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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Betsey:Hello everyone and welcome to PolishPod101.com. This is Beginner series, season 1, lesson 5, Describing Things in Polish. I’m Betsey.
Joanna:And I’m Joanna.
Betsey:In this lesson you’ll learn how to describe things in Polish.
Joanna:This conversation takes place at a confectionery shop.
Betsey:The conversation is between the shop clerk and Kate, who is trying to choose a cake.
Joanna:They are strangers, so they’ll be speaking formal Polish.
Betsey:Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Kate:Przepraszam, jakie to jest ciasto?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest piernik, tradycyjne polskie ciasto.
Kate:A jaki jest ten tort?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest czekoladowy tort. Jest bardzo słodki.
Kate:A jaka jest ta rolada?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest waniliowa rolada. Jest bardzo smaczna.
Alisha: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Kate:Przepraszam, jakie to jest ciasto?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest piernik, tradycyjne polskie ciasto.
Kate:A jaki jest ten tort?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest czekoladowy tort. Jest bardzo słodki.
Kate:A jaka jest ta rolada?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest waniliowa rolada. Jest bardzo smaczna.
Alisha: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Kate:Przepraszam, jakie to jest ciasto?
:Excuse me, what is this cake like?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest piernik, tradycyjne polskie ciasto.
:This is gingerbread, a very traditional Polish cake.
Kate:A jaki jest ten tort?
:And what is this birthday cake like?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest czekoladowy tort. Jest bardzo słodki.
:This is a chocolate birthday cake. It’s very sweet.
Kate:A jaka jest ta rolada?
:What is this roll cake like?
Sprzedawczyni:To jest waniliowa rolada. Jest bardzo smaczna.
:This is a vanilla roll cake. It’s very tasty.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Betsey:What shall we talk about this time?
Joanna:Sweets!!
Betsey:Do Poles like sweets THAT much?!
Joanna:Yes! We love sweets!!
Betsey:What kind of sweet is the most popular in Poland?
Joanna:Probably cakes. There’s a really enormous range of cakes, basically anything you can think of. And what’s more, all of them are sold per kilogram.
Betsey:Per kilogram??
Joanna:Yes! The reason for that is probably the fact that Poles are never satisfied with a one tiny piece of cake. We eat a lot.
Betsey:Do you also bake cakes?
Joanna:Yes, we do. Of course these days many people just buy them, but many households still bake cakes, especially for holidays like Christmas or Easter. There’s also one very special holiday in February, which we call ‘Tłusty Czwartek’, “Fat Thursday”
Betsey:“Fat Thursday”?! I just can’t imagine what this holiday might be about!
Joanna:haha! It’s a donut day! On that day absolutely everyone has to eat at least one donut!
Betsey:Sounds funny!
Joanna:So yes, on that day, no-one cares about their diet or calories, they just eat donuts basically the whole day.
Betsey:Poland is truly an interesting country. Let’s learn some words which can be useful if you go to confectionery shop.
VOCAB LIST
:Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
:The first word we shall see is:jaki [natural native speed]
:"what...like," what (masculine)
:jaki [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:jaki [natural native speed]
:Next:jaka [natural native speed]
:"what...like," what (feminine)
:jaka [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:jaka [natural native speed]
:Next:jakie [natural native speed]
:"what...like," what (neuter)
:jakie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:jakie [natural native speed]
:Next:ciasto [natural native speed]
:cake
:ciasto [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:ciasto [natural native speed]
:Next:tort [natural native speed]
:birthday cake
:tort [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:tort [natural native speed]
:Next:rolada [natural native speed]
:roll cake
:rolada [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:rolada [natural native speed]
:Next:słodki [natural native speed]
:sweet
:słodki [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:słodki [natural native speed]
:Next:tradycyjny [natural native speed]
:traditional
:tradycyjny [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:tradycyjny[natural native speed]
:Next:waniliowy[natural native speed]
:vanilla
:waniliowy [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:waniliowy [natural native speed]
:And Last:być [natural native speed]
:to be
:być [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:być [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
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?
Joanna:‘ciastkarnia’
Betsey:“confectionery shop”
Joanna:‘ciastkarnia’ is a place where in Poland you can buy all kinds of cakes, cookies, donuts, and quite often also bread.
Betsey:This noun derives from some other words, doesn’t it?
Joanna:Yes, from the noun ‘ciastko’
Betsey:which means “a cookie” in English
Joanna:and the end -arnia is usually added to names of places. So altogether, we get a place where cookies are made and where we buy them - ‘ciastkarnia’
Betsey:“confectionery shop”. Okay, so what’s the next word?
Joanna:‘tort’
Betsey:“birthday cake”
Joanna:In Poland there’s a very wide variety of birthday cakes - different flavors, creams, fruits, and decorations. And here comes an interesting piece of information - ‘tort’ is not necessarily a cake that is bought to celebrate someone’s birthday.
Betsey:You buy it for different occasions too?
Joanna:Yes, ‘tort’ is a cake that has a certain look - 2 or 3 layers of sponge cake with cream and jam in between. Poles also buy them for anniversaries or name days as well..
Betsey:We’ve learned a lot about Polish cakes, confectionery shops and unusual Polish holidays today! It’s high time to move on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Betsey:In this lesson you’ll learn how to describe features of objects and people, and also how to ask about them.
Joanna:The first thing you need to pay a lot of attention to is the gender of nouns.
Betsey:We hope you’ve spent some time working on recognizing noun gender.
Joanna:Yes, because this skill is crucial for asking questions about features!
Betsey:So Joanna, if we want to ask what something is like, what do we have to say in Polish?
Joanna:Everything depends on the gender of the object we are asking about.
Betsey:We have three options then, right?
Joanna:Yes. We can start the question in three ways. Let’s start with masculine nouns.
Betsey:How would the question sound if we were asking about a masculine object or person?
Joanna:‘Jaki to jest …?’
Betsey:“What is this [blank] like” Let’s break down this question.
Joanna:First comes the pronoun ‘jaki’, which we have to use for masculine nouns...
Betsey:...it stands for the English “what”.
Joanna:Then we have the demonstrative pronoun ‘to’...
Betsey:...which means “this”.
Joanna:Next comes ‘jest’...
Betsey:...the third person singular form of the verb “to be”.
Joanna:And lastly after ‘jest’ we have to put the name of the object or person we’re asking about, for example ‘jaki to jest tort?’
Betsey:This is the question Kate asked the confectionery shop clerk. It means “What is this birthday cake like?”
Joanna:The noun ‘tort’ is a masculine noun, so we have to use the question word ‘jaki’
Betsey:So what is the question word used for asking about feminine nouns?
Joanna:It’s ‘jaka’
Betsey:In the dialogue Kate asked “What is this roll cake like?”
Joanna:‘Jaka to jest rolada?’
Betsey:I see the way the question is built doesn’t change at all.
Joanna:That’s right. The only thing that changes is the question word, since it depends on the gender of the noun and the noun itself, which appears at the end of the question.
Betsey:Ok, got it. Now let’s learn how to ask about neuter nouns.
Joanna:The correct question word in this case is - ‘jakie’
Betsey:So how do we say - “what is this cake like?”
Joanna:‘jakie to jest ciasto?’
Betsey:So the noun for “cake” is a neuter noun. is that correct?
Joanna:Yes. ‘ciasto’ is a neuter noun, so it requires the ‘jakie’ question word.
Betsey:Let’s test our listeners a little bit. We will say the gender and you try to choose the correct question word, before Joanna says it. What you should use for masculine nouns?
Joanna:[pause]...... ‘jaki’
Betsey:feminine nouns?
Joanna:[pause]….......’jaka’
Betsey:and lastly - neuter nouns?
Joanna:[pause]…......’jakie’
Betsey:We hope you got all the answers right. Be sure to check the lesson notes for more examples of this kind of question.
Joanna:Since we’ve learned how to ask questions, now it’s time to learn how to answer them.
Betsey:Here, again, being able to recognize genders of nouns will be very important.
Joanna:Yes, because the form of an adjective changes according to the gender of the noun it describes. There has to be gender agreement between those words.
Betsey:Can you give us some examples?
Joanna:Let’s use one from the dialog. ‘To jest czekoladowy tort’
Betsey:“This is a chocolate birthday cake”
Joanna:The sentence starts with the demonstrative pronoun ‘to’
Betsey:which means “this”
Joanna:Then it’s followed by the third-person singular form of the verb “to be” which is ‘jest’. And then come the adjective and noun that are being described.
Betsey:We have to make some changes at the end of adjectives to make them masculine, feminine or neuter, right?
Joanna:Yes. So usually masculine adjectives will end with the vowel -y, just like in the example from the dialog. If the adjective is feminine it will end with the vowel -a and if it’s neuter then the ending will be -e.
Betsey:For the full table with adjective endings and examples, please refer to the lesson notes.
Marketing Piece
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Betsey: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone!
Joanna: Do widzenia.

10 Comments

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PolishPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Hi everyone,

What does your bag look lilke?

greg
Saturday at 10:36 pm
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15 November 2014


How come the dialog and transcript don't match? The PDF matches, but the MP3 tag doesn't...

PolishPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 11:54 am
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Hi Greg


Thank you for spotting this. We will try to correct it as soon as possible.


Sincerely

Piotr

Team PolishPod101.com

greg
Thursday at 1:20 pm
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There's an error in the lesson audio: At 9:29 Betsy says, "Okay, got it. Now let's learn how to ask about neuter nouns." At 9:34 she repeats herself.

PolishPod101.comVerified
Friday at 11:09 am
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Hi Lauren


Thank you for your message. With the sentence starting with "to jest" the emphasis is put on showing (pointing out) a thing. So whenever you will want to point out anything (i.e. This is rolada, this is a car, this is a kid) you start your sentence always with "To jest" no matter of the gender.

This is Rolada - To jest rolada

This is a car - To jest samochód

This is a kid - To jest dziecko


With the other sentence "Jaka jest ta rolada" the emphasis is put on describing a specif thing/person. In that case you do use gender particles.


How is this rolada? - Jaka jest ta rolada? -> This rolada is sweet -> Ta rolada jest słodka

How is this car? - Jaki jest ten samochód? -> This car is fast -> Ten samochód jest szybki

How is this kid? - Jakie jest to dziecko? -> This kid is energetic -> To dziecko jest energiczne


I hope that helps. Let me know in case you have any other questions.


Sincerely

Piotr

Team PolishPod101.com

Lauren
Thursday at 2:50 am
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One thing that I'm getting snagged on is the lack of gender on "to" in many of the practice sentences.


For example: "To jest czekoladowa rolada".... I keep wanting to start it with "Ta jest". Or I lean the sentence "Jaka ta jest rolada", when doing backwards flash card study.


When do we use a gendered "this"?

PolishPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 11:59 am
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Hi Shaun


Let's just say we are young at heart (młodzi w sercu) :smile: .


Sincerely

Piotr

Team PolishPod101.com

Shaun
Wednesday at 4:14 pm
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Haha! On jest stary... just like me. ("Jestem też stary"?)

PolishPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 11:07 am
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Hi Shaun


Good job! Just to give you a small insight. "Tornister" is mainly a school bag used school children to carry books and other educational materials. So indeed it should be "stary" :wink:


Sincerely

Piotr

Team PolishPod101.com

Shaun
Sunday at 5:28 am
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Moja torba jest nowa.


Mój tornister jest stary.