Useful Polish Words and Phrases to Learn While Visiting Poland as a Foreigner

It is always good to learn a few basic greetings of the language the country you are visiting speaks. In this case, Poland! As a non Slavic person, Polish is one of the harder languages to pick up. I have compiled a list of useful words and phrases that will help you when you are there. These will help you in shopping, asking for directions or any daily tasks that you could be doing. Also keep in mind the pronunciations are catered to American English, so it may sound different for some of you.

Greetings and Formality

Word or Phrase Meaning English Pronunciation
Dzień dobry Good Morning or Good Afternoon Jean doh bri
Dobry wieczór Good Evening Doh bri vie chu-r
Dobranoc Good Night Doh brah notes
Cześć Hello Cheshch
Do widzenia
Goodbye Doh vidzeniah
Proszę
Please Prohsheh
Dziękuję
Thanks Jen koo yeh
Proszę bardzo
You are welcome Prohsheh bahrdzoh
Przepraszam
Excuse Me / I am Sorry Pshe prah shahm

Speaking and Asking

Word or Phrase Meaning English Pronunciation
Miło mi poznać It was nice to meet you Miwoh mee poznach
Bardzo dobrze, a ty? Very well, and you? Bahrdzo dobzhe, ah teh?
Proszę bardzo You are welcome Prohsheh bahrdzoh
Jak masz na imie What is your name? Yak mash na imyeh
Mam na imie? My name is.. Mahm nah imyeh
Jestem Amerykaninem
I am American Yestem Ahmereekahneenem
Nie mówię po polsku I don’t speak polish Nye moovyeh poh polsku
Czy mówisz po angielsku Do you speak English? Chi moovish poh angyelskoo?
Nie rozumiem I don’t understand Ni yeh rozoomyem
Co to jest
What is this? Tsoh toh yest?
Skąd jesteś
Where are you from? Skond yestesh?
Gdzie jest
Where is… Ge-jeh yest 
Karta lub gotówka Card or cash? Car ta lube gor tuv ka

Eating

Word or Phrase Meaning English Pronunciation
Chciałbym I would like… Chao bim
Proszę kawę Coffee please Prosheh kah veh
Herbata Tea Her bah tah
Chleb Bread Hleb
Kanapka Sandwich Kah nap kah
Jajko Egg Ya yi koh
Kurczak Chicken Ker chak
Kapusta Cabbage Kah pus tah
Pomidor Tomato Poh mi door
Ziemniak Potato Zeem niyuck
Mięso Meat Mi yeh so
Mleko Milk Mleh ko
Piwo Beer Pi voh
Zupa Soup Zoo pah
Rachunek, proszę
Bill, please Rah hoo neck, prosheh

Counting

Word or Phrase Meaning English Pronunciation
Jeden One Ye den
Dwa Two Dva
Trzy Three Tshih
Cztery Four Chi te rih
Pięć Five Pi yench
Sześć Six Shesht
Siedem Seven Shea dem
Osiem Eight Oh shem
Dziewięć Nine Je viench
Dziesięć Ten Je shiench

Practical Use

So when you are in Poland, you will eventually encounter people that won’t speak English to you if you venture far into non tourist places. The most common phrases I use to get around in supermarkets or taking public transport:

Cześć, czy mówisz po angielsku? (Hello, do you speak English?)

Nie rozumiem dobrze jeszce po polsku (I don’t understand polish well)

Gdzie jest [insert item/place]?

Mam na imie [insert name].  Miło mi poznać (My name is [insert name]. Nice to meet you.)

Jak masz na imie? (What is your name?)

Po proszę kurczak. (Chicken, please)

If the person only speaks Polish, another thing I use is the English to Polish app. You can download it here for free. -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.suvorov.pl_en&hl=en_US

The app has helped me get into more meaningful conversations with the locals and it will also give you a greater understanding on how the locals think. Based on my travels to Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław and Poznan, Warsaw seems to have the highest number of English speakers. However, Kraków and Wrocław are much more beautiful in my opinion. You can’t really go wrong with either city!

Conclusion

These words and phrases will help you navigate this awesome country along the way. It has definitely help me in situations, especially when asking for directions and buying stuff in the shopping mall and super market.

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