/ Polite forms in Polish vs English
From what I've seen, people whose native languages are not that big on addressing people formally, have a tendency to drop out the polite "pan/pani" form and address everyone as "ty". And that does not fly well. Maybe it's just the culture I was brought up in.. but when I see a 19 year old kid addressing their professor in such a manner it just makes my skin crawl. However looking at myself and my fellow students of Polish in Slovenia, we have problems with the correct polish form as well.. since in my language addressing someone formally calls for the use of the 2. person plural and as a slip of the tongue we all do it a lot when speaking Polish as well.
As far as the English being more polite than the Polish.. I would have to disagree. The forms might be a bit more subtle.. but the tunes - oh my, the tunes! They're quite expressive.. it's all in the way one delivers the sentence. And I would have to say I have never seen such complete turnabouts of character as one can witness when the English go abroad on vacation. :P