Saturday, September 24, 2011

Greetings and introducing yourself in Polish

Here is another Polish lesson ("lekcja języka polskiego") :) This time, I am going to focus on basic greetings and introducing yourself. For pronunciation, I recommend using online resources. I listed two of them on the bottom of this page.
Some of the words, including simple "hi" ("cześć") might be challenging, but also fun to learn. Few people told me that Polish "hi" sounds like Chinese... Well, I don't know about that, I don't know Chinese :))) So, here it comes!

Hi!/Hello! - Cześć!
Hey! - Hej! (pronounced the same in English and Polish, YAY!)
Good morning/afternoon - Dzień dobry!
Good evening - Dobry wieczór!
How are you? - Jak się masz? or Co u Ciebie?

Differences btw Polish and English
It is always nice to ask others how they are doing. However, in Polish language it is not as common as in English language, unless we really know the person. So, if you greet someone and smile, but don't know a person, it is okay... you can skip "How are you?" part :) It took me a while before I got used to asking people this question. It felt so awkward in the beginning... :) I also need to admit, that replying to this question, short and always in a positive manner, felt weird too... Great, good, ok, fantastic are of course very polite, but what if I was in a bad mood and nothing was great? What if I wanted to say more than one word? (so typical of me :D )

Great! - świetnie
Good - dobrze
Ok - ok
Fantastic - fantastycznie
Bad - źle
So, so - jako tako, tak sobie

What is your name? - Jak masz na imię?
My name is ... - Mam na imię...
You can also shake hands and say names only, e.i.:
and add at the end:
Nice to meet you - Miło Cię poznać (informal) or Miło Pana (masculine) / Panią (femine) poznać (formal)
Mr. - Pan
Mrs./Ms. - Pani

Przejście na "Ty" - The transition to "you"
When two adults meet, work together, and pick up the kids from school, etc. they use a title Mr./Mrs. (Pan/Pani) before each other's names. That tile can be used before both, last name and first name. Example: "Mrs. Sylwia, Mr. Jan, Mrs. Anna, Mr. Daniel". We don't see this in English language, where the tile goes in front of the last name.
When Poles decide to be more informal, have closer relationship with each other (even potential friendship), then there is time to offer przejście na "Ty" - the transition to "you".
Who should start first?
Usually older person offers it to a younger person, female to male, boss to employee, etc.
It might be considered rude to use someone's name without permission to do it. It is good to wait for these words: "Please call me ________."

These links might be helpful with pronunciation of some of the Polish words:

Good luck! Powodzenia!

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