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Polish Language

About Polish language - facts

Polish language belongs to the West Slavonic group of Indo-European languages. It took shape in the tenth century. Initially, languages such as German, Czech and Latin influenced the language. Then, it was influenced by French and English language.

Polish language is used by 45 million people, of which more than 38 million people live in Poland. The largest group of Poles who speak the Polish language abroad lives among Polonia in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Sweden, France.

More and more people around the world learn Polish as a secondary language. It is estimated that there are over 10 000 people, of which 1/3 is studying Polish universities and language schools.

Polish language is considered to be one of the most difficult in the world, not only because of the pronunciation, but 14 different grammatical forms. In everyday use it is up to 20 thousand words, but the most comprehensive dictionaries include more than 130 000 units. In recent years many English words has developed in Polish language but be careful of their meaning, because it often means something else in Polish.

Consonants sound pretty much like they do in English, there are only 3 tenses: present, future and past. and the stress of a word is always on the penultimate syllable. In Polish there are no articles. The Polish alphabet is very similar to most of the European alphabets with the exception of some of the Polish letters like ó, ż, ź, ą and ę. The alphabet is phonetic.

Learning of Polish will allow you to understand some West Slavonic languages - Czech, Slovak, Serbian. It will be easier to learn the Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Slovenian, and Ukrainian.

Poland is a country where courtesy is very important. Many men, especially in old age, kiss a woman's hand in greeting. Poles also use formally, terminology Pan (Sir), Pani (Lady), for example: Czy Pan/Pani mówi po angielsku? Do you (Sir/Madam) speak English?

Useful Polish expressions

For a foreigner it is useful to get know some Polish words and expressions. It will help you in a daily communication in Poland.





good morning, good afternoon

dzień dobry

['dʑɛɲ ,dɔbri]


do widzenia


good night






you're welcome

proszę bardzo


don’t mention it

nie ma za co


thank you



this one

m: ten
f: ta
n: to


that one

m: tamten
f: tamta
n: tamto


how much?












I don’t understand

Nie rozumiem


where's the bathroom?

Gdzie jest łazienka?

[ˌgdʑɛjɛst wa'ʑeŋka]

generic toast:

Na zdrowie! (or just "Zdrowie!")

[na zdrɔv'ɛ]

do you speak English?

Czy mówi Pan po angielsku?
Czy mówi Pani po angielsku?
Czy mówisz po angielsku?

i'muvipan poaŋ'gɛ´lsku]
i'muvipani poaŋ'gɛ´lsku]
i'muviʃ poaŋ'gɛ´lsku]

what is it?

Co to jest?


how are you?

Jak się masz?

[Yah-k sheh mahsh]

I love you

Kocham cię


Miłego dnia

have a nice day

[mee-uego dne-ea]

Nie wiem

I don’t know

[nee-eh vee-em]

State certificate examinations in Polish

People learning the Polish language, can pass the cerificate exam. In this way they can obtain a certificate confirming their proficiency. Exams are held at least 3 times a year (spring, summer and autumn) at levels B1, B2 and C2 and are carried out by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language. All foreigners and Polish citizens permanently residing abroad may take the examination regardless if, where, how and how long they have prepared for the examination. Graduates of second-cycle studies in Polish philology completed in Poland are exempted from the certificate examination. The exemption is tantamount to the certification of proficiency in Polish on an advanced level.

The following aspects of language competence are tested and assessed during the examinations:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Accuracy/Grammar in Use
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Examination levels of language proficiency:

  • B1 – basic
  • B2 – general intermediate
  • C2 – advanced

Examination fees:

  • Basic level (B1) – EUR 60.00
  • Intermediate level (B2) – EUR 80.00
  • Advanced level (C2) – EUR 100.00

Please note: Successful candidates will be asked to pay additional EUR 20.00 for the certificate

How to apply

Registration forms should be sent on-line, by fax or mail. Applications filled in writing should be legible.
More information on the exam is available on the website or in the secretariat of the Commission, contact:


Sekretariat Państwowej Komisji do spraw Poświadczania Znajomości Języka Polskiego jako Obcego
PL-00-896 Warszawa, ul. Ogrodowa 28/30
Tel.: (+48) 22  393 38 25

Polish language for foreigners – useful links

Foreign students have a possibility to tak part in individual or group Polish language courses.

Here you will find useful links that will help you to take a decision:


Apply Online 2019 / 2020 Session