Polish 2 For Travel

Asking “Where is…? questions in Polish…

If you’ve already learned and practiced Polish 1 For Travel , you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. 
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks German, or English – that is, one of the languages you may speak as well.
And now you can also practice with the Quizlet flashcards and games.

The Next 12 Polish Phrases: “Gdzie jest…?”

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Polish speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Polish speaker
  • Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Options with the top right icon .)

Some Polish History…

Poland’s beginning can be traced back to 966, when Duke Mieszko I, ruler of several Slavic tribes, married a Bohemian princess.
His son Boleslav consolidated his power, acquired more territory and became the first legitimate king of Poland in 1025.
However, the Mieszko line died out in the 14th century. An alliance between Poland and Lithuania was eventually created through the marriage of the Polish Queen Jadwiga and the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the establishment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth win 1569.
The Polish Golden Age lasted into the first decades of the 17th century. The Commonwealth became one of the largest and first multicultural states in Europe, with laws that protected minorities’ rights.
By mid 17th century, conflicts with Poland’s neighbors, Prussia and Russia as well as Sweden and the Ukraine, depleted the Commonwealth’s coffers and destabilized the country.
In 1764 Stanislav August Poniatowski was elected the new king and tried to implement reforms including a new Constitution. However, resistance by Russia and its neighbors to those reforms doomed them to failure.
The Commonwealth ceased to exist in 1795 when Russia, Prussia and Austria invaded and split up the country.
From 1795 to 1918 no truly independent Poland existed.
The Second Polish Republic was established at the end of World War I, and existed as an independent state until 1939, when German and Russian troops invaded the country from both sides.

After the end of World War 2, Poland expanded to the West, while it lost territory in the east to Russia as negotiated by the Allies during the Yalta conference. (Churchill had introduced his “Matchstick solution” during his meeting with Roosevelt and Stalin in Teheran already in 1943. see Map above , courtesy of Wikipedia)
It’s estimated that over 5 million Poles (among them many Jews) lost their lives during the war. The required resettling of about 2 million people, the inefficient communist system and its status as a vassal state of the Soviet Union resulted in more difficult times for Poland thereafter.
In the 1980’s the Polish Solidarity movement started to push for changes. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end off the Cold War in 1989 the Third Republic was formed.
Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2014. As the title picture shows Warsaw has become a modern city in the last 30 years.
The 2019 election saw the populist Law and Justice party (PiS) keep it’s comfortable majority in parliament. The party’s leader, Jaroslav Kaczynski, has repeatedly cited Viktor Urban’s Hungary and Erdogan’s Turkey as models to follow. His “illiberal revolution”, may create further headaches for the EU.

Polish 1 For Travel

Polish polite phrases and greetings…

Travelers visiting Poland can learn and practice 11+ essential words and phrases here. We’ve posted the first 11 below.
Listen.
Record yourself.
Play back and compare. 
(See more “Learn and Practice Tips” below!)

The First 11 Polish Phrases

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Polish speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself.
  • Click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Polish speaker.
  • Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Options with top right icon .)

Why learn these Polish Phrases?

Whenever you travel to a country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll encounter situations when these words will be useful. 
Let’s say, you’ve ordered your first meal in a restaurant in Poland and as the waiter serves you, you say “Dziękuję”. 
Even if the waiter knows that you don’t speak Polish, your effort may make him smile.
And beyond “Please” and “Thank you”, basic greetings really are the staple of first words you should know in any country you visit.
We start with the most obvious and easiest ones: “Yes” and “No”.
You’ll notice that the word “Proszę” has a couple of meanings: “Please”, “Here you are”, and is also part of the phrase “You’re welcome”.
“Dzień dobry” (literally “Good day”) is a formal greeting that can be used throughout the day.
We’ve also included “Nie mówię po polsku” (I don’t speak Polish) and the question whether your conversation partner speaks any of the languages you may also know.

Good Things to Know

Polish is a West Slavic language that is closely related to Czech and Slovak.
After Russian, Polish is the second most spoken Slavic language.
Polish and other West Slavic languages are written in the Latin script. (As opposed to East Slavic languages such as Russian and Ukrainian, which use Cyrillic.)
There are large Polish-speaking communities in Germany, the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, and other countries.
You’ll find that many young people in Poland speak English, but older people, especially outside of cities, not so much.
With them you may have to try your Polish, or use Russian or German.

Polish Pronunciation Tips

Polish letters and sounds in Essentials 1:
ie – has a “yeh” sound in “Nie” (No). Also in “Dobry wieczór”.
ę – has a nasal sound, similar to “-in” in the French word “enfin”: Try it in “Proszę”, “Dziękuję”.
sz – is pronounced the “sh” as in “show”. Try it in “Proszę”.
dzi – is pronounced “jee”, as in “jeep”. Try it “Dziękuję”, “Dzień dobry”.
dz – sounds like the “ts” in “hats”, in “Do widzenia”.
cz – has a “tch” sound, as in “Dutch”. Try it in the last sentence, which starts with “Czy…”.
If you’re eager to learn and practice more sounds, go to Polish Alphabet and Pronunciation.
For English speakers, Polish has a number of sound combinations that are challenging, as you can hear in the list below.
The best approach may be to learn the Polish sound system step by step, repeating often, as you learn each of the words and expressions.

Walking in the country side…

While there’ll be many opportunities to use basic greetings in Warsaw and other large Polish cities, knowing them when you’re outside of a larger city may be crucial. 
And, as we always notice when we walk in a village or in the countryside, greetings are common and even expected!
Being a visitor in Poland will make you much more welcome, when you make the effort to greet people in Polish.

The Next 12 Polish Phrases: “Gdzie jest?”

In the next installment – Polish 2 For Travel– you’ll learn to ask where the bathroom, train and bus station, bank, pharmacy etc. are located. 
Even if you have a GPS-enabled smart phone, it won’t tell you where the bathroom is – and you’ll certainly find plenty of opportunities to ask other “Where…?” questions.