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Lesson Transcript

Cześć! Jestem Joanna. Hi! I’m Joanna.
Welcome to PolishPod101.com’s “Polski w 3 minuty”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Polish.
In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in Poland. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Polish, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Here's an informal way to say it.
Czy mówisz po angielsku?
[slowly] Czy mówisz po angielsku?
Czy is a particle which has no meaning. It’s similar to the English “do”.
In Polish, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used. Since you can understand what the pronoun is by looking at the verb conjugation, we usually skip the pronoun itself. That’s why there’s no pronoun after czy. Next, we’ve got verb mówisz, which means “speak”.
Then there’s po which we always have to put right before a language name.
And finally, angielsku, which means English.
We’re now going to make this sentence formal.
First of all we have to change mówisz into mówi, because the pronoun is changed from “you”, into a respectful pronoun meaning “sir” or “ma’am.” Then, we add Pan, which means “sir”, or Pani, which means “ma’am”. Everything else stays the same:
Czy mówi Pan / Pani po angielsku?
[slowly] Czy mówi Pan / Pani po angielsku?
Adding Przepraszam , "excuse me", makes the sentence more polite:
Przepraszam, czy mówi Pan / Pani po angielsku?
[slowly] Przepraszam, czy mówi Pan / Pani po angielsku?
The response you will receive could be one of these four:
Tak. "Yes."
[slowly] Tak.
Trochę. "A little."
[slowly] Trochę.
Nie. “No”
[slowly] Nie.
Nie, nie mówię po angielsku. "No, I don’t speak English."
[slowly] Nie, nie mówię po angielsku
Since the last one is a negative statement, we need to say nie before the verb, mówię. Notice also that the verb is slightly different than before.. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now addressing ourselves, so the sentence is:
Nie mówię po angielsku.
Now it’s time for Joanna’s Insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. Polish people study other European languages at school, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute angielsku with…
niemiecku for German
rosyjsku for Russian
włosku for Italian
hiszpańsku for Spanish
francusku for French
Today we mentioned the expression Przepraszam. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in Polish. It’s never too late to show your good manners with Polish people!
I'll see you in our next Polski w 3 minuty lesson.
Do zobaczyska!