Dialogue - Polish

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Vocabulary

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skąd where...from
tutaj here
mieszkać to live
nowy new
lokator tenant
być to be
poznać to meet, to get to know
uczyć się to study, to learn
nazywać się to be called
powtórzyć to repeat

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is Basic Introduction Phrases
Nazywam się Katarzyna Kowalczyk. A pan?

"My name is Katarzyna Kowalczyk. And yours, sir?"

 


 

 

Introducing Yourself Using nazywać się


 

The verb nazywać się, meaning "to be called" is used to introduce yourself in Polish. It's usually used in official settings, however, that's not the only time you would use this phrase. Something to remember is that when you use nazywać się you should give both your first and last name or last name only; just like Felipe did in the dialogue. Let's have a look at a few examples and the conjugation of the verb.

  1. Nazywam się Nowak.
    "My name is Nowak."
  2. Nazywam się Robert Kowalski.
    "My name is Robert Kowalski"

* The verb nazywać can also occur without się, but then the meaning changes into "to name," for example, Gosia nazwała swojego psa Lolek ("Gosia named her dog Lolek").

Singular Form

Polish

"English"

(ja) nazywa-m się

"my name is"

(ty) nazywa-sz się

"your name is"

on nazywa-Ø się

"his name is"

pan nazywa-Ø się

"your name, sir, is"

ona nazywa-Ø się

"her name is"

pani nazywa-Ø się

"your name, ma'am, is"

ono nazywa-Ø się

"its name is"

 

Plural Form

Polish

"English"

(my) nazywa-my się

"our names are"

(wy) nazywa-cie się

"your names are"

oni nazywa-ją się

"their names are"

państwo nazywa-ją się

"your names, ladies and gentlemen, are"

panowie nazywa-ją się

"your names, gentlemen, are"

one nazywa-ją się

"their names are"

panie nazywa-ją się

"your names, ladies, are"

 

 

Talking About Yourself Using być Followed by the Genitive


 

  1. Using Jestem z followed by the genitive case
    "I am from..."

In the dialogue of this lesson you heard the question skąd pan jest? ("where are you from, sir?"), and the more casual version of the same question, without the word pan ("sir"), skąd jesteś? meaning "where are you from?" Please note that in Polish we rarely use pronouns like ja ("I"), ty ("you") or my ("we"), because the form of the verb expresses the pronoun. That's why we won't say skąd ty jesteś?, we will just say skąd jesteś?

To answer the question you need to use the verb być which means "to be" in English, followed by the preposition z ("from") and name of the country you come from in the genitive case. Let's have a look at a few examples.

  1. A: Skąd jesteś?
    "Where are you from?"
    B: Jestem z Australii.
    "I'm from Australia"
  2. A: Skąd pan jest?
    "Where are you from, sir?"
    B: Jestem z Holandii.
    "I'm from Holland."
  3. A: Skąd pani jest?
    "Where are you from, ma'am?"
    B: Jestem z Francji.
    "I'm from France."

In the table below, we have the names of countries in their dictionary form as well as English translations. And on the right, there are forms that have to be used whenever we use the preposition z, which means "from" in English. In Polish, the forms are a little bit different, so please pay attention to the endings.

 

Polish Nominative case

English

z...

(Polish Genitive case)

Stany Zjednoczone

"the United States"

Stanów Zjednoczonych

Japonia

"Japan"

Japonii

Hiszpania

"Spain"

Hiszpanii

Anglia

"England"

Anglii

Szwajcaria

"Switzerland"

Szwajcarii

Dania

"Denmark"

Danii

Holandia

"Holland"

Holandii

Chiny

"China"

Chin

Ukraina

"Ukraine"

Ukrainy

Francja

"France"

Francji

Rosja

"Russia"

Rosji

 

 

Examples from the dialogue:

  1. Nazywam się Felipe Rossi.
    "My name is Felipe Rossi."
  2. Jestem z Brazylii.
    "I'm from Brazil."

 

Sample Sentences

 


 

  1. Nazywamy się Kowalscy.
    "Our name is Kowalski."
  2. On nazywa się Smith i jest ze Stanów Zjednoczonych.
    "His name is Smith and he's from the United States."

Cultural Insights

Meeting Someone in Poland for the First Time—Dos and Don'ts


First of all, when we meet someone for the first time we have to introduce ourselves, at the same time extending our hand for a handshake. You can start with witam, literally meaning "welcome" but commonly used as a greeting, just like the English "hello." You can use other greetings like Cześć ("Hi"), Dzień dobry ("Good morning"), or Dobry wieczór ("Good evening"), depending on the time of the day and the formality level. After that you should give your name, and to do that there are a few options. For example, with our character from the dialogue, he might say:

  • Felipe or Felipe Rossi (yes, you can say ONLY your name; using your full name in more formal situations)
  • Jestem Felipe. ("I'm Felipe.")
  • Mam na imię Felipe. ("My name is Felipe.")
  • Nazywam się Felipe Rossi ("My name is Felipe Rossi.")

It's very important to remember the handshake, which is done by both men and women, in both casual and formal settings. Make sure your grip is firm and confident. Poles often get a slightly negative impression of someone if their grip is soft, or non-existent.

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to PolishPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner Season 1 Lesson 1 - Meeting Your New Neighbor in Poland. Eric Here.
Marzena: Cześć. I'm Marzena.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn basic introduction phrases. The conversation takes place in an apartment building.
Marzena: It's between Kasia and Felipe.
Eric: The speakers are strangers, so they’ll be using formal Polish. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Kasia: Dzień dobry! Nowy lokator?
Felipe: Może pani powtórzyć?
Kasia: Lokator. Mieszka pan tutaj?
Felipe: Tak.
Kasia: Nazywam się Katarzyna Kowalczyk. A pan?
Felipe: Nazywam się Felipe Rossi.
Kasia: Miło mi pana poznać, Felipe. Skąd pan jest?
Felipe: Jestem z Brazylii.
Kasia: Uczy się pan tutaj?
Felipe: Nie, pracuję dla firmy handlowej.
Eric: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Kasia: Dzień dobry! Nowy lokator?
Felipe: Może pani powtórzyć?
Kasia: Lokator. Mieszka pan tutaj?
Felipe: Tak.
Kasia: Nazywam się Katarzyna Kowalczyk. A pan?
Felipe: Nazywam się Felipe Rossi.
Kasia: Miło mi pana poznać, Felipe. Skąd pan jest?
Felipe: Jestem z Brazylii.
Kasia: Uczy się pan tutaj?
Felipe: Nie, pracuję dla firmy handlowej.
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Kasia: Good Morning! Are you a new tenant?
Felipe: Can you repeat that, ma'am?
Kasia: Tenant. Do you live here, sir?
Felipe: Yes.
Kasia: My name is Katarzyna Kowalczyk. And yours, sir?
Felipe: My name is Felipe Rossi.
Kasia: Nice to meet you, Felipe. Where are you from?
Felipe: I'm from Brazil.
Kasia: Do you study here?
Felipe: No, I'm working for a trading company.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Marzena, are there special rules to follow when you meet someone for the first time in Poland?
Marzena: Well, when we meet someone for the first time we have to introduce ourselves and offer a handshake.
Eric: What should you say?
Marzena: You can use greetings like Cześć, Dzień dobry, or Dobry wieczór, depending on the time of the day and the formality level.
Eric: These mean “Hi,” “Good morning,” and “Good evening,” respectively.
Marzena: After that you should give your name, and there are a few ways to do that.
Eric: For example, if it was Felipe from the dialogue, what would he say?
Marzena: He could say his name or he could say Jestem Felipe.
Eric: meaning “I’m Felipe.”
Marzena: He could also say Mam na imię Felipe.
Eric: Meaning "My name is Felipe."
Marzena: or Nazywam się Felipe Rossi,
Eric: which also translates as "My name is Felipe Rossi."
Marzena: It's very important to remember the handshake, which is done by both men and women, in both casual and formal settings. Make sure your grip is firm and confident. Poles will have a slightly negative impression of someone if their grip is soft, or non-existent.
Eric: That’s good to know. Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Marzena: nowy [natural native speed]
Eric: new
Marzena: nowy[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: nowy [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: lokator [natural native speed]
Eric: tenant
Marzena: lokator[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: lokator [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: powtórzyć [natural native speed]
Eric: to repeat
Marzena: powtórzyć[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: powtórzyć [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: mieszkać [natural native speed]
Eric: to live
Marzena: mieszkać[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: mieszkać [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: tutaj [natural native speed]
Eric: here
Marzena: tutaj[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: tutaj [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: nazywać się [natural native speed]
Eric: to be called
Marzena: nazywać się[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: nazywać się [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: poznać [natural native speed]
Eric: to meet, to get to know
Marzena: poznać[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: poznać [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: skąd [natural native speed]
Eric: where... from?
Marzena: skąd[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: skąd [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Marzena: być [natural native speed]
Eric: to be
Marzena: być[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: być [natural native speed]
Eric: And last we have..
Marzena: uczyć się [natural native speed]
Eric: to study, to learn
Marzena: uczyć się[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Marzena: uczyć się [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let's have a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase is..
Marzena: Może pani powtórzyć?
Eric: meaning "Can you repeat that, ma'am?"
Marzena: Może is the conjugated form of the infinitive verb móc, and means "can, to be able to," and here it's in the third person singular. The next word in the phrase is pani, meaning “ma'am,” and the last word is powtórzyć, meaning "to repeat."
Eric: When would you use this expression?
Marzena: You use this phrase when you want a woman you’re talking with to repeat what she has just said. If you’re talking to a man, then we need to replace the word pani with pan for “sir.” So then it’s Może pan powtórzyć?
Eric: You would use this sentence in a formal situation, like when we’re talking to a stranger or a person you’re not close enough to to address by their first name, right?
Marzena: Right. For example, you can say.. Przepraszam, nie usłyszałem. Może pani powtórzyć?
Eric: ..which means "I'm sorry, I didn't hear. Can you repeat that, ma'am?" Marzena, what can we say if it’s a casual situation?
Marzena: In more casual settings, it's a better idea to use Możesz powtórzyć?
Eric: Which literally means "Can you repeat?" Okay, what's the next word?
Marzena: poznać
Eric: meaning "to meet.” Just keep in mind that it can be used only when you are talking about meeting someone for the first time. It's also similar to the English "to get to know someone." How is it usually used?
Marzena: It's commonly used in the phrase miło mi pana poznać, which we heard in the dialogue. There it means "It's nice to meet you, sir." Of course if we’re speaking to a lady, we change pana into panią. If we're talking to a young person, we can skip pan and pani and say miło mi cię poznać,
Eric: Which is literally just "nice to meet you." Okay, what's the next phrase?
Marzena: A pan?
Eric: meaning "And you, sir?"
Marzena: This phrase is reserved for formal situations, because we’re addressing the man we're talking to with pan. Of course for a woman we’d used pani.
Eric: Is there a similar expression that can be used in a less formal situation?
Marzena: Yes, it’s A ty?. This is equivalent to the English "And you?"
Eric: Kasia used this in the dialogue to get information.
Marzena: Right. First she gave her name and then said a pan? because she wanted to learn Felipe's name.
Eric: Can you give us an example using this phrase in a casual context?
Marzena: Sure. For example, you can say.. Studiuję historię. A ty?
Eric: .. which means "I'm studying history. And you?" Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you'll learn about basic introduction phrases.
Marzena: When you introduce yourself in Polish, you can use the verb nazywać się
Eric: This literally means “to be called” or “to name oneself.”
Marzena: It’s usually used in official settings, however, that’s not the only time you would use this phrase. Something to remember is that when you use nazywać się you should give either both your first and last name or just your last name.
Eric: Just like Felipe did in the dialogue. Let’s see the complete conjugation of this verb. Marzena will give the Polish and I will give the English translation
Marzena: ja nazywa-m się
Eric: "my name is"
Marzena: ty nazywa-sz się
Eric: "your name is"
Marzena: on nazywa-Ø się
Eric: "his name is"
Marzena: Then we have the polite form, which is the same, pan nazywa-Ø się
Eric: "your name, sir, is"
Marzena: my nazywa-my się
Eric: "our names are" or literally “we are called”
Marzena:Yes, but we usually don’t use this one. It sounds weird unless you’re introducing your team or group.
Eric: Ok, and the next one is...
Marzena: wy nazywa-cie się
Eric: "your names are" or “you are called”
Marzena: oni nazywa-ją się
Eric: "their names are" or “they are called”. Also in the plural, the third person is the polite form.
Marzena: Right. For example, you can have państwo nazywa-ją się
Eric: "Your names, ladies and gentlemen, are." Ok, now that we know how to say what our name is, we can learn how to talk about ourselves.
Marzena: You can use the verb być meaning “to be” followed by the genitive. For example, in the dialogue you heard the question skąd pan jest?
Eric: Meaning “Where are you from, sir?”
Marzena: The more casual version of the same question, without the word pan, is skąd jesteś?
Eric: meaning “where are you from?”
Marzena: Please note that in Polish, we rarely use pronouns like ja, ty or my.
Eric: Meaning “I,” “You,” or “We.”
Marzena: That’s because the form of the verb expresses the pronoun. And that’s why we won’t say skąd ty jesteś? we will just say skąd jesteś?
Eric: Ok, now let’s see how to answer this question
Marzena: To answer the question, you need to use the verb być which means “to be” in English, followed by the preposition z, meaning “from,” and name of the country you come from in the genitive case.
Eric: For example?
Marzena: Jestem z Australii.
Eric: "I'm from Australia"
Marzena: Jestem z Holandii.
Eric: "I’m from Holland." So all we have to say is the right form of the the verb “to be” followed by the preposition “from”, and the name of the country in the genitive case.
Marzena: Right, Jestem followed by z and the country name in the genitive case.
Eric: Can you give us some country names in both the dictionary form and the genitive case?
Marzena: Sure, for example Stany Zjednoczone and Stanów Zjednoczonych
Eric: These both refer to “the United States.”
Marzena: Anglia and Anglii
Eric: and here it’s “England.” You can find a longer list in the lesson notes, so check them out. Marzena, let’s give some sample sentences using the verbs and rules for introducing yourself that we’ve just seen.
Marzena: Sure! For example, Nazywam się Nowak.
Eric: "My name is Nowak."
Marzena: On nazywa się Smith i jest ze Stanów Zjednoczonych.
Eric: "His name is Smith and he's from United States."

Outro

Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Marzena: Do widzenia.