Meeting, greeting,leaving…what to say? Posted by Kasia on Jan 5, 2014 in Grammar, Phrases
It is always nice if you go abroad on holidays and can say at least few words in the country’s language. Usually, it’s either saying hello or introducing yourself. Often local people become much more friendly if you make an effort and try to speak few words in their language. In this post you will learn how to greet people and introduce yourself in Polish.
First, let’s greet someone you just bump into on the street and you don’t know them. Or, you are being introduced to someone first time.
Dzień dobry! – (lit. good day). This phrase is used all day long until evening. It is quite formal and polite. In Polish there is no different phrases for morning and afternoon.
Dobry wieczór. – ‘Good evening’. This one is used, obviously, in the evening, around 7pm and later. It’s again quite formal and polite. You can’t go wrong with these two!
Witam. – ‘Welcome’. Literally, ‘I welcome you’. Less common but still used.
Cześć. / Hej. – ‘Hello’, or ‘hi’. Informal, used more between people who know each other already. Generally you can use it with people in informal situations. You would not use it to greet your teacher, or future employer during an interview.
Siema. / Siemanko. – Slang, used mostly by youngsters. Very informal.
Very well, now you know how to greet people. But to add something more, I bet you would like to be able to introduce yourself as well. So here it goes:
Nazywam się Ola / Mam na imię Ola. – ‘My name is Ola’. This sounds very formal and quite stiff. To be more informal, you can say:
Jestem Ola. – ‘I’m Ola’. This sounds about right. If you want to sound a bit more formal, just add your surname at the end.
Miło mi. – ‘Nice to meet you’. – Polite.
Cała przyjemność po mojej stronie. – ‘The pleasure is all mine.’ Very polite. If you want to impress a lady, this is the way to go!
Jak się Pan / Pani (dziś) miewa? – So how are you doing (today)? This is very polite and formal. ‘Pan’ is for a Gentleman, and ‘Pani’ for a lady.
Co tam słychać? / Co słychać?– ‘So, what’s up? / What’s up?’ – informal.
Jak leci? – How is it hanging?
Jak się masz? – How are you?
Co u Ciebie? – How are you doing?
Jak tam? / Co tam? – What ‘s up?
Shaking hands is okay, but people in Poland do not generally kiss on the cheek the way it’s common in Mediterranean countries. Hugs are reserved for friends and family. More often than not waving your hand in a welcoming way or nodding your head will suffice.
You can reply by saying:
Stara bida. / Po staremu. – Nothing new, so-so. Old stuff. Not much to say.
U mnie (wszystko) dobrze. – (Everything’s) fine / OK.
Tak sobie. – so-so. I’ve been better.
U mnie spoko. – I’m cool.
Wszystko w porządku. – formal – everything is fine
Wszystko OK. – All is OK.
U mnie świetnie. – Me? oh, I’m fantastic.
Now it’s time to say goodbye. This is how we do it:
Do widzenia! – Goodbye!
Trzymaj się. – take care. Literally, hold on tight!
Narka / Nara / Na razie! – informal, first two even slang.
Do zobaczenia. – See you later.
Pa pa! – Bye – bye!
Cześć. – You can also use this as saying ‘bye’.
Do jutra. – See you tomorrow.
Dobranoc. – Goodnight.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)
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