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Learn the Essential Intermediate Polish Vocabulary

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Learning vocabulary is easy when you’re a beginner. Almost every word is new and useful. However, as you proceed on your language learning journey, it’s good to become more selective. 

What vocabulary should you study as an intermediate-level Polish learner? Here at PolishPod101.com, we’ve prepared a list of essential intermediate Polish vocabulary words for you.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Larger Numbers
  2. Personal Pronouns
  3. Intermediate Polish Nouns
  4. Intermediate Polish Adjectives
  5. Intermediate Polish Adverbs
  6. Prepositions
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Auxiliary Verbs and Modals
  9. Final Thoughts

1. Larger Numbers

Being able to count from 1 to 10 is a crucial skill to attain when you first start learning a new language. Now, as an intermediate student, you’re ready to take it a step further. Let’s have a look at larger numbers in Polish: 

  • 10 – dziesięć
  • 11 – jedenaście
  • 12 – dwanaście
  • 13 – trzynaście
  • 14 – czternaście
  • 15 – piętnaście
  • 16 – szesnaście
  • 17 – siedemnaście
  • 18 – osiemnaście
  • 19 – dziewiętnaście
  • 20 – dwadzieścia
  • 30 – trzydzieści
  • 40 – czterdzieści
  • 50 – pięćdziesiąt, 
  • 60 – sześćdziesiąt
  • 70 – siedemdziesiąt
  • 80 – osiemdziesiąt
  • 90 – dziewięćdziesiąt

If you want to say a number such as “twenty-two” or “thirty-one,” you just have to combine the appropriate numbers together: 

(20) dwadzieścia + (2) dwa = (22) dwadzieścia dwa

(30) trzydzieści + (1) jeden = (31) trzydzieści jeden

Now, you’re ready to count by the hundreds: 

  • 100 – sto
  • 200 – dwieście
  • 300 – trzysta
  • 400 – czterysta
  • 500 – pięćset
  • 600 – sześćset
  • 700 – siedemset
  • 800 – osiemset
  • 900 – dziewięćset

A Child Counting

Just like with tens, to form a number such as “976,” you simply add the numbers together: 

(900) dziewięćset + (70) siedemdziesiąt + (6) sześć = (976) dziewięćset siedemdziesiąt sześć

Then come the thousands: 

  • 1,000 – tysiąc
  • 2,000 – dwa tysiące
  • 3,000 – trzy tysiące
  • 4,000 – cztery tysiące
  • 5,000 – pięć tysięcy (note that the form is different from five thousand onward)
  • 6,000 – sześć tysięcy
  • 7,000 – siedem tysięcy
  • 8,000 – osiem tysięcy
  • 9,000 – dziewięć tysięcy
  • 10,000 – dziesięć tysięcy

There are also two more important big numbers: 

  • million – milion
  • billion – miliard

2. Personal Pronouns

As a beginner, you learned only a few personal pronouns in Polish. Unfortunately, this isn’t the whole story. Polish pronouns, like other parts of speech in Polish, undergo declension. This means that the forms change depending on the case. As an intermediate Polish student, you should know the different pronoun forms for each case

CasePronoun (1st person singular)
Nominative / Mianownikja 
Genitive / Dopełniaczmnie
Dative / Celownikmnie / mi
Accusative / Biernikmnie
Instrumental / Narzędnikmną
Locative / Miejscownikmnie

CasePronoun (2nd person singular)
Nominative / Mianownikty 
Genitive / Dopełniaczciebie / cię
Dative / Celowniktobie / ci
Accusative / Biernikciebie / cię
Instrumental / Narzędniktobą
Locative / Miejscowniktobie

CasePronoun (3rd person singular, masculine)
Nominative / Mianownikon 
Genitive / Dopełniaczjego / go / niego
Dative / Celownikjemu / mu / niemu
Accusative / Biernikjego / go / niego
Instrumental / Narzędniknim
Locative / Miejscowniknim

CasePronoun (3rd person singular, feminine)
Nominative / Mianownikona 
Genitive / Dopełniaczjej / niej
Dative / Celownikjej / niej
Accusative / Biernikją / nią
Instrumental / Narzędniknią
Locative / Miejscownikniej

CasePronoun (3rd person singular, neuter)
Nominative / Mianownikono 
Genitive / Dopełniaczjego / go / niego
Dative / Celownikjemu / mu / niemu
Accusative / Biernikje / nie
Instrumental / Narzędniknim
Locative / Miejscowniknim

CasePronoun (1st person plural)
Nominative / Mianownikmy 
Genitive / Dopełniacznas
Dative / Celowniknam
Accusative / Bierniknas
Instrumental / Narzędniknami
Locative / Miejscowniknas

CasePronoun (2nd person plural)
Nominative / Mianownikwy 
Genitive / Dopełniaczwas
Dative / Celownikwam
Accusative / Biernikwas
Instrumental / Narzędnikwami
Locative / Miejscownikwas

CasePronoun (3rd person plural, masculine)
Nominative / Mianownikoni 
Genitive / Dopełniaczich / nich
Dative / Celownikim / nim
Accusative / Biernikich / nich
Instrumental / Narzędniknimi
Locative / Miejscowniknich

CasePronoun (3rd person plural, feminine)
Nominative / Mianownikoni 
Genitive / Dopełniaczich / nich
Dative / Celownikim / nim
Accusative / Biernikje / nie
Instrumental / Narzędniknimi
Locative / Miejscowniknich

Not sure how to use Polish pronouns? You can learn more about them by visiting this Wikipedia page or heading over to our vocabulary list of the most useful Polish pronouns

3. Intermediate Polish Nouns

Nouns are another group of words that are important for intermediate students to learn. After all, you need more precise words in order to have more complex conversations. 

Time

Clock
  • century – wiek
  • half a year – pół roku
  • quarter – kwartał
  • decade – dziesięciolecie 
  • January – styczeń
  • February – luty
  • March – marzec
  • April – kwiecień
  • May – maj
  • June – czerwiec
  • July – lipiec
  • August – sierpień
  • September – wrzesień
  • October – październik
  • November – listopad
  • December – grudzień

It’s also useful to be able to talk about years in Polish: 

  • year – rok
  • two years – dwa lata
  • three years – trzy lata
  • four years – cztery lata
  • five years – pięć lat 
  • six years – sześć lat

Note that the form for the word “years” is lat from five years onward. With larger numbers, the form you use (lata or lat) depends on the second number:

  • thirty-five years – trzydzieści pięć lat
  • twenty-two years – dwadzieścia dwa lata

People

Different Professions

Our next set of intermediate Polish vocabulary words consists of nouns used to describe people. The first form provided is the masculine form, and the second form is feminine.

Professions

  • police officer – policjant / policjantka
  • nurse – pielegniarz / pielęgniarka
  • lawyer – prawnik / prawniczka
  • lecturer – wykładowca / wykładowczyni

Family Members

  • uncle – wujek
  • aunt – ciocia
  • grandson – wnuk / wnuczek (diminutive)
  • granddaughter – wnuczka
  • grandfather – dziadek
  • grandmother – babcia
  • child – dziecko
  • parents – rodzice

Do you know what to expect at a family reunion in Poland? Check out our lesson to find out all about Grandma’s pierogies…

Clothes

No list of intermediate Polish words would be complete without mentioning the essential clothing items: 

  • pants – spodnie
  • shirt – bluzka
  • bra – stanik / biustonosz
  • panties – majtki
  • boxers – bokserki
  • socks – skarpetki
  • shoes – buty
  • sweater – sweter
  • jacket – kurtka
  • cap – czapka
  • scarf – szalik 

To learn even more clothing vocabulary, check out our lessons on winter clothes and summer clothes and accessories. The weather in Poland can be surprising, so it’s good to be prepared!

Places Around Town

With your growing confidence in your Polish-language skills, you may feel more prepared to ask for directions. Here are some important places around town you may want to ask about: 

  • bank – bank
  • pharmacy – apteka
  • grocery store – sklep spożywczy
  • vegetable shop/stand – warzywniak
  • petrol station – stacja benzynowa
  • shopping mall – galeria handlowa
  • theater – teatr
  • cinema – kino
  • restaurant – restauracja
  • café – kawiarnia
  • museum – muzeum

People in a Museum

School and Office

Speaking of places to go, many people find themselves in schools or offices on a daily basis. Here are some useful vocabulary words on these topics:

  • mug – kubek 
  • eraser – gumka
  • laptop – laptop
  • screen – ekran 
  • printer – drukarka
  • scanner – skaner
  • bench – ławka
  • blackboard / whiteboard – tablica
  • charger – zasilacz / ładowarka

Getting ready to work in Poland? Remember to check out our lesson titled Polish for the Workplace beforehand.  

Body Parts

Now, here are some intermediate Polish words for naming the parts of the body. These words are important to learn, as you never know when you might end up needing medical assistance.

  • nail(s) – paznokieć / paznokcie
  • hair – włos / włosy

In Polish, we most often use the plural form of the word for “hair” (i.e. piękne włosy – beautiful hair).

  • eyelashes – rzęsy
  • eyelids – powieki
  • tooth / teeth – ząb / zęby
  • finger(s) – palec / palce
  • toe(s) – palec u nogi / palce u nogi

Food

Polish Donut

You may have learned the names of some basic foods as a beginner, but now it’s time to expand your intermediate Polish vocabulary by becoming familiar with even more words related to food and dining.

  • cucumber – ogórek
  • carrot – marchewka
  • potatoes – ziemniaki
  • cherry – wiśnia
  • strawberry – truskawka
  • grapes – winogrona
  • chicken – kurczak
  • beef – wołowina
  • pork – wieprzowina
  • sweets – słodycze
  • breakfast – śniadanie
  • lunch – obiad
  • dinner – kolacja
  • knife – nóż
  • fork – widelec
  • plate – talerz

You probably know that Polish food is delicious. If you can’t travel to Poland at the moment, check out these Polish recipes to make yourself something yummy.

4. Intermediate Polish Adjectives

Adjectives are another key part of speech, as they make your vocabulary richer and allow you to express yourself more precisely. 

Describing Clothes

Earlier, you learned the names of different clothing items in Polish. All you need to complete your clothing-related vocabulary are some adjectives!

  • tight – ciasny
  • loose – luźny
  • striped – w paski
  • checkered – w kratkę
  • dotted – w kropki
  • cotton – bawełniany
  • wool – wełniany
  • elastic – elastyczny
  • linen – lniany

Describing Colors

Being able to talk about colors is a practical skill you’ll be able to utilize in a variety of contexts. Take a look:

  • blue – niebieski
  • light blue – jasnoniebieski
  • navy blue – granatowy
  • purple – fioletowy
  • orange – pomarańczowy
  • yellow – żółty
  • pink – różowy

Picture from the Holi Festival

Describing Emotions

Describing emotions is another useful skill for intermediate Polish learners to acquire. Here are some adjectives you can use to let others know how you’re feeling: 

  • exhausted – wykończony
  • irritated – zirytowany
  • grateful – wdzięczny
  • calm – spokojny
  • nervous – nerwowy
  • demanding – wymagający
  • strict – surowy
  • lenient – pobłażliwy

Describing Positive Qualities

Have you just eaten the best dish of your life? Or met a truly remarkable person during your visit to Poland? Below, you’ll find a list of intermediate Polish vocabulary words you can use to offer praise where it’s due. 

  • super – super
  • unique – unikalny
  • special – specjalny
  • extra – ekstra
  • genius – genialny
  • funny – zabawny
  • cute – słodki
  • clean – czysty
  • strong – silny

Describing Negative Qualities

Of course, some situations or people might make you want to complain instead, which is an equally important skill.

  • horrible – okropny
  • ugly – brzydki
  • disgusting – obrzydliwy
  • rude – niegrzeczny
  • mean – wredny
  • cruel – okrutnynerwowy
  • dirty – brudny
  • weak – słaby

5. Intermediate Polish Adverbs

While adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or even other adverbs. Here are some words to help you explain when, where, how, or to what extent something is done:

Adverbs of Time

  • already – już
  • still – jeszcze
  • now – teraz
  • then – wtedy
  • rarely – rzadko
  • often – często
  • never – nigdy
  • all the time – cały czas
  • usually – zwykle

At your level, you should already know how to ask “What time is it?” in Polish. But just in case you don’t, don’t waste any more time and amend it by visiting our lesson.

Adverbs of Place 

  • nowhere – nigdzie
  • everywhere – wszędzie
  • somewhere – gdzieś
  • up(stairs) – na górze
  • down(stairs) – na dole
  • far – daleko
  • near – blisko

Adverbs of Quality

Keep in mind that some of these Polish adverbs are considered adjectives in English, as this may be a bit confusing at first.

  • fast – szybko
  • slow – wolno
  • difficult – trudno
  • easily – łatwo
  • high – wysoko
  • low – nisko
  • cheap – tanio
  • expensive – drogo
  • young – młodo
  • old – staro 

Adverbs of Quantity

This is the last group of important adverbs for intermediate students of Polish: 

  • a lot – dużo
  • a little – mało
  • a bit – trochę
  • nothing – nic
  • everything – wszystko

6. Prepositions

Prepositions are little words that can change the entire meaning of a sentence—so don’t underestimate them! 

Prepositions of Time

  • after – po
  • before – przed
  • until – do
  • from…to – od…do

Prepositions of Space

A Child Hidden in a Box

  • on – na
  • in – w
  • under – pod
  • next to – przy

Other Prepositions

There are also a few other important prepositions that you should learn: 

  • without – bez
  • with – z
  • between – pomiędzy
  • thanks to – dzięki

7. Conjunctions

We use conjunctions (also known as “linking words”) to connect two or more parts of a complex sentence. Because they’re crucial for building longer sentences, it’s a good idea to add these words to your intermediate Polish vocabulary early on.

  • and – i / oraz
  • so – więc
  • because – ponieważ / bo
  • that’s why – dlatego
  • but – ale
  • nevertheless – niemniej jednak
  • even if – mimo że
  • or – albo / lub / czy
  • if – jeśli / jeżeli
  • neither…nor – ani…ani
  • either…or – albo…albo

8. Auxiliary Verbs and Modals

Last but not least, auxiliary verbs and modals are essential elements of any language. As you advance in your studies, you’ll find that they play a key role in many intermediate Polish grammar structures.

  • can – móc
  • have to – musieć
  • should – powinno się
  • to be – być (used to create the future tense)
  • to become – zostać 

9. Final Thoughts

Did you know any of these words already, or were they all new to you? We would love to hear from you in the comments! 

There are many intermediate Polish vocabulary words that you’ll have to learn beyond the scope of this blog post. However, after learning the words on this list, you’ll be able to see a significant difference in the way you express yourself in Polish.

There’s no single blog post or vocabulary list that can teach you a language. If you truly want to speak Polish, you should have a well-planned learning program. 

PolishPod101 is a platform that can give you exactly that. In addition to our vast number of free vocabulary lists, we provide audio and video lessons by native speakers—not to mention an array of other free resources at your disposal. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend checking out our Intermediate Polish course.

Are you ready to give it a try? Create your free lifetime account today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Must-Know Polish Animal Names for Polish Learners

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Vocabulary related to animals is among the most important items for beginners to study. Especially if you’re an animal lover, learning about specific animals living in Poland and memorizing the Polish names of animals from your own country can be a fun way to broaden your language skills. 

Polish animals don’t differ much from those you would find in other European countries. Are you curious what they are? Keep reading and learn tons of useful words for talking about animals in the Polish language.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Pets
  2. Farm Animals
  3. Various Land Animals
  4. Marine / Aquatic Animals
  5. Bugs and Insects
  6. Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians
  7. Animal Body Parts
  8. Animal-Related Expressions
  9. Final Thoughts

1. Pets

Can you guess what the most common pets in Poland are? Yep. Cats and dogs—no surprise there! 

Here are some related terms:

  • “cat” – kot
  • “kitten” – kotek 
  • “dog” – pies  
  • “doggy” – piesek 
  • “puppy” – szczeniak
a Puppy

While cats and dogs are the most popular pets in the country, Poles also keep a variety of other furry critters: 

  • “mouse” – mysz
  • “hamster” – chomik
  • “rabbit” – królik

These animals are particularly popular among people who don’t want a big responsibility. They’re also pets that parents of young children decide to have. This is because a small child may not be ready for a big commitment or the duties related to owning a dog or cat. 

Some Polish people enjoy more exotic pets. Some of these animals can easily be found in a pet store, while others require more effort to buy. These more exotic animals can sometimes be dangerous, so it’s important that the owner is careful about how and where they keep them. Examples of exotic animals you might find in Polish homes include: 

  • “parrot” – papuga
  • “lizard” – jaszczurka
  • “snake” – wąż
  • “chameleon” – kameleon
  • “spider” – pająk
  • “tarantula” – tarantula
  • “fish” – rybki

Let’s not forget about other important terms and expressions related to keeping pets: 

  • “dog food” – karma dla psa
  • “cat food” – karma dla kota
  • “bird food” – karma dla ptaków
  • “cage” – klatka 
  • “terrarium” – terrarium 
  • “aquarium” – akwarium 
  • “bowl” – miska 
  • “lead” / “leash” – smycz 
  • “muzzle” – kaganiec 
  • “cat litter” – kuweta

If you plan on owning a pet in Poland, knowing the right vocabulary is essential. Do you already have animals and are thinking about transporting them to Poland? It’s understandable that you don’t want to leave your pet behind, but remember that there are several rules you’ll need to follow along the way! Whether you’re moving to Poland for work, love, or some other reason, make sure to plan your relocation in advance; some processes may take longer than expected. 

Would you like to know what you can find inside a Polish home, apart from animals? Click on the link to find out. Don’t forget to also have a look at our lesson How Many Pets Do You Have in Poland? to remember the vocabulary better and to learn about the accusative case in Polish. 

2. Farm Animals

Apart from animals living at home, there are also domesticated animals that live on farms. Parts of Poland are very urbanized, but there are still many spaces set aside for agriculture. 

The most popular type of farm animals in Poland are cattle (bydło):

  • “cow” – krowa 
  • “bull” – byk 
  • “pig” – świnia
  • “sheep” – owca
  • “goat” – koza
  • “horse” – koń

A Horse

Another group of animals living on the farm is poultry (drób). Many Poles associate being in the countryside with the sound of a rooster calling out bright and early in the morning. 

  • “chicken” – kurczak 
  • “hen” – kura 
  • “rooster” – kogut 
  • “duck” – kaczka 
  • “goose” – gęś

Speaking of poultry, would you like to learn some Polish cooking vocabulary?

3. Various Land Animals

Many people think that there are no wild animals in Poland, but Polish mountains and forests are home to many of them. Some of these animals can even be dangerous! For instance, experts warn about wild boars, which can cause a threat to humans if not treated with respect. 

Here are the names of some of these wild animals in Polish: 

  • “fox” – lis 
  • “deer” – jeleń 
  • “boar” – dzik 
  • “hare” – zając 
  • “wolf” – wilk 
  • “bear” – niedźwiedź 
  • “owl” – sowa 
  • “viper” – żmija 
  • “lynx” – ryś 

You can learn the names of a couple of other wild animals in Poland by exploring our lesson What Kind of Polish Animal is That? 

There are many animals that you can only encounter in zoos, which you can find in a number of large Polish cities. Here, people can appreciate species that don’t naturally live in the country. These animals include: 

  • “lion” – lew 
  • “tiger” – tygrys 
  • “camel” – wielbłąd 
  • “hyena” – hiena 
  • “elephant” – słoń 
  • “crocodile” – krokodyl
  • “giraffe” – żyrafa
  • “monkey” – małpa
  • “hippopotamus” – hipopotam

Hippo

Do you often go to the zoo? Next time you go, try to name all the creatures you see by their Polish names. 

4. Marine / Aquatic Animals

Poland does not have access to an ocean, but it does have a sea. Here are the names of common animals you might find in the Baltic Sea and around Polish lakes:

  • “carp” – karp
  • “seal” – foka
  • “swan” – łabędź
  • “crab” – rak
  • “beaver” – bóbr
  • “stork” – bocian

    Do you know where children come from? White storks bring them, of course! That’s the story Polish parents often tell their offspring. Another version is that babies can be found in cabbage. You can learn more about the white stork (including the strange sound it makes) on our website!

  • “seagull” – mewa

A Seagull

While there are relatively few aquatic animals in Poland, you should still learn the names of these animals in the Polish language: 

  • “shark” – rekin
  • “whale” – wieloryb
  • “dolphin” – delfin
  • “octopus” – ośmiornica
  • “stingray” – płaszczka

You can learn even more words for marine animals in our entertaining lesson, which encourages you to learn with pictures! 

5. Bugs and Insects

There are many bugs and insects in Poland. Like people elsewhere in the world, Poles often complain about them, though many bugs are actually an important part of the ecosystem. Here are the Polish names for some of them:

  • “ant” – mrówka
  • “fly” – mucha
  • “ladybug” – biedronka
  • “spider” – pająk
  • “grasshopper” – konik polny
  • “bug” – robak
  • “beetle” – żuk
  • “worm” – dżdżownica
  • “caterpillar” – gąsienica
  • “butterfly” – motyl

Butterfly

If you’re particularly interested in bugs, visit the website Insects of Poland to learn more! 

6. Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians

There’s a number of birds that fly in the Polish skies. Here are the most common ones: 

  • “bird” – ptak
  • “dove” – gołąb
  • “woodpecker” – dzięcioł
  • “eagle” – orzeł
  • “crow” – kruk
  • “hawk” – jastrząb

You can learn even more vocabulary for birds in our lesson Birds of a Feather Flock Together.

Our next two groups of animals in the Polish language are reptiles (gady) and amphibians (płazy).

  • “frog” – żaba
  • “toad” – ropucha
  • “turtle” / “tortoise” – żółw
  • “alligator” – aligator

Alligator

7. Animal Body Parts

Now that you’ve learned a long list of animals in Polish, you might want to learn the names of animal body parts. Knowing these terms will allow you to better describe the animals you encounter! 

  • “wing” – skrzydło
  • “beak” – dziób
  • “tail” – ogon
  • “paw” – łapa
  • “horns” – rogi
  • “feather” – pióro
  • “fur” – sierść
  • “claws” – pazury / szpony

It’s great that you can now speak about animal body parts! However, do you know what to call all the body parts that we humans have? 

8. Animal-Related Expressions

Polish has many expressions related to animals. This is a common trait of many languages, but the exact attributes given to animals often differ from country to country. Have a look at some of the most common idioms and sayings: 

  • zły jak osa – “as angry as a wasp”
  • uparty jak osioł – “as stubborn as a donkey”
  • mądry jak sowa – “as smart as an owl”
  • zdrowy jak ryba – Literally: “as healthy as a fish” / Meaning: “fit as a fiddle”
  • żyć jak pies z kotem – Literally: “to live together like cats and dogs” / Meaning: “to not get along”
  • mieć węża w kieszeni – Literally: “to have a snake in your pocket” / Meaning: “to be stingy”
  • jak ryba w wodzie – Literally: “like fish in water” / Meaning: “to be comfortable somewhere”

Fish and Other Marine Animals in the Water

If you’d like to learn more idioms related to animals, remember to click on the link and visit our lesson on the topic. 

9. Final Thoughts

Learning how to talk about pets and other animals is an important aspect of studying Polish. Today you’ve learned which animals live in Poland, what animals people keep at home, as well as the Polish animal names for creatures that live elsewhere. What’s your favorite animal, and what is it called in Polish? Let us know in the comments! 

Learning vocabulary is an important element of mastering the language. Unfortunately, you’ll need more than that to understand and communicate with Polish people. 

If you really want to be able to claim that you speak the language, you should use a tool that gives you more than just vocabulary. PolishPod101 is a great platform that offers you more structure than most other Polish learning programs. You’ll get access to countless recordings from native speakers as well as a personalized learning path.

There’s no better time to start improving your Polish than today. Create your free lifetime account and start learning with us!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Hello? – Learn Polish Phone Call Phrases.

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Knowing Polish means being able to use it in many different situations. This includes talking on the phone with someone, whether for business or social purposes. But speaking on the phone in your own language can be frightening enough, let alone doing so in a foreign language!

In this blog post, you’ll learn the most useful Polish phone call phrases for both formal and informal contexts. Knowing these phrases and expressions by heart will allow you to navigate just about any phone conversation with ease.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Introducing Yourself on the Phone
  3. Stating the Reason for Your Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Asking for Clarification
  7. Leaving a Message
  8. Time to Say Goodbye
  9. Sample Phone Conversations
  10. Final Thoughts

1. Picking up the Phone

A Person Speaking on the Phone

The first set of Polish telephone phrases you should learn are those used when picking up the phone. Keep in mind that Polish differentiates between formal and informal language, and this extends to phone conversations.

Let’s start by looking at some things you can say when you’re the one making the call and someone picks up: 

  • “Hello?” – Słucham? 
  • “Good day!” – Dzień dobry! 
  • “Good evening.” – Dobry wieczór. 

When starting an informal conversation, you can simply say:

  • “Hi!” – Cześć! / Siema!

When you’re on the receiving end, you can say:

  • “Hello?” – Tak, słucham? / Halo? 
  • “[Name] speaking.” – [Name], słucham.

Another way to answer the phone in Polish is with the very informal “Yes?” – Tak?

What are some other ways of greeting people in Polish when not on the phone? See our lesson “Saying Hello No Matter the Time of Day” to find out! 

2. Introducing Yourself on the Phone

After someone picks up the phone, you’re expected to introduce yourself. Being able to give a self-introduction is crucial in many contexts, not just on the phone. Here’s a lesson where you can learn more about self-introductions and another on introducing yourself in a business meeting

Here are two common Polish telephone phrases for introductions: 

  • “[Name] speaking.” – Z tej strony [name]… 
  • “Is this [name]?” – Czy rozmawiam z [name – instrumental case]? 

Informally, we can be more relaxed and say: 

  • “It’s me, [given name].” – To ja [given name].
  • “[Given name] speaking.” –  Mówi [given name]. 

When you’re the receiver of the call, you can use one of these formal phrases: 

  • “How can I help you?” – W czym mogę pomóc? / W czym mogę służyć?

Informally, you can stick to: 

  • “(Sorry,) who am I speaking to?” – (Przepraszam,) z kim rozmawiam?

As you can see, people speak with a higher degree of politeness when the context is formal. In Polish, this is expressed through verb forms as well as word choice.  

3. Stating the Reason for Your Call

A Person on the Phone while Riding on Public Transportation

Now, it’s time to tell the receiver why you’re calling them in the first place. This is an important element of phone etiquette. Here are a few common Polish phone call phrases you can use here:

  • “I’m calling about…” – Dzwonię w sprawie…  
  • “I’d like to speak to…” – Chciałbym / Chciałabym rozmawiać z…

    For a male and female speaker, respectively.

  • “I have a question about…” – Mam pytanie w sprawie… 

In more casual contexts, you can allow yourself to be a bit more straightforward and use the second person singular: 

  • “Do you remember…?” – Pamiętasz…? 
  • “Do you know by any chance…?” – Wiesz może…? / Znasz może…?
  • “Can you recommend…?” –  Możesz mi polecić…? 

While this article isn’t about Polish verbs, we highly recommend you check out this article on Wikipedia to learn more about different verb forms in Polish. Additionally, you can upgrade your vocabulary with our article on the top 100 Polish verbs.

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

Sometimes, the person who picks up the phone is not who you were hoping to speak to. Luckily, there are a few expressions you can rely on when this happens: 

  • “Could I speak to [name]?” – Czy mogę rozmawiać z [name – instrumental case]?
  • “Could you call [name]?” – Czy można prosić do telefonu [name – instrumental case]?

In casual contexts, try the following phrases: 

  • “Can you pass [name]?” – Dasz [name – instrumental case]?
  • “Is [name] there?” –  Jest [name]?

If you want to impress people with your Polish skills by making a joke, you can also quote the Polish cult movie and political satire Seksmisja (Sexmission): Dzień dobry, czy zastałem Jolkę? (“Hello, is Jolka there?”) 

5. Asking Someone to Wait

A Person on the Phone with a Remote in Their Hand

If the person on the other end has asked for information about something or wants to be transferred, you may need to ask them to wait a moment. Here are a few formal Polish phone phrases you can use to do this: 

  • “Please wait a second.” – Proszę chwileczkę poczekać/zaczekać. 
  • “I’ll check in a second.” – Zaraz sprawdzę. 
  • “I’m asking him now.” –  Już go/ją proszę.
  •  “Unfortunately, he’s/she’s not here.” – Niestety go/jej nie ma.

As always, informal circumstances allow you to get straight to the point: 

  • “Wait a second.” – Zaczekaj chwilę… 
  • “I’m not sure whether he/she is here. I’ll check.” – Nie wiem czy jest. Sprawdzę. 

6. Asking for Clarification

During a Polish phone conversation, you may have difficulty hearing or understanding the other person. Below, you’ll find some expressions you can use to ask for clarification or repetition. Keep in mind that for each phrase, the first version we give is for when the other person is male. 

  • “Sorry, could you say that again?” – Przepraszam, czy może Pan/Pani powtórzyć?
  • “I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time hearing you.” – Przepraszam, ale słabo Pana/Panią słyszę. 
  • “Could you spell your name/surname for me, please?” – Czy może Pan/Pani przeliterować swoje imię/nazwisko?  

And here are some phrases you might use during an informal conversation:

  • “Repeat, please.” – Powtórz, proszę.
  • “I almost can’t hear you.” – Prawie Cię nie słyszę. 
  • “Can you repeat your name, please?” – Możesz powtórzyć jak masz na imię?

Do you need more help in this regard? Then make sure to visit our lesson “Can You Say it Again in Polish?” 

7. Leaving a Message

A Man Writing Down a Message for Someone

What if the person you’re trying to reach is unavailable? You should have the opportunity to leave a message for them, so here are a few Polish phone call phrases you can use in this situation:

  • “Could I leave a message?” – Czy mógłbym zostawić wiadomość?
  • “Could you pass a message?” – Czy mogłaby Pani (f) / mógłby Pan (m) coś przekazać?
  • “Could you ask them to call me back?” – Czy może Pani (f) / Pan (m) poprosić, żeby do mnie oddzwonili?

And here are some options for informal contexts: 

  • “Could you pass a message?” – Możesz mu coś przekazać? 
  • “Can you ask him/her to call me back?” – Możesz go/ją poprosić, żeby do mnie oddzwonił/oddzwoniła?

Are you the one who’s been given the task of passing on a Polish message? Click on the link to find out how to do this. 

8. Time to Say Goodbye

When it’s time to finish a Polish phone conversation, these phrases may come in handy: 

  • “Thank you for your help! Goodbye!” – Dziękuję za pomoc, do widzenia!
  • “Have a nice day!” – Miłego dnia! 
  • “I’ll speak to you soon!” – Do usłyszenia!

As the receiver of the call, you may want to say: 

  • “Is there anything else I can help with?” – Czy mogę jeszcze jakoś pomóc? 
  • “I’m wishing you a good day!” – Życzę miłego dnia!

Are you ending a conversation with a friend? Try these expressions:

  • “Thanks for your help.” – Dzięki za pomoc. 
  • “Bye!” – Na razie! / Pa!

Do you know any other ways to say goodbye in Polish? Visit our lesson to add three more phrases to your vocabulary! 

9. Sample Phone Conversations

Someone Picking Up a Phone

Now that you’ve learned several Polish telephone phrases, it’s time to see how they might be used in real life. Below, you’ll find two dialogue examples: one informal and one formal. 

Informal

    Halo? – “Hello?”

    Cześć Ania! Mówi Ola! – “Hello Ania. It’s Ola.”

    Cześć Ola! – “Hi Ola!”

    Masz jakieś plany na jutro? Może wyskoczyłybyśmy na lunch? – “Do you have any plans for tomorrow? Maybe we could grab lunch together?”

    Świetny pomysł! O której? – “Great idea! What time?”

    Pasuje Ci 12:30? – “Will 12:30 work for you?”

    Trochę za wcześnie. Może być 13? – “It’s a bit too early. Can we do one o’clock?”

    Mi pasuje. Tam gdzie zwykle? – “Works for me. Shall we meet in our usual spot?”

    Nie, spróbujmy coś nowego? Może Cafe Nero? – “No, let’s try something new. How about Cafe Nero?”

    Brzmi super! Zrobię rezerwację! – “Sounds great! I’ll make a booking.”

    Dzięki, do zobaczenia! – “Thanks, see you!”

    Do zobaczenia! – “See you!”

It’s important not to be late to your Polish meeting. Setting up an appointment with a friend and being on time isn’t enough, though. You still need to make a booking for a restaurant, and that needs to be done using more formal language. To give you an idea, here’s what a formal phone call in Polish might sound like: 

Formal

    Cafe Nero, słucham? – “Cafe Nero, hello?”

    Witam, chciałabym zarezerwować stolik dla dwóch osób. – “Hello! I’d like to book a table for two people.”

    Na kiedy? – “For when?”

    Na jutro, na lunch. – “For lunch tomorrow.”

    Na którą godzinę? – “For what time?”

    Na 13. – “For one o’clock.”

    Oczywiście, żaden problem. Na kogo jest rezerwacja? – “Certainly, no problem. Under what name?”

    Na Olę. – “Ola.”

    Świetnie. W takim razie do zobaczenia jutro! – “Great. I’ll see you tomorrow then!”

    Do widzenia. – “Goodbye!”

If you’re wondering how Ania and Ola will order lunch once they’re in the restaurant, click on the link. You can also visit our lessons At the Table” and “Check, please!” to learn even more handy phrases. 

10. Final Thoughts

Being able to have a telephone conversation in Polish is an important skill for you to learn. To do so successfully, you need to know both formal and informal Polish phone phrases and how to use them. We hope that our article has helped you feel more confident in this respect. Let us know in the comments what your first telephone conversation in Polish will be!

Of course, you’ll need to know much more than the phrases outlined in this article to communicate in different day-to-day situations. In order to reach a more advanced level, you’ll need a comprehensive Polish learning course. And this is exactly what PolishPod101 gives you!

With countless recordings by native speakers and engaging lessons on a variety of topics, we’ll ensure you never have a dull moment. You’ll start to notice your comprehension and speaking skills improve before you know it.

Don’t hesitate. Create your free lifetime account today! 

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Learn the Most Important Polish Words for Beginners

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Learning a new language is an exciting adventure. 

When you first set out, it feels like you’re making progress every day. But at the same time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the new words and expressions you have to memorize!

We know it can be hard to choose where to start. That’s why we’ve prepared this masterlist of 200+ essential Polish words for beginners. As you study and practice using these everyday words, you’ll be able to start having your first conversations in Polish. 

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Polish Pronouns
  2. Numbers in Polish
  3. Polish Nouns
  4. Polish Verbs
  5. Useful Polish Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions and Linking Words
  7. Other Polish Beginner Words
  8. Final Thoughts

1. Polish Pronouns

This is the first crucial set of Polish words for beginners, and you should learn them early on. This is because they allow you to talk about yourself and the world around you—even if you’re struggling to find the exact word for something. 

Using pronouns can also make your speech sound more fluid and natural, but there are two things you should remember:

1) Polish pronouns undergo declension. This means that their form will change depending on their position in a sentence and the context. 

2) In Polish, we often drop personal pronouns. Because verbs conjugate for person and number, they can often be used without a pronoun as their form implies who or what is performing the action. You would only use a pronoun for emphasis or clarity.

Personal Pronouns

English Pronoun List

  • “I” – ja
  • “you” – ty
  • “he” – on
  • “she” – ona
  • “it” – ono 
  • “we” – my 
  • “you” – wy
  • “they” – oni (masculine) / one (feminine)

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstratives are another essential group of pronouns, and they’re used to “point” to a specific object, animal, or person. 

  • “this” – ten (masculine) / ta (feminine) / to (neuter)
  • “that” – tamten (masculine) / tamta (feminine) / tamto (neuter)
  • “these” – te (non-masculine) / ci (masculine)
  • “those” – tamte (non-masculine) / tamci (masculine)

Interrogative Pronouns

Last but not least, there are interrogative pronouns. These pronouns are used to ask questions: 

  • “what” – co
  • “who” – kto
  • “where” – gdzie
  • “how” – jak
  • “why” – dlaczego
  • “how much” – ile

These easy Polish words for beginners are useful for things like asking for directions, asking the time, or looking for a bathroom

2. Numbers in Polish

Numbers

The next set of words that beginners should add to their Polish vocabulary is numbers. Here are the numbers 1-10 in Polish:

  • “one” – jeden / raz
  • “two” – dwa
  • “three” – trzy
  • “four” – cztery
  • “five” – pięć
  • “six” – sześć
  • “seven” – siedem
  • “eight” – osiem
  • “nine” – dziewięć
  • “ten” – dziesięć

Would you like to take it past the beginner level? Then study the numbers 11 to 100 and 100 to 10,000 with us.  

3. Polish Nouns

Once you have the pronouns and basic numbers under your belt, it’s time to start focusing your attention on the nouns. This key category of Polish beginner words will allow you to form complete sentences when used with verbs, or even to get an urgent point across in a pinch!

Time

Telling the time and making plans are important skills for beginners to master. Here’s some time-related vocabulary to get you started on the right foot:

  • “hour” – godzina
  • “minute” – minuta
  • “morning” – rano
  • “afternoon” – popołudnie
  • “day” – dzień
  • “month” – miesiąc
  • “year” – rok
  • “Monday” – poniedziałek
  • “Tuesday” – wtorek
  • “Wednesday” – środa
  • “Thursday” – czwartek
  • “Friday” – piątek
  • “Saturday” – sobota
  • “Sunday” – niedziela 

Would you also like to learn the months of the year in Polish?

People

A Group of People

There are many nouns that you can use to label yourself or those who are close to you. Let’s start with some of the most common professions: 

  • “seller” – sprzedawca (m.) / sprzedawczyni (f.)
  • “waiter” – kelner (m.) / kelnerka (f.)
  • “principal” or “business director” – dyrektor (m.) / dyrektorka (f.)
  • “teacher” – nauczyciel (m.) / nauczycielka (f.)
  • “chef” – kucharz (m.) / kucharka (f.)
  • “police officer” – policjant (m.) / policjantka (f.)

Many Polish professions don’t have a feminine form; the masculine form is used for both genders. A good example is the word taksówkarz (“taxi driver”). Speaking of taxis, here’s some survival vocabulary for taking a taxi from the airport.

Equally important, here are the essential terms for family members: 

  • “mom” – mama 
  • “dad” – tata
  • “son” – syn
  • “daughter” – córka
  • “child” – dziecko 
  • “husband” – mąż 
  • “wife” – żona

So, how should you address people you’re not related to? In casual contexts, you should use the word “you” – ty. In formal contexts, you should rather use the words “Mr.” – Pan and “Ms.” – Pani.

Places

There are many basic Polish words for beginners that relate to places you can visit. To get you started, here are the names of places around town: 

  • “hospital” – szpital
  • “supermarket” – supermarket
  • “school” – szkoła
  • “hairdresser” – fryzjer 
  • “office” – biuro 
  • “gym” – siłownia
  • “park” – park


School and Office Essentials

An Office

If you plan to study or work in Poland for any period of time, you should learn these school and office essentials:

  • “pen” – długopis
  • “notebook” – zeszyt
  • “book” – książka 
  • “pencil” – ołówek
  • “crayons” – kredki
  • “desk” – biurko
  • “chair” – krzesło
  • “computer” – komputer
  • “mouse” – myszka
  • “keyboard” – klawiatura

Are you interested in how the Polish school system looks? Check out this article to get a glimpse! 

Body Parts 

Learning the names of body parts in Polish is a good idea if you plan on staying in the country for any length of time. You never know when you’ll need medical assistance

  • “eyes” – oczy
  • “nose” – nos
  • “face” – twarz
  • “arm” – ramię
  • “mouth” – usta
  • “leg” – noga
  • “ear” – ucho 
  • “knee” – kolano
  • “head” – głowa 
  • “stomach” – brzuch

A Person with a Hand on Their Stomach

Food 

Polish food is really delicious! While the names of Polish dishes often have no translation in English, there is some other food-related vocabulary you should learn as a beginner. Here are some easy words to get you started:

  • “vegetables” – warzywa
  • “fruit” – owoce
  • “meat” – mięso 
  • “milk” – mleko
  • “egg” – jajko
  • “sugar” – cukier
  • “salt” – sól
  • “apple” – jabłko 
  • “banana” – banan 
  • “chocolate” – czekolada

Do you have a sweet tooth? Read about the best of the best when it comes to Polish candy

4. Polish Verbs 

Verbs are crucial Polish words for beginners to learn, as they work with nouns to form complete sentences. Here are two lists of absolutely must-know verbs in Polish:

Daily Routine Verbs

As a Polish beginner, knowing how to talk about your daily routine will frequently come in handy. It will allow you to answer questions about your life that people may ask. In the list below, you’ll find the perfective (“completed”) verbs first and their imperfective (“incompleted”) counterparts second: 

  • “to get up” – wstać / wstawać
  • “to wake up” – obudzić się / budzić się
  • “to take a bath” – umyć się / myć się 
  • “to brush one’s hair” – uczesać się / czesać się
  • “to shave” – ogolić się / golić się 
  • “to eat” – zjeść / jeść
  • “to drink” – wypić / pić
  • “to go” – pójść / iść 
  • “to leave” – wyjść / wychodzić
  • “to work” – pracować 
  • “to study” – nauczyć się / uczyć się 
  • “to drive” – pojechać / jechać 

Other Common Polish Verbs

Here are some other essential Polish verbs that every beginner should learn straight away: 

  • “to give” – dać / dawać
  • “to get” – dostać / dostawać
  • “to do” or “to make” – zrobić / robić
  • “to let” – pozwolić / pozwalać
  • “to ask” – poprosić / prosić
  • “to smile” – uśmiechnąć się / uśmiechać się 
  • “to find” – znaleźć / znajdować 
  • “to read” – przeczytać / czytać 
  • “to write” – napisać / pisać  
  • “to buy” – kupić / kupować
  • “to pay” – zapłacić / płacić
  • “to talk” – porozmawiać / rozmawiać 

We have many other resources about Polish verbs on PolishPod101.com. Go exploring to learn even more useful verbs in Polish for beginners! 

5. Useful Polish Adjectives

The next category on our list of Polish words for beginners is adjectives. These are the words we use to describe or add information to a noun, and they can help liven up your speech or writing.

Adjectives for Describing Objects

  • “big” – duży
  • “small” – mały
  • “long” – długi
  • “short” – krótki
  • “vast” – szeroki
  • “narrow” – wąski 
  • “colorful” – kolorowy
  • “black” – czarny
  • “white” – biały
  • “green” – zielony
  • “gray” – szary
  • “red” – czerwony

Adjectives for Describing People

Being able to describe people is equally important as being able to describe objects (if not more important). Here are some adjectives you can use: 

  • “pretty” – ładny
  • “sporty” – wysportowany
  • “handsome” – przystojny
  • “tall” – wysoki
  • “short” – niski
  • “blond” – blondyn (m.) / blondynka (f.)
  • “brunette” – brunet (m.) / brunetka (f.)
  • “redhead” – rudy
  • “nice” – miły
  •  “sociable” – towarzyski

Adjectives for Describing Emotions and States of Being

A Happy Person
  • “happy” – szczęśliwy
  • “unhappy” – nieszczęśliwy
  • “sad” – smutny
  • “content” – zadowolony
  • “angry” – zły
  • “upset” – zdenerwowany
  • “stressed” – zestresowany
  • “tired” – zmęczony
  • “healthy” – zdrowy
  • “sick” – chory

Describing the Weather

Last but not least, you should be able to describe the weather. Here’s the vocabulary you’re going to need:

  • “rainy” – deszczowo
  • “cloudy” – pochmurnie
  • “windy” – wietrznie
  • “sunny” – słonecznie
  • “warm” – ciepło
  • “cold” – zimno
  • “hot” – gorąco

Are you planning to travel to Poland soon? You might want to study up on the climate in Poland first. 

6. Conjunctions and Linking Words

We’ve given you many words to study already, but you can’t really make a fluid sentence without using conjunctions. You should start practicing the following Polish beginner words as soon as possible. 

  • “and” – i
  • “but” – ale
  • “then” – wtedy
  • “because” – ponieważ
  • “so” – więc
  • “that’s why” – to dlatego

7. Other Polish Beginner Words

We’re almost done with our list of essential Polish words you need to learn as a beginner. Here’s the last set of words, which didn’t fit into any other category: 

  • “well” – dobrze
  • “not well!” – źle!
  • “really” – naprawdę 
  • “very” – bardzo
  • “little” – mało
  • “a lot” – dużo

8. Final Thoughts

If you want to speak like a native, then learning the Polish beginner words from our list is a great place to start. Once you master the essential nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other word categories, you’ll be able to start forming your first sentences. These words will serve as a solid foundation upon which to build your Polish skills over time. 

How many of these words did you know already? Were most of them new to you? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

Naturally, learning these words will not be enough to turn you into a fluent Polish speaker. To get there, you’ll need a well-designed and structured way of learning. The countless resources available at PolishPod101.com will help you do exactly that!

Our website and app provide many functionalities aimed specifically at helping you learn the vocabulary you need. In addition, our recordings and videos by native speakers will help you work on your comprehension skills. By following one of the carefully tailored pathways on our website, you can be sure that you won’t miss out on any important concepts.

Create your account today and check it out for yourself!

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The Most Common Polish Filler Words

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Speakers of all languages use filler words, even if they don’t realize it. Language purists hate them and sometimes they’re frowned upon, yet they persist despite these criticisms. 

Polish filler words are used in various situations. They can differ depending on what region the speaker is from or even how old they are. Due to their popularity, filler words are an essential component of the language that Polish learners should study to improve their speaking and comprehension skills.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Filler Words: Why People Use Them
  2. The Top Polish Fillers
  3. Filler Words in Polish: Pros and Cons
  4. Final Thoughts

1. Filler Words: Why People Use Them 

English Fillers

Fillers are words or sounds that people use to let the other party know that they haven’t finished speaking yet. The primary use of filler words, then, is to buy the speaker some time. However, there are also other reasons why people use them. Here’s a breakdown of the main purposes fillers have in speech:

  • To buy time while the speaker thinks of what to say or looks for the right word
  • To agree with the other party
  • To show relationship between words, such as contrast or conclusion

Note that while prepositions can also perform that final function, filler words do so in a very gentle way. This makes it difficult to explain their exact meaning to others. 

And of course, many people use fillers only as a mannerism. This means that the speaker uses them out of habit and the words really have no meaning. 

2. The Top Polish Fillers

Now that you have a better idea of what Polish filler words are and how they’re used, let’s take a look at the most frequently used fillers. We’ll provide examples for each one so that you can see how they might appear in a conversation. 

Let me think about that: Hmmm and Ummm

These fillers are similar to their English equivalents. People use them to show that they’re thinking about something or to express uncertainty: 

A: Czy to on ci to powiedział? (“Did he tell you that?”)
B: Ummm… nie pamiętam dokładnie. (“Ummm… I don’t remember exactly.”)

A: Myślisz, że się wyrobimy na czas? (“Do you think we’ll make it on time?”)
B: Hmmm… mam nadzieję, że tak. (“Hmmm… I hope so.”)

Would you know how to ask other questions in Polish if you were chatting with a native speaker? Here are 10 questions you should know to get started. 

The famous Polish No

In English, “no” is used for negation. In Polish, however, it’s a word close in meaning to “well.” This is probably the most abused filler in the Polish language. It can be used to express agreement or disagreement, to strengthen what you’re saying, or to give you some time. It’s often used with other words: 

  • No nie! (“Oh no!”)
  • No tak. (“Well, yes.”)
  • No nie wiem, co mam Ci powiedzieć. (“I don’t know what to tell you.”)

A Person Shrugging Their Shoulders

That last sentence would be translated the same way whether the speaker had used no or not. This is why learning how to use Polish filler words well requires a lot of exposure to both the spoken and the written language.  

A: To okropne, co on zrobił! (“It’s horrible what he’s done.”)
B: Nooo. (“Yeah.”)

When used to express agreement, no is often prolonged in an exaggerated manner, like in the last example. 

Saying “You know,” in Polish

Polish has an exact equivalent for the often used English filler “you know.” It’s no wiesz. Another similar filler word is Wiesz? (“You know?”) with an interrogative intonation. 

  • To nie ma sensu. No wiesz, co mam na myśli. (“It doesn’t make any sense. You know what I mean.”)
  • No jak to się nazywa? No wiesz, o czym mówię. (“What’s the name of this thing? You know what I’m talking about.”)
  • Nawet bym się z nim zgodził, wiesz? (“I’d even agree with him, you know?”)
  • Ona ma cztery koty, wiesz? (“She has four cats, you know?”)

These two filler words in Polish can be used interchangeably in most situations. There’s a slight difference between them, in that no wiesz suggests the speaker is looking for understanding, while Wiesz? is used when the speaker assumes that the other person doesn’t know already (hence, the speaker is telling them).

Speaking of knowing, did you know learning Polish is considered a sport sometimes?

Exactly the right word: Właśnie

Two People Chatting

The next expression on our list of Polish filler words is właśnie. It means “exactly” or “precisely” according to the dictionary, but in reality it’s used to express a wide variety of things. The most common non-dictionary usage is to show contrast. Like many other filler words in Polish, it’s often used along with other words: 

  • No właśnie nie. (“In fact, no.”)
  • No właśnie tak mi powiedział. (“This is [exactly] what he told me.”)
  • Dlaczego właśnie tam? (“Why there [and not somewhere else]?”)
  • Właśnie, właśnie. O to mi chodzi. (“Yes, exactly. This is what I mean.”)

When you really can’t find a word: Ten

Ten and no i ten are the kind of expressions that teachers and certain fussy Polish speakers hate the most. It may be annoying when someone uses them excessively, but to forget a word here and there is only natural. These expressions roughly translate as “and” when used to buy time to find the right words: 

  • Ten, jako on się nazywa, Jacek. (“This, what’s his name, Jacek.”)
  • No i kupiłem, ten, no odtwarzacz DVD, no. (“And I bought this, ugh, well, a DVD player.”)
  • Poszedłem do pracy, no i ten, zapomniałem telefonu. (“I went to work and, ummmm, I forgot my phone.”)
  • No i ten i powiedziałem jej, co myślę. (“And what… and I told her what I thought.”)

In English, “ten” means 10. How strong do you feel when it comes to counting from 1-100 in Polish?

Basically: Po prostu

Do you know any English speakers who overuse the word “basically“? The Polish conversation filler word po prostu is quite close in meaning to this common English filler. In the dictionary, you’ll find that it means “simply.” However, in everyday use it doesn’t really add much meaning. For many people, using it is just a habit. 

  • No co? No po prostu mam dość. (“Well, what? I’ve simply had enough.”)
  • Po prostu powiedz mu prawdę. (“Just tell him the truth.”)
  • Nie wiem dlaczego, po prostu tak się stało. (“I don’t know why, it’s just happened.”)
  • Po prostu się pomyliłem. (“I’ve simply made a mistake.”)
  • Po prostu tak miało być. (“It was meant to be that way.”)

Simplicity is a great thing! Here are 5 simple tips to extraordinary Polish fluency

No way: Masakra

An Upset Person

Masakra is a modern way of saying “no way” in Polish, and it can also mean “it’s horrible.” You’ll hear it mostly from young people and millennials; you’re unlikely to hear anyone born in the 70s or earlier use it. People use this common filler in the Polish language to express being upset when talking about something negative. It’s also used in reaction to something surprising or negative being said. 

A: Zwolnił mnie, czaisz? No masakra, no. (“He’s fired me, do you get it? It’s horrible.”)
B: Tak Ci powiedział? Masakra! (“He told you so? No way!”)

A: Zabronili nam palić w pracy na przerwach. (“They’ve banned smoking during breaks at work.”)
B: No co ty? Masakra! (“You’re joking? No way!”)

You now know how to comment on something not-that-amazing with this popular Polish filler. But what about positive feelings? Here’s some slang to describe something cool

Say “Yyy” in Polish: Yyy and Eee

Like in English, filler sounds like yyy and eee are well-known in Polish. They’re mostly used when the speaker is looking for the right word or gathering their thoughts. These fillers are very commonly used when people give speeches, which for many is a stressful experience. 

  • Prosze spojrzeć na ten, yyy, wykres, pokazujący, yyy, nowe statystyki. (“Please have a look at this, uh, chart, showing, uh, new statistics.”)
  • Eee, no, nie wiem no. Możliwe. (“Ummm, well, I don’t know, actually. Maybe.”)
  • No na pewno twój, eee, mąż ma racje. (“Yeah, surely your, ummm, husband is right.”)

In general: Ogólnie and Generalnie

We’re sure you also know English speakers who use and abuse “in general.” In Polish, there are two words that are used in the same way (to generalize and as a filler word with little meaning): ogólnie and generalnie. Ogólnie is the “more Polish” version, while generalnie is an anglicism

  • Ogólnie to lubię filmy. (“In general, I like films.”)
  • Ogólnie to się nie znam. (“In general, I don’t know much about it.”)
  • Tak ogólnie to wiem, o czym mówisz. (“In general, I know what you’re saying.”)

Mannerisms: Nie, prawda, tak

The last expressions on our list of Polish filler words are nie, prawda, and tak. These three words are usually added to the end of a sentence. For many people, these are just mannerisms that they tend to use even if the words have no meaning.

Two People Chatting, One Person Saying a Lot, Another One Has a Question Mark Above Their Head
  • Powiedziałem mu, żeby dał już spokój, nie? Ale on sie uparł, nie? (“I’ve told him to drop the subject, no? But he’s being stubborn, no?”)

Speaking of nie, do you know how to use Polish negation?

  • Mówiłam Ci już o tym, prawda? (“I’ve told you about it already, right?”)

The word prawda here could be either a mannerism or a word used to seek affirmation. 

  • Kupili mu mieszkanie, tak? A potem samochód, tak? (“They bought him an apartment, yes? And then a car, yes?”)

3. Filler Words in Polish: Pros and Cons

The use of Polish conversation filler words has its pros and cons. Here are some reasons why it’s good to use them

  • Fillers make one’s speech sound more natural. It’s something you should keep in mind as a language learner, especially if you’d like to achieve a high level of fluency.

  • Sometimes, fillers are important in terms of cultural identity. People can be recognized as coming from one region or another by using certain fillers.

  • They can buy you time when you don’t know what you want to say next or when you’re looking for the right word.

However, fillers should not be abused as there are certain disadvantages involved: 

  • When you use too many fillers, it makes you sound like you don’t know the language well. It also gives a poor impression of your vocabulary. 

  • Some people get irritated when people use fillers. That’s particularly true of the older generation and language purists.

  • Relying too heavily on them may give a poor first impression, especially in a formal context. To make a good impression, you should both limit your use of fillers and brush up on your Polish manners.

4. Final Thoughts  

You’ve now learned the pros and cons of using filler words when you speak Polish. Our list of Polish filler words also introduced you to the most important expressions you should know as a learner of the language. Which one have you heard most often when listening to Polish conversations? Let us know in the comments section before you go. 

Fillers in the Polish language are important to know, but they are what they are: namely, fillers. You still need to be able to say other things in Polish in order to correctly use what you’ve learned today.

The best way to study the Polish language is through a structured learning curriculum. PolishPod101 can offer you exactly that, with personalized pathways filled with hundreds of lessons and recordings by native speakers. We have many functionalities and materials that you won’t find anywhere else. Create your free lifetime account today to start exploring them!

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Learn to Say “I Love You,” in Polish Like a Pole

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Many people start learning Polish because their partner or spouse is Polish, and this is a great motivation for language learning

Whether you have a Polish partner or you just plan to visit Poland in the near future, knowing how and when to use Polish love phrases is an important skill. You never know when you’ll want to say “I love you,” in Polish for the first time. In addition, love is a popular theme in Polish television shows, movies, and books, so knowing relevant vocabulary will help your comprehension tremendously. 

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the Polish word for “love”: 

In this blog post, you’ll learn much more than that! We’ll teach you how to flirt, how to say “I love you so much,” in Polish, how to take your relationship a step further, and even how to propose marriage. 

Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Polish Flirting Phrases
  2. Speaking About Feelings in Polish
  3. Things are Getting Serious
  4. Terms of Endearment: Saying “My Love” in Polish
  5. Love Quotes and Idioms
  6. Final Thoughts

1. Polish Flirting Phrases 

People Flirting

During your travels or long-term stay in Poland, there’s a chance you’ll meet a potential love interest. If you plan on living in this beautiful European country, you may want to learn a few love phrases in Polish that you can use to confess your feelings to someone. In the following sections, you’ll learn how to grab their attention and start flirting. 

A- Saying Hi

In order to get the attention of a Polish man or woman, you first need to say hello. This is quite easy to do during a social event such as a party (impreza) or barbecue (grill). Here are some things that you can say: 

  • Cześć! Skąd znasz [name]? – “Hi! Where do you know [name] from?”
  • Cześć! Chyba się nie znamy! – “Hi! I don’t think we know one another!” 
  • Cześć! Jesteś tu pierwszy raz? – “Hi! Are you here for the first time?” 

What if you see someone you really like on the street? You’ll have to get more creative in order to get their attention. Don’t worry, though. Meeting people is easy in Poland

B- Asking for Someone’s Number

Let’s say that after a successful introduction and a short conversation, you know that you’d like to see this person again. In this case, you should suggest meeting up and ask them for their number. There are a few ways you can do this: 

  • Czy dasz mi do siebie numer? – “Could I get your number, please?” 
  • Powinniśmy się ustawić na kawę! – “We should meet up for a coffee!” (slang)
  • Masz ochotę pójść ze mną na kolację? – “Would you like to grab dinner with me?”

To call and text in Poland, having a local number will come in handy. Here are some tips and vocabulary you’ll need for buying a Polish SIM card

C- Things to Say After a Date or Two

A Romantic Dinner

After you’ve had a couple of great dates with someone, there may be other things you’d like to tell them: 

  • Bardzo mi się podobasz. – “I really like you.” 
  • Czy chciałabyś być moją dziewczyną? – “Would you like to be my girlfriend?” 
  • Czy chciałbyś być moim chłopakiem? – “Would you like to be my boyfriend?” 

Just be careful, because planning a date in Poland can be tricky

2. Speaking About Feelings in Polish

As the relationship progresses and you begin to develop stronger feelings for the person you’re dating, it’s important to be able to say “I love you,” in Polish. Below are several Polish love phrases you can use to express your true feelings. Note that some of these phrases are gender-specific; in these cases, the version a male speaker would say is on the left of the slash ( / ) and the version a female speaker would say is on the right. 

  • Zakochałem/Zakochałam się w Tobie. – “I’m in love with you.” 
  • Tęsknię za Tobą. – “I miss you.”
  • Stęskniłem/Stęskniłam się za Tobą. – “I’ve missed you.”
  • Kocham Cię. – “I love you.”
  • Jestem przy Tobie. – “I’m here for you.”
  • Tak bardzo Cię kocham! – “I love you so much.”
  • Bardzo Cię kocham! – “I love you so much.”

Would you like more information on how to say “I love you,” in Polish? Check out our lesson and learn three ways of saying these words in Polish

Heart

3. Things are Getting Serious

You already know how to say “I love you,” in Polish, but when things start getting serious, you’ll need to know more advanced Polish phrases. 

A- Meeting the Parents

  • Chciałbym/Chciałabym, żebyś poznała/poznał moich rodziców. – “I’d like you to meet my parents.”

Meeting the parents is usually the first big step in a relationship. Don’t worry too much about making a good impression, and just try to be yourself. Most parents simply want their child to date someone who truly cares about them. If you’re still a bit nervous, you can brush up on your Polish vocabulary for first meetings in Poland.

B- Moving in Together

Some people think that meeting the parents first is a bit too old-school, and decide to move in together prior to this step. Whatever your timing, you could suggest living together with either of these phrases:

  • Myślę, że czas, żebyśmy razem zamieszkali. – “I think it’s time to move in together.”
  • Chciałbyś/Chciałabyś się do mnie wprowadzić? – “Would you like to move in?” 

C- Proposing Marriage

A Marriage Proposal

Marriage has fallen out of favor for young Europeans, including Poles. Today, many people decide to continue living together without worrying about the ring. Still, some prefer to get married. There’s no perfect wording for this occasion, but this phrase will get you started:

  • Może wzięlibyśmy ślub? – “Shall we get married?”

This expression can be used by both men and women. Some people would say it’s a man’s job, but nowadays women can propose whenever they want. The phrase usually only used by men is:

  • Wyjdziesz za mnie (za mąż)? – “Will you marry me?” (literally: “Will you take me (as your husband)?”)

D-
Starting a Family

Some couples also decide that they would like to have children. How would you approach this conversation in Polish? Try one of the following phrases: 

  • Chyba czas pomyśleć o dzieciach. – “It may be the right time to think about children.”
  • Myślę, że jestem gotowy/gotowa na dziecko. – “I think I’m ready for a child.”

The first version is for men, the second one for women. 

4. Terms of Endearment: Saying “My Love” in Polish

Polish couples tend to use terms of endearment less frequently than those of some other nations. However, that obviously depends on the individual and how affectionate they are. Here are some of the more common love words in Polish: 

  • Kochanie – “Honey” 
  • Słoneczko/Słońce – “Sunshine”
  • Myszko – “Mouse” 
  • Skarbie – “Treasure” 
  • Żabko – “Frog” 
  • Kotku – “Kitten”
  • Misiu – “Bear” 

These expressions use the 7th Polish case, which you’ll rarely ever see. It’s called wołacz (vocative).  

A Couple in the Cinema

Sometimes, Polish people also add possessive pronouns to terms of endearment. This creates pet names like moje kochanie (“my love”) and moje słoneczko (“my sunshine”). 

5. Love Quotes and Idioms

While knowing how to express your love in Polish will certainly impress your partner, you can score even more brownie points by using some of these Polish quotes about love and other relevant idioms:

Kto ma szczęście w kartach, nie ma szczęścia w miłości. – “Lucky at cards, unlucky in love.”

This popular Polish saying has an exact equivalent in English. Do you agree with this statement? 

Śpieszmy się kochać ludzi, tak szybko odchodzą. – “Be in a rush to love people; they leave (this world) so fast.”

This is a line from a Polish poem by a priest named Jan Twardowski. Despite being a popular quote in Poland, not everyone who uses it knows its origin. 

Miłość o rozum nie pyta. – “Love doesn’t ask about reason.”

According to this saying, it doesn’t really matter how smart one’s partner is. This is something parents would say if they didn’t like their child’s partner. 

Miłość jest ślepa. – “Love is blind.”

Love is not dependent upon a person’s looks or their personal characteristics. This phrase is very often used in conversations, sometimes in a mean way.


A Wedding

6. Final Thoughts

After reading this article, you should have a better idea of how to express love in Polish with the most common romantic phrases. In addition, you’re better prepared for the more intimate moments of your relationship with a full arsenal of proposal lines and Polish terms of endearment. 

Which of the words or phrases listed here will be most useful to you in the near future? Comment below before you go!

Being able to introduce yourself and confess your feelings in Polish are great skills, but knowing only a few expressions doesn’t make you a fluent speaker. To learn a language, one should have a well-structured tool such as PolishPod101. Depending on your current Polish level, we have different learning pathways available to meet your needs.

PolishPod101 has hundreds of videos and recordings by native speakers. Thanks to our platform, you’ll improve your pronunciation, comprehension, vocabulary, and more! What are you waiting for? Start your free trial today!

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Learn How to Form Negative Sentences in Polish

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Knowing how to form negative sentences in Polish is a crucial skill for learners of the language to acquire early on. There are a few different methods of Polish negation, and today we’ll cover the most important ones. 

Don’t worry too much, though.

It’s much simpler than many other aspects of Polish grammar, so we’re sure you’ll master these negation patterns in no time. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Polish is a different language. Trying to develop a “Polish mindset” will work better for you than striving to translate exactly what you have in mind in English.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Polish Negation: Case Study
  2. Answering “No” to Questions
  3. Other Words Used for Expressing Negation
  4. Double Negatives
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Polish Negation: Case Study

The simplest pattern of Polish negation uses the word nie (“no”) in front of the part of speech being negated. This is unlike what you see in many other languages, where negation often needs two parts or uses different words depending on the context. You can learn more about affirmation and negation in different languages by clicking on the link. 

A- Polish Verb Negation

A Person Saying No with a Gesture

It’s only natural to speak up about things you don’t like or don’t want to do—it doesn’t make you a negative person! It’s equally important to know how to speak about negative emotions in Polish.

Negation in Polish works very differently from that in English. In English, there are many words that can negate the verb, depending on the tense used; in Polish, it’s always the same word. 

Have a look at the following examples: 

  • Nie lubię chodzić do kina. – “I don’t like going to the cinema.”
  • Nie czytaj gazety! – “Don’t read the newspaper!”
  • Nie mieszkali w Polsce. – “They didn’t live in Poland.”

As you can see in the examples above, the word nie is placed directly in front of the verb it’s meant to negate. This is true for all tenses and moods. Of course, this is only one way to negate a verb.

Once you gain more confidence in your Polish skills, you may want to start using verbs with opposite meanings (antonimy – “antonyms”). For instance, instead of simply saying Nie chcę (“I don’t want”) you can decide to use Odmawiam (“I refuse”). Start improving your vocabulary by studying our top 20 Polish verbs video series. Here you can find parts one, two, three, and four.

B- Negation of Adjectives

In Polish, negating adjectives is just as simple as negating verbs. There’s only a small twist – you need to remember to write nie together with the adjective.

A Girl Sticking Her Tongue Out
  • On jest niegrzeczny. – “He’s rude/badly behaved.” 
  • Ten samochód jest niedrogi. – “This car is inexpensive.”
  • Mój artykuł jest niedokończony. – “My article is unfinished.”

Of course, not all adjectives can be negated that way. Sometimes adding nie in front of an adjective will just make it sound funny or artificial. So what should you do in those situations? Start by learning high frequency adjectives with us. After that, remember to check out our lesson on using Polish adjectives and its follow-up

C- Negation of Adverbs

To make an adverb negative in Polish, you need to put the adverb after nie:

  • Na dworze było nieładnie. – “It was not pretty outside.”
  • Opowiadał nieciekawie o swoim życiu. – “He spoke about his life in a boring way.” 
  • Poczułam się niedobrze. – “I started feeling unwell.”

Unfortunately, the rules for how we write adverbs with nie are a bit more complicated than those for other parts of speech. Some adverbs are combined with the word nie to form a compound, while others are written separately. Instead of learning very specific rules in the beginning, we suggest that you just keep studying adverbs along with their spelling.

Don’t despair if you make mistakes from time to time. It happens even to Polish people! This list of must-know adverbs and phrases for connecting thoughts will definitely come in handy.

Let’s now learn about negation in Polish grammar for answering questions. After all, saying “no” sometimes is just a part of life! 

2. Answering “No” to Questions

To make a more complete negation in Polish when answering a question, you need to use nie twice: 

A: Idziesz jutro do kina? 
A: “Are you going to the cinema tomorrow?”

B: Nie, nie idę jutro do kina. 
B: “No, I’m not going to the cinema tomorrow.”

A: Chcesz coś do picia? 
A: “Would you like something to drink?”

B: Nie, nie chce mi się pić.
B: “No, I’m not thirsty.”

A Person Crossing Her Arms in Refusal

Do you know how to offer such an invitation in Polish? If not, head to our lesson on this topic by clicking on the link.

Another option is to simply answer nie, but it’s considered quite impolite. You should only use it with people whom you know well and who are unlikely to take offense. 

A: Chcesz coś zjeść?
A: “Would you like to eat something?”

B: Nie.
B: “No.”

A more polite way of refusing would be to answer: Nie, dziękuję. (“No, thank you.”) 

It’s also worth mentioning that some Polish people use nie at the end of declarative sentences. This special Polish negation case is a mannerism. It doesn’t really carry any specific meaning, it’s just something that some people say. Many people don’t like to hear it and consider it bad Polish, so we wouldn’t recommend developing this habit. Here’s an example of what this looks like: 

  • Kupiłem sobie kawę, nie? A potem dodałem cukru, nie? – “I’ve bought myself some coffee, no? And then I’ve added some sugar, no?” 

3. Other Words Used for Expressing Negation

To truly master negation in the Polish language, you need to study other words used for forming negative sentences in Polish. Here are some expressions that can be used for negation without changing form: 

  • nigdy – “never”

    Nigdy nie mów nigdy. – “Never say never.”

  • nigdy więcej – “never again”

    Nigdy więcej nie założę szpilek! – “I will never wear stilettos again.”

  • nigdzie – “nowhere”

    Nigdzie nie mógł znaleźć swoich okularów. – “He couldn’t find his glasses anywhere.”
  • nic – “nothing”

    Nic nie zapłaciłem. – “I’ve paid nothing.”
  • już nie – “not anymore”

    Już nie oglądam tego serialu. – “I don’t watch this series anymore.”
  • ani…ani – “neither…nor”

    Nie mam ochoty ani na lody ani na czekoladę. – “I don’t feel like eating neither ice cream nor chocolate.”

Neither...Nor Image

The one expression that does change is nikt (“no one” or “anyone”). It undergoes declension, just like many other parts of speech. This is why we’d say: 

  • Nie mam nikogo. – “I don’t have anyone.”
  • Nikt na mnie nie czeka. – “No one is waiting for me.” 
  • Nikomu nie jesteś nic winna. – “You don’t owe anything to anyone.”

Remember to pay particular attention to which case is used with this word. In this manner, you’ll avoid making mistakes or causing misunderstandings. 

Have you noticed how negative sentences in Polish seem to work slightly differently than in English? That’s because Polish allows—and often requires—double negation.

4. Double Negatives

Twin Sisters

Let us show you some more examples so that you can better understand how double negation in Polish works:

  • Nikt nigdy tu nie przychodzi. – “No one ever comes here.”
    • Literal translation: “No one never doesn’t come here.” 
  • Nikt mi o tym nie powiedział. – “No one told me about it.”
    • Literal translation: “No one didn’t tell me about it.” 
  • Nic mnie już nie obchodzi. – “I don’t care about anything anymore.”
    • Literal translation: “I don’t care about nothing anymore.”

For many Polish learners, this is a completely new concept and may be a bit difficult to get used to. It’s also a reminder that the rules of negation in English and Polish are different. Don’t worry, though. You’ll get the hang of this particular aspect of Polish negation with time. 

5. Final Thoughts

That’s it for today! As we say in Polish: Co za dużo to niezdrowo! (“Too much of a good thing!”)

We hope we’ve helped you learn about negation in the Polish language. It’s not as hard as it might seem at first, even if it differs from what you’re used to in English.

You can refer back to this blog post whenever you’re in doubt regarding how to say “no” in Polish. Keep in mind the spelling rules, don’t be scared of the double negation, and you’ll be fine. Write some examples of negation in the comments’ section to show us what you’ve learned!

Learning negation is very important, but there’s much more to the Polish language than that! To learn in a structured way, give PolishPod101 a try. Our platform gives you incredible resources to learn real-life Polish. We provide fun and engaging lessons on various topics, featuring recordings by native speakers to help you with your Polish comprehension as well as your vocabulary. Don’t hesitate, create your account today!

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Why learn Polish? Here are 10 great reasons for 2021.

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Learning a foreign language is a lot of fun, but it’s also a commitment. When things get tough or you lack the motivation to study, it’s important to remember your reason(s) for learning in the first place! And believe us, there are plenty of benefits to be gained from learning a new language. Which brings us to today’s topic…

Why learn Polish? Especially when there are so many other languages out there with much higher demand?

In this blog post, we’ll give you 10 great reasons for learning Polish. You can come back to this article whenever you need a motivation boost—like the next time you feel that Polish cases are becoming too much to handle, for example.

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  1. Poland is a great travel destination.
  2. Polish food is amazing.
  3. Knowing Polish will give you access to other Slavic languages.
  4. You’ll have 50 million potential new friends.
  5. There are many great Polish books.
  6. You can learn more about the fascinating Polish history.
  7. Polish will be an asset on your resume.
  8. There are many easy things about Polish.
  9. It could allow you to get in touch with your roots.
  10. It’s a challenge…and who doesn’t love one?
  11. Final Thoughts

1. Poland is a great travel destination.

A Polish City

One of the reasons why you should study Polish is that it would make your trip to Poland so much more fun! Being able to communicate with locals will give you access to many things that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. 

For example, it will help you make friends with people who live here and allow you to get a true feel of what daily life is like in Poland. You could also save some money by avoiding more expensive English-speaking guides when you visit tourist attractions. If you’re not convinced yet, here are some great things you can see in Poland: 

  1. Warsaw (Warszawa)

The capital city of Poland is an amazing destination. It offers tourists great views, a lot of fascinating history, and delicious food and beverages. In fact, it’s so great that we’ve even written a whole blog post about it (link). 

  1. Cracow (Kraków

The former capital of Poland is an equally fascinating city. You definitely won’t regret a trip to the nearby salt mine, Wieliczka! While visiting Krakow, don’t forget to pop in to Wawel and learn all about the dragon…

  1. Białowieża Forest (Puszcza Białowieska)

Białowieża Forest is among the largest remainders of the primeval European forest. You can enjoy long walks there and see many of the 5000 European bison still alive today. 

2. Polish food is amazing.

Polish Sweets

Polish food (polskie jedzenie) is really amazing and should be among your motivating factors to learn Polish. There are so many great dishes to try that it would be difficult to enumerate them all. You can start learning about them with these lessons from PolishPod101:

You might be wondering how learning Polish relates to enjoying the country’s cuisine. Well, just imagine all the cool things you could do if you spoke the language well! You could pronounce the names of Polish dishes like a pro, get exclusive access to recipes in Polish (such as this one for making the perfect pierogi!), and you could order in Polish restaurants in both Poland and other places abroad. These are some great reasons to learn Polish!

3. Knowing Polish will give you access to other Slavic languages.

Slavic Dancers

Another great reason why you should learn Polish is that it’s a Slavic language, and knowing one language from a language group makes it easier for you to learn others. Here are some popular Slavic languages:

  • Russian (rosyjski)
  • Czech (czeski)
  • Ukrainian (ukraiński)
  • Slovak (słowacki)
  • Serbian (serbski)
  • Croatian (chorwacki)

What’s more, some of these languages are easy to understand in writing and/or in speech when you speak Polish fluently. That’s particularly true for Slovak, Ukrainian, Serbian, and Croatian. This means that in Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, and Slovakia, you could use Polish in a shop or restaurant and be understood. You should also be able to understand what’s said to you, provided that the other person slows down their normal speaking pace. 

You could also largely understand a constructed language that’s gaining popularity: Interslavic

4. You’ll have 50 million potential new friends.

A Group of People Having Fun

Say what? It’s true! There are over 50 million Polish speakers around the world, both in Poland and abroad. There are big Polish communities in many countries, including the U.K., Ireland, the U.S., and Australia.

50 million potential new friends all around the world seems like a great answer to the question, “Why should I learn Polish?” After all, meeting people is easy in Poland!

5. There are many great Polish books.

Old Books

Reading books in their original language is an amazing experience. Literature translators are very gifted people, but there’s no way to translate something without losing some of its nuance and flavor.

Once you know Polish well enough to explore Polish literature, you should start your journey with Nobel Prize winners such as Henryk Sienkiewicz, Wisława Szymborska, and Olga Tokarczuk. There are many things you can learn about Poland and Polish people from their novels and poems.

There are too many other interesting Polish writers to list them all. Dorota Masłowska, Sylwia Chutnik, and Szczepan Twardoch are just a few examples of young Polish writers worth checking out, but there are many more for you to discover.

Last but not least, you could explore the world of The Witcher in Polish. While the popular Netflix series, the games, and the books are available in English, let’s be honest: a lot of interesting nuances are lost in translation. Learning Polish will give you full access to the original version in all its glory! 

6. You can learn more about the fascinating Polish history.

The Solidarity Movement

Poland has a fascinating history, full of both sad and joyful events. There are many books on this topic published in English, but there are many more that are only available in Polish. This is a sound reason as to why you should learn Polish. Did you know that…

  • …Poland was as big as 990,000 km2 (from the Baltic Sea almost up to the Black Sea) at the height of its territorial expansion? 

  • …Poland disappeared from world maps at one point during its history due to partitions when it was divided between foreign countries?

  • …one of the Polish II Corps soldiers during the Second World War was a bear named Wojtek?

If you can read Polish, you’ll have the ability to discover many more secrets about this country! Don’t forget to find out more about the Polish Middle Ages when trying to learn your Polish history.

7. Polish will be an asset on your resume.

Resume

Did you know that Poland doesn’t use the euro and has retained its own Polish currency? As a member of the European Union and a Schengen country, Poland has strong economic ties with many countries in Europe and outside of it. This means that knowing Polish is an asset on the European labor market.

Poland is also an attractive market for representatives of many professions. Many Polish people speak good English, but it’s difficult to live in a country without knowing the language. What’s more, if you want to become a permanent resident or a citizen, you have no choice but to learn Polish.

If nothing else, having Polish skills on your resume can be an interesting thing to talk about with your interviewer. The best way to shine among a number of people with similar qualifications is to have a skill that no one else has. 

8. There are many easy things about Polish.

A Happy Student

Polish has a bad reputation of being a very difficult language to learn. It does have some difficult aspects to it, just like any other language. What’s more important, though, is that it has some surprisingly easy elements to it as well. 

Firstly, Polish is a phonetic language. This means that Polish words are written just as they’re pronounced (and vice-versa). This characteristic sets it apart from English, which has very unpredictable spelling. (By the way, here are some tips for cracking the Polish writing system.)

Polish is also pretty straightforward when it comes to tenses. There are just three of them: the past, the present, and the future.

The stress in Polish is rather predictable too. It usually falls on the penultimate syllable, with few exceptions. 

9. It could allow you to get in touch with your roots.

A Grandfather Holding His Grandchild

Why is it important to learn the Polish language? For those of Polish origin, it can be a way to get in touch with their roots! Many people living abroad are first, second, or third generation immigrants but have never managed to explore this part of their identity.

Learning Polish would allow you to speak to your family in Poland at a family reunion, or even to visit the country to find out more about where you come from.

If your spouse is Polish, learning the language would be a great gift for him or her. If you’re planning to have children, it’ll be much easier for you to teach the child Polish if there are two of you working on it. 

10. It’s a challenge…and who doesn’t love one?

A Winner

One final reason as to why you should learn Polish is that mastering the language is quite a challenge. Many people speak Polish well, but achieving near-fluency requires a lot of commitment! Just try out these tongue-twisters and you’ll see what we mean. 

Taking on such a challenge will make you feel extremely proud of yourself when you arrive at your destination. This is a truly amazing feeling with no comparison.

Don’t worry about the learning process being too challenging, though. Thanks to the development of technology, language learning is easier today than it’s ever been—which is exactly why you should learn Polish now.

11. Final Thoughts

Today, you’ve learned 10 great reasons concerning why to study Polish. Can you think of any more? Let us know in the comments.

You can always come back to this article when you need some inspiration or motivation. Or better yet, you could write down the reasons that resonate most with you on index cards and place them around the house! 

Don’t forget that there has never been a better time to learn a language. There are so many resources available on the internet!

On PolishPod101, for instance, you can follow a personalized learning pathway, explore countless lessons, and utilize a variety of study tools to maximize your learning efforts. Create your free lifetime account today and explore our lesson library!

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All You Need to Know About Polish Verb Tenses

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Did you know that English has 16 tenses? You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Polish has only 3! Namely, these are the past, the present, and the future tenses. 

Polish verb tenses aren’t overly complicated, but they’re definitely an important part of learning the language. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of each tense so that you can understand how they’re formed and used.

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  1. Polish Tenses: The Present Tense
  2. Polish Tenses: The Past Tense
  3. Polish Tenses: The Future Tense
  4. Polish Verb Conjugations
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Polish Tenses: The Present Tense

A Person Sitting in Meditation

There’s only one present tense in Polish. It’s used for actions that are habitual as well as those that happen in a given moment.

How do Polish people differentiate between the meaning of each verb, then? Well, they can determine this based on the context or additional words that are included (such as adverbs of time). Another very important thing here is the aspect of the verb: 

  • Imperfective (Niedokonany): used when we want to focus on the action being performed, and not on its completion

  • Perfective (Dokonany): used to focus on the completion of an action

Most Polish dictionaries state the aspect of the verb you’re looking up.

Perfective verbs can’t be used in the present tense. When you conjugate a perfective verb and an imperfective verb in the same way, the perfective verb will give you the future tense form. Here are some examples:

  • kupować (imperfective) / kupić (perfective)

    Kupować becomes kupuję in the first person singular. It’s a form of the present tense meaning “I’m buying” or “I buy.”

    Kupić becomes kupię. It’s a verb in the future tense. An example of its use would be the sentence:

    Kupię polską kartę SIM.
    “I will buy a Polish SIM card.”

  • czytać (imperfective) / przeczytać (perfective)

    Czytać -> 1st person singular: czytam – the present tense

    Przeczytać -> 1st person singular: przeczytam – the future tense

  • pisać (imperfective) / napisać (perfective)

    Pisać -> 1st person singular: piszę – the present tense

    Napisać -> 1st person singular: napiszę – the future tense

Now that you understand the general rule, let’s have a look at more complicated examples. Jeść is an imperfective verb, while zjeść is perfective:

  1. Jem obiad. / “I’m eating lunch.” 
  2. Zazwyczaj nie jem obiadów. / “I don’t usually eat lunch.” 
  3. Zjem obiad. / “I will eat lunch.” 

You know how to speak about obiad (lunch), but how about other Polish meals? Click on the link to find out!

A Cup of Tea
  1. Piję herbatę. / “I’m drinking tea.” 
  2. Codziennie piję herbatę. / “I drink tea every day.” 
  3. Wypiję herbatę. / “I will drink tea.”

Pić is an imperfective verb, while wypić is perfective.

2. Polish Tenses: The Past Tense

Currently, there’s only one past tense in the Polish language. However, there used to be a Polish past tense equivalent to the English past perfect (czas zaprzeszły). You can still find it in older books, but it’s very rarely used today.

The Polish past tense that’s used by modern-day Poles expresses all of the English past tenses. Concepts such as anteriority are expressed through adverbs such as “before” (przedtem) and “after” (potem). The relation between the continuous and simple tenses in English is usually expressed by the choice of verbs in the appropriate aspect.

Last but not least, the Polish past tense makes use of gender. This means that a verb conjugates differently depending on whether the speaker is male or female. 

Enough theory! Don’t worry: It will all become more clear as you look through our examples. Here goes:

Cake
  1. Jadłem/am ciasto i czytałem/am gazetę. / “I was eating cake and reading a newspaper.”

The first form is for male speakers and the second one for female speakers. 

Both jeść (“to eat”) and czytać (“to read”) are imperfective. As you can see, the tense used in the English translation is past continuous as the focus of the sentence is on the action and its narrative quality, not on the result/completion.

What cake do you think the speaker was eating? Watch our video lesson about choosing a cake in Poland to learn some relevant vocabulary. 

Now, here are some more examples of the Polish past tense:

  1. Nie zjadłem/am obiadu. / “I didn’t eat lunch.”

The forms are for male speakers and female speakers respectively. Yet again, zjeść (“to eat”) is a perfective verb. In the English translation, it appears as a verb in the past simple because the focus is on the result of the action.

  1. Wypiłem/am herbatę zanim zaszczekał pies. / “I drank tea before the dog barked.” OR “The dog had barked after I drank tea.”

Both wypić (“to drink”) and zaszczekać (“bark”) are perfective, and the focus is on the completion of the action. The anteriority is expressed with the word “before” (zanim), which is also an option in English as shown in the first translation. However, you could additionally express the anteriority of the same Polish sentence by using the past perfect as shown in the second English translation. 

  1. Piłem/am herbatę, kiedy zaszczekał pies. / “I was drinking tea when the dog barked.”

The verb pić (“to drink”) is imperfective and the focus of this verb is on the action itself. This action also serves as a narrative background to the other one. It’s followed by the perfective verb zaszczekać (“to bark”), which refers to a short, completed action.

Dogs bark, but what sounds do other animals make? Visit our vocabulary list to find out!

A Happy Dog

We hope that, after reviewing these examples, you understand the Polish past tense a little better! 

3. Polish Tenses: The Future Tense

You’ve already seen some forms of the Polish future tense. In fact, there are three ways of forming it—two of which can be used interchangeably. 

A- Imperfective Verbs

Imperfective verbs require a compound form of the future tense. First of all, you need the verb “to be” (być) conjugated in the present tense: 

SINGULARPLURAL
Ja będę – I will beMy będziemy – We will be
Ty będziesz – You will beWy będziecie – You will be
On/ona/ono będzie – He/she/it will beOni, one będą – They will be

Then, you have a choice between two interchangeable forms. The first one is easier as it simply requires adding the infinitive (bezokolicznik) of the second verb: 

  • Będę czytać. / “I will be reading.”

The second form requires the use of the conjugated form of the past tense of the second verb. This also means that you have to pay attention to the gender: 

  • Będę czytał/czytała. / “I will be reading.”

The choice is up to you. The meaning of both forms in English is close to that of the future continuous. The focus is on how/when the action is performed rather than on its completion. 

Speaking of reading, if you would like to incorporate reading Polish books into your language learning strategies, find out what to say at a Polish bookstore.

B- Perfective Verbs

A Person with Binoculars

Perfective verbs used in the future tense undergo conjugation like they would in the present tense, as we mentioned earlier. Here’s an example using the perfective verb przeczytać (“to read”): 

  • Przeczytam gazetę. / “I will read a newspaper.” 

As you can see, the emphasis is on the completion. Namely, the fact that when I’m done, the newspaper will be finished/read by me. 

C- Examples

Here are a few more examples to help you better understand the difference between the forms of the Polish future tense: 

  1. Jutro o 6 będę jadł/jadła kolację z Tomkiem
  1. Jutro o 6 będę jeść kolację z Tomkiem

Both sentences mean, “Tomorrow at six, I’ll be eating dinner with Tomek.” The verb jeść (“to eat”) is imperfective, which is why it has to be used with one of the two compound forms. The focus of both sentences is on what will be happening in a given moment in the future.

Pssst… Are you about to have dinner with your Polish friends? Check out our lesson Out at Dinner beforehand. 

  1. Zaraz coś zjem. / “I’ll eat something right now.”

This sentence uses the perfective verb zjeść (“to eat”). It focuses on the completion of the action, not on the action being performed. 

  1. Nie będę pił/piła na imprezie. 
  1. Nie będę pić na imprezie. 

Both sentences translate to, “I won’t be drinking at the party.” The focus of the verb is on the behavior of the speaker throughout the party, not on the completion of an action. This meaning requires an imperfective verb and thus the compound future tense. 

  1. Wypiję najwyżej jedno piwo. / “I will drink one beer at most.”

This sentence focuses on the completion of an action (or more precisely here, the lack thereof). It requires a perfective verb with a simple form of the future tense. 

Speaking of, do you like beer? Then head over to our lesson I like beer!

Now that we’ve discussed the Polish future tense, it’s time for a few more words about verb conjugations. 

4. Polish Verb Conjugations

Verb Forms

Now that we’ve covered Polish-language tenses, let’s discuss how they apply to conjugation. 

Polish doesn’t have distinct verb groups like the Romance languages do, where you can tell the group from the verb’s ending. This is why we recommend learning the first and second form of each verb. Doing so will allow you to predict the rest of the conjugations. You can learn more about Polish conjugations in our other blog post and on Cooljugator.

To summarize our discussion of tenses, let’s just re-examine the different ideas that can be expressed with them: 

SENTENCETRANSLATIONTENSEASPECT AND FOCUS
Jem obiad.I’m eating lunch.PresentImperfective

Focus is on the activity, which is taking place in a given moment
Zazwyczaj nie jem obiadów.I don’t usually eat lunch.PresentImperfective

Focus is on the habitual activity itself
Jadłem/am ciasto.I was eating a cake.PastImperfective

Focus is on the activity
Nie zjadłem/am obiadu.I didn’t eat lunch. PastPerfective

Focus is on the completion of the action
Zjem obiad.I will eat lunch.FuturePerfective

Focus is on the completion of the action
Jutro o 6 będę jadł/jadła kolację z TomkiemTomorrow at six, I’ll be eating dinner with Tomek.Future (interchangeable with the form below)Imperfective

Focus is on the action being performed at a given time
Jutro o 6 będę jeść kolację z Tomkiem.Tomorrow at six, I’ll be eating dinner with Tomek.Future (interchangeable with the form above)Imperfective

Focus is on the action being performed at a given time

Remember that if there are two verbs in Polish, the second verb almost always remains in the infinitive form. The future tense is an exception, however, as it allows forms such as będę jadł (“I will be eating”) as discussed above. 

Another important thing is the marking of the gender in the past, which applies to all persons and numbers. 

Last but not least, it’s crucial to remember the aspect of the verb in order to correctly express yourself in Polish. 

5. Final Thoughts

Today you’ve learned how Polish verb tenses work and what they can describe. Understanding the logic behind them and their relation to English tenses will definitely help you. 

Do you understand tenses in Polish better after reading this article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Don’t forget to read our article about conjugations in order to learn about verb tenses in Polish in more detail.

Learning about how tenses work and memorizing conjugations is a crucial part of language learning. That said, grammar and vocabulary won’t get you far unless you’re getting enough exposure to the language as it’s used in the real world. PolishPod101 offers several customized learning pathways with hundreds of audio and video recordings by native speakers.

Are you ready to learn real Polish? Start your free trial today!

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From Zero to Hero: How Long Will it Take to Learn Polish?

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Like many people who are about to embark on a new language learning journey, you may be asking yourself:
How long will it take to learn Polish?

The answer is: “It depends on the level you want to achieve!”

In this article, you’ll find out how long it takes to reach the different proficiency levels of Polish. You’ll also get exclusive tips on how to accelerate your progress and use PolishPod101 to your advantage every step of the way.

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  1. Beginner Level
  2. Intermediate Level
  3. Advanced Level
  4. Final Thoughts

Beginner Level

A Woman with a Notebook

How long will it take to learn Polish if you hope to surpass the beginner level? And what skills are expected of you as a beginner (początkujący)? 

Here are some answers to your questions, and more! 

Pre-Intermediate Level: What Does it Mean?

To become a pre-intermediate student, you need to complete levels A1 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). 

At level A1, you’ll be able to have very simple conversations such as introducing yourself or talking about your likes and dislikes. By level A2, you’ve deepened your basic vocabulary knowledge. Upon completion of this level, you can go to shops and museums, ask for directions, tell the time, and talk about your family.

How Long Will it Take?

A Man Looking at His Watch

You need around 200 hours of study to get to level A2. How fast you get there depends on how much time you spend studying. Here are some tips on how to learn the Polish language faster: 

  1. Set up your social media in Polish. If you’re feeling brave, do it to your phone too!

  2. Listen to a lot of Polish music on YouTube and watch Polish-language movies on Netflix. This will allow you to hear a lot of the language and get used to how it sounds. Can you understand some of the words? That’s great!

  3. Last but not least, prepare your own flashcards with new vocabulary you’re learning.

How to Use PolishPod101 as a Beginner

Are you wondering how to learn basic Polish as you begin your studies? 

PolishPod101 can help you improve your Polish at any level. When you first start learning Polish, you’ll be studying simpler things such as saying hello and giving a self-introduction. 

Our lesson Saying Hello No Matter the Time of Day in Polish is a great example of what we have to offer our students. It will teach you the very important skill of greeting people at any time of day and with the required formality level. 

Apart from the dialogue, you also get a vocabulary list, lesson notes with additional tips, commentary on the cultural context (kontekst kulturowy), and even some additional vocabulary. You can read the lesson, listen to it, or do both at the same time using the transcript. 

Here are some similar lessons you may like: 

What’s more, PolishPod101 also has a specific pathway (ścieżka) for absolute beginners. Thanks to this functionality, you won’t get lost among the countless lessons the platform offers. 

Intermediate Level

Moving from the beginner level to the intermediate level is an accomplishment to be proud of! 

The intermediate level (poziom średniozaawansowany) is an exciting new adventure that comes with its own challenges. Keep in mind that your progress will slow down at this point. But this isn’t something to be worried about, as it’s a natural part of the process.

Intermediate Level: What Does it Mean?

A Graduate

You have reached the intermediate stage of your Polish learning once you attain level B1 or B2 of CEFR.

Level B1 allows you to have conversations on most everyday topics (codzienne tematy). You still lack vocabulary and struggle to express yourself concerning more complex issues. 

Such issues disappear at level B2, when you’re capable of having longer conversations on more difficult topics. You’re able to express your political views at this level, speak about the environment, and agree or disagree with others. 

How Long Will it Take Me?

Level B1 means an additional 200 hours on top of the time you already put in to reach A1 and A2. This means your overall language learning time by this point will be 400 hours

Level B2 will require another 150 hours of studying, for a total of 550 hours.

Would you like to know how to learn Polish faster? Here are some language learning hacks to accelerate your progress:

  1. Watch movies and listen to songs like you did as a beginner. At this level, you should be paying attention to vocabulary and grammar. Make notes as you listen and watch. Not sure where to find more Polish movies? Start here
  1. Find a friend to help you practice your language skills. A language partner can’t replace a study program, but it can definitely help with your progress. Not sure where to look for a partner? Try the Tandem app!
  1. Look for free grammar exercises online to internalize the structures you’re struggling to remember or understand. 

How to Use PolishPod101 as an Intermediate Student

A PolishPod101 Graphic

PolishPod101 has many resources for intermediate students. The lessons may cover some of the same topics that you’ve seen as a beginner, but the vocabulary is more advanced. Check out this lesson on choosing your meal at a Polish restaurant to see what we mean. 

In this lesson, you’ll pick up some basic vocabulary related to food so you can communicate in more complicated situations. In addition to the lesson recording, you have direct access to the dialogue, vocabulary, and a lesson transcript. 

Here are two other intermediate lessons:

If something isn’t clear, you can always comment with a question. A friendly Polish teacher will provide you with a useful answer so you can overcome learning hurdles more easily. 

Are you interested in a specific topic? Use our search option to find related lessons!

Advanced Level

The advanced level (poziom zaawansowany) is the Holy Grail of language learning. Did you know that some students never get there and remain at the intermediate level indefinitely? Don’t worry! There are steps you can take to avoid that fate.

Advanced Level: What Does it Mean?

Reaching an advanced level in Polish means that you can speak about pretty much any topic with confidence. This is level C1 of CEFR. At this level, you could study or work in Polish. 

There’s also level C2, which represents a higher proficiency than even the average native speaker has. At this level, you could give speeches and write essays in Polish. 

How Long Does it Take to Learn Polish Fluently?

The Winner of a Race

To get to the C1 level, you’ll need about 900 hours (900 godzin) of work. 

C2 is trickier to evaluate, as this level requires academic skills on top of general language fluency. It also means that you rarely make mistakes.  

To make the jump from the intermediate level to the advanced level, you need to focus on two things: fluency and accuracy. With that in mind, look over these tips on how to make further progress in learning Polish.

  1. Work with songs and movies by transcribing them. Pay attention to how native speakers talk. What expressions do they use? How do they use grammar? Make notes and learn!

  2. Read books in your target language. You can read for pleasure too, but to see improvement you need to work on really expanding your vocabulary and learning more expressions. Tip: Choose modern books rather than the classics to learn the language as it’s truly spoken today.  
  1. Participate in an internet forum about a topic you’re interested in. Get involved in a discussion and learn from native speakers how to use the language. 

How to Use PolishPod101 as an Advanced Student

While you work to achieve a higher level, you should complement your language learning with knowledge about the country. That’s why PolishPod101 offers many lessons for advanced students focused on improving your understanding of Poland. 

Have a look at this lesson about the famous Polish composer, Frederic Chopin. Lessons like this one are similar to what a native Polish speaker would listen to, should (s)he want to learn more about the composer (kompozytor). Along with the lesson, you get access to the dialogue, vocabulary, lesson notes, lesson transcript, and comments. 

Interested in advanced Polish lessons? Remember to check out other lessons from the advanced audio blog, such as: 

A Map of Poland

Are you on your way to approaching an advanced level and need a way to prove your proficiency? Remember that there are Polish exams you can take to do so. You can read all about them in our dedicated blog post

Final Thoughts

In this article, we answered the question: How long does it take to learn Polish fluently?

We’ve also provided you with details on how long it will take you to reach each level of proficiency, and how to learn Polish faster. You should have a better idea of how to best utilize PolishPod101 and other resources to meet your language learning goals! 

How many hours have you studied Polish already? Let us know in the comments section. 

PolishPod101 is a platform designed to help Polish learners at every level reach their goals. In addition to countless lessons on various topics, we provide additional vocabulary resources with pronunciation examples (such as our vocabulary lists and dictionary). If you feel like you need a teacher, we’ve got you covered with our Premium PLUS MyTeacher service!

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