10 Essential Polish Phrases Every Expat Should Know

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10 Essential Polish Phrases Every Expat Should Know

Before we look at some basic Polish words and phrases, here’s a little background to the language…

Polish is the official language of Poland but there are also large Polish speaking communities in the UK, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Belarus, Germany and Lithuania.

Due to its complex gender system, tricky pronunciation, and grammatical structuring, Polish is one of the more difficult languages to learn. However, there are some handy general rules, such as the stress of a word always being on the penultimate syllable. Also, in recent years Polish has borrowed notably from the English language, so while words like Komputer might be different you can generally discern what they are!

Furthermore, once you’ve learned Polish you’ll find it easier to pick up other West-Slavonic languages like Slovak and Czech.

Hello – Cześć

Goodbye – Do widzenia

Yes – Tak

No – Nie

Please – Proszę

Thank you – Dziekuje

My name is… – Nazywam się

Nice to meet you – Bardzo mi miło

How are you? – Jak sie masz?

 Do you speak English? – Czy pan mówi po angielsku?

If you feel like you’ve got a handle on those terms you may want to start learning these other basic Polish words and phrases…

Good Morning – Dzien dobry

Good Night – Dobranoc

Where is the toilet? – Gdzie jest toaleta?

How much is it? – Ile to kosztuje?

I don’t understand – Nie rozumiem

Car – Samochód

Train – Pociąg

Plane – Samolot

Train Station – Dworzec kolejowy

Airport – Lotnisko

Left – Lewa

Right – Prawo

Bread – Chleb

Beer – Piwo

Wine – Wino

Juice – Sok

Waiter – Kelner

Waitress – Kelnerka

And then, of course, there are always Polish numbers to learn!

One – Jeden

Two – Dwa

Three – Trzy

Four – Cztery

Five – Pięć

Six – Sześć

Seven – Siedem

Eight – Osiem

Nine – Dziewięć

Ten – Dziesięć

If learning these basics has inspired you to really focus on becoming fluent in Polish you may find these tips helpful –

Break bad habits early on

When interacting with locals or native speakers encourage them to tell you whenever you make any mistakes in pronunciation or word usage. Once you’ve gotten into bad language habits it can be hard to break them, but by making native speakers correct you mistakes will lessen and your grasp of the language will improve more rapidly. Native speakers will also be able to help you pick up the slang or colloquial terms traditional language-learning aids usually lack.

Post-it note your possessions

Sticking post-it notes to generic objects might seem a bit nuts, but by labelling things you use all the time with their Polish names you’ll pick up new words every day. We recommend labelling them with their Polish names and the phonetic pronunciations.

For more top tips check out our next essential expat phrases post. The next language we’ll be discussing is Thai.

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