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When is speaking Polish showing off and when is it ok?


pam
28 Jan 2013 #31
No I was talking about Polish shops outside of Poland.

Well, if they greet you with ' DzieƄ dobry', you could always return the greeting back! I think it depends how confident you feel with your Polish tbh.

I don't think if you spoke to them in Polish it would be odd, especially as you're learning. It's a good chance to practice your skills!

Still studying Catsoldier, although my Polish lodger has gone now:( Still practice with friends though.
There are 2 very good and recent threads on here by a poster called Kcharlie ' Polish language; basic concepts' and ' Polish in a nutshell'.
He explains the cases extremely well, so go to language section and have a look. definitely worth a read.
Lyzko
28 Jan 2013 #32
Once more Pam, what else would you say in a Polish store/shop in Poland? "Hi, how are you?"
Come on!
pam
28 Jan 2013 #33
Wakey wakey Lyzko! Catsoldier is talking about Polish shops OUTSIDE of Poland! In the UK for example, where Polish shop owners probably speak English as well!
Lyzko
28 Jan 2013 #34
That's an entirely different thing all together, Pam! Surely in that case, the respective shop owner as well as the customer has the choice which language they wish to use:-)

I know of a German bookdealer in Madrid whose clientele regularly greeted him in German, though he himself was a Spanish-born transplant to Munich who grew up in Germany, but to Spanish parents and so knew both languages as a true bilingual. Figure noone in the Spanish capital had any objections whatsoeverLOL
jon357 69 | 18,363
28 Jan 2013 #35
the respective shop owner as well as the customer has the choice which language they wish to use:-)

And it depends if the shop keeper happens to be speaking Polish when you go up to the counter. If you're used to speaking it all day every day, you use it automatically.
pam
28 Jan 2013 #36
Exactly Lyzko! It all boils down to choice. When I go to my local Polish shop I speak to them in Polish, but they know me, and know I am learning. For me, I don't consider it to be showing off, it's another chance to practice my language skills!
OP catsoldier 62 | 595
28 Jan 2013 #37
Thanks for the tip Pam, I will definitely check it out.
Lyzko
28 Jan 2013 #38
I think we all finally agree on that point! It's been a hearty, if at times testy, exchange, you guys!
Thanks as always for being dependable sparing partners:-)))) LOL

..Speaking of showing off....MY BAD ENGLISH!!!! You're sparRing not "sparing" partners 'cuz (he-he) "spar", unlike "spare", doesn't end in an "e"!
wrobl - | 8
30 Jan 2013 #39
Interesting topic, and something that sometimes confuses me. I've lived in Poland a few years now and speak the language quite well (I hope), however whenever a Pole finds out I'm from England, they will nearly always try and slip in English words for the sake of it (showing off, I have no idea). Sometimes I just let it slip, other times it starts to get really tiresome and I end up asking why they are doing it. Especially when the only vocab some people know is "f**k, s**t", etc..

A really crazy example was when I was in the airport the other week speaking Polish on the phone to a friend, and then immediately after taking another phone call in English. Immediately the guy next to me switched to speaking English to his girlfriend for no apparent reason apart from proving that he can also do it (I don't know :/). I see this strange mentality everywhere in Poland, like everyone needs to prove theirselves or something.

Also, there are some people in Poland (and other countries), who no matter how well you speak Polish, will continue to try and talk back in broken English. In this case I either continue talking Polish, or simply ask them why they don't want to speak Polish with me. Normally it turns out they want to do it to practice their English or simply to show off.

If I'm in the UK and I meet Poles, I'll speak English unless they want to speak Polish (some people don't seem to like it when a Brit can speak their language), I won't show off, slip in Polish words, however in Poland, I will always speak Polish, even if the other person insists on English. It's just common-sense to me :-)
TommyG 1 | 361
30 Jan 2013 #40
Also, there are some people in Poland (and other countries), who no matter how well you speak Polish, will continue to try and talk back in broken English.

+1
This seems pretty close to my experience both in Poland and England.
I think most people just want to practice their English with a native speaker tbh. In a small town they don't often get the opportunity. But, yh, you're right about the showing-off part. I've met them too...
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
30 Jan 2013 #41
doesn't the same concept of "showing off" that relates to everything else in this world apply to "speaking Polish"?

i don't understand the question.
wrobl - | 8
30 Jan 2013 #42
FUZZYWICKETS

I think in this context it means, Do Polish people think that non-Polish people speaking Polish outside of Poland is showing off?

I certainly think it is when Polish people speak English to each other in Poland, or reply to foreigners who know their language well in English.
zetigrek
30 Jan 2013 #43
Especially when the only vocab some people know is "f**k, s**t", etc..

Because they use it either way. The borrowings "f**k" and "s**t" are ingrained into Polish colloquial language.
Lyzko
30 Jan 2013 #44
Just like in Germany or the Netherlands!

During my last visit, it was soooooo difficult following customs to get either my German or Dutch interlocutor to even consent to the reality that they were hearing perfect German and nearly fluent Dutch from my lips, they summarily replied in somewhat broken English. Later on, I had to affect a German-accented, halting English in order for them to finally realize it was easier to speak their own language.

A pity European use impatience as an excuse:-) Here in New York, whenever a foreigner meets even a multilingual American, the latter insists on having them try and speak English right, rather than automatically chiming in with French, Chinese or SpanishLOL
juglettee 3 | 3
14 Feb 2013 #45
Does that mean he does not want you to speak Polish?
Lyzko
14 Feb 2013 #46
Quite the contrary! He was merely stunned that an obvious non-Polish looking foreigner could speak his language with a modicum of fluency, that's all. The same thing happened to me in Germany when I arrived. I would address someone in German, they's see a vaguely foreign face and begin chuntering away in broken English. It was tough as anything to finally break them of this annoying habit. Were I the average American serviceman who could only stammer out haltingly "Ein Bier, bitte!", then I might have sympathized with their instinct. Typically though, my German was far superior to their English:-))


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