Polish Language Blog

Dobranoc – It’s bedtime! Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Vocabulary

So, I have to apologize that I didn’t post this in the evening yesterday as planned. I was caught up in the fervor of the “LOST” finale here in the US, and proofreading through my work took a backseat. Although, I know many Poles and Polish Americans are huge fans of “Zagubieni“, so I suspect many were tied to their televisions much like I was. However, I did pull together a topic somewhat unexpectedly. And the inspiration last night was my night routine.

In the evenings, I think it is a perfect opportunity to go over basic Polish words with my kids. I can’t help but be amazed at my sons’ level of comprehension of Polish. Our nightly routine has included Polish vocabulary lessons because my oldest son wants to be able to communicate with his second cousins. So any opportunity I have to drill some vocabulary, I do. So for all you parents out there, or for those who want to get some vocabulary for a night routine, here we go. Dobranoc means good night, and it’s bedtime!

Our nightly routine begins w łazience (in the bathroom). The boys know that we brush teeth first, so each one grabs their szczoteczka do zębów (toothbrush). The oldest can get going on his own, but I put the pasta do zębów (toothpaste) on the little one’s brush. If I let him do it, we end up with Mom stuck doing bathroom clean-up after they are in bed because my young Picasso has painted in paste on the lustro (mirror).  I think the toughest part for a parent, in any language, is trying to teach their kids to do things. In this case, t task is to teach them to brush long enough so that they’re doing a good job. Songs usually work pretty well for me, and this is no exception. Because the little one tries so hard to be like the older one, one of our favorite rhymes is a Polish one that talks about two brothers just like them.

Dwa Michały
Tańcowały dwa Michały,
Jeden duży, drugi mały.
Jak ten duży zaczął krążyć,
To ten mały nie mógł zdążyć.

Jak ten mały nie mógł zdążyć,
To ten duży przestał krążyć.
A jak duży przestał krążyć,
To ten mały mógł już zdążyć.

A jak mały mógł już zdążyć,
Duży znowu zaczął krążyć.
A jak duży zaczął krążyć,
Mały znowu nie mógł zdążyć.

Mały Michał ledwo dychał,
Duży Michał go popychał,
Aż na ziemię popadały
Tańcujące dwa Michały.

The story is of two Michaels, one big one and one small one. The big one starts to dance and twirl about. But the little one can’t keep up. So the big one stops. But when the big one stops, the little one catches up and is twirling about. The the big one sees the little one twirling, so he starts twirling again. However, now the little one can’t keep up again. The little one is catching his breath, and the big one is pushing him on to keep up. Then they tumble down to the ground, the two dancing Michaels. Other than being an adorable rhyme to say and sing, it is a fantastic exercise in learning the Polish letter ż pronunciation.

It’s pretty short, so we run through it twice, and it works pretty well to get the job done. After that, they get ready for their baths by putting their spodnie (pants), skarpetki (socks), koszulki (tshirts) and slipy (underwear) in the hamper. They jump in the wanna (bathtub), and, using ściereczki do mycia (washcloths) and mydło (soap), they clean off the marker and the mayhem they may have gotten into that day. It’s not long before they get a quick rinse from the prysznic (shower), are wrapped in their ręczniki (towels) and sent to their rooms to get their piżamki (pajamas) on.

And now my favorite part of the night. I tuck each one into their łózko (bed), their heads on fluffed poduszki (pillows) and covered with a light koc (blanket) in warm weather or a cozy pierzyna (down comforter) when it’s cold. Before they close their eyes and head for dreamland, I give them some inspiration with a story from the księga bajkowa (story book). It really doesn’t matter what the story is about; there might be a król (king) and królowa (queen) with a story about their zamek (castle) or a tale about a magiczna lampa (magic lamp) and the dżin (genie) that comes out to grant them three wishes. There may be a epic saga of a knight battling the fiery smok (dragon). Regardless of the tale, or the language by which it’s told, the little ones head off to slumber with słodkie sny (sweet dreams).

I hope you have enjoyed my nightly routine and the vocabulary lesson that accompanied it. In the future, I am going to be posting word lists you can download to your computer as flashcards to have as study tools. Have a great day, and give the words we learned today a whirl in your routine tonight!

Do następnego czytania…

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  1. sila:


  2. Merowig:


    what is the difference between “słodkie sny” and “slodkich snow”