The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by stevepl  

Joined: 8 Dec 2009 / Male ♂
Last Post: 30 May 2010
Threads: Total: 2 / Live: 1 / Archived: 1
Posts: Total: 49 / Live: 37 / Archived: 12
From: Poland
Speaks Polish?: Almost

Displayed posts: 38 / page 1 of 2
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30 May 2010
Law / Applying for Polish citizenship through marriage. [116]

Between 3 years and 3 years and six months (you have a limited window of 6 months to make the application after 3 years of marriage).

The major need though is either an EC long term residence permit ( so for EC nationals you must have a minimum of 5 years documented stay in Poland) and for Non EC nationals you will need a permit to settle (you can obtain this with 2 years documented stay in Poland plus a minimum of 3 years marriage to a Polish citizen or somebody with an EC long term residence permit).

If you miss the six month window after the three years marriage then you get a second six month window after acquiring the long term residence permit or the permit to settle. If you miss this you can't apply for the automatic grant of citizenship on the basis of marriage.

It is not a minimum period of 3 years and six months that in fact is the maximum period.
2 Mar 2010
Law / "FART" shop in Poland - WHAT DOES THIS SHOP SELL? [55]

Deutsche Gasglühlicht-Anstalt (registered OSRAM as a trade mark in 1906)
OSRAM Werke GmbH Kommanditgesell- schaft (In 1919 it became part of the company name)

I'ts a German company
28 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / Marrying Polish Woman in UK/London [100]

Poles living in Poland on PF!

Do you have to be born Polish or will 'naturalised' count for entry to the club?
27 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / Why are Polish people, especially women, so disrespectful toward the English? [281]

higher status treatment in Poland precisely because I am English

I totally agree. My wife always laughs when I praise the Polish health service, according to her they just treat me so well because I'm English.

On another occasion at work we had a problem with a complaint to a supplier. He was justifying himself and claiming that our companies engineers were in the wrong. When he heard that the engineer involved was English he completely changed his stance, apologised and corrected the mistake!! My wife was the person communicating with the supplier and again she was amazed at the total turnaround just because I'm English.

I must admit that the respect we used to get probably wasn't justified and was based off an archaic image of the english gentlemen. These days I notice that it's decreasing, probably due to an increased familiarity ( 'familiarity breeds contempt' ). Probably not helped by the drunken yobs visiting Kraków as well.
24 Feb 2010
Law / How can I get Polish citizenship after been married to a Polish spouse [75]

You have to have been in a marriage to a Polish citizen for at least 3 years and have been living in Poland for 2 years by virtue of a residence permit for a fixed period.

This doesn't mean just legal stay. If you are living here on a visa you must apply as soon as possible for a 'Residence permit for a fixed period of time'. Also you will have to have your wedding recognised and also obtain a Polish birth certificate.

I'm not sure how you get the wedding recognised. I assume it's just a case of getting a sworn translation of your wedding certificate (copy of your original wedding certificate must be less than three months old and will possibly require an Apostille stamp. You will probably be issued with a Polish wedding certificate.)

A copy of your birth certificate less than three months old will be required probably with an Apostille stamp and you will definitely be issued with a Polish birth certificate.

You can expect to be interviewed to prove that the marriage is genuine.

I was married in Poland so didn't need to get the wedding recognised (that's why I'm not certain of the procedure).

I had to obtain a Polish birth certificate.

Even though I've lived here legally for over 10 years I had to obtain a 'karta stałego pobytu' but I'm from the EU so it's different for me. You definitely will need the residence permit for the fixed period of time.
16 Feb 2010
Language / have a sip - Chcesz łyka? [56]

All this over one mistaken word ending. I think I'd better give up speaking Polish as I make mistakes all the time.

Seanus, you must have got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning, you've spat the dummy out big time over this. It was a bit of an ignorant attack on you though and to make the assumption that you haven't learnt Polish because your'e capable of making a simple mistake is a bit stupid ........
2 Feb 2010
Life / How Polish are you? [74]

The second quiz is flawed because it doesn't check whether you communicate properly in Polish.

Or whether you are of Polish decent.

That's probably why I scored 90%

In the second quiz where I stated I have not got Polish descendency and can't speak Polish I only got 80%.
2 Feb 2010

do more than 50 hours a week study on top of their full-time job?

Who said 50 hours of study on top of their full time work?

If you are working in a related field then what's to study? You have to study or be trained at work to do the job. Agreed not in all cases but as I stated a lot of cases. When my wife was studying she was working with MRP systems that was one big chunk of her studies that she had better knowledge of than anyone who would have been studying full time and not exposed to the daily reality.

I've seen the syllabuses for many courses and what the capabilities of the students should be after studying. Don't talk about just hours, many full time students are playing at the game whilst those working are facing reality where things matter and the details are important. Most of the courses (I'm not talking about purely academic ones) are so broad based that they only give a flavour of the subject. Whether someone studies 4 years or 7 years in cloud cuckoo land, it's still cloud cuckoo land.

So we return to the theme that a degree only shows you are capable of studying. What you have studied may be of no real use. Passing your exams, completing coursework is your proof that you can study. If you can do it in 1 year or 5 years I don't see the difference. If your trying to convince me that someone who studies 2 years longer will be so much more of an expert on the subject that they will immediately be fully exploitable in the workplace then I'm sorry but I'm not conviced. If you are telling me that someone with a degree should after further training have the capability to do a job then I agree. But in this case if someone can learn the subject to pass the exam in shorter time, wouldn't that make them the harder working and brighter person.
2 Feb 2010

How many extra mural students do that amount of work

Quite a lot of extra mural students do more than that amount of work. Consider those who are working in jobs already related to their studies. My wife was working for a western multi-national whilst studying for her magister part time. For her the studies were easy as she was living and breathing the subject everyday. She qualified with 5+ plus some kind of special medal.

The best engineers I've worked with are those who studied for the old HND qualifications whilst working or completed OU courses whilst working. I've also had to suffer the dross who pratted around at uni and new absolutely nothing of any value when they started work.

Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking pure academic research. Real acedemic studies are of great value but the majority of people studying are only there to get a certificate to get a job. At the risk of repeating myself any potential employer would be far more interested in somebody with relevant work experience and a degree than someone with a degree. If I was searching for someone to carry out acedemic research I would be looking for someone with the best possible degree from the best possible university (ie work experience).

Don't knock all part time students, agreed some of them are wasters but many full time students are wasters also. I've had the mispleasure of having worked alongside them far too often.
29 Jan 2010
Life / Do expats living in Poland speak Polish? [233]

Don't forget this act and all the application forms are available with explanations in English / French and German so they are already going someway towards meeting the requirements.

In £ódź if you ask for someone who can speak English by telephone or in person they will also acomodate you (I don't know about French and German).
29 Jan 2010
Life / Do expats living in Poland speak Polish? [233]

of 14 July 2006

on the entry into, residence in and exit from the Republic of Poland of nationals of the European Union Member States and their family members ), )

(Journal of Laws No. 144, item 1043)

Article 6
Authorities competent for matters governed by the present act are obliged to instruct Union citizens and their family members in the language they understand, of the following:

(1) rules and procedures in such cases;
(2) their rights and duties;
(3) contents of decisions on the grounds of which they are refused the registration of residence or grounds for the annulment of such registration;
(4) contents of decisions resulting in the refusal to issue documents referred to in the Act or on the grounds of which such documents are annulled;

(5) contents of the decision on expulsion;
(6) procedure and deadline for appeals.

Applications and documents must be in Polish language though see Article 7

Apologies for going a bit 'off topic'
28 Jan 2010
Life / Do expats living in Poland speak Polish? [233]

If you're from the EU, then when you are dealing with the Polish offices for foreigners you don't have to know Polish. Under EU regulations Poland is obliged to explain and communicate in one of the official european languages that you understand.

This doesn't mean that documents do not require translating into Polish. It does mean that explanations of the procedures and any problems their may be with your application have to be communicated in a language you understand.

Another interesting fact is that an estimated 1% of the EU population speak Polish as a foreign language. Not that insignificant when 6% of the EU speak Spanish as a foreign language.
28 Jan 2010
Life / Do expats living in Poland speak Polish? [233]

(incidentally, can you get information from the United States Government in Polish?

The only problem being that the Polish consulate is not part of the American government (It's part of the Polish embassy) I'd be pretty amazed if they didn't have everything in Polish.

I think if you check the American embassy in warsaw or British embassy in warsaw's webpages you will also find they have all their information in Polish and English as well.
28 Jan 2010
Life / Do expats living in Poland speak Polish? [233]

Reading some of the posts, this thread appears more to be whether expats should or need to learn Polish.

I know a few expats who've been here for years and can just about manage hello and goodbye in Polish. They seem to get bye OK (usually they have friends or a company translator to help).

On the other hand there are some people who are only here for a few months and pick up a fairly impressive vocab.

As for Poland being user friendly to expats, I've read on many threads how the UK accomodates Poles ie. sending a few policemen on training courses, having the most commonly used official handouts in Polish etc. Even some roadsigns in Polish.

Why can't the police and all the people working in government departments in Poland learn to speak English. I mean 1 - 2 million Poles have moved to the UK and the UK has at least made some effort. In Poland there must be at least 1 or 2 thousand expats. What's wrong with this country, why on earth aren't they wasting scant resources to accomodate us all in a better manner.
25 Jan 2010

I live under the administration of the łódż office.

It clearly states on their own website that the conditions for obtaining the right for permanent settlement are. A minimum of 2 years residency and at least 3 years of marriage to a Polish citizen.

I obtained my stałego pobytu through marriage even though I have lived here long enough to obtain it for 'time served'.

At łódź you definitely need to be firm (not arrogant or rude just firm). They told me that I needed to provide 13 items when in fact only 4 items were necessary.

I gave them the 4 items along with the application and recieved my stałego pobytu in due course.

Sometimes they appear to not understand what they are doing. Ie asking for an original copy of my 'decysja' for my 5 year EU card. I had to explain that they didn't give a copy of the decysja. I had to go into the office where they showed it on the computer when they issued the card in the first place.

I was applying for 'dokument potwierdzający prawo stałego pobytu' whereas for someone who is not already an EU citizen, they will be applying for 'Zezwolenie na osiedlenie się'.

All that I needed to provide was

Mariage certificate
Wifes ID card
My last EU long stay card

Of course huge numbers of photocopies of the above and lots of passport style pics

What the actual law for zezwolenie na osiedlenie się is I can't say because I haven't checked it.
24 Jan 2010
Work / Polish qualifications, what are they worth ? [137]

Honest George:
When there is a closed-shop. ( employment given to family/friends, regardless of qualifications ).

I don't want to be picky but 'closed shop' refers to the situation where you had to be a union member and remain a union member to be employed somewhere. This practise was made illegal in the UK in the 1990's. I don't know whether closed shops exist in Poland (maybe in the collieries) because the trade union movement doesn't appear to be so strong here.

Employing friends or family in preference to strangers is nepotism.

Mira is correct though, I also have direct experience and know it's very common here.
24 Jan 2010

I love guiness!

It's one of the few things I miss from the UK. I know you can get it in Warszawa etc. but I live in a small town and it's not available here on draught.

Thank god the local Tesco's has started stocking the 'draught pour tins' It's a close approximation of the real thing (brewed in Dublin as well).

Comparing a porter to a stout makes no sense. I tried porter due to the lack of guiness but it's really sickly. Then again I'm a lifelong stout fan.

Beer over here is OK but it's just 'so gassy'. The first two or three pints of guiness slip down so smoothly (and quickly if you have the desire). If I tried to drink a litre of zywiec straight down I think I'd explode.
24 Jan 2010
Work / Polish qualifications, what are they worth ? [137]

Yes, his qualification is worth the paper it's written on.

But, you should only take advice for this type of work from a 'chartered engineer' certainly not a graduate engineer.

Chartered engineer = graduate engineer plus peer reviewed experience.
24 Jan 2010
Work / Polish qualifications, what are they worth ? [137]

I imagine Polish qualifications have the same value as qualifications from most countries.

At best a qualification is a mandatory requirement for certain types of work, so it's a must have. But this qualification alone will only get you a position at entry level and the competition for most jobs is enormous.

Almost all employers are searching for people with experience (and qualifications if they are a must have).

I have been involved in the recruitment process several times in my working life and can honestly say that the least interesting thing on someones CV is what university they attended and what qualification they gained. Prior work history was always the most interesting.

Even when interviewing 'fresh starters' without prior work experience, the most interesting thing for me was whether they displayed a genuine interest in the type of work and what experience they had gained through summer jobs etc.

From my experience in Poland I can see that nepotism is still rife (probably an overspill from communistic times). Although in small private companies it's their choice and it's rife in all countries, hence the name family business.
16 Jan 2010
Off-Topic / What's your connection with Poland? Penpals. [376]

Lived here for 11 years.
Polish driving licence.
Employed by Polish company.
Polish wife.
Polish Son.
Polish mother in law (living with us at the moment).
Waiting for Polish citizenship.
Can almost speak Polish.
13 Jan 2010
Language / Which is the BEST, EASIEST to learn & most helpful"POLISH FOR FOREIGNERS"course? [32]

Without conjugation of the verbs you can't even differentiate 'I want' (chcę) from 'you want' (chcesz).

Szwed is correct. Without the most basic conjugations of the verbs you don't stand a chance of being understood, with the exception of using stock phrases (in which case you may as well buy a cheap phrase book).

You can get away with errors in declination and even case endings if the context of the conversation gives enough clues but you certainly need to be able to conjugate unless you want to try just using the infinitive with a pronoun - Ja mieć = I have
13 Jan 2010
Language / iec conjugation [47]


but wiedzieć conjugates to wiem / wiesz / wie / wiemy / wiecie / wiedzą

similar to mieć - mam / masz / ma / mamy / macie / mają
13 Jan 2010
Language / I need some encouragement from Polish language speakers! [30]

I agree with Polonius and Strzyga. I've been learning for 10 years by that method and can communicate fairly well in Polish ( I make lots and lots of grammatical errors though).

On the other hand it's really horses for courses. I was on an intensive 3 week summer course for Polish (immediately before starting work for a company where no one spoke English). There were people there such as professional translators, language buffs etc. Who prior to the course had studied the grammar and after sitting the assesment test went immediately into classes for intermediate and advanced levels (waste of time in my opinion as they could hardly string a sentence together as they had no vocabulary).

At the other extreme I was in the beginners class (along with all the Americans who could speak so fluently that my wife thought they were native Polish speakers. They simply couldn't read or write in Polish).

If you've got good language skills study the grammar, the vocabulary will come later and you'll probably be word perfect.

If you're a mere mortal start with learning simple phrases and build from there. Try eventually putting yourself into situations where you have to use Polish. The grammar will never come easily but most Polish people will understand you if you can at least conjugate the basic verbs correctly.
13 Jan 2010
Language / iec conjugation [47]

In english we also have irregular verbs but these are and are listed as exceptions. So you can learn them as a list and remember them ;)

In polish there are something like 17 000 verbs in current use but unfortunately there are over 350 different conjugation patterns.
I think it would be impossible to remember rules for all of them (if there are any).

Probably the only method is to develop a feeling for what sounds correct and give it your best shot.

Sorry my mistake there are 334 patterns listed in Stanisław Mędak's book. (I checked as soon as I got home).
10 Jan 2010
Work / Salary expectations in Poland [373]

There are no jobs for expats unless teaching English

A true Expat already has a job here by definition (they're sent over here by foreign companies).

I came over here as an expat in the late '90s and was earning about 16K month nett. Plus free accomodation, transport costs etc. But that wasn't a 'true expat package'

The full deal was House in Magdalenka , school fees for your children , company car plus approx 30K USD month

Unfortunately I was one step too low on the ladder for that kind of deal, but it gives you an indication on what some of the expat deals are.

I stayed on over here after my contract finished and started working for a polish company
for a lot less money (plus last year I took a volountary 30% pay cut because of 'the crisis').

I'm an engineer, and good experienced engineers in Poland can find well paid work. Where I work a graduate mech. eng. with 2-3 years experience gets about 3K in the hand. Senior engineering managers with experience can earn approx 8 - 10K in Poland.

Experienced production managers can also earn BIG salaries.

On the down side skilled and semi- skilled workers earn a pittance 1200 - 1800 per month

Costs depend on whether you're single or you've got a family.
I live and work in a small town.

I pay about 2000 month for mortgage etc. 1500 for shopping, 500 for the car (very low annual mileage and not including depreciation) and another 600 for phone, TV and energy bills.

I don't feel that I live a particularly extravagent lifestyle, how people manage to live off the lower incomes I've no idea!
9 Jan 2010
Love / Age difference, my Polish girl is 23 and I am 39 [41]

Maybe it's more common than we think. I was 39 and my wife was 23 when we first met. We've been together for 10 years now ( and I only earn a polish salary ).

When the Bans were posted at the British Embassy for our wedding I noticed a lot of the other Bans posted also had fairly big age differences.
2 Jan 2010
Language / The Polish language - it's bloody hard! [210]

Why is it Europeans feel this desire to 'switch' to English whenever they suspect a foreigner is struggling with their language?

I find that most Poles prefer talking to me in Polish even though I'm far from fluent (I'll never master the case endings). Even though I know they speak English fairly well.

But I agree with other comments that English is also difficult. I think as a beginer English is easier but after a certain point it's also very difficult. My wife's english is almost perfect,for fun she filled in a cambridge proficiency test without prior study and scored over 80% (I was pretty impressed). But she still struggles with written English especially with the definite and indefinite articles. That's probably because it's a fairly alien concept to Polish people.
19 Dec 2009
Life / Ripped Off in Poland? - Expose here: [185]

Avalon, sorry to hear of your trouble.
I've heard many times that going through the Polish courts is a nightmare (very long winded and often absurd judgements that are contrary to the law).

I've also heard that a lot of people have later indeed gone on to the EC courts and that the Polish government have had to pay compensation for not providing judgements in a reasonable length of time and not adhering to the laws.

But it takes a determined person to go through all the hassle.
My only hope would be that smaller businesses would worry about thier costs if they were threatened with court action.
But in the case of very small businesses they can just disappear (bankruptcy etc.) In fact somewhere on the web theres a nice interpretation of the consumer laws and it warns to only buy from businesses that you believe will still be there for the period of the two years for which you're covered.

Absolutely the situation in the UK is much better. Suppliers there usually give refunds or replacements without any hassle.
19 Dec 2009
UK, Ireland / Posting from UK to Poland....not good! [53]

complain about most things here

And that's the problem here. People don't complain they just moan about everything as if theres nothing they can do about it. Proper complaints are constructive and can achieve something. (Although in the case of poczta polska that may be a little over optomistic).
18 Dec 2009
Life / Ripped Off in Poland? - Expose here: [185]

in Poland, you take it back to the manufacturer/distributor.

According to the Act of law. If the defect occurs within 6 months of purchase it is the sellers responsibility as it is assumed that the defect was there at the moment of purchase.

So within 6 months you can go back to where you bought it and ask them for a replacement or if you don't want to struggle to much accept waiting for a repair ( but legaly you have the option as to whether it's a repair or replacement ). Even in the case of a repair it has to be within a reasonable time period (what this means in reality I have no idea).

Interestingly enough the law also states that the supplier is also responsible for any costs involved in replacing the goods in service. But I think this would be more applicable to say the costs of a great Polish plumber removing and then replacing a defective boiler for example. Unfortunately it probably doesn't cover my time and travel expenses to return to the shop where I bought my crappy chinese DVD player. (But you never know perhaps I should try a test case). ;)