December 15, 2015



Do I understand it correctly that "Witaj" is the Imperative of "Witam" and that it doesn't matter much which to use? Is it also true that one would simply use "Witam/Witaj" when welcoming a person and "Witamy/Witajcie" when welcoming a group of people?


A little clarification. You would use:

  • Witam or Witaj when welcoming a single person
  • Witam or Witajcie when welcoming a group of people
  • Witamy or Witaj when you and sb else (at least one more person) welcomed a single person
  • Witamy or Witajcie when you and sb else (at least one more person) welcomed a group of people


Correct me if I'm wrong, but would the folling be acceptable translations.

Witam - I welcome you. Witamy - We welcome you.

Witaj - You (sg) are welcome. Witajcie - You (pl) are welcome.


The first two – yes, absolutely, that is the literal meaning.

The second ones – might be, but only when welcoming someone eg. to your house, not as a response after being thanked.

Because witaj and witajcie are in imperative mood (2nd singular and 2nd plural persons), both translate literally to English as just welcome!.


Ahhh, ok, makes total sense. Thanks for clarifying!!!


Yes, grammatically it is the imperative but it doesn't sound like an order or something. Well, I would say that "witam" is more polite, even though "witaj"/"witam" are not formal forms. If you use "witam", you can add "pana".


To be honest, "witam" implies that you are more important than the one you're talking to. It's usually quite subtle, but sounds really bad in e.g. formal letters ("witaj" also doesn't sound well). "Witam" is adequate when you invite somebody to your house - you can tell them "witam".


I read a lengthy article on a polish grammar board about that (need to find that one again) and asked my cousins after and all tend to disagree on the "more important" notion. The conclusion was that only a really small majority (sort of grammar nazis that try to preserve the old ways) still holds on to that notion but that it's pretty much outdated in Poland, even in a formal context. Just thought to add that here.


"Grammar nazis" in Poland are called "professors" and they all tend to agree that "witam" implies your importance. The fact that some users do not see the difference does not mean that the difference does not exist. Of course, it's a subtle way, and perfectly fine if you're talking to your classmate, but it is inappropriate while talking with your boss.


There is a difference between descriptive (how people speak) and prescriptive (how people "should" speak) grammar. This means that you are probably both correct. I think your discussion here has been very enlightening, and I hope the two of you also see that.


Thank you very, very much for the links and your elegant comments. Your classy input is very much appreciated.


Your "All tend to agree" statement is hardly an argument. "Grammar nazis" are not called "professors", but some of course can be called that. Most of my family is born and still lives in Poland, with my uncle having production facilities for filling plant equipment there (the engineering department is located in Germany) and one of my cousins is in the process of finishing his doctoral program in Wrocław. None of them agrees with you nor does the majority of posts I read so far - I keep searching for more of course. At the end of the day, what do I know, right?! It's probably better to be save than sorry even though it seems inaccurate to state it as clear cut as you do apparently. With this in mind, witam! ;D


http://www.rjp.pan.pl - here you are, Polish Language Council ;)


The Polish Language Council is an outdated, outmoded group of old men who want everyone to speak like it's the middle ages. Language evolves - The English do not walk around talking like Shakespeare do they?


Witamy Waszmościów :)


Comments here are really help! Thank you all :)


One small note. In English we normally "welcome" someone to our place, our home, city etc. In Poland, I hear "Witam" being used much more as a greeting, a more formal "Hello" perhaps, in places which don't necessarily "belong" to the speaker.


Or in e-mails to professors at university... this word is often misused, and you are right, it should be like in English. Plus the fact that you can say both 'witaj' and 'witam' makes it even more complicated.


I got "hello" or "hello you" as the only option in the "word bubbles" puzzle, as well as the recommended translation in the word pop-up, though, and I was a bit disoriented at first. Was anything changed in the back-end to privilege this translation instead of "welcome"?


Thanks for bringing it up. We don't exactly know what happened here, but it seems that no one intended to choose "hello you" as a main translation. "Welcome" will be the only main translation from now on, so "hello" and "you" shouldn't appear in the word bank anymore, unless the random word generator chooses it by accident.


Thank you for your help and support! :)


When and why would anyone just say "Welcome!"?


"Welcome!" is much more than a simple greeting. It is a joyful, warm and inviting way to say: "I am happy to see you!/ Nice to see you!/ Come over!" when you open your arms and greet your friends at the door of your house.

The words "Witaj!/Witajcie!" (Hello!/Hi!) used commonly as equivalents of
the "Welcome!" might be short, easy and convenient to use, but they do not reflect the full meaning of this word. The expressions Cieszę się, że cię
! (Witaj!)/ Cieszę się, że was widzę (Witajcie!) are much better...


When welcoming someone? I don't get the question.


Is this pronounced veetal or veetai, because the "j"in Pije is pronounced with as a "y" but the excercise pronounced this word with an "L" sound at the end.


I don't hear a problem. Out of these two options it's definitely the second one, Polish 'j' is always the sound that's usually written in English with a 'y', like a yeti, for example.


Can witaj also be used as hello?


Yes, I guess so. It may sound strange sometimes, though. It's a strange word, hard to assess its formality and acceptability... to me, at least.


How do you pronounce it


/ˈvʲi.taj/ (vitay, more or less).


I didn't use exclamation mark and it counted as wrong


This really shouldn't matter.


I think there must have been something else wrong. Punctuation is not usually marked wrong, except for missing apostrophes, or extra apostrophes. I just put "Hello" and it was right.


Can I also say witamy?


Anyone who speaks a romanic language could help me with a doubt? "Witaj" is used like "benvenuto", "bem-vindo" and "bienvenido" (example: someone arrives at your home and you say "witaj"), or it's a reply for a thanks, like "prego", "de nada" and "por nada"? (Example: you did a favor to someone, the person thanks me and I reply with "witaj")


Definitely only the "bienvenido" one.

"prego" is usually "proszę" or "proszę bardzo", you can get closer to "de nada" by saying "Nie ma za co", which implies "There's nothing to thank for".

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