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My visit to Poland - Likes & Dislikes.


Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Sep 2010 #31
Teffle, you are actually wrong on that one. German is the international language of tourism when it comes to those within the industry as they have the biggest bureaus.

Sorry, don't know what you mean - can you explain?

I'm not talking about within the industry by the way, just that if someone from X country goes to Y country it is likely that the common language used to converse between tourist and host will be English. That's all I'm saying.

Do you think I'm wrong?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
14 Sep 2010 #32
Ah, that's different. English would likely be the compromise language, yes.
tow_stalin - | 57
14 Sep 2010 #33
in mine opinion it is quite rude to criticize foreigners for not knowing my native language.

ups, i did not make myself clear. its rude, to come to other country, and expect, that almost everyone there will be able to speak with me with my native language - eg. going to us and expecting that almost everyone will be able to speak with me with polish - the same with being american, and expecting that almost every pole speaks english. it's rude, and... silly :)
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Sep 2010 #34
going to us and expecting that almost everyone will be able to speak with me with polish - the same with being american, and expecting that almost every pole speaks english. it's rude, and... silly :)

The difference of course being that English is taught in every Polish school. It's just as silly as expecting that almost every Pole understands how to multiply and divide.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Sep 2010 #35
I don't think that even Americans expect that "almost everyone" will speak English in Poland.

Their expectations however are infinitely more realistic than the reverse situation of course.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
14 Sep 2010 #36
As already stated here its generally best to get a few words under your belt before you travel anywhere if you intend to use public transport or to actually explore your surroundings and not just sit in the local bar getting smashed all day...

Ive been going to the Czech Republic for over 10 years and I have tavelled a bit round Western Bohemia, I've used all modes of public transport and eaten in every kind of establishment and never had a problem, simply because I can open my mouth and ask for a train ticket or a bus ticket or work out what the dishes are on the menu and if a problem arrises, a lot of gesticulating generally helps..

I honestly dont get what all the fuss is about, as Ive already said, travelling to another country with a different lauguage is a wonderful experience, if people made the effort before stepping off that plane then they'd enjoy it a whole lot more..I understand English is a popular lanauge, but we have to realise there are plenty out there that dont speak it and why the hell should they?

Now for my point on tourism, Krakow is geared up for it, English speaking guides and menus in English...bar staff that speak English...I had to go to a pharmacy whilst I was there and managed to get what I need even though the lady didnt speak English...I dont think Poland has to turn into some shyty tourist trap with guides who have fake American accents (I heard one in CZ a couple of years ago and decided not to take her tour, it would have been too painful!)..What they have IMO works already..Or at least it does for the Brits ;0)
zetigrek
14 Sep 2010 #37
and Poland probably has a potentially greater source of income here IMO -

really?

Of course if people don't want repeat visits from tourists, that's fine. Poles should not feel under any pressure to speak English

She didn't say that the hotel staff or restaurant staff don't speak English. She said "people" - so she could mean everyone (and not everyone is gifted in learning languages and not everyone is obliged to know English).

btw. If you met me on the street you also would say that I can't speak English, even though I can carry a discussion with you on this forum. Recently some guy was buying a ticket and the teller could say no word in English so she was trying to show him by hands that he has 2 minutes to his train departure so he must hurry up. And I was in line just behind him and trying to help. Oh, it was pathetic! I could mutter only: "2 minutes" "4th peron" "go fast"... ;/

How is it possible that France have tourists even though they are refusing to communicate in English?? ;)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Sep 2010 #38
really?

Well I think so, yes - do you not agree?

Take Ireland: crap weather, expensive, no outstanding attractions to speak of yet people come here in their millions - and it's not jsut the native English speakers. If we can reinvent the country this way I'm sure Poland can.

I understand English is a popular lanauge, but we have to realise there are plenty out there that dont speak it and why the hell should they?

Other than to encourage tourism, no reason.

How is it possible that France have tourists even though they are refusing to communicate in English?? ;)

I know : )

Well I mentioned France was different earlier on. A few reasons:

France doesn't need to try very hard - it will always get tourists. Beautiful country with great food/wine culture and mostly good weather. Having one of the world's top city destinations helps too.

Many tourists in France are middle class English who generally can speak some French.

Actually many French people can and do communicate in English - they just won't if you don't make any attempt in French whatsover. The French are much more pleasant and accomodating than they are often depicted.
mark007 - | 58
14 Sep 2010 #39
Hej czesc ludzie! just thought I would give my two pennies worth! Poland is nice in some parts and not in others, just like most countries in the world! I speak some polish, badly, but it often raises a smile; people are more friendly when you try and say something, even like dzien dobry or jak sie masz? Tourists from places like the states should remember that the whole of Europe isn't like Paris and not everyone looks like a million dollars! I would try wroclaw and Krakow for places to visit, modern cities steep in culture with quaint houses and nice pebble walk ways. Some of the locals can even speak English!!

nooo pa nie pracuj zbyt duzo
sledz 23 | 2,250
14 Sep 2010 #40
welll warsaw was not beautiful or attractive.

Before you criticize other cities, take and look at where you live first.

L.A. the city with a perpetual Smog cloud that hovers over it, you can barely breath over there!
If you go up to the mountains and look down upon L.A.you can hardly see the buildings from all the Smog, not to mention it drifts into cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix and causes ozone action days!

L.A. is full of Illegal Mexicans, weirdos and Junkies,,really nice city,,,,,lol
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
14 Sep 2010 #41
I went to Szczecin to visit my boyfriends family. they where really cool we had fun and that city was beautiful i loved it there.

it is not a bad city at all. I disagree with your impression of Warsaw, it has really cleaned up- I was there in July 2010.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Sep 2010 #42
Before you criticize other cities, take and look at where you live first.

Why? They're both holes.
sledz 23 | 2,250
14 Sep 2010 #43
I havent been to Poland so I cant comment, but yes L.A. is a hole and Im glad I dont have to live there:)
zetigrek
14 Sep 2010 #44
You may be suprised but my parents generation did not learn English at school (or rarely). They learn Russian mostly and many ppl from the older generation know Russian.

In my elementary school I was learning only French. Then was the educational reform and they made 2 language obligatory in middle school and high school courses. And that's why, later I started to learn English.

The problem is that in school you have to be in lessons with either poor or excelling students so it look that: those poor students did not want to learn, and those excelling where bored because they learn English on private lessons. So how is it possible to teach English in efficient way?

it is not a bad city at all. I disagree with your impression of Warsaw, it has really cleaned up- I was there in July 2010.

EXACTLY! When I was there in 2004 it was really crappy place but in 2007 I had much better opinion on Warsaw. Now I love Warsaw, since my bro lives there I visit Warsaw frequently and its like a brush of fresh air for me a native-born Lodz inhabitant.
jwojcie 2 | 763
14 Sep 2010 #45
How come no one on the plane is surprised that their language is not widely spoken in foreign country except many Brits and North Americans is beyond me :-)

Normally people are sincerelly surprised and glad and thankful that someone on the street actually is speaking their home language. I concur with someone who said that English is in fact not widely spoken in continental Europe (except maybe Scandinavians), I'm not talking about hotels but about folks on the street. It is rather more common that they don't speak English. The more so in Poland where English speakers can count on some luck only with people below 35-40.

Personally wherever I go I'm trying at least to learn in home language the sentence:
"excuse me do you speak English?"... To start conversation in foreign language without warning is either a sign of rudeness or helplessness.

So if anyone will need my help in the future on the street, better learn how to say:
"Przepraszam, czy mówi Pan po angielsku?"
because otherwise I can pretend that I don't understand a single word... ;-)
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Sep 2010 #46
So how is it possible to teach English in efficient way?

Earlier I mentioned that it applies to younger Poles. It's possible to teach basic English, just as it's possible to teach basic math and science...just like vozmozhno prepodavanie russkogo :)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Sep 2010 #47
English has been mandatory in school only for the last 2 or 3 years in Poland.

Would you suggest learning Hungarian before visiting Budapest? Italian before going to Rome?

Certainly, at least a few polite words.

it applies to younger Poles.

What languages do people in the United States learn and can they speak?
southern 75 | 7,096
14 Sep 2010 #48
I wish we learned polish at school.
zetigrek
14 Sep 2010 #49
Earlier I mentioned that it applies to younger Poles. It's possible to teach basic English, just as it's possible to teach basic math and science...

and many know basic english... just like me

(OMG how many mistakes I made in my previouse comment... It must be dyslexia...)
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
14 Sep 2010 #50
(OMG how many mistakes I made in my previouse comment... It must be dyslexia...)

your ENGLISH is more then fine. You manage to communicate quite well.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Sep 2010 #51
Certainly, at least a few polite words.

I agree and I do.
zetigrek
14 Sep 2010 #52
What languages do people in the United States learn and can speak?

spanish?

English has been mandatory in school only for the last 2 or 3 years in Poland.

but he has right that even though it wasn't mandatory, most of young Poles was learning English for few long years in school. It is 2h per week mostly - a lesson with students with wide range of english knowledge in one class! I remember how I was bored doing for 3 years an elementary level book in my gimnazjum!!! Good for me that in high school they were creating classes based on students English level so they could teach English on proper level at last! (I've changed hs class, so from the elementary level in gimnazjum I've jumped into review FCE class, and after we were doing Advance level... wow that was a change!)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Sep 2010 #53
spanish?

would that not be their first language, I mean of course the Mexican Population of the U.S.
I mean learning a second language, so if I went to the States and only spoke Spanish, would it be useful outside of those people who had it as a first language?

but he has right that even though it wasn't mandatory, most of young Poles was learning English for few long years in school. It is 2h per week mostly

As far as I remember, it was very difficult to get English teachers to work in public schools due to the low wages and many people did not learn any English.

Well if I am wrong, I am sure someone will point it out but that's what I was told.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Sep 2010 #54
English has been mandatory in school only for the last 2 or 3 years in Poland.

That's interesting, my missus had been learning English since fourth grade. Wroclaw schools I guess?

Certainly, at least a few polite words.

You'd have to be a complete moron not to learn some basics, even though they won't get you very far if you need information. My comment was a reply to the "learn Polish" comment.

What languages do people in the United States learn and can they speak?

What does it matter? They just so happen to be born speaking a language which is the basic form of communication for work and travel. We're talking about the English language, not about the benefits that native English speakers have because they don't have to learn this additional skill.

and many know basic english... just like me

Yes, you and your terrible basic English. Sometimes it's very hard to decipher what you're trying to communicate with your broken English.

Please, if your English is basic, there would be no need for anyone to learn Polish in Poland...
Teffle 22 | 1,321
14 Sep 2010 #55
spanish?

In theory, yes. Not in practice generally.

I've met loads of Americans and have spent time there. Very few can speak anything but the most basic Spanish. My Spanish is possibly "mid-intermediate" let's say, but it's far better than the average American level as far as I can see.

This applies to non-hispanic Americans by the way and those not living near the Mexican border.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
14 Sep 2010 #56
Americans don't know foreign languages...
maybe a bit of Spanish (as to their househelp: holla! adios! por favor! no bien! como esta? gracias! no entiendo! cuanto cuesta?)
zetigrek
14 Sep 2010 #57
I thought it's the most popular foreign language learned in the USA in schools! (not mentioning the fact that half population of California speaks Spanish as its mother tongue)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Sep 2010 #58
Wroclaw schools I guess?

I think the bigger cities could get teachers? I don't honestly know.

You'd have to be a complete moron not to learn some basics, even though they won't get you very far if you need information.

Like: My hovercraft is full of eels in many languages :)

We're talking about the English language, not about the benefits that native English speakers have because they don't have to learn this additional skill.

So if you are born in an English speaking country, it doesn't matter if you can speak any other language or not but if your not, you are, rude and stupid for not being able to speak English?

I agree but only to the extent of if you work in the tourist sector, then you have to speak more than one language no matter where you live or what your native tongue is.

(not mentioning the fact that half population of California speaks Spanish as its mother tongue)

Okay, so do at least the people who speak Spanish as their mother tongue speak English, in the U.S?

My visit to Poland - what I dislike.
It is not only about what she disliked, she told us what she liked as well.
I thought she was just trying to be honest not just talking about her dislikes.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Sep 2010 #59
I think the bigger cities could get teachers?
I don't honestly know.

Could be. Anyone that has had the honor of getting an education in the countryside wish to comment? Maybe they can't because they never had a chance to learn English :)

I agree but only to the extent of if you work in the tourist sector, then you have to speak more than one language no matter where you live or what your native tongue is.

You're not rude, you are however stupid. English is a basic skill. That is why it is taught so widely, and is mandatory in quite a few school systems. If you're a native English speaker, you learn that basic skill from birth, which should theoretically free up some time to learn something else. And if they don't, then they're idiots (which quite a few are, hey hey).

English is such a basic skill, that not knowing it bars entry to the majority of lucrative jobs. That's why it's pushed so heavily. The return on learning English is huge compared to the money invested.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Sep 2010 #60
Anyone that has had the honor of getting an education in the countryside wish to comment?

Catch 22.

English is a basic skill.

I think it was a good idea to make it mandatory here.
I really think they should get rid of the lektor on the TV, Polish subtitles on English speaking films would drastically improve the level of English here.

But you can't say people are stupid, if they didn't have access.

which quite a few are, hey hey

Conclusion, some people are idiots, no matter what languages they don't speak.


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