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Try poetry!

28 Jun

Recently Polish poem by Adam Zagajewski was featured in BBC’s An Anthology of Summer Poems. The poem is ‘Try to Praise the Mutilated World’ and it’s been published for the first time after the 9/11 attacks in United States. I think it has new meanings nowadays…

It is the second poem on this compilation

and here is the Polish version of it:


Zagajewski Adam

*** (Spróbuj opiewać okaleczony świat)

Spróbuj opiewać okaleczony świat.
Pamiętaj o długich dniach czerwca
i o poziomkach, kroplach wina rosé.
O pokrzywach, które metodycznie zarastały
opuszczone domostwa wygnanych.
Musisz opiewać okaleczony świat.
Patrzyłeś na eleganckie jachty i okręty;
jeden z nich miał przed sobą długą podróż,
na inny czekała tylko słona nicość.
Widziałeś uchodźców, którzy szli donikąd ,
słyszałeś oprawców, którzy radośnie śpiewali.
Powinieneś opiewać okaleczony świat.
Pamiętaj o chwilach, kiedy byliście razem
w białym pokoju i firanka poruszyła się.
Wróć myślą do koncertu, kiedy wybuchła muzyka.
Jesienią zbierałeś żołędzie w parku
a liście wirowały nad bliznami ziemi.
Opiewaj okaleczony świat
i szare piórko, zgubione przez drozda,
i delikatne światło, które błądzi i znika
i powraca.



Easy Polish! Great short videos with subtitles

29 Mar

One of my lovely students Judy found a really good source of videos about Polish ispoland-1034803-msues. I like the fact that they all have translations on the screen both in English and in Polish, so you can follow every single word.

Judy wrote:

Nie wiem, czy już znasz tę stronę:

Ma ciekawe nagrania (videos) 5- albo 6-minutowe po polsku z napisami po polsku i po angielsku.


Free children’s stories in Polish

2 Jan

Reading children’s stories is fun, especially if they are in Polish and challenge your understanding of everyday phrases. I found a great website that has links to a lot great stories: bajki-dla-dzieci

A story about a stubborn kitten – Bajka o upartym kotku

Red Riding Hood – Czerwony Kapturek

A star from a Christmas tree – Gwiazdka z choinki

Some of the links on the website are quite old, so apologies if don’t work.



Join us! Learn Polish and have fun!

14 Nov

All of my students have a reason to learn. Maybe they want to communicate with relatives or their partner’s family, or perhaps it’s for work. They might be thinking of travelling to Poland and want to understand the language, or they have got a particular interest, like Polish literature or cuisine. Once they enroll on the course, they need to keep the reasons in mind all the time.

The first step is the most difficult. It’s to do with making a commitment. And there is the fear that you might not succeed. I can tell you now: if you try and put enough effort into learning, you are going to succeed. Throughout all the years I have been teaching Polish in Newcastle, I have come across all kinds of students, and the ones that are almost fluent in Polish now are the ones that stuck with it. Nobody did it for them. They studied, practised, revised and they got there at the end. During lessons, they engaged in discussions, conversed…and realised that everybody struggles with something in Polish.

It’s a great satisfaction to speak a language that sounds so alien when you hear it for the first time. But language is just a combination of grammar rules and vocabulary. If you spend time getting familiar with them, you’ll see that it’s like any other skill that you already have. If you take the time to practice, you’ll reap the benefits.

Good luck!

Enroll to Polish courses at any level at


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

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?