Eurovision 2018

Going to #JESC? Let’s learn some Polish! #PHRASEBOOK

With the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2019 just days away, we’re really getting in to the mood here at Eurovision Ireland! While Staggy and his happy elves keep you up-to-date with all the goings on in Gliwice, the website’s resident linguist and travel expert James has made a Polish phrasebook to help visitors to JESC guide their way around the host city!

The second most widely spoken Slavic language after Russian, Polish has an estimated 45 million native speakers around the globe and further 5 million people who are learning it or speak it as a second language. The official language of Poland, Polish is also a recognised minority language in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine and even parts of Lithuania and Latvia. Amazingly, it’s even spoken in places as far flung as Argentina, Canada, the United States and Australia thanks to the emigration of Polish speakers throughout history – so it’s quite a useful language to get a grip on!

Polish can look terrifying for people who don’t speak it. Let’s face it, many people would take a look at words like Szczęście (happiness), Chrząszcz (beetle) and Pszczoła (bee) and panic! Despite it’s seemingly unpronounceable consonant clusters, once you get the rules of Polish pronunciation it’s very logical and phonetic. And James has included a transliteration to give you the approximate sounds in English, so you can start speaking straight away!

Here’s some Polish phrases to get you started on your Junior Eurovision adventures around Gliwice. James isn’t a native Polish speaker, but he’s tried his best – so let’s go! Chodźmy !


Hello = Cześć (chesh-ch)

Goodbye = Do widzenia (do vi-jen-ya)

Pleased to meet you = Bardzo mi miło (bard-zo mi mi-woh)

Yes = Tak (tahk)

No = Nie (nye)

Thank You = Dziękuję (jyen-ku-yeh)

How much does this cost? = Ile to kosztuje? (i-le to kosh-tu-yeh)

What does that mean? = Co to znaczy? (tzo to znah-chey)

Do you speak English? = Czy mówisz po angielsku? (chey mo-vish po an-gyel-sku)

I (don’t) understand = (Nie) rozumiem (nye) ro-zoo-myem)

Where is…? = Gdzie jest…? (gd-zyeh yest)

Do you have a flag? = Czy masz flagę? (chey mash fla-geh)

Good luck! = Powodzenia! (po-vo-jyen-yah)


My hovercraft is full of eels = Mój poduszkowiec jest pełen węgorzy (moy po-dush-ko-vyets yest pe-wen ven-gor-zhi)

Are you a witch?! = Jesteś czarownicą? (yes-tesh cha-rov-nits-ow)

Has anyone seen Staggy? = Czy ktoś widział Staggy? (chey ktosh vid-zi-aw sta-gi)

I don’t know, I was in a Pizza Express in Woking = Nie wiem, byłem w Pizza Express w Woking (nye vyem bi-wem v pit-za ek-spres v woh-king)

One pierogi is never enough! = Jeden pieróg nigdy nie wystarczy! (ye-den pye-rohg nig-day nye vi-star-chey)

Author: James Scanlan

Source: Eurovision Ireland, Omniglot

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