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Beata: All About Polish Lesson 15 - The Best Polish Phrases - Learn Your Polish Teacher's Favorite Phrases
Nick: Hi, everyone, and welcome back for the fifteenth lesson of the All About Polish series. In today's lesson, we'll go over our top five favorite phrases!
Beata: Yes, these are phrases that we chose especially for you! We did our best to come up with phrases that we find particularly useful or interesting and that are used a lot in Polish.
Nick: That's right. So, Beata, what's our first phrase?
Beata: "To znaczy."
Nick: This phrase means "it means" or "this means." Actually, it reminds me a lot of the English phrase "I mean" that we use so often, especially when starting a sentence.
Beata: The main purpose of this phrase is to combine individual thoughts together. This way, when you speak, you are able to maintain a certain flow to your story.
Nick: Also, it helps you sound like a native speaker, natural and relaxed.
Beata: It's a great filler in spoken language and one you will hear a lot when talking to Poles.
Nick: So, let's say that I'm telling you about my day. And I say something like…"Widziałem wczoraj Roberta. To znaczy, nie rozmawialiśmy za wiele, bo był ze swoją dziewczyną." This utterance would translate to "I saw Robert yesterday. I mean, we didn't talk much because he was with his girlfriend," and I could continue with my story.
Beata: Great example. The phrase "to znaczy" doesn't really bring any new information to your story, but it helps it sound very natural and native-speaker like, I would say.
Nick: Okay, so what's our next phrase?
Beata: "Więc."
Nick: "Więc" is a word that means "so." When would you use it, Beata?
Beata: Again, you can use this expression really anytime you want, either at the beginning of a sentence or as a connector between two sentences.
Nick: You will hear it a lot when talking to Poles. It's just a great linking word that you can use with anyone you're speaking with. Okay, so what's the next phrase?
Beata: "W każdym razie."
Nick: The phrase "w każdym razie" can be translated as "in any case," "in any event," and as "anyway."
Beata: I'm sure that you will encounter this phrase any number of times when staying in Poland.
Nick: It's another phrase that you can use to make your utterances more complex and well structured.
Beata: For example, imagine that you've given a really long explanation or you've told a story and you want to finally cut to the chase. Use "w każdym razie" to let your listener know that you're getting to the point.
Nick: Definitely a great phrase to know. So, what's our number four phrase?
Beata: "Dzięki temu."
Nick: This means "thanks to that."
Beata: It's an important phrase to know when trying to explain cause and effect.
Nick: But it's worth mentioning that "dzięki temu" is usually used to express a positive reason for which something happened.
Beata: Like, for example…"Dostałam pracę. Dzięki temu będę mogła wynająć mieszkanie." It means "I got a job. Thanks to that I will be able to rent an apartment."
Nick: Okay, and what's our last phrase?
Beata: It's going to be your favorite…that's why I kept it until the end. Our last phrase is "na zdrowie."
Nick: The phrase "na zdrowie" actually has a double meaning.
Beata: The first situation when you would use this phrase is when someone sneezes.
Nick: So its English equivalent would simply be "God bless you."
Beata: When it comes to the second meaning of this phrase, I will leave the floor to Nick so that he can explain the second meaning of "na zdrowie."
Nick: Well, thank you, Beata. So, another situation, which you will hopefully experience when in Poland, is when you toast within a group of Poles. Say "na zdrowie," which here would mean "cheers," when you touch glasses with happy Poles.
Beata: Let's not forget to add that when you make a toast, be sure to look everyone in the eyes.
Nick: That's a very good piece of advice. This way Poles will know that the toast was honest on your part and that you really mean it.
Beata: Wow, you sound like you've had a lot of experience in this matter.
Nick: Well, that's because I like to learn by repetition. (laugh)
Beata: To sum it up, the phrase "na zdrowie" can mean both "God bless you" and "cheers."
Nick: So there you have it! Five phrases that we find really useful that we have now passed on to you!
Beata: Try using them the next time you have a conversation in Polish!