Learn Polish

Polish language is not an easy language to learn but it is great fun to learn in real life situations. Making the effort to learn some of the Polish language will not only boost you above the average tourist in the locals eyes, but it can also be an amazingly fruitful and fun experience in itself.

The Polish language uses the Latin alphabet as in English; however you will find a few extra letters, formed from Latin letters but with an additional slash or hook. A few letters you won’t find are: q, v, and x. the only exception to this rule are direct translations from other languages and, of course, slang and marketing language.

Polish language is terribly difficult to master; however, learning a few key phrases will definitely smooth your time in Cracow. Crucial to achieve this will be learning how to pronounce each letter or combination of letters, especially those which don’t exist in your alphabet. Many letters represent the same sounds as they do in English. Unlike the English alphabet with 26 letters, the Polish alphabet has 32 letters. Polish consonants, vowels and diphthongs are sometimes really hard to comprehend and at times you will not believe that the word/phrase and the pronunciation match.

Polish is a tough language. Unlike English, Polish is pronounced phonetically, any first attempts at which will have you sounding like you are whispering, gargling and choking simultaneously. Once you understand where to break the word, and that the second-to-last syllable is always stressed, you will do okay by keeping the following in mind.

Basic Polish Language:

Yes – Tak (tak)

No – Nie (n’yeh)

OK – Dobrze (‘dough’ plus a ‘b’ then ‘she’)

Please – Proszę (prrosheh)

Thank you – Dziękuję (diyen’kooyeh)

Thank you very much – Dziękuję bardzo (diyen’kooyeh barrdzo)

Hello – Dzień dobry (diyen dobrri)

Hi – Cześć (chesh’tch)

Good morning – Dzień dobry (diyen dobrri)

Good afternoon – Dzień dobry (diyen dobrri)

Good evening – Dobry wieczór (dobrri v-yechoorr)

Good night – Dobranoc (dobrranots)

Good Bye – Do widzenia (do vee-dzen’ya)

Excuse me – Przepraszam (pshe-prrasham)

Never Mind – Nie szkodzi (n-ye shkodjee)

Where is the toilet? – Gdzie jest toaleta? (g-jeh yest twa-leta)

I don’t speak much Polish – Nie mówię dobrze po polsku. (n’yeh moovyeh dobzheh po polskoo)

For those who wish to get more involved, there are a number of excellent language schools and Polish courses for foreigners, many of them providing translation services, which may be necessary if you plan to stay any length of time in the city.