Polish your Polish
Polish is considered one of the most difficult languages to master, and yes, there's a speck of truth in that statement: this is all because of the language's structure, long history and heavy influences of neighbouring languages. Its magic lies in a funky mechanism called inflection, which in short is all about changing the ending of a word (eg. noun, adjective, numeral, pronoun) to match the form required by a verb or a governing noun.
At first contact you will hear nothing but rustling of those /thsh/'s and /shtsh/'s but believe us, these are not present in all the words you need. If you feel that all that you hear is just a hodgepodge of meaningless sounds, try this:
proszę mówić powoli - /'pro-sheh 'moo-vitsh pah'voh-lee/ - please speak slowly
You'll be surprised to what extend Polish phraseology is based on international-sounding words that you can understand with a little effort.
Below is a short list of survival Polish phrases that might help you survive, at least until you find somebody who speaks some English.
cześć /'tsheshtsh/ - hi!
dzień dobry /jen 'dob-rih/ - good morning
proszę /'prosheh/ - please
dziękuję /jen'koo-yah/ - thank you
przepraszam /psheh'pra-sham/ - sorry/excuse me
dwa piwa proszę /dva 'peeva 'prosheh/ - two beers please
gdzie jest ....? /'gje 'yest ..../ - where is ....?