Learn to speak Polish – Making Friends in Polish language

Handshakes and a few Polish words to the local people you meet will go a long way. Adult males and teens usually shake hands upon meeting, while women often greet with kisses. Sometimes you may see the traditional elegant way of greeting when a man kisses the hand of a woman. However, this habit is fading away, or it is being restricted only towards old ladies to show respect.

Polish men follow the code of chivalry in other ways, too. They open doors and let women first through a doorway, help to carry heavy bags as well as offer their seat on the bus or streetcar. Moreover, normal courtesies are observed when visiting private homes. It is customary to bring flowers for a hostess, and in some occasions also an elegant bottle of alcohol for a host.

Orange – Polish spelling
Brown – How to pronounce
Green – English translation


When speaking to anyone who is not a close friend or a young child, it is polite to address the person with the word Pan (Sir) or Pani (Madam) {audio}media/polish/greetings/PanPani.mp3{/audio}

In case of a group of people, one should use Państwo (Mr. and Mrs.), Panowie (Gentlemen) or Panie (Ladies). {audio}media/polish/greetings/PanstwoPanowiePanie.mp3{/audio}
When your friendship becomes more intimate, the person’s first name may follow the words Pan or Pani.

Dzień dobry (Dzyehn dohbri) – Good morning / Good afternoon / Hello. – In Polish Good morning and Good afternoon has the same meaning. {audio}media/polish/greetings/DzienDobry.mp3{/audio}

Pozwoli pan /pani/, że się przedstawię. (Pohzvohlee pahn /pahnee/, zheh syeh pshetstahvyeh) – Let me introduce myself. Remember that depending to Whom you want to introduce yourself, you need to use: Pan for Mr. , Pani for Mrs. {audio}media/polish/greetings/PozwoliPanPaniZeSiePrzedstawie.mp3{/audio}

Cześć (Tsheshts) Hi… – Used to greet your friends, relatives even some strangers usually within your age group. Can also be used following a name. For example Cześć Tomek{audio}media/polish/greetings/Czesc.mp3{/audio}

Cześć co słychać? (Tsheshts tso swhyhats) Hey, whats up… – Used to greet your friends, relatives even some strangers usually within your age group.{audio}media/polish/greetings/CzescCoSlychac.mp3{/audio}

Nazywam się Robert … (Nahzivahm syeh Robert…) – My name is Robert… Formal introduction. {audio}media/polish/greetings/NazywamSieRobert.mp3{/audio}

Jestem Robert (Yesteum Robert…) – I’m Robert… Informal introduction. {audio}media/polish/greetings/JestemRobert.mp3{/audio}

Moje nazwisko Kowalski… (Mohyeh nahzveeskoh Kohvalskee) – My last name is Kowalski …{audio}media/polish/greetings/MojeNazwiskoKowalski.mp3{/audio}

Chciałbym / Chciałabym przedstawić mojego znajomego / kolegę / przyjaciela. (Htshahwbim / Htshahwabim pshehtstahveetsh mohyehgoh znahyohmehgoh / kohlehgeh / pshiyahtshehlah) – Let me introduce my: / friend / best friend. – Formal introduction. Remember to say Chciałbym if your a male and Chciałabym if you’re a female {audio}media/polish/greetings/ChcialbymPrzedstawicMojegoZnajomego.mp3{/audio}

To jest Robert. (Toh yehst Robert) – This is Robert. Informal introduction {audio}media/polish/greetings/ToJestRobert.mp3{/audio}

To jest pan Kowalski. (Toh yehst pahn Kohvalskee) – This is Mr. Kowalski.{audio}media/polish/greetings/ToJestPanKowalski.mp3{/audio}

Miło mi pana /panią/ poznać. (Meewoh mee pahnah /pahnawng/ pohznahtsh) – Nice to meet you.{audio}media/polish/greetings/MiloMiPanaPoznac.mp3{/audio}

Bardzo mi miło. (Bahrdzoh mee meewoh) – Pleased to meet you.{audio}media/polish/greetings/BardzoMiMilo.mp3{/audio}

Cała przyjemność po mojej stronie. (Tsahwah pshiyehmnohsytsh poh mohyehy strohnyeh) – The pleasure is all mine.{audio}media/polish/greetings/CalaPrzyjemnoscPoMojejStronie.mp3{/audio}


Skąd pan /pani/ jest? (Skohnt pahn /pahnee/ yehst) – Where are you from? This is formal and used to address people you’just met, strangers, or people you see everyday but you’re not friends with, also used to address people considerably older than you 10+ years.{audio}media/polish/greetings/SkadPanPaniJest.mp3{/audio}

Skąd jesteś? (Skohnt yestesh) – Where are you from? This is not formal and used to address your friends, people who are the same age group as you {audio}media/polish/greetings/SkadJestes.mp3{/audio}

Jestem z Polski (Yestem z Polskee) – I am from Poland {audio}media/polish/greetings/JestemZ.mp3{/audio}

Przyjechałem /
/ z Polski (Pshiyehahwehm / Pshiyehahwahm / z Polskee) – I came from Poland Remember to say Przyjechałem if you’re a male and Przyjechałam if you’re a female.{audio}media/polish/greetings/PrzyjechalemZ.mp3{/audio}

Jak minęła podróż? (Yahk meenehwah pohdroosh?) – How was your trip?{audio}media/polish/greetings/JakMinelaPodroz.mp3{/audio}

If you would like to see more words/phrases in this category please let us know! We will add them accordingly. [email protected]

Text by Anna Kruszewska-Achmatowicz & Tomasz Cop