Language

There's no getting away from it - Polish is a tough language, any early attempts at which will have you sounding like you're whispering, gargling and choking simultaneously. Many Poles, particularly the younger ones, speak a little English, but that's no excuse not to learn at least a few of those tortuous tongue-twisters, so we've included. at the bottom of this page, a brief guide to get you started. For those who wish to get more involved, there are a host of excellent language schools and Polish courses for foreigners, many of them providing translation services, which may be necessary if you plan to stay any length of time in the city. Also, if you are looking for an English curriculum school for your children whilst working in Cracow, you can find out more details from the British International School in Cracow's website.

Below: a tough nut to crack - a mouthful of Polish consonants

What do those signs mean? There are a whole range of Polish words which look pretty similar to their English equivalents, so signs such as POLICJA, RESTAURACJA HOTEL and TAXI are hardly going to tax most travellers, but here are a handful of others that may be useful: Kawiarnia - Cafe
Herbaciarnia - Tea House
Ksiegarnia - Book Shop
Mieso - Butchery
Nabial - Dairy products
Sklep - Shop
Prasa - Newsagent
Dworzec - Station
Lotnisko - Airport

The Polish language uses the Latin alphabet as in English, however you will find a few extra letters, (formed from Latin letters but with an additional slash or hook), bringing the total to 32. A few letters you won't find are: q, v, and x. The only exception to this rule are direct translations from other languages (e.g. "fax') and, of course, slang and marketing-language.

We've recently added our new audio pronunciation guide (right) to help with those tricky Polish pronunciations! If you've got some good ideas on how to make our language section better, let us know!

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Adrian Hart from United Kingdom Reply Jun 3rd, 2013

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by polish people, and been using Kefore you Know it software to slowly learn polish. Although the combination works well my biggest problem i find is learning all the bad stuff first

mohammed kamruz zaman from Poland Reply Feb 8th, 2013

Hi I need a translator krakow who can speak polish and english.I have an interview in polish immigration next month.so can anybody please help me to do it With lovely greetings Mohammed

sonia from United Kingdom Reply May 10th, 2012

hi my husband is polish and we have many polish friends as well as my english friends want to learn polish but finding it very hard x

Linyi from China Reply Jan 20th, 2012

truely,polish language is hard to deal with,but i'm glad i learned it,and still i'm using it with my further studies;)

joel l. pitlo from Philippines Reply Dec 21st, 2010

Tak!yes!coz i was in tri city,sopot,gydenia and gdansk in 1985 - 87 working in a project luxury ship. i love this country so and i missed people like poles specially in sopot were a work also in one of the church st andrew de bobola.hope to see you poland someday

sami from Tunisia Reply Aug 29th, 2010

i am a national guide in tunisia. i speak french, english and spanish frecuently, a little italian and i prepare a travel to krakow to learn polish. a hard pronounciation language but nice. good luck for me and for all

ibrahim from Morocco Reply Jul 6th, 2010

really i like this language, i have 2 friends from poslska, i want to surprise them one day; when i speak it, no bad; i love u polska peaple;

beji from Georgia Reply May 7th, 2010

ya kocham polska i lubie jezyk polski,jest bardzo ladnym jezykiem.

victor from Turkey Reply Apr 17th, 2010

doesn't matter what kind of collection.ve have never bad an intention.......

Phil Atelist from United States Reply Mar 31st, 2010

That's right Koos, and "stamp collection" can also be interchanged with "butterfly collection." It amounts to the same thing!

Koos from Netherlands Reply Mar 29th, 2010

I've had several women say that sentence to me. Now at last I know what it means: 'Drop by tonight and I'll show you my stamp collection'. A special lot, those Poles ;-)

Jurij Below from Germany Reply Mar 23rd, 2010

Dzen dobrzy, bardzo dzenkue wszistkiegó nailepszego! Danke für Ihr kleines Vokabular, es wäre noch besser, wenn Sie dieses etwas erweitern. Alles Gute. Jurij

Anka from United Kingdom Reply Mar 15th, 2010

J, I suggest learning how to say that in English first.

J Cleese from United States Reply Jan 29th, 2010

How do you say "I will not by this tobacconists, it is scratched." ?

ola from United States Reply Dec 28th, 2009

this website is really cool. Its really hard to learn a new language but with this website I can do this one step at a time. oh ya. my name is ola too.!!

federica from United States Reply Dec 3rd, 2009

dats kool

Eric from United States Reply Nov 26th, 2009

W polsce jest troche dziwnych ludzi ...pozatym wszystko jest cool ! pozdrawiam :)

Ola from Poland Reply Nov 17th, 2009

Do you want to learn hard but beautiful Polish language? I’m highly qualified (university diploma) teacher of polish as a foreign language and I give lessons for all levels, all age groups. With me, you will never get bored with Polish. Hablo un poco espanol tambien Please contact for rates Contact me a tel 505784352, e-mail wojaczek.a@gmail.com, gadu-gadu 8833557 Ola

benny from Netherlands Reply Nov 9th, 2009

LOL, what a good laugh is that language part! Do you have a sister! ^^ but seriously, what if you really lost your passport. This lady's voice is not helping anything. No way you remember that! ^^

Stu from United Kingdom Reply Oct 21st, 2009

Do you have a sister? Awesome - got all I need now, thanks :)

Greg from Australia Reply Oct 14th, 2009

LOL "come over in the evening, I'll show you my stamp collection" LOL! We all know what that means, don't we... Anyway, when in Rome... try and learn a word or two, we really appreciate it. Leave "chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie..." for your next vistit.

g.w.w. from Poland Reply Oct 3rd, 2009

yea- 'papaski' , 'pa' , 'papa' means all same - bye bye

Jigger from United Kingdom Reply Oct 1st, 2009

"Two beers Please" - I'm learning that one at least. Cheers!

Col from United Kingdom Reply Sep 21st, 2009

what does "Papaski" mean at the end of a text message? i thinkit is bye bye but not sure

unnone from Canada Reply Sep 17th, 2009

i wish you would put more voce things

lolozabojat from Poland Reply Aug 22nd, 2009

I would have like to show you Cracow but now I am in Zakopane for summer season. Do you know it?have you ever been there?Great and different city as well as Cracow.If you need any comfy accomodation or help when there, please do feel free to contact me.May be an other time as you will be leaving soon and you need at leat 5 days to visit fully Zakopane.So for next time, check our website www.ogrodygorskie.pl. take Care .See you

amanda from United States Reply Aug 16th, 2009

just arrived in Krakow from US. would love to have someone show me around or someone that doesn't know the place either and we can explore together. I'm here for a week stayin close to Old Town from august 16 to 25

Tadeusz'78 from Germany Reply Aug 14th, 2009

hi, greetings to all polish folks... and the others too :) i moved 19 years ago to germany, was a lot time ago in Krakow. Poland is a great country and we have the most beautiful girls :) cee ya all & hf

babs from Germany Reply Jun 3rd, 2009

Hi, i´m from the 17 June until 19 June 2009 in Crakow. I moved with 7 years to Germany, so I speak a little bit polish as well, looking for someone, who show´s me amazing places in Crocow. Looking to hear from you!

s. wall from United States Reply May 3rd, 2009

my browser shows characters. Are there deaf / sign language groups in Krakow?

Kate from United Kingdom Reply Mar 31st, 2009

The site is really informative. Me and my boyfriend fly to crakow on Sunday for a few days and I can't wait to see the sites. It looks a beautiful place. My Polish needs ALOT of work though!

lemi from Macedonia Reply Mar 9th, 2009

bardzo dobry krakow zmienyl sie bardo PS prsepraszam za 'dobry'polski

Ania from Poland Reply Mar 3rd, 2009

It's "Polski" or "Polskie" depending on the context.

Jorge from United States Reply Feb 28th, 2009

how do you say Polish in polish?

Kasia from United States Reply Feb 25th, 2009

Ha, I love speaking Polish! All my friends are always asking me to say words. It's very hard, but it's SOO worth it!! LOVE IT!!!! PS-- The sign up there it a mouthful to say!

Ellen from Singapore Reply Feb 20th, 2009

Hi, just like to find out if jeans and sneakers are allowed in the opera krakowska? not those dirty torn sneakers though! :)

Asia from United Kingdom Reply Feb 17th, 2009

It's such a pleasure to read all the nice comments and to know there are some people who do appreciate the beauty of Poland! I'm Polish myself but leave in the UK at the moment. My bfriend is from here as well but unfortunatelly he's not that enthusiastic about the country and its people...

knoxy from United Kingdom Reply Feb 4th, 2009

wot a place to visit.. friendly, clean and very cheap...

andy from United Kingdom Reply Jan 18th, 2009

just come back from poland its 1 fantastic place to see

Lina from United States Reply Jan 13th, 2009

Could anyone translate STODDI BABBA AND STODDI PON for me

kolop from United Kingdom Reply Jan 12th, 2009

here is web dictionary link: http://www.dict.pl/ and here u can translate all sentenses: http://www.poltran.com/pl.php4

Diary from Sweden Reply Jan 12th, 2009

anyone from krakow? please piramerd@msn.com

Diary from United States Reply Jan 12th, 2009

is krakow nisce? Diary Sweden piramerd@msn.com

martyna from Australia Reply Jan 4th, 2009

i absolutely loveee poland!!! kocham swoj kraj!!!!!! krakow is absolutely beautiful !!!!i luv poznan as well. :)

Cesky Tesin from Mozambique Reply Dec 30th, 2008

Yo Nalepka!

karina from United States Reply Nov 19th, 2008

this is it really is tak

Mukesh Uniyal from India Reply Nov 14th, 2008

Sobota means Saturday. have fun in poland Mukesh Uniyal

a from Poland Reply Oct 22nd, 2008

Poland in Polish = Polska

from United States Reply Oct 21st, 2008

how do you spell poland in polish

hehe from Egypt Reply Oct 21st, 2008

o znaczkach jest dobre :D

Davey Clare from United Kingdom Reply Sep 30th, 2008

You'll have a brilliant time. I certainly did the Poles are amongst the friendliest bunch of people I've ever come across and Cracow maybe the most beautiful place.

Paul from United Kingdom Reply Sep 23rd, 2008

I am off to Krakow around november for a short break.I have not been to an eastern country befor, so I am really looking forward to going.This Polish translation insite is brill,Infact lets be brutful, The hole site BRILL.

IRENA from United States Reply Aug 16th, 2008

URODZILAM SIE W KATOWICACH TO JEST CUDOWNE MIASTO OD 30 LAT MIESZKAM W STANIE IL W MIESTECZKU ORLAND PARK HEY! PEPLE GO TO POLAND AND YOU WILL HAWE GOOD TIME! CRACOW IS NICE PLACE TO VISYT TO SHAP! EAT! DANCE! AND TO SEE MANY, MANY MORE! GO! AND SEE POLAND KATOWICE KRAKOW WARSZAWE LOVE IRENA!

graham york from United Kingdom Reply Aug 16th, 2008

good info here, last but one click and listen is best, i am planing to visit in September with a view to setting up a used / antique furniture business in poland importing goods from UK i would welcome any info or contacts.... graham

Wends from United Kingdom Reply Jul 18th, 2008

I love the fact that you can hear the sound of the words too .. I will be working in a class in a primary school in September and one lil boy comes from poland and speaks very little english, so if anyone can help with links to where I can get some words used in schools like books, pencil, pen, desk, paper, ruler, listen, understand? etc would be very useful. thankies Wends xx

liliana from United Kingdom Reply Jul 6th, 2008

hello! im pretending to go to krakow in setember for 2 days only....i hope that can i visit some interesting places there. i need suggestions for examples museums places to go in krakow ... thanks

Alex from Austria Reply Jul 3rd, 2008

I will be in krakow monday and tuesday next week which is first time, is there any body who have a spare time to show me the most important things of the town besid have a couple drinks in nice pub. my e-mail is salzburg_fas@yahoo.de

girlmissinghome from United States Reply Jun 30th, 2008

Love the last "Click and Listen". Is that a pick up line or what? :)

Espe from Spain Reply Jun 20th, 2008

"Does some one would like to work whilst practicing English or Spanish? If you have a driving license please contact me. Hola, si te interesa practicar tu español mientras trabajas llamame! "515450617 o e-mail: esperanz@mac.com"

Lino from Italy Reply Jun 19th, 2008

Se vi recate a Cracovia, andate a mangiare e bere in questo caratteristico risorante polacco.Prezzi abbordabili,cibi ottimi,sopratutto la carne,piatti spettacolari e personale affabile.

Mark Z from United States Reply Jun 6th, 2008

This is the most informative website I have found to learn about Cracow. I would like to visit Cracow before going on to Ternopil, Ukraine. I want to see the main sites in Cracow, plus Auschwitz, the Black Madonna and perhaps Pope John Paul II's birthplace. I am wondering if I could take a train from Cracow to Lviv, or Ternopil, Ukraine? I plan to visit in August 2008. If anyone can help with advice on these subjects, please feel free to e-mail me at mzax@yahoo.com. Thank you!

Oleg Szemetow from Ukraine Reply May 11th, 2008

Intend to visit Krakow this year... Oh Lord, gotta study Polish! Thankee! :)

amit from India Reply Apr 8th, 2008

amit

Tiffany from United Kingdom Reply Apr 6th, 2008

This site is very helpful. Im a 14 year old History Student and i am travelling to Poland next year to visit Auschwitz and the salt mines etc. Poland seems like such an interesting country, so much history. Anyone has any knowledge to share feel free to email. touch-of-glitter@hotmail.com Thanks.

Val Kerry from United Kingdom Reply Mar 20th, 2008

This is an excellent site with amazing links and suggestions. Thankyou so much for this much needed help for a first time visitor to Poland. Na zdrowie!

Caroline from United Kingdom Reply Mar 18th, 2008

I off to Krakow later this year any tips on best places to visit while there? Also I am REALLY interested to visit any disabled charities and organisations, particularly ones that cater for Deaf, and Blind people... can anyone help????

Tony from United Kingdom Reply Mar 14th, 2008

Visiting Kracow in July and really looking forward to it. If any nice poles know a Katarzina (kasca) Bluckasz aged 27/28 from Katowice, who I was lucky enough to meet a long time ago could you please forward this e-mail address to her (tonzat@fsmail.net) and let her know that Tony Tyrer was trying to get in touch with her to see how she is doing! Many Thanks.

Sophie from United Kingdom Reply Mar 11th, 2008

To the guy who was disappointed that there was no mcdonalds - if you;re actully serious, and that is a real complaint, there is one at the top of florianski street, by the gate itself. If you arrive from the nigth train at 6am it's about the only thing open!

sylwinka from Poland Reply Feb 21st, 2008

If you need a professional, efficient and creative linguistic coach to guide you through the harshness and mystification of the Polish language, you may contact me at: sylwia.gruszka@gmail.com. I speak English, French and Spanish, and I'am an experienced Polish teacher.

Pat from United Kingdom Reply Feb 19th, 2008

We are deaf. Can you help me

Ana from Mexico Reply Feb 15th, 2008

help!!! how much the things cost in Krakow... examples please!!! hotel, taxi, beer, dinner... thanks a lot

Kev from United Kingdom Reply Jan 28th, 2008

My girl friend is Polish, We hope to visit Kracow later this year. I'm picking up the language quite well. It's interesting and fun to learn! This site is great! I'm going to develop a few lessons for other people in the future, will let you know when they are ready. They'll be audio based to download.

Ray from United Kingdom Reply Jan 23rd, 2008

In terms of the toilet signs just think freudian. Triangle male. Circle female. Not so hard really is it? Whoops another freudian slip.

Brian from United Kingdom Reply Jan 20th, 2008

Poland is the best country which I've seen!!! Cool girls, cheap alcohol!!!

Kirsten x from United Kingdom Reply Jan 9th, 2008

Heya jst passin im 16 ahn im away 2 vist mi best friend Justyna in June who livez in Poland in Crakow (Katowice) n i have read a few commens on here of how good it iz coz i have never bn 2 Poland b4 and im really nervous so thnkz xxxx

Pierre from France Reply Dec 25th, 2007

The beautifulest girls in the world are from poland....never seen so many

Ania from Poland Reply Dec 18th, 2007

Merry Christmas is "Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia", but you can say just "Wesolych Swiat", that's more like a general "happy holidays".

Camille Shelhamer from United States Reply Dec 16th, 2007

How do you say Merry Christmas in Polish?

BENEK from Poland Reply Dec 12th, 2007

polish is so easy!!!! Easer than english BUT U MUST BE FROM POLAND LOL

tayfun ormanski from Cyprus Reply Nov 23rd, 2007

slowly life but i think in eurepean comunnity give some lesson...

duggi from United Kingdom Reply Oct 21st, 2007

Oh! how I enjoyed my visit,Oh! how I miss being there.Fantastic people,Fantastic city

Mark Morse from United Kingdom Reply Sep 20th, 2007

By the way, if anyone would like to talk about Poland with me, or anything for that matter, just drop me a line, my skype name is modnypan2006

Mark Morse from United Kingdom Reply Sep 20th, 2007

I am British, i have travelled most of Poland and must say i loved it so much i had to stay. I now live in a town called Woszislaw Slaski. I just love the Polish culture, the food, people, history, arcitecture, language music, films.....everything. I am learning the language with help from books, CD's, friends and my Polish girlfriend who i have been dating and living with for almost 6 years, we are son to marry and start a family, well our family has already started, we have a cat which we brought over from the UK where we met and used to live. I don't speak much Polish as it's very difficult but i am determined to succeed, the Poles are always suprised that a foreighner, especially a Brit is speaking Polish, their praise and compliments kind of keeps me going wanting to improve, they are such good people, i'm so glad i decided to make Poland my home!

duggi from United Kingdom Reply Sep 19th, 2007

Coming to Cracow in October,really looking forward to seeing the beautiful city/and people

Sanja from Sweden Reply Sep 8th, 2007

Kraków, here I come;D Koham Polska!!

john moore from United States Reply Sep 4th, 2007

I like the simplicity of explaining what you do and how

Tim from United States Reply Aug 13th, 2007

Just want to say that the comments are right. I attempted my first few words after reading them. Much easier than the pronunciation guide.

amit from India Reply Aug 12th, 2007

its reall funny and also really intresting i wanna speak frequetly

aga from Poland Reply Aug 1st, 2007

polski nie jest taki trudny jak sie wydaje no mo¿e to przez te wszystkie ¿ rz ch h ó ale do mówienia ortografia nie potrzebna :P

Dagny from Poland Reply Aug 1st, 2007

Actually, this is more phonetically accurate (from an actual Pole): Thank you is Djen Koo Ye, Please is Pro she, Good day/morning is Djen Dough Breh, Hello is Chesch, Welcome is Vee Tam, Yes is Tack, No is Nye

Bookratt from United States Reply Jul 31st, 2007

Very quick and dirty and technically/phonetically not lexically correct, but enough to get by: Thank you is Jen Koo Yuh Good day/morning is Jen Dough Bruh Hello is Chetch (fetch with ch at front) Welcome is Vee Tum Yes is Tock, Yes-Yes is Tock Tock No is Nyay (like Yay! but add the n at front) This was good enough for our first trip in July and helpful, friendly Poles quickly corrected us and helped us to refine our pronunciation as we and our 4 year old vainly tried to "get it".

Shedoro from Poland Reply Jul 28th, 2007

fajnie by bylo gdyby wersja tej gry ukazala sie w jezyku polskim...

Marshka from Poland Reply Jul 22nd, 2007

An important tip when needing the loo: Girls, you're the circle. Fellas, you're the triangle. I've never quite worked out why...

Artur from United States Reply May 26th, 2007

Here it is link to some page from polish university where you can find useful "survival polish" phrases. Enjoy learn polish. http://www.emapi.us.edu.pl/poland/pdf-y/polish.pdf

andy from United Kingdom Reply Apr 18th, 2007

You need to spell them how you say it. Iknow how to pronounce the words above but if you asked me to read them i would suffer. My girlfriend is polish and i am learning as much as i can. Cracow is my favorite european city.

dustin wright from United States Reply Apr 17th, 2007

just act like ur not saying it.IT'S AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Teresa Rzepa from United Kingdom Reply Apr 13th, 2007

Ignore the accents (cedilla on e or grave over e) and just read phonetically! sz=sh cz=ch c'=chee o.=ooh. Hope this helps! Toilet=kibel or ustep or ubikacja! Good luck!

Ben from South Africa Reply Apr 11th, 2007

I think Polish is a very nice language. I would like to learn it thoroughly as I would like to come to live here in Krakow one day. South africa is just too dangerous and the people here in Poland are SO friendly!

Matthias from Germany Reply Apr 3rd, 2007

CRACOW is the best!!!!!!!! Cien Club forever.........

tanja from Germany Reply Mar 29th, 2007

as being half polish myself the language is not such a big problem for me. but i have to admit that its almost impossible for a foreigner to speak polish. nevertheless you should try to learn how to say thank you and goodbye. an some other easy words. i would also suggest to add how the words are pronounced.

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