poniedziałek, 22 maja 2017

ABOUT MONEY IN POLISH


PIENIĄDZE, KASA, FORSA... OR WORDS FOR „MONEY“ IN POLISH

Today we want to talk about money (o pieniądzach – locative). As you know, money (pieniądze nominative, plural in Polish) doesn‘t bring hapiness but it’s better to mieć pieniądze (accusative; have money) than nie mieć pieniędzy (genitive; not to have money), because z pieniędzmi (instrumental; with money) in your pocket life is easier. Let’s take a closer look at Polish money (przyjrzyjmy się pieniądzom – dative).
In your Polish class (check here if you’re looking for interesting Polish courses) you will definitely learn that the word pieniądze is most often used in plural. Well, who wouldn’t prefer to have them in a larger amount ;-) Naturally, the singular form pieniądz exists, but it’s used much less frequently.
Money has many names in spoken language, and both native Polish users and foreigners learning Polish know very well how creative Polish may be and how many terms it may create to name one object. In slang pieniądze may be referred to as kasa, forsa, szmal or even sałata (literally: lettuce) or kapusta (literally: cabbage).


ZA ZŁOTÓWKĘ (for a zloty) – ON POLISH CURRENCY

Polish currency is, of course, złoty. A one-zloty coin is commonly known as złotówka and if something costs 1zl, we say that it kosztuje złotówkę. Money may be used in form of gotówka (cash), which means monety (coins) commonly known as drobniaki (small change), or banknoty (banknotes), or in form of karty płatnicze, debetowe and kredytowe (payment, debit and credit cards), informally called plastik. We can płacić 

gotówką, i.e. pay in cash,

or płacić kartą, i.e. pay by card
(check our fb page for more interesting facts about the Polish language).


In order to get some cash you may use a bankomat (ATM) to wypłacić (withdraw) or simply wziąć (take) it from your konto bankowe (bank account). Then we can wydawać (spend) the money. And if you are oszczędny (thrifty), you can put the money in your current account or lokata (deposit account) and then you oszczędzasz (save) it. Thanks to that in some time you will be able to look at your wyciąg bankowy (bank statement) and say with a smile: Oh, moje pieniądze (my money – vocative)!

czwartek, 13 kwietnia 2017

SOME FACTS ABOUT EGGS BEFORE EASTER

The fast approaching Easter has encouraged us to look closely at one of its symbols: the egg. You can read here what meaning it bears in the Polish Easter tradition. You can also get this information during your Polish classes.  Today we would like to talk about the egg from the culinary point of view. We offer you a short overview of the forms in which it may be prepared. Naturally, it will not be new for you, but ... we want to make sure you know the Polish names of these dishes.

First of all, JAJECZNICA (scrambled eggs), which is Poles‘ favourite breakfast dish. We often serve it with bacon or mushrooms. Or with both.

If we’re bored with having jajecznica, we can boil the egg. Do you prefer JAJKO NA TWARDO (hard-boiled egg), or NA MIĘKKO (soft-boiled egg)?

                                Jajko na miękko - more Polish vocabulary on our FB page

                                  Jajko na twardo -gotować, robić, przygotowywać

OMLET (omelette), which we have for breakfast or dinner /supper, is just as popular. Sweet or savoury.
                                                 And You? How do you like your omlet?

We often have JAJKO SADZONE (fried egg) as well. Interestingly, we don’t use the word smażone, which is a Polish equivalent of the word fried. We have jajko sadzone for lunch or dinner/supper (more information on the names of Polish meals and their timing here) but hardly ever for breakfast.


Returning to Easter, we have this picture for you and information what it shows.

                                        What is it? Check here for more information

                                             SMACZNEGO JAJKA !
                                              (literally: Enjoy the egg!)

środa, 22 marca 2017

LET’S TALK ABOUT WHEATHER IN POLISH

The spring is approaching rapidly, the weather is changeable, which is expressed in many Polish proverbs (check here to read about some of them and their meaning). That is a good topic of conversation during a coffee or lunch break at work, or between your Polish classes (check here for good courses in Polish for foreigners). Therefore we have prepared a mini dictionary of spring „weather attractions“.

MARCH AND APRIL IN POLAND

March and April are notorious for changeable weather (kapryśna pogoda, literally: moody weather). There are days when it gets warm, so the temperature goes over 12 degrees Celsius (temperatura przewyższa 12°C - stopni Celsjusza). Then the sun is shining (świeci słońce), sometimes a light wind blows (wietrzyk, literally: small wind) and white clouds (białe chmurki) appear in the sky. Unfortunately, after such a beautiful day, when, encouraged by beautiful weather, we get rid of our warm jackets, cold days often come. Then we feel unpleasant cold (marzniemy, literally: we freeze) on the way to work, school or a language course. The temperature may be above zero (powyżej zera), but it is a good idea to wear a warm scarf. Gray clouds covering the sky often threaten rain and on such cloudy days we can expect it in various scenarios: mżawka (drizzle) or ulewa (downpour), which results in kałuże (puddles) appearing on the streets. On such days do not forget your parasole (umbrellas) and kalosze (rubber boots). During the conversation it is good to remember the verbs: padać  (to rain; e.g. Oj, cały dzień pada deszcz! - oh, it’s been raining all day!), mżyć  (to drizzle; e.g. Ale dziś okropnie mży! - It’s drizzling so terribly today!) and lać (to pour; e.g. Mocno dziś leje! - It’s pouring today!). All three verbs describe rainy weather perfectly.

Looking for trivia about the Polish language? Check out our FB profile.

On such days a strong wind often blows through our coats and jackets.
Of course, we hope you will be able to talk more about the sun that is shining rather than about persistent rain.
We wish you many warm spring days!

środa, 15 lutego 2017

POLISH VALENTINE’S DAY. VALENTINE’S DAY ALL YEAR

Although Valentine’s Day was yesterday, we came to the conclusion that our mini-glossary of words related to emotions might still be useful. Especially with spring approaching... Today we are going to show you how to express your feelings in Polish without exaggeration and pretentiousness. Let’s start with THAT WORD...

KOCHAM CIĘ (I love you),

which is unique and used on special occasions. It is used to declare LOVE (MIŁOŚĆ) to people close to us. This word is powerfull! In Polish you don’t really say „kocham tę książkę“ (I love this book), "kocham ten film" (I love this film). This kind of confessions sound overenthusiastic, artificial and pretentious. If you want to emphasize that we like something (or someone) very very much you can use the verb...

UWIELBIAM  ( I love, adore)

książki tego autora (books by this author), muzykę klasyczną (classical music), grać w tenisa (playing tennis), Cię za to jaki jesteś/ jaka jesteś (you for who you are). As you can see, this verb refers to both hobbies and people. Not only will this verb allow you to express your strong feelings for someone but also comment enthusiastically about your favourite activities.

                                check our FB page for interesting Polish vocabulary

But let’s get back to emotions. If you don’t feel deep affection for someone but simply have a liking for them, or when you are not that passionate about your hobbies, the word LUBIĘ (I like) is enough. Unlike in some other languages (e.g. French or Russian), this word in Polish is perfectly neutral. LUBIĘ Agnieszkę, Marcina, kino amerykańskie, uprawiać sport, pić zimne piwo etc. (I like Agnieszka, Marcin, American cinema, doing sport, drinking cold beer, etc.). If Agnieszka or Marcin become more than just friends to you and you will ask them out for a romantic dinner, you can then say

PODOBASZ MI SIĘ (I like),

podobają mi się Twoje oczy,podobają mi się Twoje włosy i podoba mi się, jak i co do mnie mówisz (I like your eyes, I like your hair and I like the way you talk to me). However, you should be careful when using this verb since it may cause misunderstanding. Check here for more on that.

Once you have won the heart of your Polish beloved, you may want to look for a Polish course so as to learn how to say more nice things.

środa, 4 stycznia 2017

IDEAS FOR POLISH SYLWESTER (NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY)

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new one is time for fun as well as for  New Year's resolutions. It’s a good idea to put learning Polish among the latter and to think of signing up for a language course (find out here about interesting Polish language courses for foreigners).
However, first, there’s the night between 31st December and 1st January. It’s called sylwester in Poland (check here to find out about the origin of the name) and there are many ways to spend it.

LARGE OUTDOOR PARTY, WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF WINTER

If you enjoy having fun with a large group of people, usually strangers, and you would like to attend a really good concert, that may be a perfect idea to spend the last night of the old year. Such events take place in Poland in nearly every city and town, usually in rynek (market square), or the main town/city square, or at a stadium. Their main advantages are Polish stars and starlets on stage and the fact that they are free. Just put on some warm clothes, take something to make toasts with and fun guaranteed.

WARM WITH GOOD (POLISH) MUSIC

Those who aren’t fond of crowds and low temperatures may attend one of the events held by clubs, cinemas and concert halls. If you want to dance, be at ease all night and not think too much about what to wear, you can go to a club for a New Year's party (impreza sylwestrowa). Just pick a club where you can listen to your favorite music, buy a ticket and fun guaranteed. For those who prefer to spend that time in a more sophisticated way, the ideal solution is to attend a New Year's Eve ball (bal sylwestrowy). Specific outfit is sometimes required, often related to the theme of the ball (eg .: Latin music, 1950s, etc.). That also refers to the music you are going to dance to.
Lovers of classical music will definitely choose to go to a concert hall, where an evening outfit is required, and the party is of a calmer nature. Movie buffs decide to spend that evening at the cinema, where apart from watching some movies with their favourite actors and by their favourite directors they may also dance to film music.

Naturally, you should attend a bal in the first meaning of the word

TAKING IT EASY

If you would like to spend that time with your friends, don’t want to spend too much on tickets and worry about the outfits, domówka, i.e. a party thrown at someone’s house, is the best idea. Just invite some friends, turn good music on, make some tasty and preferrably Polish dishes (usually each guest brings something to eat) and you can party all night.
Regardless of where and how you party, at midnight (o północy) everyone makes a new year toast (toast), either with champagne (szampan), or sparkling wine (wino musujące), or ... your choice.
SZCZĘŚLIWEGO NOWEGO ROKU! /HAPPY NEW YEAR!

środa, 21 grudnia 2016

MINI-GLOSSARY OF POLISH CHRISTMAS TERMS

We have asked our friends and students to tell us what they associate Christmas with. And we have received many answers: family, fireplace, gifts, snow, Christmas tree, gourmet food. There are various associations and experiences, and we have already written about Christmas (check here) and about Christmas Eve traditions (check here). This year we have compiled a small (and subjective) glossary of Christmas terms so that you can show you knowledge in your Polish classes or at your family gatherings.

CHOINKA,
a Christmas tree, which should traditionally be decorated on Christmas Eve morning, i.e. 24th December. However, these days the tradition is hardly ever maintained and we can enjoy the sparkling lights and beautiful decorations as early as 2 weeks before Christmas. Choinka can be kept in the house until 2nd January, which foreigners usually find surprising.

                                         check here for more interesting facts about Polish

OPŁATEK,
Christmas wafer, which is thin, white flatbread made without any yeast, symbolises friendship, love and forgiveness. We start the Christmas Eve supper by sharing it and wishing each other all the best.

SIANKO,
hay, a bundle of which is symbolically put under the tablecloth on the table on Christmas Eve to commemorate the birth of Jesus in the stable of Bethlehem.

TALERZ,
a plate, not an ordinary one but an empty one, symbolically awaiting an unexpected guest. This custom refers to the fact that Mary and Joseph were looking for shelter the night Jesus was born.

ŚLEDŹ,
herring, the fish that simply has to be served during the Christmas Eve supper. It may be savory or sweet, served in wine or spices, with sour cream or simply with oil. It’s always delicious and healthy

.                                                       to make (robić ) Christmas herring

KUTIA,
or kutya, a Christmas Eve culinary masterpiece, popular in Eastern Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. It’s a sweet dessert made with wheat (or pęczak, a type of pearl barely), honey, poppy seed, walnuts, raisins and almonds. It’s goes very well with strong black tea.

KOMPOT Z SUSZU,
dried fruit compote, has smoky flavour and is good for your digestion. It is served at the end of the Christmas Eve supper and is very nutritious, it is also an excellent alternative to fresh seasonal fruit, the lack of which we feel at this time of year. It is made with dried fruit, such as prunes, apples, apricots, pears, figs and raisins. And it tastes even better when we add some cinnamon, cloves, lemon zest, ginger and nutmeg to it. Delicious!

                                    to make (robić), to prepare (przygotować )dried fruit compote


PASTERKA,
starting at midnight between 24th and 25th December,  is a special mass commemorating the time when the shepherds waited for Jesus to be born. It is also one of the first ocassions to kolędowanie, i.e. singing Christmas carols. And then? Then we slowly walk back home with snow crunching under our feet... If there is snow, of course...

With or without snow; spent in Poland or abroad; with herring and kutia, or without these traditional Christmas Eve dishes, we wish you all Merry Christmas!

                                          WESOŁYCH ŚWIĄT!



wtorek, 6 grudnia 2016

A FEW WORDS ON MIKOŁAJKI

POLISH MEMORIES OF ŚWIĘTY MIKOŁAJ (Saint Nicholas)

Gray November has finished. It is time for a truly winter month, which not only brings snow, but also always puts us in a holiday mood. Although there is still some time left until Christmas, it is hard not to notice all the Christmas decorations in the streets, shops, restaurants and shopping malls as well as hear the Christmas songs played everywhere. In Polish classes more and more often foreigners ask about Polish Christmas customs and traditions.
There is one night and one morning at the beginning of December that every Polish child, and adult as well, looks forward to. And that is Mikołajki (Saint Nicholas Day), which is a name day of every Mikołaj (Nicholas) and a time to celebrate the day of Święty Mikołaj (Saint Nicholas). Remembering the generosity and goodness of the bishop of Myra we give each other small gifts on the night between 5th and 6th December.

Check out our  FB page for more idioms and interesting facts about the Polish language.  

 

IN THE SHOES AND UNDER THE PILLOW

The gifts may be left in two places: in the shoes (which have been cleaned and polished by the owner) standing beside the bed, or under the pillow. Not only children but also teenagers often wake up at night to check whether Saint Nicholas has visited the house and left some trifles. No one expects a lavish gift on that day, it would be hard to put it under a pillow or fit into children’s shoes anyway. Sweets, small toys and trifles that may be useful in everyday life or at school are common gifts (a Polish course may be an ideal gift for Mikołajki, check here for details ).
However, instead of a gift or lying right next to it under the pillow or in your shoe, you might find a rózga (twig). That is a sign that you should work on your behaviour and improve if you want to avoid a „gift disappointment“ at Christmas.

AT SCHOOL AND AT WORK (A CUSTOM NOT ONLY IN POLAND)

Another nice custom related to 6th December (check here to see how to write dates in Polish) is celebrating Mikołajki at school or work. Everything starts with drawing the name of a person we are going to get a gift for. Then we have some time to think of a proper gift and buy it (at school children often make the gifts themselves). Next we put the nicely wrapped gifts with name tags attached to them into one sack. The gifts are distributed in a friendly atmosphere and the receivers often wonder who their Mikołaj has been this year, since anonymity is the greatest thing about Mikołajki.