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Write a Christmas card in Polish

13 Dec

In Poland we don’t give each other Christmas cards. Instead we send them to those who we won’t see over the Christmas season. It’s an old Polish tradition and it’s high time for you to get writing so everybody receives their card before Christmas
You can start your wishes with Życzę Ci (I wish you) or Życzymy Wam (we wish you (you is plural)). All of the wishes need to be written in the genitive case as the verb ‘życzyć’ takes the genitive case. They can also be finished with the verb życzy, followed by your name or życzą, if there is more than one person signed.
Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia – Merry Christmas
(Boże Narodzenie – literally Birth of God)
Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku – Happy New Year

You can add few other phrases that will make your card more special:
Białych Świąt – (have a) white Christmas
Magicznej atmosfery przy świątecznym stole – (have a) magical atmosphere at the Christmas table
Miłych spotkań z rodziną i przyjaciółmi – nice get-togethers with family and friends
Dużo radości i miłości – lots of joy and love
Żeby Gwiazdka* przyniosła wymarzone prezenty – so the Little Star* brings you the presents you dreamt about

In various places of Poland they are different ‘people’ who bring presents:
Gwiazdka – Little Star (Kujawy),
Gwiazdor –Starman (North East of Poland),
Dziadek Mróz – Frostman (East of Poland),
Aniołek – Little Angel (Małopolska district),
Święty Mikołaj – Santa Clause (Warsaw),
Dzieciątko – Baby Jesus (Silesia district).

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas

Is your Polish getting a little bit rusty?

13 Oct

If you haven’t used Polish for a while and want to get back to it, here is what you can do.kloce sie z polakiem

  • Make a plan and… stick to it. Set yourself a realistic study time. Even if it’s just going to be 10 minutes of working on your Polish every day, that’s fine. It’s better to study for shorter periods of time, but regularly. Think about vocabulary – you can set yourself a goal of learning 5 words a day. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? It’s important not to overload yourself, so you can stay positive about learning Polish. It’s important it doesn’t become a chore.

Be honest with yourself, nobody is going to do it for you.

  • Remember why you’re doing it. Do you want to communicate with relatives or your partner’s family? Is it for work? Are you thinking of travelling to Poland and want to understand the language? Or have you got a particular interest, like Polish literature or cuisine? Keep the reasons in mind all the time.
  • Have respect for yourself. Anybody can learn a language. It’s just a question of time and effort. The time will pass anyway. Don’t waste it! The satisfaction at the end is going to be immense.
  • Get organised! Have everything you need in one place. Prepare flashcards and lists to take with you wherever you go. How about making a little Power Point to help you to remember the words? Then, anytime you have a spare moment, you can open it and go through the vocabulary again. The more effort you put in it, the easier your learning is going to be.
  • Surround yourself with Polish words. There are plenty of apps that you can get for free to help you to learn vocabulary. Make a list of bookmarks with useful websites that you can use when studying Polish. Put stickers around the house with words. Make sure you always have something with you that will help to revise. Access Polish differently – watch films or youtube videos, listen to Polish music, read stories and books, visit Polish websites etc. etc.
  • Identify your weaknesses and concentrate on them. Is particular conjugation difficult for you to remember? Or maybe you struggle with remembering the spelling of one long word or a phrase (przepraszam – Level 1, przesyłam pozdrowienia – Level 2, przestrzegać zasad – level 3)? Re-write it, take a picture of it, or even make a poster about this word and… study when you have a spare few minutes. It works! I promise.
  • Make friends with Poles. Reconnect with families. Keep in touch with people you might only have met once or twice. Take part in online discussions. Engage with real life activities. It will keep you motivated.
  • Read. You will be amazed how much you understand. It will bring you a lot of satisfaction. Social media is a great source of stories and phrases that will both entertain you and make you learn new vocab. Repeat them, write them down, take a picture, and come back to them as much as you can.
  • Make mistakes and… learn from them. You are getting out of your comfort zone and risking making a mistake every time you open your mouth to say something in Polish. So what? Accept the fact that it will take you quite some time before you speak without mistakes. It’s fine to make mistakes. Learn from them and try to eliminate as many of them as possible.
  • Reward yourself for your hard work. It’s not about being fluent in Polish, it’s about the progress you’re making. Nobody says that learning Polish is going to be easy. You need to acknowledge that you are working hard to get to the next stage of learning. Think about all of the people around who said that they are going to start Polish one day and never did… You are better than them.


Start Polish With Us!

8 Sep

It’s that time of the year when we are recruiting Polish language students. Anybody interested in learning Polish, can do so at The Language Centre ( in Newcastle. The academic year starts in October, but if you already have some experience of learning Polish, we offer ‘bridge’ refresher courses in September aimed at helping you get back into learning.poland-1034803-m

There are two levels:
• Polish False beginners starting on 17th September 2015 for those of you who have studied Polish for few months already,
• Polish Elementary 2+ for people who have about two years course behind them. This course will start on 14th September.

• The Language Centre offers Polish language courses on three levels to suit your abilities
• The teacher has years of experience of teaching Polish in the UK
• Small groups allow speedy progress in a non-stressful learning environment
• City centre location
More details:

The Language Centre, 6 Old Eldon Square (3rd floor), Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7JG

Hope to see you there!

The season of Polish cinema at Tyneside Cinema

9 Jul
The season of masterpieces of Polish cinema selected by Martin Scorsese is starting at Tyneside Cinema today. In the next  month you will be able to see six Polish films with English subtitles. Put it in your diary now! 99501a7738079c0bdd95461f3db1f9aa806d0f96_620_350_18_68_1068_603
A Short Film About Killing by Krzysztof Kieslowski –  9/07/2015 at 18:45 (R)
A grimly confrontational study of the protracted process of ending someone’s life, whether through casual murder or meticulously calibrated execution.
Ashes And Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda  16/07/2015 at 17:50 (R)
Film vividly captures the turbulence and confusion immediately following WWII, as a former resistance hero turns anti-Communist assassin.
Eroica by Edmund Munk 23/07/2015 at 18:45 (R)
Black comedy about WWII. In the first half, a hapless incompetent becomes a Resistance hero; in the second, Polish POWs are anything but keen to escape.
Provincial Actors by Agnieszka Holland – 28/07/2015 at 18:20 (R)
Ambitious ensemble piece, both an allegorical study of cultural interference and a painful portrait of a withering marriage, with the couple actively contemplating suicide or murder as an escape route.
The Saragosa Manuscript by Wojciech Has – 30/07/2015 at 19:40 (R)
As the Napoleonic Wars rage across Europe, two officers from opposing armies meet by chance in Saragossa, Spain, where they’re mutually bewitched by a book they find…
The Promised Land by Andrzej Wajda – 6/08/2015 at 19:55 (R)
Ruthlessly clear-eyed anatomising of the industrial revolution from the perspective of three young entrepreneurs vying to be the most ruthless.
As you know, watching films in Polish is a brilliant way to improve your comprehension skills… so which films are you going to see?

Free audiobooks to help you understand spoken Polish

21 Jun

To all Polish language learners this is a plentiful resource of books that are not easily available anywhere in the UK.


I hope you enjoy every minute of these books and that you gain a lot from these fantastic resources.

Back by popular demand – how to insult a Pole without swearing

21 Jun

  …It can be done in many ways, however, one of the common (unintended) insults is to think that Poles speak Russian! Polish and Russian might sound similar to some English speakers, but make no mistake. They are very different. kloce sie z polakiem

  • If you say that somebody is ‘głupi jak but‘, which means ‘stupid like a shoe’, it means you don’t  think highly of their intelligence.
  • Calling a Polish person ‘wieśniak‘ (which means ‘a village person’) would be the way of saying they have no manners. The other way would be to call them ‘burak‘ – ‘a beetroot’, more of an oaf with a red face, or ‘baran‘ – ‘a ram’.
  • Interestingly, Polish people are polite even when they argue, especially if they don’t know each other. You might hear “Pan jest idiotą.” (Sir, you’re an idiot).
  • Poles like to think about themselves as very generous people (have you noticed that they always give you something to eat or drink when you pop in?). Saying that somebody is ‘skąpy jak Szkot‘ – ‘stingy like a Scotsman’ wouldn’t go down well.
  • If you say that somebody is ‘a snowman’ – ‘bałwan’, you don’t think they make much use of their brain (what brain?)
  • Some women are called ‘głupia gęś‘ – ‘a silly goose’ rather than ‘a silly cow’. That’s very offensive!

Of course, you would have to use these expressions in vocative case, but this is a subject for another post ;).

Moomins about total eclipse of the Sun

19 Mar

Do you remember Moomins? Well, here is an episode about Eclipse of the Sun! (zaćmienie słońca)

All in Polish! All for free! Enjoy!



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