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Talking to a Polish man on "ty" terms


Rain33 14 | 19
5 Jul 2011 #1
Ok, seriously, If I accidentally come up to a Polish man sitting on a bench, and talk to him on "ty" terms, would he beat me up? Should I run and I hide from him?

When is it okay to accidentally say, "Cześć, Co słychać?" instead of "Jak się pan ma?" to a man you don't know? Would he forgive you?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Jul 2011 #2
No one would beat you up for this, you would simply sound rude (unless you're both around the same age and under 30).
Olaf 6 | 956
5 Jul 2011 #3
unless you're both around the same age and under 30

Well, that's a fun fact I didn't know of.
alexw68
5 Jul 2011 #4
I think the upper range of that is nearer 35 now, from experience (or is it just my eternal youthfulness, hehe ?) - but I occasionally do make this blunder and correct myself sharpish :)
sobieski 107 | 2,128
5 Jul 2011 #5
In this case, when would you switch from "Pan?Pani" to for example "Pani Doroto" so adding the person's first name to it?
Alligator - | 261
5 Jul 2011 #6
You can switch from Pani Doroto to Doroto only when she will allow you to do that. She will say then that "it's ok, you can say to me Dorota".

When you start conversation with a stranger, you always have to say to him/her Pan or Pani.
When you are introduced to someone, normally you can skip Pan or Pani and say only name. But again, if you are introduced to someone older than you, you need to have permission from that person to call him/her using only name. Otherwise you woul be consiedered as rude person.

Poles are not very strict with those rules when it comes to foreigners. Even if you would make a faux paux when speaking to them, they wouldn't mind and will always remember that you probably don't know this rules.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
5 Jul 2011 #7
Some people will feel offended.

And the pan/pani language is not more difficult to learn.

(It is always pan or pani + 3rd person singular of the verb.)
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
5 Jul 2011 #8
"Cześć, Co słychać?"

If you decide to go with that laid back approach say something like 'cześć, jak się masz'? with a smile.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,385
5 Jul 2011 #9
'cześć, jak się masz'? with a smile.

the smile would indicate u are being polite and have nothing better to say.

maybe this is a regional thing though.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
5 Jul 2011 #10
Well if she doesn't know the man she has to wait for his reaction to see if he's interested if he smiles back then it's a green light lol.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
5 Jul 2011 #11
You can switch from Pani Doroto to Doroto

No my question was, is there a difference between "Pani" and "Pani Doroto" ? Is that already a gradation?
Alligator - | 261
5 Jul 2011 #12
There is a gradation: First and the most official would be only Pani, then Pani Doroto and the last one would be Doroto. You would say Pani Doroto when for example you know her for some time, you are on friendly relations, but she didn't ask you to say only her name. That relation is especially used between neighbours, shop assistants (if you purchase in small, "corner" shops) etc. Pan/Pani is used when you speak to complete stranger or to someone who you know only formally or officialy e.g. civil servant, doctor.
Lyzko
5 Jul 2011 #13
Pani Doroto, cześć! = Miss Dotty, hi there! LOL

Not really translatable, these gradations of Polish usage-:)


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