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Use of Polish language at work in the US

ChrisPoland 2 | 123
17 Oct 2009 #1
To the Polonia community-
Do you work in jobs that you need to use your Polish language skills in addition to English? Did you find that your foreign language skills (in this case Polish) helped you find employment or had no effect?

Thanks for the info. We're in Poland now but weighing our options.
beckski 12 | 1,617
17 Oct 2009 #2
Use of Polish language at work in the US

In my present career I've never met a Polish client who doesn't speak both Polish and English. I'm quite sure the stats would be much different in places such as Chicago, as opposed to Southern California.
SueME - | 1
26 Oct 2009 #3
I agree with Beckski, I have worked in retail for over 20 years and have never found Polish people who did not speak English. For some reason my Grandmother never taught my sisters or me any polish, even though we were interested in it. As for my mother, she did not learn much of it either. They always spoke English when my mom and aunts were growing up.
sledz 23 | 2,250
26 Oct 2009 #4
I agree most Poles that Ive met in Chicago can speak English or close enough to understand what theyre saying.

And theres nothing more sexy than a Polish woman speaking English:):):)
OP ChrisPoland 2 | 123
26 Oct 2009 #5
Maybe an American woman speaking Polish?
sledz 23 | 2,250
26 Oct 2009 #6
its not the same without the sexy Polish accent though:)

Not to make fun of anybody but it seems that Polish people have difficulty in pronocing the letter G correctly it always sounds like a K to me.

How you doinK
where are you goinK
OP ChrisPoland 2 | 123
26 Oct 2009 #7
You all have pretty much confirmed for me what I suspected - that knowing Polish is not particularly useful when looking for a job in the US for a couple of reasons. One reason being that Polish people in the US can speak English too. Another that US companies which need a person who speaks Polish have a lot of people to choose from (Polish-speaking folks in the US). Also those companies which need a person who speaks Polish are quite few.

I am American and I live in Poland. I can speak Polish moderately well and my husband is Polish so he can obviously speak well ;) My husband was offered 2 jobs in the US where he could use his Polish. One job required 2 languages besides English on an intermediate level and another job didn't require Polish but they did find it useful as the company has a major client in Poland. What's the problem? Health insurance :(
sledz 23 | 2,250
26 Oct 2009 #8
that knowing Polish is not particularly useful when looking for a job in the US for a couple of reasons.

You could probably survive in Chicago if Polish was your only language because of the huge Polish commmunity here.
Anywhere else in the country no way, you would have a better chance speaking Spanish.

Id have to say the majority of Poles that Ive met here in Chicago can speak English very well.
OP ChrisPoland 2 | 123
26 Oct 2009 #9
You are right Sledz that Spanish would be more useful when looking for a job. It's a pity I didn't realize during my 4 years of Spanish classes in high school.

My husband speaks English very well so that's not an issue for us.

Thanks again everyone for your input.

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dave73 - | 7
4 Dec 2009 #10
When I worked at Andrews Products in Mount Prospect Illinois (thru then Express Personnel), 2/3 of the people were Polish who spoke Polish to each other, but also spoke English to those who didn't speak Polish. Spanish was also spoken there too among the few hispanics. Andrews requires their workers to speak, read, & write English. Knowing another language is a plus, but English comes first. My last employer, Ashland Hardware, also requires people to read, write, and speak English. Most people there speak English only. Spanish is the second most common language spoken there. There were only 3 Polish people there, and those 3 workers came over from Poland. Those 3 workers had last names where they were tied to gender. 1 guy had a last name ending in owski, and his wife (both work at the same place) had her last name ending in owska (though when they came to the US, she was made to have her last name changed to be the same as her husband, ending in owski). Both were married in Poland. The other worker is also a female, married in Poland, and her last name ends in an "a". I don't remember her last name, but she was allowed to keep it ending in "a", while her husband's last name ends in "y".
musicwriter 5 | 87
9 Jan 2010 #11
I suspect the spelling change was required to comply with listing them in the city directory. However, when it comes to joint filing of income tax, I'm not sure if -owski and -owska would cause a computer glitch or not. The IRS vigilant to avoid fraud.

In listing a married couple in the telephone directory, it's customary to put the husband's name in. If a couple wants both his and her name listed, it will show up like 'Slawomir and Ana Kadlubowski' (example). Diacritic marks cannot be put in.

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