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Do expats living in Poland speak Polish?


FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
28 Jan 2010 #151
Ehhhhccchhh! If I must....it's been a while since I had a go at Delphianedomine......

It was perfectly warm as early as March last year, and didn't get cold until October.

If pants and sweaters and jackets weather is "perfectly warm" for you, so be it. Others have different expectations.

So...why are you here?

man, you are so predictable. the "why are you here" comment. Regardless of why I'm here Delphianedomine, it doesn't change the fact that my statement was a true statement. I'm calling a spade a spade, much like the original post I quoted and commented on did.

I mean, the general public thinks America sucks too, but people still move there.

That's an interesting, and entertaining theory, considering "the general public" has never even been to America. If you add up those that have never been there with the number of people that don't even speak English, meaning they have to get all their information about America on TVN and Polsat, you'd have an even bigger number, and that number would beeeeeeeee.................the majority of Poland. MEANING, if your theory is true, most people in Poland are ignorant and their opinions unjustified regarding the USA.

Whatever you need to tell yourself at night when your head hits the pillow so you can sleep comfortably, Delphine.

Why should they have English speakers?

that's a simple answer: because 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE speak it as a second language in the world. it's DOMINANTLY the international language of the world. what other reason do you need. it's simply good business.

(thanks for backing up the stereotype that Americans think that everyone should adapt to them rather than them adapting to others)

you couldn't be more wrong, but you've got such an anti-american agenda, there's no convincing you otherwise, making you just as bad, or worse, than who you CLAIM I am.
landora - | 199
28 Jan 2010 #152
If pants and sweaters and jackets weather is "perfectly warm" for you, so be it. Others have different expectations.

I'm sure the weather is concerned about your expectations :D
mafketis 24 | 8,732
28 Jan 2010 #153
you cross the border into Poland and you want residency......you have 90 days to do so before your travel visa expires.....and in that time, you're supposed to march into all necessary Polish offices and take care of business.....IN POLISH?

I think it makes perfect sense. If you arrive in Poland and don't:

- know any Polish people willing to help you out by going to the office with you a time or two,

- have anyone from your workplace willing to do the same,

- have the resources to hire an interpreter.

- have a representative from a charitable organization to help you

then chances are there's no way they'll allow you to stay because you don't have a job or connections or resources. For someone like that, all they really need to do is hand them the wirtten form telling them to get out of the country (in whatever language, when I was still dealing with the foreigners office on a regular basis they had written materials in a couple dozen languages).
stevepl 2 | 49
28 Jan 2010 #154
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.
mafketis 24 | 8,732
28 Jan 2010 #155
You almost had me starting to write out an angry reply. Well played sir, well played indeed.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
28 Jan 2010 #156
Well played sir, well played indeed.

Exceptionally well played I would say ;)

You can't even get access to many governmental materials in German, which by the amount of Poland-born native speakers is Poland's second language.

(incidentally, can you get information from the United States Government in Polish? I imagine there are far more Polish native speakers in America than English native speakers in Poland...)
Emerson 1 | 7
28 Jan 2010 #157
I have studied polish for just 2 days and can speak it fluently.

HA! not.. :P

I am interested in learning this nightmarish insanely difficult language... it can't be that bad!
wildrover 98 | 4,451
28 Jan 2010 #158
I was fluent in Polish after only one hour...and a bottle of vodka....!
Gaa 2 | 155
28 Jan 2010 #159
haha the best way to learn a language quickly
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
28 Jan 2010 #160
Polish can't be that difficult to learn.... even educated muts do it...

The mystery of a dog who refused to respond to any commands has been solved - he only 'speaks' Polish!

Staff at an animal centre were worried that Cent the dog was deaf, until they worked out he had lived with a family from Poland.

So they learnt a few basic commands, like 'sit' and 'come here', and Cent responded straight away.

Four months later, he's now fluent in English and Polish, and is looking for a new home.

news.bbc/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_8450000/newsid_8459000/8459008.stm
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
28 Jan 2010 #161
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 accommodate us all in a better manner.

this statement, when considering context and sarcasm coupled with the posts that came shortly before and after, says so much about soooo many other issues/threads/arguments/debates on this forum. maybe you don't recognize it right away, but for those cheering on the author of that statement, it will come back to haunt you......

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

most certainly: chicago.msz.gov.pl/en/

That's the main page of The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, written entirely in Polish. You can click on the USA flag for English, but Polish is given priority.
stevepl 2 | 49
28 Jan 2010 #162
(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.
mafketis 24 | 8,732
28 Jan 2010 #163
most certainly:
That's the main page of The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, written entirely in Polish. You can click on the USA flag for English, but Polish is given priority.

Uh ...... you do realize the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago is not an arm of the US government don't you? Don't you?

You also realize the main purpose of most consulates is providing services for citizens of the consulate's country who happen to be in the host country, don't you? Please, tell me, yes, for the love of God, PLEASE!!!! you know that and the above is just a very subtle joke...
OP Nika 2 | 507
28 Jan 2010 #164
That's the main page of The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, written entirely in Polish. You can click on the USA flag for English, but Polish is given priority.

what is so surprising about it. The Consulate is there firstly to assure assistance to Polish citizens living in the US.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
28 Jan 2010 #165
HAHAHA..........szach-mat.

apparently stevepl is the only one on this forum who was given a license for clever posting.

watch it boys. stay here too long and you'll lose your sense of humor all together.

enjoy the weather, i'm off to bed.

-The Fuzz
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
28 Jan 2010 #166
what is so surprising about it. The Consulate is there firstly to assure assistance to Polish citizens living in the US.

Logical posting warning. Two more and you're banned;)
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
28 Jan 2010 #167
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.

They want do their job better. Improve and develop their skills to meet new needs. If there is rain of Martians, policemen will be learning marsjański. I admire that.

and all the people working in government departments in Poland learn to speak English.

No office babcias are going to learn English when in their country|castle|kingdom ;)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
28 Jan 2010 #168
it will come back to haunt you......

Is this like how you intend to "bring the pain" to people in Poland?

I think if you check the American embassy in warsaw

To tell a story about those chimps, a friend recently obtained a US visa from them. She went for the interview, and they couldn't speak Polish - so why on earth should Poland provide English speakers?
stevepl 2 | 49
28 Jan 2010 #169
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.
Myszolow 3 | 157
28 Jan 2010 #170
Another interesting fact is that an estimated 1% of the EU population speak Polish as a foreign language.

And most óf them are from na wsi. Théy simply speak Polish as if they were foreign. ;)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
29 Jan 2010 #171
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.

Isn't this a common misconception? EU citizens are entitled to communicate with EU institutions in official EU languages - but I'm not aware that the same right is accorded to national institutions.
stevepl 2 | 49
29 Jan 2010 #172
ACT
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'
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
29 Jan 2010 #173
Fascinating, thank you.

I think it's safe to say that Poland is completely ignoring this law in practice - the "French" approach to the European Union if you will. Of course - has anyone actually asked them to comply with the law? Then again, given the state of the Polish justice system, it would seem unlikely that any judgement could be enforced anyway.

And of course, this law gives no rights to non-EU citizens unless they're already married to an EU citizen or are dependent on an EU citizen.
mafketis 24 | 8,732
29 Jan 2010 #174
I think it's safe to say that Poland is completely ignoring this law in practice -

Without looking at the original, I don't know. I'm pretty sure the law doesn't say that government authorities have to speak in however many languages and I would imagine having printed materials and some form letters in EU languages should be enough for 98 % or more of all cases, especially since IME the government doesn't care anymore about EU citizens living in Poland.

And, of course, it doesn't apply to non-EU citizens.
stevepl 2 | 49
29 Jan 2010 #175
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).
convex 20 | 3,978
29 Jan 2010 #176
I think it's safe to say that Poland is completely ignoring this law in practice - the "French" approach to the European Union if you will. Of course - has anyone actually asked them to comply with the law? Then again, given the state of the Polish justice system, it would seem unlikely that any judgement could be enforced anyway.

It's more of a question of application. Inviting you to Warsaw in 3 months for a meeting could be considered compliance. The document is very vague.
Chipmunk 12 | 61
1 Feb 2010 #177
convex

To tell a story about those chimps, a friend recently obtained a US visa from them. She went for the interview, and they couldn't speak Polish - so why on earth should Poland provide English speakers?

I love "those people" type stories. I mean the world is full of "those people stories" from ignorant story tellers.

I think either you enjoy too much Polish Pride or you should get some new friends who do not lie to their friends. Then again perhaps it's just that your friend is made up.

That said, the truth about the consul office is actually quite different from this truth you spout about those "chimps". The officers themselves spend a year in DC learning Polish from 8-5, Monday through Friday.Even their spouses, if applicable, are sent to language training for eight weeks from 8-5. On top of that the entire office is dual employed by both Americans AND Polish employees. So I find it hard to believe that your friend sat there, obtained a Visa, while not a single person to speak to her/him in Polish.

Nice Try.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
1 Feb 2010 #178
I love "those people" type stories. I mean the world is full of "those people stories" from ignorant story tellers.

Want her phone number to verify the story?

I think either you enjoy too much Polish Pride or you should get some new friends who do not lie to their friends. Then again perhaps it's just that your friend is made up.

Polish pride? What? If anything, it sounds like too much American pride!

Where did I say that they couldn't find a single person to speak in Polish? The woman conducting the interview was struggling in Polish, so they switched to English. No fuss, no hassle and was convenient for both parties (my friend is far more fluent in English than a person studying for a year is in Polish!). I appreciate that you might be a bit sensitive about having your embassy staff described as "chimps" - but if they can't speak Polish properly, then Ameica's citizens have no right to demand English being spoken in a Polish office.

Anyway, by all accounts, they're not going to gain fluency to any reasonable standard by learning Polish in Washington for a year. Polish just doesn't work like that - anyone that's learnt will tell you the same story.

(anyway, I refer to my own embassy not as chimps, but as something far stronger and unsuitable for this forum!)

Chill, it's normal for (native) embassy staff to be not very good in the language of the country that they're in - I don't think anyone is particularly bothered by this.
bookratt 6 | 85
2 Feb 2010 #179
I would say it entirely depends on WHERE the expat is from and for HOW LONG they will stay.

If they plan to work here, the expat typically takes lessons--even if the office standard is to speak English on a daily basis. My husband learned "laboratory" and "engineering" Polish at a very basic level. He had to. Many of the plant employees speak no English at all, and his Polish colleagues who do speak English, travel off-site a lot. He was on his own a lot and is their only expat here. He had to, so he did it. He's not fluent by any means, but he can understand quite a bit now. Good for him!

If we had come for 1 year only, I doubt whether either of us would have progressed beyond please, thank you, help, etc. If either of us thought we could use the language again outside of Poland, I know we would have tried harder, but...that is NOT going to happen. We need Spanish these days in the US---everyone does. Not kidding. And also we need French, to work for this particular company. So we are studying those at the moment.

I learned enough Polish to be polite in social settings, in a restaurant, in a hospital, and that is it. I can read Polish newspapers now (barely), but my pronunciation is very poor and my grammar knowledge is that of a Polish 3-year-old! I avoid making sentences on my own when out in public. I know I am terrible at this! That's what happens when you learn a foreign language after age 40--you can do it, but not too well without great difficulty and tears. : )

My child took Polish lessons at school for 2 years here; this is common with expats. The kids learn faster and more easily, so the parents encourage their learning the language.

If more Polish people I met would LET me practice Polish, I think I would do so more often. But typically, they want to try out their English on me/speak only English when we are together. Whoever noted that same thing/issue in their recent post is correct.

The best foreign speakers of Polish I know here are French expats. Most have taken intensive Polish or at least in-home lessons for a long time. They all plan to stay 4, 5+ years here and that surely influenced their decision to do so.

But French grammar is pretty hard, too--maybe that's why they do so much better than we Americans, at learning Polish? : )
convex 20 | 3,978
2 Feb 2010 #180
If either of us thought we could use the language again outside of Poland, I know we would have tried harder, but...that is NOT going to happen.

I think that, and the fact that in many cases you don't need to learn the language to get by, are huge barriers. The brain just has trouble placing value on learning the language.


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