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Need Advice On Polish-English language barrier (my Polish boyfriend and his family)


Pushbike 2 | 58
15 Feb 2012 #31
Just keep having lessons.
OP MinaD 1 | 25
2 Mar 2012 #32
Merged: Anyone willing to help me??

Hey everyone!! I am a Romanian girl with a Polish boyfriend and I am very eager to learn some Polish!
I know some simple words (alot of insults!) :P But I really would like to get to a better speaking level.
As great as my boyfriend is, he is not so keen on really teaching me much, He has not as much patience as I would like!

I'm a slow learner but when I do learn, I dont forget in a hurry.
So is anybody keen on helping me pick up some tips??
Maybe via Facebook or Msn???
croggers 7 | 109
2 Mar 2012 #33
first lesson, never say thank you (dzieki) to a waitress whilst handing her money to pay the bill!, she'll think that you are giving her all the change as a tip.
OP MinaD 1 | 25
2 Mar 2012 #34
Really??? My boyfriend says he never heard this before? That sounds unusual!
phtoa 9 | 236
2 Mar 2012 #35
No, this is actually very common. Especially in Poland B
gumishu 12 | 6,103
2 Mar 2012 #36
this is just simply short for 'Dziękuję. Reszty nie trzeba' - normally specific tone of voice and some kind of gesture would be used
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Mar 2012 #37
No, this is actually very common. Especially in Poland B

Never heard of it, and I live in what you call Poland B.
boletus 30 | 1,366
2 Mar 2012 #38
Really??? My boyfriend says he never heard this before? That sounds unusual!

Customs change quickly, so the following explanation might be a bit outdated:

Poles are polite in the department of giving tips or buying somebody a drink or a meal. They will rarely say "I'd like to buy you a lunch", but rather "I'd like to invite you for a lunch". The invitee knows that s/he will get a free lunch, but the ugly word of "money" or "buying" is never mentioned. However the expression "Would you like to go with me for a lunch" implies that the cost of lunch will be either shared or the matter will be decided later.

Similarly, "Here is your tip, darling" would be considered impolite, degrading. After all, by definition, all Polish waitresses are little princesses. Instead the "Thank you" phrase is used.
polishmama 3 | 279
2 Mar 2012 #39
first lesson, never say thank you (dzieki) to a waitress whilst handing her money to pay the bill!, she'll think that you are giving her all the change as a tip.

It's true.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Mar 2012 #40
Based on your extensive experience of restaurants in Poland?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
2 Mar 2012 #41
Never heard of it, and I live in what you call Poland B.

It's unusual nowadays but can still occasionally happen. If you actually are giving all the change as a tip it would be clear though from the tone of voice and hand gesture. Some tourist trap restaurants in Warsaw used to be notorious for this.
polishmama 3 | 279
2 Mar 2012 #42
Based on your extensive experience of restaurants in Poland?

Actually yes. Are you assuming I never eat at Polish restaurants or that I am never in Poland? And yes, there is a tone and gesture involved.
phtoa 9 | 236
2 Mar 2012 #43
Never heard of it, and I live in what you call Poland

Maybe they just see me as a stupid tourist with money
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Mar 2012 #44
Are you assuming I never eat at Polish restaurants or that I am never in Poland?

I've been here in Poland for over eleven years, and lost count of the number of restaurant meals I've had in year one. This has never happened to me. I thought you'd made a trip or two as a tourist.
polishmama 3 | 279
2 Mar 2012 #45
teflcat, my trips used to be one to two months long (until my husband started showing his true colors) and never at tourist traps. The vast majority of my family still lives in Poland and I am going to be moving back in a bit myself.

No, it doesn't happen as often as it did before but it still happens. But I always give a nod and smile and, yes, there is a hand gesture I use with that. It's right palm up, hand the $, and then wave hand palm up from me toward the person a bit. That's what I do anyway and what my family ever does.

But without the gestures et all, there is no assumption as much anymore. Unless, you might be in a tourist trap and have a foreign accent and do these motions without realizing it. I went once with an American friend to a tourist-ey restaurant in Warsaw and she was surprised that they didn't bring back the change until I explained to her and she didn't realize she had done any of that. I do agree, it seems pretty rude to outright say "Keep the change" or something equivalent to someone. Just my opinion and experiences.
kingdom26 1 | 18
2 Mar 2012 #46
am sure this can help you since you know some english best of luck
OP MinaD 1 | 25
2 Mar 2012 #47
Anything else, apart from giving waitresses tips?? :P
gumishu 12 | 6,103
2 Mar 2012 #48
you need to have some teacher on skype (though face to face learning is better)

but you can learn a lot from the internet - like Polish alphabet
youtube.com/watch?v=6s-vMd_pBks

youtube.com/watch?v=euM9l0wUnAU&feature=endscreen&NR=1
catsoldier 62 | 595
2 Mar 2012 #49
Anything else, apart from giving waitresses tips?? :P

Buy Hurra Po Polsku 1 and use it with your teacher if possible as it is written in Polish.

I have no other advice really as I am still learning how to learn a language, being bone lazy doesn't help :-) . I am bone lazy, not you!
OP MinaD 1 | 25
2 Mar 2012 #50
Its my damn lazy boyfriend who refuses to help most times :/ I learn more from his 11 year old sister than from him :/
scottie1113 7 | 898
2 Mar 2012 #51
first lesson, never say thank you (dzieki) to a waitress whilst handing her money to pay the bill!, she'll think that you are giving her all the change as a tip.

It happened to me my first year here even though I had heard about the practice. I automatically said thank you when I got my bill and didn't receive any change. It wasn't a big deal and I haven't made that mistake again.

I agree with using hurra po polsku 1.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
2 Mar 2012 #52
MinaD

It would seem they dont really care that you dont speak Polish if you're not living in Poland, Im working with a Chinese girl who is married to a Polish guy (3 years married 4 years together in total) and she speaks less Polish than me!

She said when he gets mad he shouts in Polish, so I tought her a phase :)

Przepraszam, nie mowie po polsku. - and told her to smile afterwards, maybe he'll teach her a little bit more in future ;0)

Good luck, its bloody difficult to learn!
beckski 12 | 1,617
2 Mar 2012 #53
Contact PF member Waldy. He's created a thread in reference to your Polish language needs.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Mar 2012 #54
Buy Hurra Po Polsku 1 and use it with your teacher if possible as it is written in Polish

+1 A good book, but you need a Polish teacher.

I learn more from his 11 year old sister than from him

I've learned more from my (not-too-educated) in-laws than from my highly-educated wife. Listen, listen, listen. You'll learn more in the street or the family than in the classroom.
OP MinaD 1 | 25
2 Mar 2012 #55
Hmm I will try :)
I am hoping some day to visit Poland with my Polski boy so it would be great to learn some thing more than basics :)
polishmama 3 | 279
2 Mar 2012 #56
Put on Polish tv (on internet, if need be), play Polish music (try memorizing a song in Polish and learning what it means), play polish language cd in car, immerse yourself basically.
Krakman 4 | 58
1 Nov 2012 #57
The hosts', of the last party I attended, must have been from a different school of thought. After inviting me to their party, I was presented with a bill the following day for 130zl. This was to cover the alcohol (I generally don't drink), venue (their house), food (some of which I supplied), transport (travelled in my own car). Needless to say, I am wary of accepting any invitations now :)
Rysavy 10 | 308
4 Nov 2012 #58
I wonder if it just these guys are missing some consideration or is it my guy is unusually indulgent for a native.

Back to BF support.....
Though he never suggested about teaching me, when he found out I'm learning he is now amused, flattered and supportive. He said Polish can be a difficult and "tongue breaking" language for some. I can say some things quite well now. I am not ready to practice with him yet since I really want our time while separate devoted to something other like lessons. And I'm afraid he will let me get away with more mistakes. ^_^

But I'd be very hurt and somewhat uneasy if he discouraged my learning AND put me in situations where it was all that was spoken around me : (

I am also not under pressure to learn, which may make me able to feel better practicing. I WANT to learn, just for me. Even if he ditched me tomorrow-it is still a present to myself

My biggest obstacle is sounds I cannot even make proper in English. Types of G H and S. Though it is all I speak now, English was not my first language, heh not even my second.

A small advocating for the devil: Not everyone can teach or will attempt. My mom could not teach me to drive a stick or ride a motocycle ...she simply did not have the patience despite keenly wanting me to do so. Nor could my former spouse. But when I learned, my teacher taught me within a week.
KateM
16 Mar 2014 #59
Hi mina

I was wondering what your predicament is now?
I am english with a polish boyfriend, only one of this family members speaks fluent english and his mum speaks a bit but his dad is very limited. I too would love to converse with them, they dont have the time to learn more english as they have a lot on due to their daughter having severe learning difficulties.

I have tried to learn polish with apps on my phone such as Babbel and online sources such as polish 101 etc. I also purchases polish for dummies but i found that all too grammatical. In 6 months on and off learning i know words and can introduce myself but i cannot have a full conversation but i suppose knowing the words is half of it..

I was wondering if years later you are any better ?
It would be my dream to become fluent before we married etc so i could talk to his mother and Nan on my wedding day and repeat my vows in both languages .

I love learning polish because it makes me feel a connection to my boyfriend and his culture. My boyfriend does sometimes laugh at my attempts of new words but i ignore it and just use it to try harder. Ask your boyfriens to be more encouraging and talk to him about how hard learning polish is and you are doing it to show your love and dedication to the relationship and his family!

Good luck x


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