survival glossary

SURVIVAL GLOSSARY

Polish language belongs to the Slavic languages group, along with Russian, Ukrainian, Czech or Serbian.

The first known full sentence in Polish comes from “Księga Henrykowska” from 1270 and relates to the description of daily life at that time. The husband says to his wife: "Daj, ać ja pobruszę, a ty poczywaj" (loosely translated: "Relax Honey, today I will do the dishes.").

The Polish alphabet (like most European alphabets) is based on the Roman alphabet and consists of 32 letters. 9 of them, however, you won’t find in any other alphabet. They are: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń ó, ś, ż, ż. And although it is these "rustling" letters that keep foreigners awake at night, Poles have clearly weakness for them. The ranking from 2010 for the most beautiful Polish word may serve as a proof of this. It was won by... "źdźbło" (blade of grass). Other words which were also taken into account were: "szept" (whisper), "brzdęk" (plunk) and ... "szeleścić" (to rustle). :)

In addition to the "rustling" letters, there is another torture device for foreigners - the "digraphs", i.e.: cz, ch, sz, rz, dz, dż and dź. Compiled in different combinations, they create tongue twisters such as "Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie w Szczebrzeszynie". Don’t worry, even Poles have a problem to pronounce it correctly. :)

Information taken from: Varia Polish Language Centre

 

Here are some definitions or explanations of some basic terms used in Polish language.

in Polishin English
takyes
nieno
dzień dobrygood morning
dobry wieczórgood evening
dobranocgood night
cześć (informal)hi, hello
proszęplease
dziękujęthank you
przepraszamsorry/excuse me
pomocyhelp
Time, dates, months
dzisiajtoday
jutrotomorrow
poniedziałekMonday
wtorekTuesday
środaWednesday
czwartekThursday
piątekFriday
sobotaSaturday
niedzielaSunday
styczeńJanuary
lutyFebruary
marzecMarch
kwiecieńApril
maj May
czerwiecJune
lipiecJuly
sierpieńAugust
wrzesieńSeptember
październikOctober
listopadNovember
grudzieńDecember
dzieńday
miesiącmonth
rokyear
godzinahour
Food and drinks
chlebbread
masłobutter
sercheese
jajkaeggs
mlekomilk
ziemniakipotatoes
ryżrice
kaszagroats
dróbpoultry
wołowinaveal
wieprzowinapork
jagnięcinalamb
rybafish
warzywavegetables
owocefruits
sólsalt
pieprzpepper
cukiersugar
wodawater
kawacoffee
herbatatea
piwobeer
winowine
sokjuice
Transportation
tramwajtram
autobusbus
taksówkataxi
samolotairplane
rowerbike
pociągtrain
peronplatform
tortrack
dworzec(train/bus) station
lotniskoairport
przystanek(bus/tram) stop
Other useful words
otwarteopen
zamknięteclosed
wyjścieenter
wejścieexit
bankomatcash machine, ATM
pocztapost office
znaczek pocztowystamp
listletter
paczka pocztowaparcel
kantorcurrency exchange offcie / bereau de change
rachunekbill/check
kinocinema
cenaprice
wyprzedażsale
przychodnia medycznamedical centre
szpitalhospital
receptaprescription
aptekapharmacy/drugstore
Academic life
studentstudent
dziekanatdean's office
wydziałfaculty
legitymacja studenckastudent card
egzaminexam
zaliczeniecredit (course completed succesfully, yet no grade given)
przedmiotcourse/subject
ocenagrade
sesjaexam session
rok akademickiacademic year
semestr zimowywinter semester
semestr letnisummer semester
przerwa semestralnainter-semestral break
akademikdormitory/student house
cisza nocnasilent night period
regulamin studiówstudy regulations
wykładlecture
ćwiczenialabolatory