LIVE / Archives / 2005-2009
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives / 2005-2009 / Language / 10

how are you - jak sie masz? (saying hello in Polish conversation)

Keith 2 | 14   7 Mar 2008 /  #1
One of the first things I learned at my Polish lessons was the obvious 'hello, how are you' type stuff. And now that I have gained a bit of confidence, I have actually started using my limited skills out on the street - I live in a part of Aberdeen Scotland with a high Polish population.

However I noticed that I would get some funny looks whenever I said 'Jak sie masz?', although I always got a good response.
I eventually asked someone I was working with and she said it is not at all common to ask such a thing, and just saying hello is usually enough. Is that right? I want to get beyond just getting the words right, and have a proper comfortable conversation...

polishgirltx   7 Mar 2008 /  #2
in Poland it's not common to ask 'jak sie masz' ... maybe 'co slychac' i better...
i don't know about UK but in the US, when somebody asks you 'how are you?', they don't expect to hear yours mood swings of that day, it' just like 'hi'...

'co slychac?' means 'what's going on?'..... try this, after you say 'czesc'...
James Revan 1 | 66   8 Mar 2008 /  #3
'co slychac?' means 'what's going on?'

More like "What's up?"
Bla - | 27   8 Mar 2008 /  #4
"Jak sie masz" isn't like saying "Hello", you should use it only if you know that person. It's not something you ask strangers or people older than you or your boss etc ;) It's common among friends, people who are the same age (rather young)... For older people it's better to say "Co slychac?". For people you don't know, you should just say "Czesc" (young ones) or "Dzien dobry" or "Witam" to older people or boss etc. ( and "Witam" is a bit less formal).

And you can ask "Co slychac" to people who you don't know well but still meet them quite often (like let's say somebody you meet at the local grocery for example) but not to people you meet for the first time.

Another way to ask among friends (closest to "What's up" I think) is "Co tam?" and "Czesc" is often switched to "Siemka" or "Siema", but mainly among young people. (short from "Jak sie masz" but meaning nothing more than "Hi").
OP Keith 2 | 14   8 Mar 2008 /  #5
Piękny, dziękuje.
That is very helpful. I just don't want to sound like I'm reading from an old-fashioned book.
Now I just have to master the pronunciation of 'co słychac'...
Michal - | 1,865   8 Mar 2008 /  #6

The word cześć is only used among people you already know and the younger generation. I certainly would not expect a Pole whom I do not know to just say cześć to me in the street.
Szczery - | 22   10 Mar 2008 /  #7
Do not say czesc to a woman it is considered rude. dzien dobry pani is proper.
Bondi 4 | 142   21 Mar 2008 /  #8
The fundamental problem with explaining these things is that there's no real formal types of address in English. I'm not talking about calling someone Sir, Mister, Madam etc., which is of course, but the fact that you can only use you, whether the person you address is someone you know as a friend or is a complete stranger. In Polish, you can be ty, wy, pan, pani, państwo... Takes a bit of practice, imho. :)
Swiny   22 Mar 2008 /  #9
I will appreciate if anyone can help me translating "Origa Pleaso". When we use this term.
Thanks in anticipation
jessentp   27 May 2009 /  #10
How about - Jak sie pan (pani) miewa?

Archives / 2005-2009 / Language /Archived