                          Co u ciebie? (What's new with you?) 

                                                          Be aware! To Poles they all may sound like an invitation to a long-winded story about whatever happened in their lives, no matter whether it was good or bad. You'll hear it all. So, if you are in a rush - better avoid it!

                                                          Also, don't use them when you see someone frequently as they all carry the following extra meaning: We haven't seen for a long time or We've got some catching up to do or Tell me what happened in your life.

                                                          If you hear it, you can answer quickly with one of these phrases:

                                                          Nic nowego. (Much the same; literally: nothing new)

                                                          Wszystko dobrze. (All good)

                                                          Po staremu. (Much the same; literally: [things are] the old way)

                                                          Dziękuję, wszystko w porządku. (Thank you, everything is all right)

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