Polish is the mother tongue of 46 million people scattered throughout the world, making it the 21st most used language on earth. It has matured over the centuries, derived from the dialects once spoken by the inhabitants of Malopolska and Wielkopolska.
It belongs to the West Slavonic language family, its closest cousins being Czech, Slovak, Pomeranian, Kashubian, Upper and Lower Serbian and the extinct Polabian. Polish also contains echoes of such exotic languages as Gothic, the Finno-Ugric languages and Celtic dialects.
Polish is full of traps. Its grammar and spelling are riddled with exceptions, alternative forms, hard-to-remember rules of inflection and oddities such as the noun declensions ręce-rękoma, pies-psa. For foreigners (particularly English speakers) the most difficult thing is the pronunciation: rustling, crackling, full of sibilants. However, those who take up the challenge of learning Polish compare it to an extreme but satisfying expedition.
A few phrases to get you started
Here are a few essential words/phrases to get you started. We have tried to further simplify it by trying to pronounce it in English too (Brave of us, right?).
Dzień dobry - good morning / good afternoon (gin DOH-breh)
Dobry wieczór - good evening (DOH-breh VYEH-choor)
Dobranoc - good night (doh-BRAH-notes)
Cześć - hi (cheshch)
Do widzenia - good bye (doh vid-ze-niya)
Proszę - please / here you are (PROH-sheh)
Dziękuję - thank you (jen-KOO-yeah)
Dzięki - thanks (informal) (JEN-kee)
Przepraszam - I'm sorry / excuse me (Pshep - ra- shum)
Tak - yes (tak)
Nie - no / not (nyeh)
Nie wiem - I don't know (nyeh vyem)
Jak się masz? - How are you? (informal) (yahk shay maash)
Nie mówię po polsku - I don't speak Polish (nyeh MOO-vi-ee poh pohl-skoo)
Nie rozumiem - I don't understand (nyeh roh-ZOO-myem)
Na zdrowie! - Cheers! / Bless you! (lit. For health!) (naz DROH-vyeh)
If you plan on living and working in Poland, it is very important that you learn Polish. To help to achieve that goal, Spartez offers all non-Polish speaking Spartans and their partners access to Polish lessons along with other perks and benefits that you can check here.