I recently showed you some Polish tongue twisters, and now I feel like I should probably apologise! I really didn’t mean to discourage anyone from taking Polish classes before visiting my home country. I must admit that W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie (In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reeds) is difficult even for Polish native speakers. It contains letters like ‘ą’ and groups of letters such as ‘chrz’ and ‘szcz’ that look pretty off-putting, especially for non-native speakers of Polish.

To make up for the last article, I decided that this time I will present some easy vocabulary that is frequently used in contemporary Polish. In the table below you will find a few Polish words that might look surprisingly familiar.

SportFoodTechnologyEconomicsCosmetology
jogginghamburgerpen drivebiznesmenspa & wellness
teamhot dogskanerleasingbotox
futbolpopcornlaptopmenedżerlifting
badmintonsandwiczDVDmonitoringpiling

These are just a few examples of English loan words in the Polish language. Of course the number of them has increased rapidly in this age of globalisation and website localisation. Quite a few of them are related to technological advancement, and we come across many of these during website translation, but that’s not always the case. Some English words such as ‘T-shirt’ or ‘pub’ are used on a daily basis by many Poles. This is probably because they are no longer perceived to be neologisms. In fact, many loan words occupy quite a firm position in the Polish language. As you have probably noticed, English loan words are often modified slightly in terms of spelling (e.g. Poles would write ‘piling’ instead of ‘peeling’).

Nowadays, a lot of young Poles tend to replace Polish verbs with English ones. Thus, you might hear that someone ‘zabukował bilet lotniczy’ (booked a flight), ‘wyguglował coś w Internecie’ (googled something on the Internet) or ‘luknął na coś’ (looked at something).

The use of English loan words is not just limited to teenagers, though. In 2005 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, ex-prime minister of Poland, exclaimed ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ in English, after successful negotiations over the EU budget.

So what do you reckon now? Do you still think Polish seems unbelievably difficult?

If you’d like to know how we can handle loan words, and ensure that your text reads like an original Polish text, contact us about our website localisation and website proofreading services.