Considered by many, and here we quote the Internet and the American scientists, as one of the most difficult languages in the world, Polish is here to intrigue and charm us with its politeness, playfulness and pronunciation 😊
The language belongs to the Slavic languages group, along with Russian, Ukrainian, Czech or Serbian. And as you can imagine although there are a lot of similarities between these languages, sometimes we can come across the so-called “false friends”. For example, Polish “frajer” (naive) has little to do with the Czech “frajer” (handsome guy/lover/boyfriend). But, by speaking the language, you will have a real advantage learning any other Slavonic languages: Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Russian, Slovene, Serbian and Ukrainian.
The Polish alphabet is based on the Roman alphabet and consists of 32 letters. However, 9 of them don’t exist in any other alphabet… They are: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń ó, ś, ż, ż and Poles do have a weakness for them. One of the most beautiful Polish words is considered to be “źdźbło” (blade of grass).
These letters are not the only instrument of torture😊. The “digraphs”: cz, ch, sz, rz, dz, dż and dź compiled in different combinations, create tongue-twisters such as “Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie w Szczebrzeszynie”. We know it. It can be painful to pronounce, but the good news is that not even the Poles pronounce it correctly!
Do you remember that we mentioned at the beginning of the article the word playfulness? Well, Poles do love to play and their favourite sport is word formation! For example, from the verb “lecieć” (to fly) we can create “wylecieć”, “nalecieć”, “ulecieć”, “polecieć”, “przelecieć”, “przylecieć”, etc… and they all have different meanings!
If you are a non-Polish Speaker, then brace yourself as you’re most likely to wish everyone who is offering food “a good day”. Why? Well, there is a tendency to mix up the phrases “dziękuję”, “thank you”, and “dzień dobry”, “hello/have a good day”! But no worries. People got used to it! You’re not the first one! Ah, and take no offence at a Pole calling you a b*tch. The similar sounding Polish word “być” simply means “to be”.
Let’s get to how polite one can be when speaking Polish. Really polite! There is a high level of politeness reflected in the already very formal language. Polish uses a title: “Pan” for “Sir”, and “Pani” for “Lady”. So, to ask someone formally if he or she speaks English, say: “Czy Pan/Pani mówi po angielsku? “ Also, Polish proves that, when having an argument, politeness should not be forgotten. You might sometimes hear the odd “Pan jest idiotą”. “Sir, you’re an idiot.”
Now, if we are to think of some famous Polish Speakers, most of the literature lovers know that novelist Joseph Conrad never lost his Polish accent. Maria Skłodowska-Curie, also known as Marie Curie, out of love for her homeland Poland, called the first new chemical element discovered “Polonium” and Pope John Paul II is without a doubt one of the most famous Polish Speakers around the world!
And let’s not forget Frederick Chopin!