Hmm is "to" natural in this case? I thought it was for general stuff like Tigers are cats etc.
If I were to say this to someone in the presence of my Polish-speaking wife, would this be considered to be a bit rude, either by my wife or the addressee? I would (in English) normally say, "this lady is my wife", so is there a 'better' word than "kobieta"?
(IRL, my wife doesn't speak Polish, so I'd be safe :-) )
I don't know how probable it is to say this with one's wife being around... I don't know, sounds more-or-less fine to me, but perhaps you could phrase it a bit differently.
But you say "This is my wife" then, rather than "This [lady/woman] is my wife", don't you?
Well, yes, sometimes, but also "This lady is my wife". Could depend on whether I'm introducing her to 'my mate down the pub' or the Lord Mayor of, say, Poznań. Would "ta pani" or "ta dama" be acceptable and a bit more high level?
"dama" is the more literal meaning of "lady", so while in theory you could say that, that's something between affectionate and joking...
I guess "pani" may be the safest choice. But it's... strangely polite? At least to my ear. I guess I just wouldn't say that at all. Not with such a construction. Not only because I'm not married ;)