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Polish culture do's and dont's?


Trevek 26 | 1,702
20 Feb 2010  #91
yeah, and then they wonder why you just go, "OK, open the book; grammar exercises!"

Mind you, it's not quite as annoying as that thing of asking a question and then talking in Polish to their neighbour while you try to explain the answer.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Feb 2010  #92
Oh yeah, that should be a no-no in any culture. Thankfully, they do it sparingly but it does get on my wick. I understand them in a way if they are asking for confirmation from their partner.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
20 Feb 2010  #93
Ah, yes! When you set a 30 minute task and before you turn around they've all shown each other the answers and say "We have finished!"

This points to one of the tasks expected of teachers - supervision of students. You don't turn around during a test. Period. It's not like Polish students have an innate tendency to cheat on tests while all others around the world don't. All university calendars published by schools I attended in the US and Canada had a chapter on cheating. Because it is nonexistent?

I taught EFL years ago. In Poland when I was 19 and then, a few years later, in the US. Most of my students were Poles, a few Latinos and Asians. I caught one (Asian) on an attempt and I gave him two options. Quit the course or come for a retest. The owner of the school (American fella) gave me crap for it. After all those students were paying customers and he didn't care about the rest.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
21 Feb 2010  #94
You don't turn around during a test.

Oh, this isn't tests I'm talking about, it's just activities.

As for tests... I don't know how true it is but my Polish colleague, who is heavily involved with running local Cambridge exams (FCE etc), told me Cambridge had to redevise their format for staging the listening exams because of a high number of students recording the test on mobile phones (photo and recording) and then selling it over the net. Two main culprits; Greece and.... oh, maybe you can guess the other one.

All university calendars published by schools I attended in the US and Canada had a chapter on cheating. Because it is nonexistent?

Now, isn't that somethin g to do with covering their backs. I heard about a mother whose son was disciplined for cheating in an exam and she was attempting to sue the school because she claimed he'd never been told he couldn't cheat. A bit like McD's putting 'hot liquid' labels on their coffee cups.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Feb 2010  #95
DO

Pretend that you enjoy eating gherkins and cabbage, even after the 1400th time

Show surprise as a guest that the aforementioned foods are on the table

Ask what kind of cabbage it is, even though it's the same as what you have always had

Be careful not to splash yourself with some sauce or some liquid or other at the table

Put a healthy lashing of Maggi and pepper into your broth

DON'T

Show dissatisfaction with your gherkins and cabbage, be an actor

Pretend that you know what is coming next

Imply that you have had that cabbage before

Slurp too much. This is a Japanese thing, not a Western thing

Add any salt. It's likely highly salted as it is.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
21 Feb 2010  #96
Don't point out that Chinese/Mexican/Japanese/Indian cuisine in restaurants across the world doesn't usually come with chopped salad (containing pickled cabbage)
strzyga 2 | 993
21 Feb 2010  #97
no! but that's impossible! it's an outrage!
No culture can do without chopped salads and especially sauerkraut!
Please, stop spreading lies, as somebody might believe you!
Teffle 22 | 1,321
5 Oct 2010  #98
I think certain Poles want instant solutions and results and this makes them abrupt and offhand

I thought it was just me who thought this. Interesting.
alexw68
5 Oct 2010  #99
Certainly I've noticed it. What context, Seanus? For me it's usually in shops, local govt offices or other public serices (eg hospitals). But I suspect the attitude is a vicious circle of 'I don't expect anything to get done so in order to get it done this side of the grave I will treat you with contempt' <-> 'I am a cog in a Kafkaesque machine - you can bloody well wait - and I will treat you with contempt'. I've seen so many cases where people are so used to getting treated like cr4p by shop assistants they don't bother arguing the toss any more...

(PS above generalisation doesn't apply to the whole public/retail sector - maybe 35% and declining. But there's still a lot of it about)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Oct 2010  #100
Bureaucratic procedures for one. They are long and protracted yet people expect instant fixes. Yes, you can expedite things but it costs money. For example, I paid 38PLN (little) to bring my marriage date forward.

It's old people, generally. They start ordering midway through yours. I often wonder about them as they are retired and are going nowhere fast, so what's their hurry?

I heard a classic yesterday which should amuse the resident Poles. My wife got a call from a stuck-up woman who referred to herself as Pani. To my knowledge, you just don't do that and my wife agrees. Well, if titles make them happy, LOL. They need to build strength from inside.
marcinbrowarcin - | 2
8 Oct 2010  #101
dont fart in the lift

DO fart in the lift - but maintain full composure while sending a disapproving look to an elderly person. if there is only one other person with you, finish LIKE A BOSS!
jochemczyk 1 | 35
1 Dec 2011  #102
Dont complain if a Polish person is late when invited to dinner and if they dont show up for a few days ,smile and act like nothing happened
f stop 25 | 2,513
13 Apr 2012  #104
Here is a pretty amusing run-down of Rumanian customs that apply to Poland as well. I think.

pictures-of-romania.com/Romanian-customs.html
bledi_nowysacz 2 | 53
9 May 2013  #105
@Seanus
after 2 years here I just have to agree with everything you said :D :D. The queue part is so amazingly true.
If you kiss a girl in the cheek( even a good colleague who works with you for 2 years ) don't EVER attempt with your arm to kind of hug her, just keep your body like 1-2 feet away and reach with your head to her cheek.

AWKWARD!!
maniak677 1 | 14
23 Feb 2014  #106
Move onto the line of the person walking towards u. If they move, do likewise,
it keeps them guessing and the suspense going

Can't agree more. Especially the lift thing. Many times I've had tuts as I tried to get out of the lift with people just standing right in front of the door not budging. I've no idea what I'm doing wrong here - I'd just like to get out on my floor please and I need some space to do this.


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