After a hiatus due to our busy conference season, we have resurrected our office “Language of the Month” scheme. Today, Kasia, a Polish colleague of Sarah’s sister, was roped in to give us an hour of Polish over lunch. We were particularly interested in learning Polish as we shall be hearing a lot about it over the next few months what with the European football championships taking place in Poland and Ukraine in June, and EUROSLA being hosted by the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznán in September.
Kasia started the session teaching us common everyday phrases as “Dziekuje” (“Thank you”) and “Jak sie masz?” (“How are you?”) as well as numbers and some useful questions. Unsurprisingly, particular challenges for us were mastering sounds which we don’t have in English and trying to work out how things might be pronounced by looking at the spellings.
We then were able to ask Kasia how we should pronounce our many Polish authors names correctly. We often find names such as Piotr Kuhiwczak and Adam Wojtaskez especially difficult to get right, so we are pleased to know how to say them properly now. I am very much looking forward to attending EUROSLA in Poznán and will be doing my best to attempt to speak a bit of Polish while I’m there.
Kasia also gave us some helpful tips for visiting Poland, such as not waiting for people to form an orderly queue and not being surprised if we get a full health history when asking “How are you?”!