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Pan/Pani necessary?


Turtleonfire 7 | 14  
4 Oct 2009 /  #1
Hi, I'm learning Polish from a 'Michel Thomas' download....the lady on it tells me I must use Pan and Pani when speaking to a man or a woman....but I've read that this is quite formal.

So, just wondering, do I use these words with EVERYBODY and by everybody I mean people/new friends that I'm hanging out with?

Cheers! (She hasn't said that what thank you is yet!) :p
mav - | 7  
4 Oct 2009 /  #2
It often comes across as being rude when you don't use Pan / Pani when talking to people you don't know or people you only interact with on a professional level.

'Pan' is a bit like English term 'Sir'
'Pani' means 'Ma'am'
Most of the time there is no need to use those with friends and friends of your friends that you hang out with.
esek 2 | 228  
4 Oct 2009 /  #3
It's also age thing... say I know my neighbors pretty well but I always use Pan or Pani since I'm 24 and they're ~50.
OsiedleRuda  
4 Oct 2009 /  #4
It often comes across as being rude when you don't use Pan / Pani when talking to people you don't know or people you only interact with on a professional level.
'Pan' is a bit like English term 'Sir'
'Pani' means 'Ma'am'
Most of the time there is no need to use those with friends and friends of your friends that you hang out with.

And paƄstwo when speaking to more than one person (e.g. a couple). It gets even more complicated when speaking to professional people (Pan doktor/profesor etc) but don't worry too much about that for now.

The best rule to use is that it's better to be a little too formal, rather than risk offending someone by being too informal. However, it's also true to say that most people will take into account that you aren't Polish, or you don't speak the language fluently.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
5 Oct 2009 /  #5
Use Pan/Pani if you talk to people who are not your friends.

An exception is if you are young and the one you talk to also is, and you have something in common. For example in school or university the students never use Pan/Pani to other students. But absolutely 100% to all teachers and staff. For children you don't use Pan/Pani as well.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,798  
6 Oct 2009 /  #6
It gets even more complicated when speaking to professional people (Pan doktor/profesor etc) but don't worry too much about that for now.

Pan Magister always gets me, I really can't figure out why anyone would bother to use such formality with someone that is hardly well qualified by Polish standards :/
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
6 Oct 2009 /  #7
No need to be snarky. For one thing, the real "pan / pani magister" is usually only a magister of pharmacy, and this is is a traditional title. You go into a pharmacy and call the staff pani magister, panie magister. Otherwise you would only use this title in an academic (university) setting - the student to their teacher, the doktor to the magister, their subordinate, etc.

Also, I think 5 years of study do not equal "hardly well qualified".
HAL9009 2 | 304  
10 Oct 2009 /  #8
Heh, I ran across Pan and Pani issues when I was in Portland OR, USA of all places!
I used some of my Polish with a Pole resident there, and was slightly too familiar in my language.
This is an issue I haven't run across in Ireland.
If in doubt, always use the Pan/Pani form.

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