Learning a few Polish words can be a great way of making new friends and understanding the culture better. While the younger generations often speak English these days, it’s always appreciated when a foreigner tries to learn Polish phrases and words.
This also means that you can connect better with the older generation as well, and have a more memorable time in Poland.
Further down in this article you can see a list of basic Polish words for everyday use, but first, let’s learn some essential words that Polish people use frequently.
Zarabiscie / Zajebiscie
Zajebiscie means awesome and while it has been considered a curse word, it’s more accepted these days to express that something is really awesome. Zarąbiście has a similar meaning but is a bit softer.
Zajebiscie is definitely one of those Polish words that the locals won’t expect you to know about, so they will instantly smile, especially if you put some power into the pronunciation.
Tak is the Polish word for yes, and you’ll hear this a lot. It’s not really similar to the English yes, so as a foreigner you might be confused or curious to why everyone says tak all the time.
Dobry is the Polish word for good, and it’s a very useful word that you can say here and there to express that you like something, or that you think that something is good.
And if you want to express that something is well, for example, if someone asks you how are you doing? You could reply, Mam się dobrze or simply Dobrze, Dziękuję. Which means I’m well, thank you.
Ogarniać has various meanings, but the main definition is “to understand, to be aware, to be on top of things”. It can also mean that you should take a hold of yourself or clean up your mess.
Czemu means why? and it’s commonly used on a daily basis by many Poles. You could also say Dlaczego, but Czemu is much easier.
Spoko means no problem or don’t worry, and can also be used for saying that everything is all right, or express that a person’s mistake isn’t important or to calm someone down.
Zamiast is another useful word in Polish, which means instead. You can use it for example when ordering pierogies and want meat-stuffed pierogies instead of cabbage ones.
At first glance, you might think that this word is the Polish equivalent of combination, but it’s not. Kombinować means “to achieve something no matter what it takes, even if it’s illegal”.
Kamienica is not something that you will hear every day, but it has a special meaning in Polish which refers to a specific type of Polish buildings.
A good way to describe this word in English would be “a type of building which has to be built from stone or bricks, it is old, the floors are quite high and they don’t have windows on one side”
If you hear someone say fart in Polish they are most likely not referring to the English term. Because in Polish, Fart means something completely different, and it’s used to say good luck.
The literal meaning of this is “I’m F***ing” but it’s more commonly used to describe frustration or disappointment. It can also be used as “holy shit” or express shock.
This is probably the number one curse word in Polish and it literally means whore, but it’s also used to express anger or frustration, similarly to the English “Damn” “Shit” or “F**k”.
If you travel around Poland and spend some time with Poles, you’ll most certainly hear someone saying Kurwa, almost every day.
This is basically the Polish version of F*** Off and it’s probably not something that any foreigner or tourist should use during their time in Poland. However, you’ll hear it here and there or similar words with almost the same meaning, so now you know what it means.
Funny Words in Polish
- Trzęsiportka – a person who is afraid of something and shakes their pants
- Pippa – female genital organ-pipa
- Brat – Brother
- Senna – A woman who is sleepy
Basic Polish words
Now that you have learned some more advanced Polish words, it’s time to get back to the basics. These basic words in Polish can be used almost every day by tourists and expats.
|I’m sorry||Bardzo mi przykro|
|Big/small||Duży or Wielky/Mały|
Translate Polish words into English
Translating basic words in Polish is usually doable with Google Translate, which can be downloaded to your phone to use offline. However, it’s not recommended to translate longer sentences because it’ll likely not turn out correct.
How to learn Polish words
One way of learning words in Polish before you travel there is to download the app called Duolingo, where you can practice offline. It’s a basic app that will teach you some useful phrases and words until you reach more advanced levels.
You could also join a Facebook group with Polish people and ask about some of the words in Polish that you would like to learn.
Frequently Asked Questions about words in Polish
What is the longest word in Polish?
Dziewięćdziesięciokilkuletniemu is considered to be the longest Polish word, and it has 31 letters.
How do you greet someone in Poland?
If you greet a stranger in Poland, you should use the word cześć which is a more formal way of saying Hello. If it’s a friend, you could say Siemka. Another way to greet someone in Poland is to wish them a good morning/day which is Dzien Dobry.
What is the Polish word for cheers?
Na zdrowie (Nah zdrov-e-yay) is the Polish word for cheers when you make a toast. The literal meaning is “to your health”.
What is the Polish word for happiness?
Szczęście means happiness in Polish, and yes even some poles have a tough time pronouncing it.
More reading from Poland
- 55 Reasons why everyone should visit Poland
- 25 best places to visit in Poland
- Facts about Poland
- Polish castles that everyone should visit
Want to learn more Polish words? Leave a comment below!