Foreigner in Poland

Witam! welcome to all expats. how to improve your polish? have you ever keep track of which words you use the most? which was your first word / phrase in polish?

April 13, 2017


mine was .. smaku domowe .. while I walking in a shop when i landed in Poland for the first time: an advertisement of a famous brand

April 13, 2017

I think my first words were "Dzień dobry" followed closely by "przepraszam". Since I have been on Duolingo, trying to refresh my vocab and improve my grammar, I have come to realize that I tend to use certain verbs over others that I recall. For example, I use myśleć instead of wierzyć and I try and avoid verbs of motion because the genitive case doesn't like me very much! ;-) I speak Polish every chance I get, which in America, often means I walk up to strangers who I hear speaking Polish and in Polish start talking to them. I will be going to Poland (for the first time) the end of October so my goals are to master case declensions and verbs of motion before going and while there, speak Polish until my tongue hurts!

June 29, 2017

cześć, jak się masz, was my first phrase to use in Poland. I'm actually in Poland right now!

April 13, 2017

Actually, we don't say "jak się masz" too often - it sounds weird. We'd rather say "co tam ?" (what's up). Of course - it's very NOT formal.

(Just a tip - In an informal sitiuation, like on the street : "Jak się masz" has been shortened to "siema" and it's not a question anymore - it's more like a "hi !" - me personally, I don't like "siema" - it's kinda dumm and people here in Poland use it as both as "hi" and "bye", so it doesn't make sense anymore. Just use "co tam?" rather than "siema" - that's a tip in an informal situation.)

The thing with "jak się masz ?" is complicated, because it's too formal to use it on the street, but not formal enough to use it like.. with elderly people and in offices. If you wanna use it with someone in a rather formal conversation, you'll have to use: With female - "Jak się Pani ma ?" With male - "jak się Pan ma ?" Hope you get the idea ;)

May 12, 2017

Thanks! That was very helpful!

May 13, 2017

Cześć! I am new to Duolingo but have been speaking Polish (albeit in a grammatically challenged way) for a long time. I was taught that you only ask, "Jak się masz?" to people you know well. In America, we ask strangers how they are, but think about it, do we really listen to their response? Even more, if someone we didn't know well started really telling us just how awful they were, we'd be taken aback. Instead of, "how are you" being used somewhat as a greeting (as in English), it is used to sincerely ask how someone is (in Polish) and that sincerity is for those you know well. Again, I was taught many years ago. Is this still the way it is in Poland today?

June 29, 2017

Yeah, I believe in Poland you're more likely to get some honest response, although often it may just be another "Fine, and you?"

Anyway, it's still a bit of a colloquial construction and as it doesn't use Formal You, it's reserved for people you know. Formal "Jak się pan/pani ma? (How are you, sir/madame?) is possible, but a bit strange.

June 29, 2017

Well I don't remember, I was bor here, so... "mama" ? :D Many Polish people will appreciate just the effort you put into trying to sound correct. We are very well aware just how difficult our language is - there was once a show on the TV where a professor was answering calls all the time and guide Polish people how to use the language, so... no one does it perfectly - me neither. Just don't be intimidated - go to Poland and immerse yourself. We're very friendly actually ;) (aim for the people who are dressed well thou :D )

May 12, 2017

I have been learning Polish for three weeks. I will just offer that my favorite word in Polish so far is kanapki. Three syllables, nice tone--just makes me happy! And who doesn't like a sandwich? Okay, the celiacs and carb counters out there. ;-)

September 19, 2017

My first words were "Przepraszam" and "Cześć". I am still trying to improve my Polish, but at the moment, I am sadly not so successful with my actions. Probably I return to normal Grammar studies (lists and learning by heart), because I think it is very important to understand this structures and with only Duolingo I couldn´t manage it.

April 19, 2017
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