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Do I need to speak Polish in order to enjoy Poland as a tourist?


tdolata92 1 | 4
4 Nov 2010 #1
My Polish is that good. I am in Polish class right now. I read better than I speak it. We plan to to visit in Poland in 2012. But I am worried that I will not be prepared enough for the trip.

We plan to go to Warsaw and Poznan as my family is originally from Poznan.

Any helpful hints to keep me going and not give up on my Polish?
Bzibzioh
4 Nov 2010 #2
tdolata92
What were you trying to say in the title of your thread (in English)?
OP tdolata92 1 | 4
4 Nov 2010 #3
How long does it take to speak Polish effectively to visit Poland?
Bzibzioh
4 Nov 2010 #4
That's too long for a title of the thread.
OP tdolata92 1 | 4
4 Nov 2010 #5
okay, sorry...I am new to this.

What would be a better thread?
Bzibzioh
4 Nov 2010 #6
okay, sorry...

Don't be sorry. Just come up with something less complicated. For example: Czy znajomość polskiego jest nieodzowna dla turystów?

We plan to go to Warsaw and Poznan as my family is originally from Poznan.

Since you are going to visit major cities, knowledge of Polish is welcome but not essential.
sunbreak 14 | 20
8 Dec 2010 #7
If you are in the major cities, many young people speak English and so there will not be a major problem. I went to Poland a few years ago to study some Polish and the only place there was a problem was the train station. I solved that one by booking train trips with a travel office where the employees spoke multiple languages. Anywhere else I went, I was able to find someone who spoke English. Of course, it helps a lot to know some basic words and phrases in Polish. I would sometimes ask someone in Polish if they spoke English.
Trevek 25 | 1,699
8 Dec 2010 #8
In bigger cites and towns, especially very tourist orientated places, lots of people speak English and, if you're lucky, some of the tourist sites will even have signs and info in English.

In places like Mazury, the lake district, a bit of German is pretty useful. Even when I spoke Polish to people they replied in German (must say a lot fur mein Polnisch)!
Cardno85 31 | 973
8 Dec 2010 #9
Even outside of major tourist areas, you will find a lot of the younger people will speak some English if you get really stuck. However, as has been said before, it's good to have some under your belt if you plan on going off the beaten track.
Lyzko
8 Dec 2010 #10
As with most spots in Europe, including Poland, a little English will go a LONG way!!! Strangely, the only place where this maxim didn't seem to apply was in Madrid of all places. Then again, this was almost fifteen years ago-:))
Cardno85 31 | 973
8 Dec 2010 #11
As with most spots in Europe, including Poland, a little English will go a LONG way!!!

To add to your list of places this doesn't apply...

...Paris.

My wee brother does my tits in with his "why should I make the effort when they just turn round and speak to me in English" attitude. I always did what I could to make an effort in speaking, or, failing that, carrying around a dictionary/phrasebook with me if I forgot or couldn't pronounce something. Yes you look like a tourist, but a less obnoxious one than the person standing at the bar speaking English louder and slower with each attempt.

"I...JUST...WANT...OOOONNNEEE...BEEEEEEEEER!!!! YOU NO SPEAKA DA ENGLISH?"

*Cringes*
Lyzko
8 Dec 2010 #12
I so (totally) agree, Cardno85-:)) Thanks for sharing!
rychlik 41 | 372
8 Dec 2010 #13
In places like Mazury, the lake district, a bit of German is pretty useful. Even when I spoke Polish to people they replied in German (must say a lot fur mein Polnisch)!

Strange place to speak German. WTF?
Trevek 25 | 1,699
8 Dec 2010 #14
Not really. Historeically it had a huge German speaking community until the post-war years. many of the older residents can still speak German and many of the younger ones may have learned. As well as this they have big tourism from Germany.

The thing which made me laugh was that they heard us speaking English (which they'd have known wasn't German) and then insisted on speaking German to me even when I spoke Polish.

...Paris.

It depends. I recently read an article where Parisian people working in tourist places insist on using English and object to you speaking French!


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