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!

Comments

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EllaCrawford
United Kingdom

Sorry I meant to say that my name was Ella from the United Kingdom I typed in her sisters name instead of mine!

Reply Feb 10th, 2017
Emilka
Poland

I have a polish friend that goes to the same school as me and is called Milena Salek

Reply Feb 10th, 2017
Guest

Love polish people. X

Reply Nov 26th, 2015
Adrian Hart
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jun 3rd, 2013
mohammed kamruz zaman
Poland

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

Reply Feb 8th, 2013
sonia
United Kingdom

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

Reply May 10th, 2012
Linyi
China

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;)

Reply Jan 20th, 2012
joel l. pitlo
Philippines

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

Reply Dec 21st, 2010
sami
Tunisia

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

Reply Aug 29th, 2010
ibrahim
Morocco

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;

Reply Jul 6th, 2010
beji
Georgia

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

Reply May 7th, 2010
victor
Turkey

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

Reply Apr 17th, 2010
Phil Atelist
United States

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

Reply Mar 31st, 2010
Koos
Netherlands

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 ;-)

Reply Mar 29th, 2010
Jurij Below
Germany

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

Reply Mar 23rd, 2010
Anka
United Kingdom

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

Reply Mar 15th, 2010
J Cleese
United States

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

Reply Jan 29th, 2010
ola
United States

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.!!

Reply Dec 28th, 2009
federica
United States

dats kool

Reply Dec 3rd, 2009
Eric
United States

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

Reply Nov 26th, 2009
Ola
Poland

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

Reply Nov 17th, 2009
benny
Netherlands

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! ^^

Reply Nov 9th, 2009
Stu
United Kingdom

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

Reply Oct 21st, 2009
Greg
Australia

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.

Reply Oct 14th, 2009
g.w.w.
Poland

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

Reply Oct 3rd, 2009
Jigger
United Kingdom

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

Reply Oct 1st, 2009
Col
United Kingdom

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

Reply Sep 21st, 2009
unnone
Canada

i wish you would put more voce things

Reply Sep 17th, 2009
lolozabojat
Poland

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

Reply Aug 22nd, 2009
amanda
United States

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

Reply Aug 16th, 2009
Tadeusz'78
Germany

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

Reply Aug 14th, 2009
babs
Germany

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!

Reply Jun 3rd, 2009
s. wall
United States

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

Reply May 3rd, 2009
Kate
United Kingdom

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!

Reply Mar 31st, 2009
lemi
Macedonia

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

Reply Mar 9th, 2009
Ania
Poland

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

Reply Mar 3rd, 2009
Jorge
United States

how do you say Polish in polish?

Reply Feb 28th, 2009
Kasia
United States

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!

Reply Feb 25th, 2009
Ellen
Singapore

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

Reply Feb 20th, 2009
Asia
United Kingdom

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...

Reply Feb 17th, 2009
knoxy
United Kingdom

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

Reply Feb 4th, 2009
andy
United Kingdom

just come back from poland its 1 fantastic place to see

Reply Jan 18th, 2009
Lina
United States

Could anyone translate STODDI BABBA AND STODDI PON for me

Reply Jan 13th, 2009
kolop
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jan 12th, 2009
Diary
Sweden

anyone from krakow? please piramerd@msn.com

Reply Jan 12th, 2009
Diary
United States

is krakow nisce? Diary Sweden piramerd@msn.com

Reply Jan 12th, 2009
martyna
Australia

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

Reply Jan 4th, 2009
Cesky Tesin
Mozambique

Yo Nalepka!

Reply Dec 30th, 2008
karina
United States

this is it really is tak

Reply Nov 19th, 2008
Mukesh Uniyal
India

Sobota means Saturday. have fun in poland Mukesh Uniyal

Reply Nov 14th, 2008
a
Poland

Poland in Polish = Polska

Reply Oct 22nd, 2008
United States

how do you spell poland in polish

Reply Oct 21st, 2008
hehe
Egypt

o znaczkach jest dobre :D

Reply Oct 21st, 2008
Davey Clare
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Sep 30th, 2008
Paul
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Sep 23rd, 2008
IRENA
United States

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!

Reply Aug 16th, 2008
graham york
United Kingdom

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

Reply Aug 16th, 2008
Wends
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jul 18th, 2008
liliana
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jul 6th, 2008
Alex
Austria

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

Reply Jul 3rd, 2008
girlmissinghome
United States

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

Reply Jun 30th, 2008
Espe
Spain

"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"

Reply Jun 20th, 2008
Lino
Italy

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.

Reply Jun 19th, 2008
Mark Z
United States

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!

Reply Jun 6th, 2008
Oleg Szemetow
Ukraine

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

Reply May 11th, 2008
amit
India

amit

Reply Apr 8th, 2008
Tiffany
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Apr 6th, 2008
Val Kerry
United Kingdom

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!

Reply Mar 20th, 2008
Caroline
United Kingdom

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????

Reply Mar 18th, 2008
Tony
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Mar 14th, 2008
Sophie
United Kingdom

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!

Reply Mar 11th, 2008
sylwinka
Poland

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.

Reply Feb 21st, 2008
Pat
United Kingdom

We are deaf. Can you help me

Reply Feb 19th, 2008
Ana
Mexico

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

Reply Feb 15th, 2008
Kev
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Jan 28th, 2008
Ray
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jan 23rd, 2008
Brian
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jan 20th, 2008
Kirsten x
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jan 9th, 2008
Pierre
France

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

Reply Dec 25th, 2007
Ania
Poland

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

Reply Dec 18th, 2007
Camille Shelhamer
United States

How do you say Merry Christmas in Polish?

Reply Dec 16th, 2007
BENEK
Poland

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

Reply Dec 12th, 2007
tayfun ormanski
Cyprus

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

Reply Nov 23rd, 2007
duggi
United Kingdom

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

Reply Oct 21st, 2007
Mark Morse
United Kingdom

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

Reply Sep 20th, 2007
Mark Morse
United Kingdom

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!

Reply Sep 20th, 2007
duggi
United Kingdom

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

Reply Sep 19th, 2007
Sanja
Sweden

Kraków, here I come;D Koham Polska!!

Reply Sep 8th, 2007
john moore
United States

I like the simplicity of explaining what you do and how

Reply Sep 4th, 2007
Tim
United States

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

Reply Aug 13th, 2007
amit
India

its reall funny and also really intresting i wanna speak frequetly

Reply Aug 12th, 2007
aga
Poland

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

Reply Aug 1st, 2007
Dagny
Poland

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

Reply Aug 1st, 2007
Bookratt
United States

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".

Reply Jul 31st, 2007
Shedoro
Poland

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

Reply Jul 28th, 2007
Marshka
Poland

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

Reply Jul 22nd, 2007
Artur
United States

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

Reply May 26th, 2007
andy
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Apr 18th, 2007
dustin wright
United States

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

Reply Apr 17th, 2007
Teresa Rzepa
United Kingdom

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!

Reply Apr 13th, 2007

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