Language

There's no getting away from it - Polish is a tough language, and any early attempts at it will have you sounding like you're whispering, gargling and choking simultaneously. Many Poles, particularly the younger ones, speak 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 in Zakopane, many of them providing translation services, which may be necessary if you plan to stay any length of time in the area.

 

What do all 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 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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Kirsty from United Kingdom Reply Jun 25th, 2010

You are such a idiot Frankenstain. If you requaire to put some coments in polish make sure they are corect.nob.

frankenstine from United States Reply Jun 25th, 2010

wy jebane smiecie jestescie grubi pedaly

Stan from United States Reply Feb 26th, 2010

I'd like to know some local jokes. Anyone got any good ones?!

Jake from United Kingdom Reply Jan 27th, 2010

That's good to know Monika!

Monika from Poland Reply Oct 6th, 2009

"Drop by tonight and I'll show you my stamp collection" it means come to my place and let's have a sex :P

Maree from United Kingdom Reply Oct 5th, 2009

It's a friendly site! I felt comfortable reading it. Although I have been learning some polish I need to know how much English I can expect from the local Polish people in this tourist location. I don't want to have higher/lower expectations than is realistic! Dzieki

Eric from United States Reply Sep 28th, 2009

What is this "I'll show you my stamp collection? Is that some kind of kinky Polish metaphor?!!! Please inform...

Mariusz from Poland Reply Jul 31st, 2009

You should be making a proper recording "po goralsku" using highlander man dialogue! Good effort though!

Gábor from Hungary Reply Jul 16th, 2009

Does this woman forgott about ¹ and ê sound? she says dziêkuje and not dziekujê. Awfull for my polish ears

Ben from United Kingdom Reply Jun 25th, 2009

I'll be fluent in no time. Na zdrowie!!!

Shade from Ukraine Reply Jun 18th, 2009

It's pretty easy language, as I see! It's almost like Ukrainian, or sort of...I can't speak polish...but I can easily understand what they'r meanin' there)

Stan from United States Reply May 27th, 2009

Enjoyed listening to those. Not easy though!

Margaret from United Kingdom Reply Jan 13th, 2009

Actually you can find q, v and x in polish alphabet.

rricki from Slovak Republic Reply Dec 25th, 2008

Do you know, how to ski? Does your family? No? We will teach you!! SKIING AT SLOVAKIA!!! excellent prices !!!

Marysia from Poland Reply Aug 4th, 2008

When asking, "Do you speak English?" it's better to say, "Czy pan/pani mowi po angielsku?" than to say "Czy mowisz po angielsku?" unless, of course, you are asking someone you're familiar with.

Andrew from Canada Reply Jul 4th, 2008

Cool stuff but you should mention about how to translate Polish language to local(Highlanders)slang. Let say in polish "zgobilem sie" In local (or japanese) Ka jo to. Just joking I was born in Zakopane and I love and miss that Region.

ch'timi from France Reply Mar 4th, 2008

Language barriers and for many a huge barrier, I am one of those it; deep google, but it lacks the Polish

sasali from Ireland Reply Jan 9th, 2008

great help to get started..

Adusia from Poland Reply May 12th, 2007

for my summer holidays im going to Poland...yeah^^... bedzie fajnie-jak zawsze^^

from Poland Reply Feb 23rd, 2007

Do you speak English? is "Czy mowisz po angielsku?

amoeba from France Reply Feb 20th, 2007

Nice site for Poland info, but a little too "YO DUDE"-y for me, but maybe that's your audience. One big thing missing tho - how do you say "Do you speak a little english?"

lisa from United States Reply Jan 24th, 2007

great