Polish Language Basics

Poland’s native language is Polish, one of the Slavic group of languages. English, however, is relatively widely spoken by younger people. Of other European languages German is probably the next most common.

Here are few basic words and phrases, with a simplified pronunciation guide. Underlined syllables are emphasized; the letters "zh" imply a pronunciation similar to the "s" in "pleasure". The letter "r" is always pronounced strongly – almost rolled in a way similar to Scots.



Pronunciation guide

Good day/hello dzien dobry jen dob-rih
Hi/hello czesc chesh-tch
Goodbye do widzenia dovid-zenya
Good evening dobry wieczor dob-rih vyetch-or
Goodnight dobranoc do-branots
Yes tak tak
No nie nyeah
Please prosze prosh-eh
You’re welcome prosze bardzo prosh-eh bard-zoh
Thank you dziekuje jen koo-yeah
How much? ile eel-eh
I don’t understand nie rozumiem nyeah roh-zoom-yem
Cheers! na zdrowie! naz drov-ya
Can I have the bill/check? rachunek poprosze ra hoo-nek poh prosh-eh
Beer piwo peeve-oh
Water woda vod-ah
Vodka wódka vood-ka
Wine wino vee-noh
May I…? mozna? mozh-nah?
Good dobrze dob-zhuh
Bad zle zhleh
So-so tak sobie tak sob-yeah
Excuse me przepraszam pshuh-prash-am
I don’t speak Polish nie mowie po polsku nyeah moov-yeah poh pole-skoo