Shopping at a Polish grocery store Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Culture, Phrases

Visiting another country is so much fun! But sometimes it could get a little tricky if you don’t know the language. What if you have to do some grocery shopping? It seems easy, right…?  In most cases you will probably be able to take whatever you need from the shelves yourself, but there are the special areas where you will be served – these include cold cuts and cheese stations, and, if available, the meat and fish stations.

I thought that phrases below may help you a little bit:)

could you tell me where the … is? – czy może mi pan/pani powiedzieć gdzie jest …?

milk – mleko

bread counter – stoisko z pieczywem

meat section – stoisko z mięsem

frozen food section – stoisko z mrożonkami

are you being served? – czy ktoś cię obsługuje?

I’d like … poproszę …

that piece of cheese – tamten kawałek sera

a slice of pizza – kawałek pizzy

six slices of ham – sześć plasterków szynki

some olives – trochę oliwek

how much would you like? – ile pan/pani sobie życzy?

half a kilo – pół kilo

Checkout – Kasy

12 items or less – do 12 artykułów

Cash only – Płatność tylko gotówką

Best before end – Najlepiej spożyć przed

Use by – Spożyj przed

could I have a bag, please? – czy mogę prosić o reklamówkę?

do you need any help packing? – czy potrzebujesz pomocy w pakowaniu?

do you have a loyalty card? – czy ma pan kartę stałego klienta?

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You also have to remember that all weights are metric, with grams giving mostly way to decagrams, abbreviated in Polish to “deka” or “deko”. Be ready with the requisite knowledge of the system as you ask for a certain amount of your product, such as:  “Poproszę 20 deko polskiej szynki” (20 decagrams of the Polish ham, please). A common way of expressing 250 grams in Polish is to use the expression of “ćwierć kilo”, which literally translates as “a quarter of a kilogram”. And so: “Proszę ćwierć kilo sera edamskiego” (A quarter of a kilogram of the Edam cheese, please). Notice that all weighed products have their unique names. The selection is huge, so make sure you give the right name to the assistant. Also, don’t forget that the prices shown for these products refer to 1 kilogram, so if you want to get a rough idea of the final price you will have to make the required calculations in your head beforehand, or simply look at the price label on the packaged product after it has been weighed.

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.