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Lesson Transcript

Betsey:Hello everyone, and welcome back to PolishPod101.com. This is Beginner series, season 1, lesson 15, How Do You Talk About Your Age in Polish? I’m Betsey.
Joanna:And I’m Joanna.
Betsey:In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask and talk about your age.
Joanna:This conversation takes place at the university’s cafeteria.
Betsey:This conversation is between Ewa and Jan.
Joanna:They’re friends, so they’ll be using informal Polish.
Betsey:Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Jan:Wiem, że masz młodszego brata. Ile on ma lat?
Ewa:On ma 18 lat.
Jan:A twoja starsza siostra?
Ewa:Ona ma 29 lat.
Jan:A czy mogę zapytać, ile ty masz lat?
Ewa:Mam 24 lata.
Alisha: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Jan:Wiem, że masz młodszego brata. Ile on ma lat?
Ewa:On ma 18 lat.
Jan:A twoja starsza siostra?
Ewa:Ona ma 29 lat.
Jan:A czy mogę zapytać, ile ty masz lat?
Ewa:Mam 24 lata.
Alisha: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Jan:Wiem, że masz młodszego brata. Ile on ma lat?
Betsey:I know you have a younger brother. How old is he?
Ewa:On ma 18 lat.
Betsey:He is 18 years old.
Jan:A twoja starsza siostra?
Betsey:What about your older sister?
Ewa:Ona ma 29 lat.
Betsey:She is 29 years old.
Jan:A czy mogę zapytać, ile ty masz lat?
Betsey:And can I ask, how old are you?
Ewa:Mam 24 lata.
Betsey:I am 24 years old.
Betsey:So Joanna, what kind of people are Poles, in your opinion?
Joanna:Hmm, definitely the kind of people who value family time, and who like to party and celebrate all kinds of holidays, like Christmas, New Year’s, or St. Andrew’s Day with family or friends.
Betsey:Do grown-up Polish children still live with their parents?
Joanna:In most cases they don’t. That may be the reason that family gatherings are a pretty big thing in Poland. Usually children leave home when they go to university, or, if the university is in the same city, after graduation.
Betsey:Are these family gatherings reserved for holidays only?
Joanna:Not really. A few years ago, so-called Sunday dinners were very popular. Whole families would usually visit their grandparents to have a dinner together, and it would be bigger than a usual dinner most of the time.
Betsey:It seems like most Polish social events involve meals!
Joanna:That’s true! Most of the time when we meet, there has to be good food and drinks, and of course the people we love spending time with.
Betsey:That sounds really great. Now let’s move on to the vocab.
Betsey:Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
:The first word we shall see is Joanna:młodszy [natural native speed]
Joanna:młodszy [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:młodszy [natural native speed]
:Next Joanna:starszy [natural native speed]
Joanna:starszy [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:starszy [natural native speed]
:Next Joanna:dziewiętnaście [natural native speed]
Betsey:nineteen (19)
Joanna:dziewiętnaście [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:dziewiętnaście [natural native speed]
:Next Joanna:siostra [natural native speed]
Joanna:siostra [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:siostra [natural native speed]
:Next Joanna:wiedzieć [natural native speed]
Betsey:to know
Joanna:wiedzieć [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:wiedzieć [natural native speed]
:Next Joanna:ile [natural native speed]
Betsey:how much, how many
Joanna:ile [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:ile [natural native speed]
:Next Joanna:twój [natural native speed]
Betsey:your, yours
Joanna:twój [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:twój [natural native speed]
:And last Joanna:móc [natural native speed]
Betsey:can, to be able to
Joanna:móc [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Joanna:móc [natural native speed]
Betsey:Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Joanna:The first word is ‘móc’.
Betsey:“to be able to”
Joanna:In the dialogue, Jan used this word in the question - ‘Czy mogę zapytać, ile ty masz lat?’
Betsey:“Can I ask - how old are you?”
Joanna:Whenever you need permission or agreement from the other person, you should use the word ‘móc’
Betsey:Are there any other meanings or usages?
Joanna:Yes, there are. For example, if something is possible or impossible for you to do, you can use the verb ‘móc’
Betsey:Let’s hear some examples.
Joanna:‘Możemy się spotkać w piątek’
Betsey:“We can meet on Friday”
Joanna:For more examples, please refer to the lesson notes.
Betsey:Okay, what’s the next word?
Joanna:In the dialogue, we heard a slightly different word, which was ‘starszy’
Betsey:Which means “older”.
Joanna:In Polish, we grade adjectives by making changes at the end of the word, and for the superlative form only, at the beginning.
Betsey:Let’s grade the adjective “old” then.
Joanna:Okay, this is how it goes - ‘stary’
Betsey:“the oldest”
Joanna:Let’s go through these once more, and listeners, please repeat after me - stary.[pause].. starszy..[pause]. najstarszy..[pause].
Betsey:Great job!
Joanna:Actually, there’s one interesting thing about how young Poles use the word ‘starszy’.
Betsey:Hmm, what’s that?
Joanna:Young people often refer to their parents as ‘starszy’ for “father” and ‘starsza’ for “mother”. In this case, it’s treated as a noun. For example, ‘Mój starszy nie lubi mojej dziewczyny’
Betsey:“My father doesn’t like my girlfriend”
Joanna:But remember, this is very casual!
Betsey:Ok, it’s time to move on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Betsey:In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask and talk about your age.
Joanna:The most commonly used question to get someone’s age is ‘Ile masz lat?’
Betsey:“how old are you?”
Joanna:If we translate this Polish question literally, the result will be...
Betsey:“how many years do you have?”
Joanna:Yes, so it’s completely different from English. In Polish, we use the verb “to have” instead of “to be”.
Betsey:Okay, let’s discuss all of its components.
Joanna:That’s a good idea. The first word is ‘ile’.
Betsey:Which means “how much” or “how many” in English
Joanna:Then there’s ‘masz’, which is the second person singular form of the verb ‘mieć’.
Betsey:Which means “to have”.
Joanna:...and lastly, the noun ‘lat’
Betsey:which stands for the English “years”.
Joanna:In the dialogue Jan asked Ewa about her brother’s age - ‘Ile on ma lat?’
Betsey:“How old is he?” It looks like something changed here, we have an extra word.
Joanna:Yes, it’s - ‘on’...
Betsey:...which means “he”.
Joanna:When asking about someone’s age in the third person, we need to put the personal pronoun, in this case ‘on’, right after the question word.
Betsey:Let’s practice. Listeners, how do we say “how old are you?” Try saying it out loud.
Joanna [pause]................... ‘ile masz lat?’
Betsey:how do we say “how old is he?” in Polish?
Joanna:[pause]................. ‘ile on ma lat?’
Betsey:For more examples of these questions, please refer to the lesson notes.
Joanna:Now, let’s learn how to answer this question about our age.
Betsey:I assume that in this case, we will also use the verb “to have”.
Joanna:Exactly. When we talk about ourselves, we have to use the form for the first person singular - ‘mam’, then give your age, and at the very end comes the noun ‘lat’ or ‘lata’
Betsey:For example, let’s say - “I’m 15 years old”
Joanna:‘Mam 15 lat’
Betsey:How do we know when to use which form of the noun? Here you said ‘lat’ - why?
Joanna:In Polish, depending on which number you’re using, you can either use ‘lat’ or ‘lata’. In case of the number 15, it has to be ‘lata’
Betsey:How do we know when to use which?
Joanna:There’s a chart showing that in the lesson notes, so be sure to check it out. But for example, the numbers 2-3-4 require the form ‘lata’. Then, all numbers from 5 to 21 require the form ‘lat’. Then, the numbers 22, 23, and 24 required ‘lata’ again, and the cycle repeats.
Betsey:In the lesson notes you will find all the necessary information about counting up to one hundred, as well as family-related vocabulary.
Joanna:We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don’t forget to come back for the next!
Betsey:That just about does it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone! Bye!
Joanna:Do widzenia.