My grandfather was Polish, yet he never spoke the language with me. Via this course I feel like I am rediscovering a part of my family, and even of who I am.
The Yiddish words for "grandmother" and "grandfather" are "bubbe" and "zayde." I'm sure they're related.
'Gran' and 'Grandad' are common in England and it would be great if these cpuld be uniformly accepted
Yes, though I don't envy the person at Duolingo who has to sort through every word for grandmother/grandfather/mom/dad that is common somewhere in the English-speaking world.
Ah, of course. Babcia similar to Russia's babushka. Poor Kate Bush was unaware back in 1980, that Babushka meant grandmother. Great video, though.
Are babcia and dziadek formal words like grandmother and grandfather or informal ones like Granny and Grandpa or Nanny and Grandad?
They are in the middle. They are used in most situations both formal and informal.
Polish has many levels of diminutives, so there are more informal ways to call grandparents like dziadzio, dziadziuś, babunia
There are also old words for grandfather and grandmother, that while more formal are also less used because they are at the same time sometimes rude, and have like 8 other meanings each (dziad, baba, babka)