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Lesson Transcript

Betsey:Hello everyone and welcome to PolishPod101.com. This is Beginner series, season 1, lesson 3, Knowing How to Ask Certain Questions Can Save Your Skin in Poland! I’m Betsey.
Joanna:And I’m Joanna.
Betsey:In this lesson you’ll learn how to ask about objects and people.
Joanna:This conversation takes place at university.
Betsey:The conversation is between Kate and Jan
Joanna:They are around the same age, so they’ll be speaking informal Polish.
Betsey:Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Jan:Proszę. Mam dla ciebie prezent.
Kate:Co to jest?
Jan:To jest podręcznik do nauki polskiego.
Kate:A kto to jest?
Jan:To jest twoja nowa nauczycielka. Powodzenia!
Alisha: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Jan:Proszę. Mam dla ciebie prezent.
Kate:Co to jest?
Jan:To jest podręcznik do nauki polskiego.
Kate:A kto to jest?
Jan:To jest twoja nowa nauczycielka. Powodzenia!
Alisha: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Jan:Proszę. Mam dla ciebie prezent.
:Here you go. I have a gift for you.
Kate:Co to jest?
:What is this?
Jan:To jest podręcznik do nauki polskiego.
:This is a Polish language book.
Kate:A kto to jest?
:And who is this?
Jan:To jest twoja nowa nauczycielka. Powodzenia!
:This is your new teacher. Good luck!
Betsey:In the dialogue Jan gave a present to Kate. Is giving presents common in Poland?
Joanna:Yes, Poles like to show their appreciation or simply that they care about the person, by giving them a gift.
Betsey:Is there always an occasion for a gift?
Joanna:Not always. Of course, we give each other presents on days like birthdays, name days, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and so on, but sometimes without any occasion.
Betsey:Among those celebrations you’ve just mentioned, there’s one I don’t know.
Joanna:Which one?
Betsey:A name day. What’s that?
Joanna:It’s a day when we celebrate our names. This custom originated with calendars of saints. The believers named after saints’ names would celebrate that day with some kind of a feast. Nowadays there’s no connection to religion.
Betsey:I see. But how do you know when your name day is?
Joanna:It’s very easy to find out, just buy a regular calendar.
Betsey:How is that?
Joanna:In every Polish calendar, by every date there are a few names listed. Then you have to look for your name and this way, you find out the date of your name day.
Betsey:This is an occasion to meet, have a good time, and eat and drink together.
Joanna:Yes, this is just what Poles love doing.
Betsey:It sounds that Poles are really fun people! Ok, let’s move on to the vocab.
:Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
:The first word we shall see is:dla [natural native speed]
:dla [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:dla [natural native speed]
:Next:prezent [natural native speed]
:present [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:present [natural native speed]
:Next:książka [natural native speed]
:książka [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:książka [natural native speed]
:Next:język [natural native speed]
:język [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:język [natural native speed]
:Next:polski [natural native speed]
:polski [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:polski [natural native speed]
:Next:co [natural native speed]
:co [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:co [natural native speed]
:Next:kto [natural native speed]
:kto [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:kto [natural native speed]
:Next:nauczycielka [natural native speed]
:nauczycielka [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:nauczycielka [natural native speed]
:Next:powodzenie [natural native speed]
:good luck
:powodzenie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:powodzenie [natural native speed]
:And last:Proszę. [natural native speed]
:Here you go.
:Proszę. [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:Proszę. [natural native speed]
Betsey:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Joanna, what’s the first word?
Betsey:We heard it in the dialog when Jan was giving a present to Kate, right?
Joanna:Yes, ‘proszę’ has more than one meaning and this is one of the situations where you’ll use it.
Betsey:In the other words - whenever you give something to someone and you want to be polite, you should say “there you go” or “here you are”
Betsey:Can we use it towards anyone?
Joanna:Yes, but to be honest, we don’t say it much to friends. It’s more common to use it when you’re with people older than you, strangers, or simply all those who you’d address with Mr or Ms.
Betsey:Okay, so what’s the other usage of this word?
Joanna:It’s the same as the English word “please”.
Betsey:As simple as that?
Joanna:Yes, finally something extremely simple, right?
Joanna:But in Polish there’s one more variation of “please”. One is ‘proszę’ and the other one is ‘poproszę’.
Betsey:Does the meaning change by adding ‘po’ at the beginning?
Joanna:Not at all. It’s just that the speaker can choose which of them they want to use.
Betsey:Can you give us some example?
Joanna:Whenever you’re in a store and you want to ask a clerk for something, for example “Three apples, please” you can say it in two ways.
Betsey:The first one is..
Joanna:‘Proszę trzy jabłka’
Betsey:And second one?
Joanna:‘Poproszę trzy jabłka’
Betsey:Both sentences mean exactly the same.
Joanna:Yes, as I said, it depends on which you prefer to use – both ways are perfectly fine.
Betsey:Okay, so what’s next?
Betsey:you heard this at the very end of the dialog and it means “good luck”
Joanna:This expression is very easy, since it’s used in the same situations as in English.
Betsey:What will be the most common occasion to use this?
Joanna:Definitely when someone you know takes some kind of examination or test. Also when they have a difficult task ahead, it’s nice to show that you care and wish them luck - ‘powodzenia’
Betsey:Yes, our listeners will need a little bit of luck, since we’re just about to move to the grammar section!

Lesson focus

Betsey:In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to ask questions about objects and people in Polish. One of the questions used in this lesson’s dialogue was “what’s this?”
Joanna:‘co to jest?’
Betsey:What is this question composed of?
Joanna:First comes the pronoun ‘co’ , which means “what”, then the demonstrative pronoun ‘to’, which stands for “this” and at the end the verb ‘jest’, which is the the third-person singular form of the verb ‘być’
Betsey:Listeners, do you remember this verb from the first lesson? It means “to be”
Joanna:Hopefully everyone has already mastered the conjugation of the verb ‘być’, because we will be using it a lot.
Betsey:So how do we say “what’s this?” in Polish?
Joanna:‘Co to jest?’
Betsey:Everyone, please repeat after Joanna..
Joanna:‘Co to jest?’ ….....
Betsey:In the dialog Kate asked this question when Jan gave her a gift.
Joanna:That’s right. It was a textbook, which is an object.
Betsey:So whenever you want to ask about an object, you can use the question..
Joanna:‘Co to jest?’
Betsey:What about a question identifying a person?
Joanna:To ask this kind of question we have to change the pronoun at the beginning.
Betsey:So “Who is this?” would be
Joanna:‘Kto to jest?’
Betsey:So the first word in this question is..
Joanna:‘kto’ which means “who”. Then the rest is the same as before. ‘kto’ is followed by the demonstrative pronoun ‘to’
Betsey:which means “this”...
Joanna:…and at the very end was the verb ‘jest’
Betsey:which is a form conjugated for the third-person singular
Joanna:‘Kto to jest?’
Betsey:“Who is this?” Okay, so now we know how to ask the question. It’s time to learn how to answer!
Joanna:Here comes the good news! There’s one answer that will work well for both questions!
Betsey:That’s great, it means there’s less to study!
Joanna:Exactly! So whenever you hear a question ‘co to jest?’ or ‘kto to jest?’ just start with ‘to jest..’ and then give the name of an object or a person.
Betsey:So does it mean “this is..”?
Joanna:Yes, it’s very simple, isn’t it?
Betsey:Indeed. Just like in English.
Joanna:Like in our dialog, when Jan gave Kate a present she asked ‘co to jest?’
Betsey:“What’s this?”
Joanna:And Jan’s answer was - ‘to jest książka do nauki języka polskiego’
Betsey:“This is a Polish language book.”
Joanna:and then Kate said ‘a kto to jest?’
Betsey:“And who is this?”
Joanna:Jan answered using the same kind of sentence - ‘To jest twoja nowa nauczycielka’
Betsey:“This is your new teacher” Ok, what if you want to introduce someone to your friend? In English, we start with “This is”
Joanna:And it’s the same in Polish. ‘To jest’ followed by a person’s name. For example - ‘To jest Kasia’
Betsey:“This is Kate.”
Joanna:or if Kasia is our sister, we can say ‘To jest moja siostra Kasia’
Betsey:“This is my sister, Kate”
Joanna:Listeners, you must admit that this is very easy!
Betsey:I think so. Hopefully the next lesson of this Beginner Series will be as easy as this one. Be sure to check it out!
Becky: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thank you for listening.
Joanna: Do widzenia.