Archive for 'Culture'

Valentines wishes and rhymes in Polish

Posted on 13. Feb, 2016 by in Culture, Holidays, Literature, Rhymes

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Today last minute wishes and rhymes for your love, friends, family in both Polish and English:)


The best and most beautiful things in the world can’t be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. As my love for you… – Najlepszych i najpiękniejszych rzeczy na świecie nie można ujrzeć czy nawet dotknąć – muszą one zostać poczute sercem. Tak jak moja miłość do Ciebie…

I lack something, something beautiful.
Touch lips, your smile.
Thy dear caress, sweet as honey.
Beloved eyes, Thy words sound.
I lack everything, but we live!
Just because you would be!

Czegoś mi brak, czegoś pięknego.
Dotyku ust, uśmiechu Twego.
Twych pieszczot miłych, słodkich jak miód.
Oczu kochanych, dźwięku Twych słów.
Brak mi wszystkiego, lecz warto żyć!
Tylko dlatego, by z Tobą być!

We began as strangers.
We became friends.
We became one with each other.
We remain as one forever.

Zaczęliśmy jako obcy.
Staliśmy się przyjaciółmi.
Staliśmy się jednym.
Pozostaniemy jednością na zawsze.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

Róże są czerwone,
Fiołki są niebieskie.
Cukier jest słodki,
I Ty też.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I made this card just for you.
It’s not the neatest, it wouldn’t pass a test,
But it’s made with love – that makes it the best.

Róże są czerwone, fiołki niebieskie,
Tę kartkę zrobiłem specjalnie dla Ciebie.
Nie jest najładniejsza, nie zdałaby testu,
Ale jest zrobiona z miłością – to czyni ją najlepszą.

If I could make days last forever,
If words could make wishes come true,
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again I would spend them with you.

Gdybym mógł sprawić aby dni trwały wiecznie,
Gdyby słowa mogły spełniać życzenia,
Zachowałbym każdy dzień jak skarb i wtedy
Jeszcze raz spędził je razem z Tobą.

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How and where to spend Valentine’s Day in Poland

Posted on 08. Feb, 2016 by in Culture, Holidays

You don’t need a venue or an occasion to tell someone that you love and care for him/her, but pouring out your emotions to that special someone in the midst of a Valentine’s Day (Walentynki) celebration will surely make your partner overwhelmed with joy and happiness. Every year, 14th of February marks the onset of a day that conveys to the world the message of giving and sharing love. All over the world, people come together on this day to curb the hatred that has devastated the human society and spread love in its place. The concept of celebrating Valentine’s Day started years and continues till date. Celebrating the occasion in Poland adds a whole new dimension to it. There is something very romantic and alluring about the endless charming landscapes and the pictorial views of the country and every Valentine, the country finds a considerable share of travelers who come to celebrate the event the way the natives do.

If you are in Poland and thinking how to spend the perfect Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to brainstorm much. The place has a multitude of things to offer. In case you are a party creature and want to spend some jazzy time with your partner, the country has a range of pubs and clubs that you can choose from. On the other hand, if you are the nature loving type and want to ignite the flames of passion and spark of love in your life, the scenes and sights of the place are sufficient to melt the heart of your beloved.


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Valentine’s Day in Poland celebrated with intense joy and excitement but Poland never gets exhausted with it because the event is very economically celebrated there. Roses, chocolates, candies and cards are the most beloved gifts for the romantic occasion for polish people. Greeting card is one of main attraction of Valentine’s Day in Poland. Polish greeting cards shops get prepared for the occasion and get card with intense romantic messages. Flowers bouquets are exchanged between couples but basically men present their beloved flower bouquets which are filled with red roses or tulips.

There are so many great places to visit on this day, but if you’re craving chocolate and rich traditions, then you must pay homage to Pijalnie Czekolady Wedel in Warsaw (or any other city in Poland). Wedel is Poland’s longest established chocolate manufacturer, since1851, and one of the best known brands here. Though there are several locations in Warsaw, my favorite is the original one located in what was once the factory and café of the Wedel business in Centrum. As tradition warrants, you must try one of the infamous hot chocolates and then treat yourself to a decadent piece of chocolate cake, ice cream sundae or delicious chocolate truffles.


Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel on Szpitalna Street


Enjoy this Valentine’s Day!

Formal vs informal speech in Polish

Posted on 07. Jan, 2016 by in Culture, Grammar, Phrases, Vocabulary

There are two basic types of speech in Polish: the formal and the informal. The formal or informal contact is determined by cultural context, where the grammar is an expression of culture. The formal contact is between strangers, people of different ages or different social status. It serves to express social distance and respect.The informal contact is between members of a family (especially those of the same age), people who know each other well, and people of the same age and social status.

In official and polite contact the following forms are used:
Pan — to address a man — a singular form.
Pani — to address a woman (whether she is married or not) — a singular form.
Państwo — to address a man and a woman in a mixed group —  a plural form.
Panowie — to address a group of men —  a plural form.
Panie  — to address a group of women —  a plural form.

How do we manage to be polite in Polish and English respectively?
It is an intriguing and quite complicated question. As it is widely known, Polish is a very formal language – every single person, no matter his social position, above the age of approximately sixteen, is a “Pan” (a mister or a Sir) or “Pani” (a madam or a lady). Professors in college would usually speak to students per Pan/Pani as well. An obvious exception to the rules is how the Poles address under-aged youth.

Even if you are familiar with a person you write a letter to, a “you” that you use to address this person has to be spelled with a capital letter to show proper respect. A special polite form has also to be used when addressing people in formal relations. I am afraid, “Dear John, how are you doing?”, won’t get you very far when translating a business letter. In fact, the choice of the right form of address to the right person is an essential part of any letter writing in Polish. Most common form is “Szanowny Panie/Szanowna Pani” literally meaning “Respected Sir/Madam,” which is both respectful and neutral and would be translated as “Dear Sir/Madam.” On the other hand “Drogi Panie/Pani” meaning also “Dear Sir/Madam” has a touch of distance to it unless the first name of the person addressed is added with or without “respected.” Thus “Drogi Panie Tomaszu” or even shorter “Panie Tomaszu” translated simply as “Dear Tomasz” is the form of choice to be used when addressing someone we are well familiar with.

People arguing in Polish in the street will still address each other as “Pan,” although the other invectives are far from as gentle. It is not uncommon to hear “Pan jest idiotą” meaning literally “Sir, you are an idiot.” Omitting the “Sir” in this context denotes utter disrespect for the person that is being abused on all levels. Not only is his mental capacity questioned, besides he is totally worthless as a human being. Beware of the dire consequences! “You” when rightly pronounce in Polish is an abusive word!

Lately, due to the influence of English, the use of the “Pan/Pani” has become less strict in the everyday speech, especially between young people and in communication over the Internet. Thus, in this context, it is not uncommon to address even unknown and unrelated persons as “you” and also skip the initial capital. On the other hand, when looking for work in Poland you’d better keep the “Respected Sir/Madam” in the proper place or you’ll lose out

There is also word “Panna”, designating an unmarried woman and corresponding to “Miss.” The modern society obviously is nowadays not interested in one’s marital status which is reflected in both languages. Presently, “panna” when infrequently used to address someone can have a bit of outdated feeling about it and, thus, as an address form it is not recommended. Sometimes people in Poland use it to make fun of someone, so please be careful using this word, or don’t use it at all:)

It is important to know that such greetings in English “How are you?” Jak się masz?, or “How is it going?” Co słychać? Jak leci ? (informal) are not used as greetings in Polish. Instead, they are treated as questions requiring information. They are answered in Polish with such feedback as: good or bad mood information, complaints, worries or the opposite. The interlocutor normally follows with a more specific question about the situation, offers help, etc.

The formal phrases are customary formulas for letter:

Szanowna Pani./Doktor./Mario. (Respectable Mrs./Doctor./Mary)

Szanowny Panie./Doktorze./Marku. (Respectable Mr./Doctor./Mark.)

Droga Pani Mario…( This is a semi formal form: Dear Mrs. Mary…)

Note: Szanowny Panie Doktorze, Szanowna Pani Mario  —  it is customary that all the words referring to the addressee are spelled with a capital letter at the beginning. 


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How about the informal speech?

In informal contacts, the speakers address one another using their first names and the 2nd person pronoun singular or plural ty  —  you singular; wy  —  you plural. Usually in any given sentence the name or the pronoun is not repeated, so the 2nd person form is indicated by the form of a verb.

e.g. Marku, zagraj ze mną w gry komputerowe. “Mark, play computer games with me.”
The verb zagraj has the form which indicated the 2nd singular; therefore, the pronoun ty – you is not needed at all.

Informal ways of greeting are often followed by the first name.
For greetings you can use:
Cześć Marku!
Witaj Marysiu!
For farewells you can use:
Na razie! or Nara!

Introducing yourself: In informal introductions you normally use a forename or its diminutive.
Jestem Marek.
Jestem Maria.
Na imię mi Janek.
Na imię mi Marysia.

Introducing others: you normally use a question:
Przepraszam, czy znacie się? (Excuse me, do you know each other?)
Przepraszam, czy wy się znacie? (Excuse me, do you sing?)
Przepraszam, czy znasz Marka? (Excuse me, do you know Mark?)
As you proceed with an introduction:
Chcę ci przedstawić (+ Accusative) Marka Poznaj Marka.
(I’d like to introduce you to Mark./ Meet Mark.) The second form is more direct.

Writing letters informal way:

Kochana Mamo/Marysiu/Babciu (Dear Mom/Mary/Granny)

Drogi Janku/Tato/Synku (Dear John/Dad/Son)

Witaj Marku! (Hello Mark!)

Całuję…/Całuski… (kisses)

Ściskam Cię (hugs)

Serdecznie pozdrawiam! (Warm greetings)

And when in doubt, treat every Pole as a master, even the bellboy or a waiter, call everyone “Pan”, “Pani” or “Państwo” and you can’t possibly go wrong!