I am a native Polish speaker, yet I have been living abroad for a couple of years now. I mainly speak English and German in my everyday life and at work while Polish remains reserved for calls and visits with people I sort of abandoned in Poland. I still do some reading in Polish as well and that’s when some beautiful phrases I cannot find in any other language come back to me, some of them long lost gems of my mother tongue.

Polish, being a Slavic language, and featuring a grammar significantly different from Germanic or Romance languages, is difficult to learn for people with such linguistic background. It is packed with exceptions, strange grammatical structures used only for a handful of expressions, and the famous fourteen ways of saying ‘two’. While it is significantly easier to understand by other Slavs, hordes of treacherous false friends come into play and word endings require steady attention for them not to sound funny. 

I will use this website to both bring back some Polish idioms I’m especially fond of and provide my explanation of their meaning, context and examples of use. I hope some people learning Polish while living in Poland, or just to keep a link with their family history, will benefit from this. If you will be able to get meaning of some hazy expressions your Polish colleagues use, I will be more than happy. I intend to spice up this hearty dish with a handful of swearwords that are a story of its own in this language. So please forgive me if they hurt your feelings. 

One last thing: you may wonder what the strange object in the website’s logo is. Instead of explaining it “czarno na białym“, I have a riddle for you. Think about the most Polish of all foods, then about its name, and then watch this video taken from an early 80’s movie that remains a source of unforgettable gags for my generation.of Poles. Once you combine these two, the mystery will be solved.   

Michał Wojtas