Useful Polish Phrases before you Travel

The Polish Cultural Institute has provided us with some tips and ideas for expressions to learn in Poland!

Useful Polish phrases in a World Youth Day pilgrimage guide (Photo: WYM)
Useful Polish phrases in a World Youth Day pilgrimage guide (Photo: WYM)

Here it is! Our final blog ahead of 2016’s World Youth Day! This time we’re taking a look at some Polish phrases to help you out.

One of the first things you’ll notice upon arrival in Poland, is how welcoming the people are. There’s a real sense of making the most out of life and enjoying art, food, crafts and the simpler things. If you take just a few simple Polish phrases with you, it will be much appreciated by the locals who might even occasionally reward you with a digestive on the house!

Key:

English / Polish / Phonetic

  • It’s my first time here. What’s worth seeing? / Jestem tu po raz pierwszy. Co warto zobaczyć? / Yes-tem too po raz pier-she. Tso var-to zo-bar-chez?

It is of course important to do your own research before travelling to a new country. Travel blogs (as well as these ones!) are a really good source of information because they’re the most truthful. The writer’s aim is to relate to you their experiences, the good, the bad and the weird, and so you’ll get a good sense of whether or not a city appeals to you, and what you should get up to while you’re there. Having said that, there will likely always be a festival or event taking place during your trip, that only the locals know about. So if you want to experience the most current thing, you’d better ask around town. And who knows, you might catch something really unique and write your own blog.

  • I came to Poland for World Youth Days. / Przyjechałem/am(male/female) do Polski na Światowe Dni Młodzieży. / Pshy-ehaw-em/am do Polski na Shvi-a-to-wa De-ni Mwod-yie-je.

If anyone asks why you decided to visit Poland, then this is a great opener. As you probably know, Poland has one of the most Catholic populations in the world, and the youth make up a large percentage. You might hear some local myths about saints and miracles that you would never have known, as well make some new friends.

A to Z in Polish
A to Z in Polish
  • Where can I find a place to relax with some beer and a local snack? Gdzie mogę się zrelaksować z piwem i lokalną przekąską? / Gd-yie mo-ge shie zrelk-sov-ats s’pi-vem i lok-al-ne pshe-kau-skau?

Once again, if you stick to our suggestions for your pit stops, you won’t go far wrong. It’s still worth asking a local, especially when you’re a bit lost and have ended up in a different part of town, as they might point you to a brand new hotspot, or even a secret golden oldie. By the way, the most popular Polish beers are Tyskie, Lech and Żywiec.

In fact if you wanted to “have a snack” you could say wziąć coś na ząb / vz-ia-cts cie-os na zo-mp, which literally translated means “to take something on a tooth”.

  • Where is the nearest place to buy a bus/tram ticket? / Gdzie mogę kupić bilet tramwajowy/autobusowy? / Gd-yie mo-ge ku-pi-ch bee-let tram-vay-ove/auto-boos-ove?

You can usually buy a ticket at the bus or tram stop; however, if you move away from the centre of town, it’s not always possible. They’ll probably be selling them at a nearby kiosk or ticket stand, but just in case you’ve been looking around for one for a while, keep this question handy.

As you can see, we haven’t included the basics like “hello”, “goodbye”, and “how are you?”; however, you’ll find such phrases at Travel Polish along with useful ones that relate specifically to travelling. For those more serious about getting into Polish, why not give duolingo a try? It’s one of the most fun ways to learn the basics of a language. You can download the app on to your phone or tablet, set your own daily goals, and, most importantly, it’s free!

Polish alphabet (Photo: filcaki.blogspot.com)
Polish alphabet (Photo: filcaki.blogspot.com)

And now for a quick typical Polish saying that would impress a local:

  • Too little, too late! / Musztarda po obiedzie! / Moosh-tard-ia po ob-ie-die!

Literally translated this one means “mustard after the dinner”. It’s a very popular phrase that’s used whenever you only remember about something once it’s too late. So don’t let that be you at this year’s WYD! Read back through our blogs, start drafting a plan of action and make sure you do and see all the things you want to in the beauty that is Poland.

We hope you enjoyed reading, and your upcoming trip even more so. Bye! / Cześć! / Che-sch!

This article was kindly provided by our wonderful friends at the Polish Cultural Institute in London. Click here to learn more about them.