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Beata: All About Polish Lesson 13 - Top 5 Phrases Your Teacher Will Never Teach You
Nick: Hi, everyone!
Beata: Welcome back to PolishPod101.com.
Nick: I'm telling you right now, today's lesson is really fun.
Beata: That's right, today we will go over some phrases that your teacher might not teach you!
Nick: Now, we don't want you to get the wrong idea…you won't find any swear words or anything here!
Beata: No, just some Polish phrases that are just a little too slangy to be introduced in the classroom.
Nick: There are words, though, that you'll encounter a LOT in Polish.
Beata: In Poland, you'd probably hear them every day.
Nick: Yeah, they're that common.
Beata: So if you're ready to learn some fun Polish, let's get started.
Nick: The first phrase we'll go over is…
Beata: "No."
Nick: "No" means "yes" or "yeah" and can be especially confusing for English speakers because when Poles say it, it sounds almost like the English "no."
Beata: In addition to that, it's spelled exactly the same way as the English "no," so there you have it.
Nick: The Polish "no" is definitely a very casual expression and should be used only in very familiar situations.
Beata: That's a great piece of advice. Try not to use it in official situations because some people might take it as rude and inappropriate. Keep this expression for friends and family only.
Nick: Next, we have...
Beata: "Spoko."
Nick: It's one of my favorite phrases and it can be easily translated as "no problem," "okay," or "sure."
Beata: So, Nick, if I would like to borrow your car, what would you say to me?
Nick: Well, I guess I have to say "spoko." Right? (laugh)
Beata: There you have it. You can also use this expression as an adjective to describe an object or a person. For example, you can say "spoko film," which means "great movie."
Nick: Or you can say "spoko dziewczyna," meaning "great girl."
Beata: Even though the word is mostly used by teenagers, it's been noted that even some older people have adopted it into their vocabulary.
Nick: I mean, this expression is out there. It's definitely one of the most popular phrases in common Polish usage. Okay, next we have...
Beata: "Spadaj."
Nick: Since it means "get lost," you have to be careful when and with whom you're using it.
Beata: Definitely. Reserve it for your close friends or people in whose company you feel comfortable.
Nick: When used with your friends, "spadaj" becomes a colorful and humorous way to express minor disagreements.
Beata: However, if by any chance you use it with people who don't know you, they might misunderstand your intentions, and more often than not, they might get offended.
Nick: No doubt you have to be careful with this phrase. Okay, let's move on to the next one, that is...
Beata: "Ale czad!"
Nick: "Ale czad!" means "awesome" or "great," but I think the best translation is "Wow!" It's another expression you will hear in your travels throughout Poland.
Beata: Yeah, when you hear or see something interesting or unusual, say "Ale czad!
Nick: This phrase will definitely help you express your admiration. No doubt about that.
Beata: Actually, you can also use this phrase when something embarrassing or something unbelievable happens, but in a negative sense.
Nick: So, for example, what would your reaction be if you found out that our common friend damaged his dad's Fiat 126?
Beata: I would definitely say "Ale czad!"
Nick: There's also the adjective "czadowy," which has the following meanings…"great" and "extra" but also "stylish."
Beata: So if you see something that you really like, use "czadowy" to describe it. For example…your friend is wearing a great dress, so you can compliment her by saying "czadowa sukienka" ("great dress") or...
Nick: you just got invited to a party that later turned out to be "czadowa impreza" ("great party").
Beata: You can describe almost anything using this adjective.
Nick: And the last on our list is...
Beata: the verb "kombinować."
Nick: The verb "kombinować" has many meanings and can be translated more or less to mean "to live by one's wits," "to connive"...
Beata: "to do illegal business"
Nick: …and finally "to put together" or "to combine."
Beata: However, you will most often hear it used to mean to obtain something by perhaps less than legal means, which...
Nick: might involve sometimes bribery, trickery, or even force.
Beata: But let's not forget that it's also used as a colorful and humorous way to describe anything that might be difficult to find or afford.
Nick: Would you agree with me that this verb mirrors to some extent the Polish mentality?
Beata: Well, probably not so much today as it used to in the past, especially in communist times.
Nick: Imagine people trying to get food or everyday supplies in those times when they weren't readily available, and you'll easily get the meaning of "kombinować."
Beata: Many items during communism simply couldn't be purchased or were available in limited quantities, so Poles really needed to be very resourceful to obtain some of them.
Nick: Since today this is no longer an issue, Poles might "kombinować" to get something that's difficult to find.
Beata: It can be something really small, like, let's say, a package of cigarettes, but...
Nick: sometimes it might also mean something bigger, such as money or electronic supplies.
Beata: Just to be on the safe side, if you hear "kombinować" from a Pole, I would suggest that it's better to stay out of it!
Nick: So I think all of these phrases are good to know. Even if you don't use them, just knowing them for when you come across them is good enough. Because believe us, you'll come across them at some point! Probably sooner rather than later.
Beata: We hope you had fun learning these phrases that your teacher might not teach you!
Nick: Feel free to share more interesting phrases with us at PolishPod101.com! Or leave us a question if you need us to clear up a questionable Polish phrase that you might have heard.
Beata: Until next time!


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Monday at 06:30 PM
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Which expression in this lesson do you think is the most useful?

Tuesday at 11:17 AM
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These newer/updated lessons with Nick & Beata are great, but for premium members the spellings of these words (phrases) should be provided also. Thank you.