Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Beata: All About Polish Lesson 6 - Think You Can Answer These 5 Questions About Poland?
Nick: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to "All About Poland," the Polish lessons where you get to learn about the real Poland.
Beata: In this lesson, we have something special...
Nick: A quiz! Which may have some of you thinking "oh, no," but don't worry. This will be a fun one.
Beata: We're not going to test your Polish skills or anything like that yet.
Nick: Nope, these questions are all about Poland itself – society, geography, pop culture... so you can see how much you know about Poland.
Beata: Yes, because learning Polish is much more than just learning a language.
Nick: You'll learn about people, life, society, all that good stuff.
Beata: If you pass, you can go on to the next lesson!
Nick: And if you don't pass...you can still go on to the next lesson! So no pressure.
Beata: So, everyone, are you ready?
Nick: All right, let's get started!
Beata: Nick, you'll be the one taking the test!
Nick: Me? Okay, well, I'll do my best.
Beata: Okay, so here's the first question, which is about geography.
How many provinces are there in Poland?
1) Ten 2) Sixteen 3) Forty-nine
Nick: Okay, I know this one..., sixteen.
Beata: Correct! According to administrative reforms introduced in 1999, Poland is divided into sixteen provinces ("województwa" in Polish). Do you know how many provinces there used to be in Poland before those reforms?
Nick: I have no idea. I would say around forty? I'm guessing here.
Beata: You're quite close. Before that, Poland consisted of forty-nine provinces that were centered around major cities. Let's see now if you know which province is the largest one.
Nick: It would probably make sense to choose the province that hosts the capital of Poland, Warsaw. That province would be Mazovia.
Beata: That's correct. The Mazovia province is the largest and most populous province. Very good. Would you like to take a guess how many inhabitants there are in Warsaw?
Nick: Six million?
Beata: That's way too many. Warsaw has around 1.7 million inhabitants.
Nick: I was way off. Well, now I'll know.
Beata: Okay, so let's move on to the pop culture question.
Beata: Can you match the following personalities with their respective professions?
a) Robert Kubica
b) Ryszard Kapuściński
c) Zbigniew Brzeziński
1. politician
2. journalist
3. sportsman
Nick: Hmm...I know that Zbigniew Brzeziński is a politician.
Beata: Very good. I'm sure that many fellow Americans will recognize the name Zbigniew Brzeziński. He was born in Poland; however, he attended schools both in the United States and Canada. Zbigniew Brzeziński has remained an influential figure in U.S. international politics. He was also National Security Advisor to one of the U.S. Presidents. Do you know by any chance to which?
Nick: Absolutely. Many Americans will recognize him as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
Beata: Wow, you know a lot about Zbigniew Brzeziński. What about other personalities?
Nick: I think that Ryszard Kapuściński was a journalist.
Beata: All right, I see you know famous Polish personalities. Ryszard Kapuściński is widely known in Poland. He began his career in journalism at a very young age. He reported many stories from all over the world, especially from Africa and Latin America. His books have been translated into many languages.
Nick: I think I saw one of his books at the airport. He's definitely a widely recognized Polish author.
Beata: Okay, then. So we have one more personality left and...
Nick: it's Robert Kubica, who is a sportsman.
Beata: Very good. Do you have any idea how important Robert Kubica is for some Poles?
Nick: He's the first Pole to ever compete in Formula One Racing.
Beata: Exactly. This is really amazing. We're hoping that the 2010 season is going to be a great one for Robert. Fingers crossed for him. Okay, Nick, I have to say you did pretty well on this question. Let's move on to the next one. This question is going to be about travel.
Which Polish city is the most popular tourist attraction?
a) Warsaw
b) Cracow
c) Wrocław
Nick: Well, this question is a little bit tricky since all of these cities are well-known outside of Poland. Wrocław and Cracow have beautiful architecture, whereas Warsaw is the business heart of Poland. Hmm, I think I'm going to go with Warsaw.
Beata: Very good. I'm very impressed. Based on a survey by the Polish government's Institute of Tourism, Warsaw is the most sought-after tourist destination. It attracts about 2.4 million tourists a year.
Nick: I haven't been to Warsaw, but I know that one of the must-see spots is the Palace of Culture and Science that was donated by Stalin.
Beata: That's right. Also, a spot worth seeing is the former Jewish ghetto and the splendid Old Town. Great, let's now move to the economic question. I don't know how much you know about this subject. So far, you've been doing great.
Nick: Thank you. I guess I'm ready for the next one, then.
What industry is Poland well-known for?
a) glass
b) steel production
c) coal mining
Nick: Again, that's a tricky question. Don't you have too many of them? (laugh)
Beata: It wasn't my intention; however, I'm glad that it kind of worked out this way. (laugh)
Nick: Hmm, I think I will go with the coal mining industry.
Beata: That's not a bad guess. And I have to say that Poland used to be associated with more traditional heavy industries such as the ones in our question…coal mining and steel production. However, nowadays the glass industry and great Polish craftsmen are making Poland famous in the world.
Nick: So I was right in some sense.
Beata: Yeah, absolutely. The other two industries are also very well developed in Poland and they play a huge role in the Polish economy. So, we only have one more question, and it's concerning Polish society. And that is...
If there are three Poles stranded on a deserted island, how many political parties would they form?
a) One
b) Three
c) Four
Nick: Well, I've lived in Poland for some time and I've noticed that Poles as a nation are very disagreeable. I'm going to go with C, four political parties.
Beata: Very good. Of course, this is a joke; however, it very well illustrates the Polish mentality. Poles are very stubborn; they are always convinced that they are right and nobody else is correct.
Nick: If I may add something?
Beata: Sure, go for it.
Nick: They are also always able to come up with a unique solution to whatever the problem is and they strongly believe that it is the best solution possible.
Beata: Oh, yes, more often than not they think their plan is the only acceptable plan.
Nick: But you know what, when you look at Polish history and all those tragic and troublesome moments that occurred, you see that they were able to mobilize themselves in critical situations.
Beata: Oh, absolutely. Poland went trough a lot, and when it came to defending their country, they were always able to pull their act together and do great things.
Nick: Oh, I know that. It's a strong belief that Poles make great soldiers because of their willingness to die for their homeland.
Beata: History proved that many times. All right, that's all for our quiz!
Nick: We hope you had fun and learned something! You should try asking your friends and family these questions and see how they do!
Beata: That sounds like a fun idea! You can teach other people what you've just learned about Poland.
Nick: And this is only the beginning of all of the interesting things about Poland that you will find out as you learn the language and experience the culture firsthand.
Beata: Everyone, come and share with us any interesting facts you know about Poland and leave us a comment on the website...
Nick: at PolishPod101.com! See you there!